Ratcliffe: 'Democrats Paid a Heavy Price'; Hearing Showed Mueller Was Not in Charge

By Susan Jones | July 25, 2019 | 8:06 AM EDT

Rep. John Ratcliffe (R-Texas) questions former Special Counsel Robert Mueller on July 24, 2019. (Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

(CNSNews.com) - Former Special Counsel Robert Mueller said he did not want to testify before Congress, and on Wednesday, it showed.

Mueller gave terse, one-word answers to many questions; refused to answer many questions; asked for questions to be repeated; and at times seemed not to know what was in the report that we have come to know as the "Mueller report."

President Trump's supporters pointed to Mueller's performance as a reason to believe he had less to do with the Trump-Russia investigation than the Democrat lawyers he hired to help him.

"You know, sometimes the book is better than the movie," Rep. John Ratcliffe (R-Texas), a member of the House Judiciary Committee, told "Fox & Friends" on Thursday.

"And the Democrats paid a heavy price by dragging a reluctant Robert Mueller, who was not familiar with the terms of his own report, and that was on display very clearly and at times, very painfully, before the American people yesterday. The big winner yesterday was Donald Trump because impeachment is dead," Ratcliffe said.

At one point, Mueller admitted he was "not familiar" with Fusion GPS, the company paid by the Democrat National Committee and the Hillary Clinton campaign to produce dirt (the Steele dossier) on Donald Trump during the campaign.

Rep. Steve Chabot (R-Ohio) pointed to page 103, Volume 2 of the Mueller report, where it mentions "the firm that produced the Steele reporting."

"The name of that firm was Fusion GPS. Is that correct?" Chabot asked Mueller.

"And you're on page 103?" Mueller asked.

Chabot said 103 was correct, and he repeated the question -- "The name of the firm that produced that was Fusion GPS. Is that correct?"

"I--I'm not familiar with--with that. I--could you--" Mueller started to say.

"Let me just help you...it was," Chabot told Mueller. "It's not a trick question or anything. It was Fusion GPS."

Ratcliffe said on Thursday that was an important moment, "because it showed what a lot of us have intimated, which is that the Mueller report was not written by Bob Mueller, and that a lot of the findings and conclusions that were in there were written by a bunch of lawyers that didn't like Donald Trump, that had supported, and in some cases represented, Hillary Clinton. So I think that was a fact that came out.

Ratcliffe said the other "big winner" to emerge from the Judiciary hearing was Attorney General Bill Barr, who must now answer the questions that Mueller refused to answer.

"People need to know the answers to the questions about how Russia really did interfere, and did they influence the Obama administration with a fake dossier," Ratcliffe said.

President Trump's attorney Jay Sekulow tweeted after the hearing:

“This morning’s testimony exposed the troubling deficiencies of the Special Counsel’s investigation. The testimony revealed that this probe was conducted by a small group of politically-biased prosecutors who, as hard as they tried, were unable to establish either obstruction, conspiracy, or collusion between the Trump campaign and Russia. It is also clear that the Special Counsel conducted his two-year investigation unimpeded."

Sekulow and Rudy Giuliani, Trump's other attorney, appeared on Fox News Wednesday night:

"So here's what you had," Sekulow told Sean Hannity. "This is what became clear today. Bob Mueller, the Mueller report, was not authored by Bob Mueller. The investigation was not run by Bob Mueller, it was run by these deputies."

Trump attorney Rudy Giuliani called Mueller's appearance "absolutely pathetic."

"He didn't know what Fusion GPS was because he never investigated the alternative theories of culpability, which a prosecutor is ethically bound to do, if he's an ethical prosecutor. Now, Bob is an ethical prosecutor. But the guy wasn't in charge," Giuliani said.

"Jay is too nice to say this. We went to one meeting together with Bob Mueller in a year-and-a-half. He didn't know he couldn't indict the president -- it took two days to get him to say that.

"He was not in charge. It's painfully obvious," Giuliani continued. "It was committees. They fought with each other. They all hated the president. They all loved Hillary Clinton. When he says he didn't know who he was hiring, he doesn't look at resumes? He doesn't have FBI background checks? He doesn't realize he hired the counsel to the crooked Clinton Foundation?"

An opinion from the Justice Department's Office of Legal Counsel (OLC) says a sitting president cannot be indicted while in office. He can, however, be impeached, but that's up to the House of Representatives, which brings charges.

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