Update 1, July 28:
I forgot about Republican Louie Gohmert. Here he is bashing Mueller
I watched the recording of most of Robert Mueller’s testimony before Congress. Not all of it, because I began to skip the Democrats’ questions as they made their loathing for President Donald J. Trump clear, at times referring to him as “Trump.”
Then I had a look at BBC coverage, fully expecting the bias to jump out at me, especially when the name Anthony Zurcher appeared at the top of the first Google result. It didn’t. It was so factual and balanced I nearly fell off my chair. Zurcher even included a few lines on the damning indictment of Mueller’s report by Republican John Ratcliffe who objected to his conclusion that he could not exonerate the president on the charge of obstruction of justice:
John Ratcliffe: … Which DOJ policy or principle sets forth a legal standard that an investigated person is not exonerated if their innocence from criminal conduct is not conclusively determined? Where does that language come from Director? Where is the DOJ policy that says that? Can you give me an example other than Donald Trump where the Justice Department determined that an investigated person was not exonerated because their innocence was not conclusively determined?
Robert Mueller: I cannot, but this is a unique situation …
John Ratcliffe: You can’t. Time is short, I’ve got five minutes, let’s just leave it at you can’t find it because, I will tell you why, it doesn’t exist. The Special Counsel’s job, nowhere does it say that you were to conclusively determine Donald Trump’s innocence or that the Special Counsel report should determine whether or not to exonerate him. It’s not in any of the documents, it’s not in your appointment order, it’s not in the Special Counsel regulations, it’s not in the OLC opinions, not in the justice manual and it’s not in the principles of federal prosecution. Nowhere do those words appear together because respectfully, respectfully Director, it was not the Special Counsel’s job to conclusively determine Donald Trump’s innocence or to exonerate him because the bedrock principle of our justice system is a presumption of innocence. It exists for everyone. Everyone is entitled to it including sitting presidents. And because there is a presumption of innocence, prosecutors never ever need to conclusively determine it.
Now, Director, the Special Counsel applied this inverted burden of proof that I can’t find and you said doesn’t exist anywhere in the department policies and you used it to write a report and the very first line of your report, the very first line of your report says, as you read this morning, this authorises the Special Counsel to provide the Attorney General with a confidential report explaining the prosecution or declination decisions reached by the Special Counsel. That’s the very first word of your report, right?
Robert Mueller: Right.
John Ratcliff: That’s correct. Here’s the problem, Director. The Special Counsel didn’t do that. On volume one you did, on volume two, with respect to potential obstruction of justice, the Special Counsel made neither a prosecution decision or a declination decision. You made no decision. You told us this morning and in your report that you made no determinations so, respectfully, Director, you didn’t follow the Special Counsel’s regulations. It clearly says, write a confidential report about decisions reached. Nowhere in here does it say, write a report about decisions that weren’t reached. You wrote a hundred-and-eighty pages – a hundred-and-eighty pages about decisions that weren’t reached, about potential crimes that weren’t charged or decided. And respectfully, respectfully, by doing that you managed to violate every principle in the most sacred of traditions of prosecutors not offering extra prosecutorial analysis about potential crimes that aren’t charged.
So Americans need to know this as they listen to the Democrats and socialists on the other side of the aisle as they do dramatic readings from this report that volume two of this report was not authorised under the law to be written. It was written to a legal standard that does not exist at the justice department. And it was written in violation of every DOJ principle about extra-prosecutorial commentary.
I agree with the chairman this morning when he said Donald Trump is not above the law. He’s not. But he damn sure shouldn’t be below the law which is where volume two of this report puts him.
However, the BBC never disappoints, and the bias was evident in a report titled Trump was not exonerated by my report, Robert Mueller tells Congress.
The opening sentences take a predictable dig at the President:
US President Donald Trump’s claim that he was “totally exonerated” by special counsel Robert Mueller was rejected by Mr Mueller in a hearing on Wednesday.
Mr Mueller said he had not exonerated Mr Trump of obstruction of justice.
Only then do we get a grudging admission that Mueller did not establish collusion between Trump and the Russians. I suppose an ‘editor’ read the report by Anthony Zurcher after it was published and decided to do some damage control. After all, only in its worst nightmares would the BBC want to be regarded as being fair to Donald Trump.
If hacks from the BBC see this post, they might like to be educated on the outrage from some Republicans over the witch hunt against the president, as expressed during several hours of questioning of Mueller on Wednesday. OK, it’s highly unlikely but hope springs eternal in the human breast:
And here’s Devin Nunes: