Back in March, when Republicans on the House Intelligence Committee used a hearing to call for Chair Adam Schiff’s resignation, he responded with what Lawrence O’Donnell said would be quoted in every historical account of this presidency. In a speech that not only recounted Mueller’s findings, but also indicted Republicans for claiming that the special counsel’s report exonerated Trump of any criminal wrongdoing, Schiff spawned the hashtag #YouMightThinkItsOK. So for the history books, here it is once again.
During Robert Mueller’s testimony before the House Intelligence Committee on Wednesday, once again, the real highlight came from Schiff during his opening statement (you can read the transcript here).
As in his previous speech, Schiff didn’t set the bar at what Trump and his campaign did that was illegal. Instead, after noting Russia’s interference in the election, he stated that “the story of the 2016 presidential election is also a story about disloyalty to country, about greed, and about lies.” Schiff proceeded to methodically document the three elements of that story.
Following that speech, Schiff walked Mueller through the basics.
Here’s what Mueller said:
➡️ Russia interfered in our election to help Trump.
➡️ Russians made numerous contacts with the campaign.
➡️ Campaign welcomed their help.
➡️ No one reported these contacts or interference to FBI.
➡️ They lied to cover it up. pic.twitter.com/ePAjUkfMlo
— Adam Schiff (@RepAdamSchiff) July 24, 2019
Based on the accounts I’ve read in the media, there seems to have been an expectation that Mueller’s testimony would create some kind of event that would supply the sought-after “smoking gun” towards impeachment. More than likely that is because pundits crave a dramatic moment that will provide click bait. But anyone who knew anything about Mueller and the parameters he put around his testimony could have told you that was never going to happen.
So instead of focusing on all of the disappointed media personalities, the nugget coming out of Wednesday’s hearings should be the bullet points outlined by Schiff that he confirmed during his questioning of Mueller. At the top of the list is the one thing Attorney General Barr is desperately trying to undermine: “Russia interfered in our election to help Trump.” Starting with that premise, the picture just gets worse.
Those are the facts. The only remaining question is what, as a country, we’re going to do about the disloyalty to our country, the greed, and the lies.