The Roundup: July 18 – 25

During his 6-hour testimony before Congress yesterday, former Special Counsel Robert Mueller was able to clarify important findings from his investigation into Russia’s interference in the 2016 election, the Trump campaign’s role, and Trump’s obstruction of justice. 

Most importantly, Mueller confirmed that the report does “not exonerate” Trump. But he didn’t stop there. Mueller also made it clear that Trump could still be charged with criminal obstruction of justice once he leaves office. 

The hearing was a critical affirmation of the core elements of his report and that the special counsel’s investigation revealed extensive criminal activity: 37 criminal indictments, at least seven guilty pleas or convictions, at least 10 episodes of obstruction of justice by Trump, and lies to investigators about more than 100 secret communications and meetings between the Trump campaign and Russia and its cronies. 

If anyone else engaged in this behavior, they’d go to jail.

Mueller also didn’t mince words when it came to the ongoing threat of foreign election interference and Trump’s “problematic” relationship with WikiLeaks. He warned us that plans by Russia — and other foreign adversaries — are already underway to interfere in our upcoming elections. His testimony was a clear admonition of Trump, and a warning of what will happen if we fail to hold him accountable. 

From the outset, we knew that Mueller would stick closely to his report, but he gave us everything we needed to know. The crimes of Trump and his cronies are laid out clearly in black and white.

Mueller did his job. Now it’s time for Congress to do theirs. This is the moment to call your representative and demand they support an immediate impeachment inquiry to air the full evidence of Trump’s crimes and hold him accountable. It’s time for our lawmakers to act!

Catch up on all the major stories coming out of yesterday’s hearings:

The Washington Post: Transcript of Robert S. Mueller III’s testimony before the House Judiciary Committee

GQ: Robert Mueller’s Testimony Gave Democrats What They Need to Impeach Donald Trump
The special counsel extended a not-so-subtle invitation to lawmakers to impeach the president; Congress, he explained, “has the authority to prohibit a President’s corrupt use of his authority in order to protect the integrity of the administration of justice.

The Daily Beast: Mueller to Congress: Trump Could Be Charged With a Crime After He Leaves Office
Special Counsel Robert Mueller told Congress on Wednesday that he did not exonerate Trump and that Trump could, in fact, be indicted after he leaves office. Furthermore, he said that he believes Trump’s written answers to questions under oath contained falsehoods.

The Washington Post: Robert Mueller Kneecaps President Trump’s No Collusion, No Obstruction Mantra
Former special counsel Robert S. Mueller III wasted no time during his House Judiciary Committee testimony Wednesday in undercutting Trump’s ongoing insistence that Mueller’s probe cleared him of all wrongdoing.

The Hill: Mueller agrees lies by Trump officials impeded his investigation
Rep. Demings followed up by asking if it would be accurate to say that “lies by Trump campaign officials and administration officials impeded your investigation.” “I would generally agree with that,” Mueller said.

Mother Jones: Mueller Reminds the Public: Trump Betrayed the United States
In a simple but important manner, Mueller reiterated the basics of this scandal—perhaps the most consequential political scandal in American history. These are the fundamentals that have often been subsumed by all the never-ending partisan squabbling and by the ongoing crusade mounted by Trump and his defenders to distract from his perfidy. These are the facts that Trump has refused to acknowledge, and they are the facts that taint his presidency and undermine its legitimacy.

The Hill: Mueller: ‘We Believe’ Some Trump Campaign Officials Deleted Communications
Robert Mueller on Wednesday confirmed that he believes his investigation into Russian election interference was hampered by members of the Trump campaign deleting communications. 

HuffPost: Most Americans Say Mueller Probe Is Fair — Even Republicans
The Pew Center, a nonpartisan research organization, found that 65% of Americans felt the special counsel’s investigation into possible interference in the 2016 election was fair. The percentage of Republicans who believe the investigation was fair has surged since January, before Mueller’s report was finished.

The New York Times: Robert Mueller Said All He Needed to Say
From the outset, Mr. Mueller, the former special counsel, was predictably cautious and restrained, and he said very little that went beyond what was in his report. But his plain-spoken answers illuminated for Congress — and millions of Americans watching at home — the case against the president.

ABC News: ‘As We Sit Here’: Mueller Sounds Alarm For 2020 Election Threats From Russia, Others
Speaking of Russia’s purported attack on U.S. democracy, Mueller said that the 2016 effort “wasn’t a single attempt.” “They’re doing it as we sit here,” he told the House Intelligence Committee Wednesday afternoon. “And they expect to do it during the next campaign.”

HuffPost: Mueller On Trump’s WikiLeaks Praise: ‘Problematic Is An Understatement’
Former special counsel Robert Mueller on Wednesday called Trump’s declarations of “love” for stolen Russian material a “boost” for “illegal activity” in the final days of the 2016 election, and reminded Congress that accepting foreign help in an election is “a crime.”