For many in both parties, the Robert Mueller testimony before a congressional committees was nothing short of jaw-dropping.
Other words that come to mind: dumbfounded, appalling, shameful, painful, incompetent, just plain sad.
The conversation about whether President Donald Trump is guilty of collusion with the Russians as a treasonous president and obstruction of the investigation into his crime was somewhat lost over the apparent clueless, confused and confounded Mueller.
Did Trump say things and post tweets that were suspicious, insulting, and angry? Yes.
Was Trump arrogant, belligerent, boastful while exaggerating the truth? Yes.
Was any of this criminal? No.
Can anyone imagine becoming president and then having a full onslaught of false allegations by Congress while simultaneously managing several court cases - all barraging you every day for almost three years?
Would you be angry?
Of course you would be.
The Mueller Investigation was supposed to verify what the Democrats were promoting for years. Trump was a criminal, corrupt to the core, guilty of outright treason and more. He was accused of salacious acts in the Steele Dossier, of tax evasion, money laundering, colluding with Putin, fixing the election, greedily lining his and his family’s pockets.
A special prosecutor was assigned with an almost limitless budget, costing between $25 million and $40 million, that created a team of 19 lawyers, hundreds of DOJ and FBI agents, who conducted armed nighttime raids, issued 2,500 subpoenas and conducted 500 interviews.
Who among us could withstand that kind of scrutiny by those who don’t like you?
It was one of the most intensive investigations ever done of a president.
What do we have to show for it?
Our Congress has been crippled with needed legislation halted or ignored. Wonder why we have no health-care plan, unresolved immigration problems and our infrastructure is failing?
I am sure that the total cost of having six congressional committees working nearly full time for two-and-a-half years along with all the salaries of those in the Justice Department, other government bureaucrats, related travel and office expenses, plus the hearings with all the preparation efforts, could easily top $100 million.
Was it worth it?
But, wait, it hasn’t stopped.
The Democrats in Washington continue in the search of evidence for a crime that was not committed. They have pending litigation in the courts to force more time, money and effort in chasing the shadows. Representatives Jerrold Nadler and Adam Schiff continue unabated down the road not distracted, even if it takes the DNC over the cliff.
The Republicans now seek accountability for the predication of the Mueller Report.
Volume One concluded conspiracy was not committed by Trump, his family, his campaign or any American.
Volume Two confirmed that Mueller’s team decided that no decision could be made on whether there was a crime or not involving obstruction. They could not make a “determination.” The report did say that Trump could not be “exonerated.”
Funny thing about “exoneration” - it is not a term used by our criminal justice system. A prosecutor can find evidence to warrant a trial or not. No more, no less. In other words, neither Mueller nor any lawyer can find anyone exonerated for anything at any time. In effect, Volume Two is irrelevant.
But the media and Democrats jumped on it to justify the years of turmoil.
In so doing, the commonly referred “Russia Hoax” destroyed much of the media’s credibility, especially talk show hosts who used the episode to spin their viewer’s heads with nonsense to affect their ratings.
Mueller himself was a big loser in all this. Many believe his testimony provided evidence about his detachment from the issues. He simply did not know of Fusion GPS, key parties involved, relevant points about the dossier, or considered looking into the political bias of those he hired.
For Mueller, this was a sad ending to a stellar career. His tired look, his befuddled demeanor and open-mouth confusion left all of America scratching their heads.
For America, it continues to be a sad episode in political history. Nothing tangible was accomplished. Millions spent. Time wasted. Foreign policy affected.
Acrimony at home created extremes in political ideology.
Yet for all this, the man who was supposed to be unfit, unhealthy and not up to the task of the presidency, keeps plowing ahead with the strongest economy in years. He keeps an incredible schedule that men half his age would have trouble maintaining.
History will decide whether this was an attempted political coup by an opposing party.
Today, the consequences are likely to reshape American politics for many years to come.
John Shoemaker may be reached at Shoerfid@yahoo.com.