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The last thing the world needs is more of Robert Mueller's commentary, but Congress is determined to have him hold forth at a public hearing.

It's not as though we don't already have the special counsel's version of events. He mustered enormous investigate resources and took two years to write a 400-page report that is available to the public and presumably carefully written (although not necessarily carefully thought through).

That should be enough for Mueller to stand on, and enough for Congress to make a decision to impeach or not impeach, or otherwise dispose of the matter as it sees fit.

Instead, Mueller is going to be asked to expand on his already-expansive report that not only blew through Justice Department regulations, but inverted the long-standing burden of proof in the Anglo-American legal tradition.

As a prosecutor, Mueller's job -- his sole job, really -- was to decide whether or not the president was guilty of a crime. He declined to do this, choosing instead to write a nearly 200-page volume on obstruction cataloging what he found in the course of not making the only decision he was supposed to make.

The relevant regulations say that at the conclusion of the special counsel's work he or she "shall provide the Attorney General with a confidential report explaining the prosecution or declination decisions reached by the Special Counsel."

On obstruction, Mueller reached no such decision, and he didn't write a confidential report, either -- his report was clearly meant for public consumption. Besides that, he's a stickler for the rules.

"Mueller's action," Jack Goldsmith of Harvard Law School writes at the website Lawfare, "seems inconsistent with what the regulations tried to accomplish, which was to prevent extra-prosecutorial editorializing."

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Worse, as Trump's special counsel Emmet Flood set out in an excoriating letter, by stipulating that the evidence prevented him "from conclusively determining that no criminal conduct occurred," Mueller stood the presumption of innocence on its head.

By Mueller's standard, the prosecutor doesn't have to prove guilt -- the target has to prove innocence. And if the target doesn't, he will be disparaged in a long-form quasi-indictment spelling out why he's not exonerated.

If anyone not named Donald J. Trump were subjected to this new prosecutorial standard, it would occasion widespread comment and -- one hopes -- consternation.

There is, no doubt, public value in Mueller's report, but he wasn't supposed to be a free-floating ombudsman or truth commission. If Congress wanted to create one of those and charge it with running down every lead related to Trump's alleged obstruction, it could have. Under the regulations, though, the special counsel is only "to exercise all investigative and prosecutorial functions of any United States Attorney."

Now, Congress wants Mueller to compound the offense by speaking publicly. It doesn't want facts from him. They are already in the report. It wants opinions and sound bites, especially any embarrassing to the president. Congress wants him to spend a couple of high-profile hours further "not exonerating" the president.

If Mueller had a proper understanding of his role, he would decline the congressional invitation, and perhaps write a letter giving his version of events regarding his interactions with Attorney General William Barr, which became such a flashpoint last week.

But the fact is that Mueller and Congress have a symbiotic relationship. For two years, Mueller was acting as, in effect, the lead counsel for an impeachment inquiry -- bizarrely housed within the executive branch -- while Congress wants to use his moral authority as a crutch at a time when it is vulnerable to charges of partisan overreaching.

This, too, is not supposed to be how the system works. But we are long beyond anyone caring. For a swath of the political world and much of the media, all that matters is that Mueller "not exonerate" Trump, and the more, the better, in whatever format or forum.

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Syndicated columnist Rich Lowry can be reached at comments.lowry@nationalreview.com.

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(63) comments

new2Lax

Martian 2, Stick with the “Shirley Temples”.

new2Lax

Why no Mueller report. Could it be fear of questions to Mueller relating to the State Department Deputy Secretary’s memo and testimony received from Christopher Steel’s interview being identified as being bogus and her forwarding it to the FBI and DOJ 10 days prior to the FISA warrant request on CarterPage. This indicates the FBI, DOJ and Mueller team were notified the Steele dossier was bogus in advance of the request. Knowing they did no and with Andrew McCabe’s testimony under oath that there would have been no warrant authorized without the information in the Steele dossier, seems like some kind of bias and or conspiracy was taking place to take down the President. This will be coming out soon but I wouldn’t, look for it on CNN or MSNBC only the hill’s investigative reporter John Solomon uncovered the documents. They were not .turned over when documents were requested for previously. I guess you now know why.

new2Lax

Homey, the reference in the OJ trial was if the glove does not fit you must acquit. I guess you do have trouble comprehending references.Maybe we should identify them as to where and how they relate.

oldhomey

Omigosh! Profuse apologies are in order here, new2! Obviously you were not quoting O.J. Simpson's lawyer, Johnnie Cochran, when you wrote: "If you can not convict, you must acquit. " My bad. I am OH so sorry! Why, I bet you weren't even aware of that Johnny Cochran quote when you wrote, "If you can not convict, you must acquit. " Can you ever forgive me for this dreadful mistake?

new2Lax

AWOL, I would suggest Nadler and his cronies go in and read it and then break the law by revealing whatever he wants, or maybe just the things that provide proof Trump did something illegal. My guess would be, people would be happy for a guy willing to take one for the team, especially when he knew what he found would be enough to convict Trump and remove him from the office of the Presidency. Is that to much to ask from this little man, he would be hailed a hero and if he got the goods on Trump, he would sure get my vote. Nadler, go ahead, make our day. This should be done for the countries sake. Sounds like I got it together, doesn't it.

oldhomey

I tried to follow what you were trying to say in your 3:15pm post three times, new2, to no avail. Your final sentence says it all: "Sounds like I got it together, doesn't it." Oh, yes indeedy, new2.

new2Lax

You don’t seem to be trying hard enough. Why put yourself through this agony, when it seems to be that difficult for only you, I think the problem is your comprehension abilities but I shouldn’t jump to a collusion, you still may be just stupid.

martian2

I too have trouble comprehending your wacky posts. I guess there should be a prerequisite of downing a pint of cheap brandy first before trying to make sense of such babbling. If you want to call that not trying hard enough, then you are correct.

oldhomey

Well, new2, I think I am no more than a couple of year older than you, and yes, I am still stupid. At this stage of life, I don't think that is going to change. It makes me try harder to understand what is going on in this world, and in doing so, I try to consult reputable sources for factual information. And I may be stupid, but I have taught myself to know when somebody is talking ignorance, or when somebody makes absolutely no sense at all, and your 3:15pm qualifies in both categories, ignorant nonsense. If somebody as stupid as I am can see that, what does it make you?

johnnybragatti

D. Money is perhaps THEE biggest fa;lacy and falsehood promoter on The Fanatastic Trib" poster coalition. A true and thru trump-Humpin" Liar, like the Trump. I kinda like how he tries and tries and tries to act young .with his/ her tremendous young and fresh ideas. Don"t make me laugh!!! I"d rather read :"oldhomey" any day of the week, who is ,no doubt, at least 100 years younger.
Just sayin"

martian2

A 96 year old veteran of WWII was interrupted while giving a speech on Holocaust memorial day by white supremacists. They were chanting "six million more" during the speech. That is a prime example of the type of supporters Trump has. https://5newsonline.com/2019/05/06/holocaust-remembrance-day-event-in-russellville-interrupted-by-white-supremacists-rally/

oldhomey

Mr, Lowry tells us of Mr. Mueller, perhaps the most highly regarded public servant of the past half century: "He mustered enormous investigate resources and took two years to write a 400-page report that is available to the public and presumably carefully written (although not necessarily carefully thought through)."

Mr. Lowry goes on throughout this column to impute all manner of dark motivations on the part of Mr. Mueller and his efforts in assembling the report. If this is so, I would think Mr. Lowry and every other right-wing thinking critic of the report would demanding to hear more from Mr. Mueller under sworn testimony. But instead they say, Nope! Heard Enough! It looks to me that they are afraid of what Mr. Mueller might actually say. So let's hear it, I say.

new2Lax

Mueller is restricted in giving information that is protected by law same as AG Barr and Nadler and his cronies have been given an opportunity to see the whole report and refused to read it. Fox was showing clips of Eric Holders contempt issue with Nadler , Elijah Cummings both stating grand jury information should never be revealed under any circumstance. I wonder what changed, I bet you wonder as well. AG William Barr did not have to utter a word about the report other than to say no charges for either collusion or obstruction, Trump could have decided to declare executive privilege but didn’t because he knew there was nothing to the claims. Mueller was given an opportunity by the AG William Barr to assist in preparing Barr’s report and he declined to do so and now he has a problem with Barr’s bottom line conclusion. Give me a break. You seen what Mueller had to say in his report, no one colluded with the Russians and he didn’t charge Trump on obstruction and Trump is presumed to be innocent if not charged. Everyone has the presumption of innocence but you want Trump to have to prove he is innocent, it don’t work that way in America.

martian2

thanks for the fox news update newt. Now you say everyone is presumed innocent! Except of course Hillary and Obama and anyone else who is not republican. Does Hillary have to prove her innocence? The old double standard is alive and well. Do you remember the chant "lock her up" Newt? Perhaps you were one of the GOP sheep chanting it, in fact you were and still are.

oldhomey

Hmm, I haven't heard any Democrats say they are eager to reveal publicly any grand jury proceedings. But in closed session they have a right to see all the underlying evidence that went into the Mueller report, and if it strongly substantiates a crime, they can proceed accordingly. If there are nothing to the claims, Trump has nothing to worry about. So let's let Congress proceed in the constitutionally-mandated fashion that it is trying to proceed in. We have seen enough in the Mueller report of Trump behaving terribly, completely contrary to the accepted rules. Mueller asked Congress to decide for itself, but Trump's personal lawyer, Atty. Gen. Bill Barr, intercepted that pass and tried to run it back as a touchdown for the Trump side, declaring no obstruction. Now the flags have been thrown, and the referees are trying to call the play back while the Trump side is trying furiously to just abandon the field and run away, hoping the score stands. It won't.

oldhomey

Gosh, Fox is rushing to the defense of Trump by resurrecting old newsreel clips about Eric Holder that have no relationship to the issue at hand here? Gosh! What a shocking surprise, new2! I wonder why your posts endlessly echo of Fox News talking points in the defense of Donald Trump.

martian2

I guess that all new2 knows, talking points from fox news entertainment channel. They like to mix in opinions with the news without separation, and pass it all off as factual news. Besides being a hub bub of sexual harassment and assaults and discrimination and payoffs, fox news is the laughing stock of America. And always will be.

Rick Czeczok

How can anyone be subject to obstruction on something that didn't happen? If there was no collusion how can you obstruct justice. Sound like someone trying to protect ones self from false accusations. Would you not do the same thing? The whole report is available to Nadler, he either doesn't understand that, or doesn't want to pursue that avenue, knowing it would collapse the party's ideology. Nadler has a Napoleonic complex, he put his big boy pants on up to his chest today, and did a great disservice to the country as well as the justice department. This is dead in the water and he knows it, just a big waste of time and is nothing more then drama. The constitutional crisis he speaks of is coming from the legislation branch, enough of this garbage, get on to the business of legislating not judging, congress is not a court room as much as they are trying to take over the justice department. Again Nadler says he wants the very information he can read, he chose not to. What a joke he is.

PhysicsIsFun

I would like to hear more from Mr. Mueller. Trump is doing everything in his power to prevent the public's right to know with regard to his behavior. I want to know if Trump is a crook. He sure acts like one. If he is not then why is he so worried about people finding out that fact?

Rick Czeczok

And if Mueller does go in front of congress, what do you think he will say? He will say nothing more then what he put in his report. He is to smart to do anything different, or make himself look really stupid. It's over move on. This country has to many things that need work on, health care, infrastructure, prisons, along with hundreds of other things that are sitting on the back burners in the hope of winning the 2020 election. It's all ugly politics and I think you are smart enough to know, that it is doing this country no good to keep beating a dead horse. Hatred need to be calmed and open thinking needs to take front stage. The cameras have to go, and the theatrics, well that's just ignorants on both sides.

PhysicsIsFun

How magnanimous of you Ricky. Sorry to disagree with your nearly literate (for you) comment., but if the president is a crook, and he sure looks like one I and many others want to know. Our country operates based on laws, and these laws apply to everyone. Plus I see little evidence that Trump and the Republican Party care at all about solving problems. They are all about maintaining power at all costs.

Rick Czeczok

So in your own words "it looks like he is" that is enough to find a person guilty. I hope you were better at physics then you are at law. But I see you sucked at both. Try to stick with something you know, professor proton.

martian2

no use arguing with ricky boy there physics. He doesn't comprehend at all, and twists anything you say around. He would be great for the Trump campaign team, except even they have certain standards of low intelligence, and Ricky boy still wouldn
't qualify. The fact that we tax payers paid millions for the Meuller investigation means we are entitle to the FULL report, not an edited version. If the public can't have it then our elect representatives are entitled to it, a full and complete report. It belongs to the American people, not Trump.

PhysicsIsFun

Ricky work on your reading comprehension. I said, "if the president is a crook, and he sure looks like one." I want to know if he is guilty or not. He certainly does not act innocent. Only further investigation and testimony will show for sure. Now go back to whatever activity you and the other residents do for fun.

Kronosaurus

Lowry is conveniently leaving out many things. It has been well reported that Mueller interpreted his role as to not prosecute or not as Lowry insists, but to deliver a report to the AG and then let the AG decide. Also, due to Barr's well know memo about his belief that presidents cannot be indicted Mueller made sure that he painstakingly detail all of the facts so that congress could decide whether or not to impeach. How else is a president supposed to be accountable if the AG insists he cannot indict? And so it is doubly important that Mueller testify to congress. This is a battle of narratives and we really need to hear Mueller's story.

A Veteran

Kronosaurus----The liberals need to either grow a pair and impeach or shut up and do something to help out the people!!!!!

oldhomey

Ah, yes. A Veteran (of no known military) zeros in on the points that Krono thoughtfully sets out and give us his best exclamation points to knock them down. Such an intellect!!!!

Cassandra2

Agreed, "vet." I'm so glad you've come to the point where you are also supporting impeachment!

DMoney

Can someone please lay out the end game to this? Frankly I don't care what happens I just want it to be over. Either charge/impeach or move along.

johnnybragatti

Obviously you don"t know what :"obstruction" means . Too bad, but to remain stupid may be your only hope, as to the fact you"ll not be aware, of how much you are getting skrewed.

DMoney

Getting skrewed? Trump's administration has done nothing but benefit me, if anything at all. This is one big reality TV show. It's impacts are marginal at most.

oldhomey

So, if I am understanding you, D, you equate the way Trump runs the country as one big reality TV show. That is, I guess, how Trump sees it. But we have to answer to American history, and he will be one of the darkest episodes ever in our story. It is time to cancel his show, if you prefer to look at it in those terms.

capedcrusader

How so?

PhysicsIsFun

This takes time. It took years to finally get Nixon out of office, and that was with a fairly cooperative Republican Party. You see in those days people agreed that certain behavior was unacceptable. It seems that anything goes with Republicans today.

A Veteran

FUNNY -It looks like we are going to see what Hillary and the DNC did,doubt if you are going to like what you hear!!!!!!!

DMoney

Anything does go today, in every way. Swim with the sharks or be consumed.

oldhomey

Gosh, D, you have such a refreshing, upbeat outlook on things, condemning all of us to your darkest imagination.

PhysicsIsFun

You have such a refreshing attitude. No wonder you like Trump.

oldhomey

We have ample evidence of a president doing some very inappropriate things that are anathema to our republic and its constitution, D. It is all laid out in the Mueller report. We have an attorney general who acts like he is the president's personal attorney and is not acting in the interests of the nation, but of a very corrupt president. We want to know the truth. That is the end game. I think Nancy Pelosi is right. Let's let the House committee investigate this further. Let's get the relevant documents into the public domain, let's make the relevant witnesses to the actions being investigated be heard. THEN, if the evidence is there, let's impeach. That is the end game. But let's not accept a crooked attorney general's word that there is insufficient evidence to prosecute. And let's not allow a corrupt president to escape the same rule of law that you and I are subject to. That's the end game.

new2Lax

Did the Mueller report make any charge or indictment of Trump on either collusion or obstruction, the way I read it, no. So the way I also read it, he was and is therefore presumed to be innocent by my reading of the Constitution. It is not up to Trump to prove himself innocent as you seem to want. If you can not convict, you must acquit. Nancy Pelosi is under the same Constitution which clearly states, a person is presumed innocent. The relevant documents have been released for Nadler and his cronies to see but he refused to review them, that's amazing when Barr didn't have to lease anything but a statement.

oldhomey

Well, new2, it is pretty evident that you did not read the report, you have only been watching Fox News accounts of it and reading what Breitbart has to say. What a nice touch, though, that you resurrect O.J. Simpson's alliterative defense: "If you can not convict, you must acquit. " You must have been SO relieved when the wrongfully accused OJ was set free. I would be more than happy to equate Donald Trump to OJ in this case. Thanks so much.

oldhomey

Excuse me, I did not mean to imply OJ Simpson offered that alliterative defense himself. It came from his defense attorney, Johnnie Cochran.

new2Lax

What must you think about Eric (wingman) Holder. The only AG held in contempt. As I mentioned before, Nadler should go in and read the unredacted report and take one for the team by spilling his guts. If the goods are there as he thinks, the decision should be a no brainer and if it gets rid of Trump, what a hero this guy would be. Most think he is a cretin already, so what's he got to lose. Take one for the team, it's the right thing to do and it would finally be over or both you and I know, not.

martian2

Well one lay out of the end game as I see it is a president impeached and found guilty and serving time in prison. How's that D for an end game. The possibility is remote but it is a possibility.

johnnybragatti

Exlax2 is a sitting duck, for the sitting so called president. His dementia is on :"overload".

awol2009

It is pathetically clear how desperate tRump and his GOP Bootlickers are to obstruct justice. What are they afraid of? Does anyone in the GOP Senate have any honor or intestinal fortitude to stand up for Constitutional order, besides Mitt Romney? This is worse than 1974. tRump is a sick, desperate crook who makes Tricky Ricky Nixon look like a choir boy. No, Mr. Lowry - we have not "seen" enough of The Mueller Report, we have not heard his testimony. America deserves better than this.

new2Lax

What happened to Russia collusion, is that over, nobody seems to mention it anymore. You never had it so good. Romney, good god how could someone who said Russia was one of our biggest problems be a stand up guy, remember it was Obama who made sure to point out how mistaken he was about Russia, everyone got a big laugh on that, Obama said he was twenty years behind and now you put your faith in someone that was that wrong. Or was he. I think you like to cherry pick, depending on, who knows what. And yes, you have seen the last of the Mueller report.

Cassandra2

Yes, Mr. Mueller was quite clear in his report when he indicated that it was up to Congress to continue investigating.

DaisyL

So Mr. Lowry if you were the victim in a criminal case, you'd prefer that only partial evidence would be submitted by the court?

martian2

Lowry's arguments have so many holes in them. He claims the Meuller report lays out all the facts of the investigation, but forgets to mention it is a redacted form, edited if you will. Congress wants the complete report it is entitled to but the White house team refuses to comply. And Lowry refuses to say that Meuller himself wrote that the investigation does not exonerate Trump. Congress is entitled to hearing from Meuller himself, and has the power to subpoena him. Interesting articles are coming out how over 370 former federal prosecutors, who have read the report, have come out and said if Trump wasn't president he would be charged with obstruction. I thought no man is above the law, silly me. Read it yourself from the Business insider magazine. https://www.businessinsider.com/prosecutors-trump-obstruction-charge-president-2019-5

new2Lax

Nadler and Democrats have refused to read the less redacted version. It was not Mueller’s job to exonerate or not, his job was to charge or not charge.

Cassandra2

Newt, have YOU read the report? You keep making unsubstantiated claims, so my guess is that you have not read it.

awol2009

New2, see a proctologist, and soon. Your cranial rectal inversion needs immediate attention. You know darn well the idiotic terms Barr set to review the unredacted report. Read it and never speak or reveal what is within it? No hard copies to be kept? You know why Mueller could not charge as it is a DOJ policy to not indict a "sitting", in this case, *POTUS. Go mindf*ck some other board or are you as dumb as you portray on a daily basis here?

PhysicsIsFun

new@Lax - You are basing this conclusion on what? The voices in your head do not count.

martian2

tsk tsk newt, you are being naughty again. got caught lying again and now you are name calling and have sunk to the same level as a veteran. you must be proud of yourself.

martian2

This from Ms Harris herself newt. "I’ll be frank: In last week’s hearing, Attorney General Barr refused to answer most of my questions -- and when he did, his answers were alarming. He admitted he had never even reviewed the underlying evidence of the Mueller report, and he refused to say whether the President has ever ordered him to investigate anyone. This is unacceptable. It’s time for him to resign. " We have heard enough from Barr, time for him to go. He doesn't even read the evidence just like the FTW (fanatical Trump worshipers) do here. Not good when you are the AG.

capedcrusader

Nope. You are wrong again.

A Veteran

martain---get help for your mental illness it is apparent it is affecting your thinking TDS has taken over you pathetic life!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Rick Czeczok

And that was not Muellers to say, his job was not to judge but simply put forth the legal question of could congress can hold the president responsible for collusion.. His job was to say, was he legal or illegal in his dealings. Not to go any further then that because he opened it up to this garbage that is going on now. Mueller and his 13 democratic special council members were partisan, and they had to get out of this politically so that's why Mueller threw his comments in the report, knowing they meant nothing legally. And congress wants to impeach based on this, good luck with that. If the democrats keep going down this road, they will not only loose the presidency, but will loose congress again. Going left of center is a killer for the party.

martian2

ricky boy, your posts make no sense. Have someone who is competent to write a complete coherent sentence, help you write something we all can understand. Otherwise its best to keep it to yourself.

Rick Czeczok

You must have understood it as it lit a fire under you. HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!!!!

capedcrusader

The little Joker strikes again.

Cassandra2

Untrue, Comrade. You clearly haven't read the report and clearly don't understand the process that authorized the Special Counsel in this case. But being a Russian agent sent here to sow misinformation and undermine American institutions, I don't expect the truth from you.

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