Though the word is widely used when many discuss the Mueller investigation, Robert Mueller himself took issue with using the term “collusion” in any description of his investigation into alleged Russian meddling in the 2016 U.S. presidential election.
During a Wednesday afternoon House Intelligence hearing, which followed a fiery House Judiciary hearing, Rep. Peter Welch (D-VT) asked Mueller, “Director Mueller, did you find there was no collusion between the Trump campaign and Russia?”
Mueller then showed some of his only signs of life during the hearing by taking issue with the use of the word collusion.
“Well, we don’t use the word collusion,” Mueller told Welch.
Mueller then seemed to go into a verbal tailspin as he tried to reveal the word he uses in place of collusion.
Source: Fox News
Mueller added, “We decided not to use the word collusion in as much as it has no relevance to the criminal law arena.”
Welch responded by basically finishing Mueller’s thought for him and saying, “The term is conspiracy that you prefer to use?”
Mueller confirmed this and said, “exactly right.”
The two then shared an awkward laugh after Welch said conspiracy suggested more of a “help me/help you” crime to which Mueller said, “thank you.”
The problem with what Mueller said to Welch is that he did use the word collusion in his own report.
“Mueller stumbles badly on whether ‘collusion’ is a synonym for ‘conspiracy’ in Russian election interference. He says no, only to have his report quoted back to him saying the words are synonymous. He then says he’ll go with what the report says,” Brit Hume tweeted in what was a clear highlight of Mueller’s confusion.
Mueller stumbles badly on whether “collusion” is a synonym for “conspiracy” in Russian election interference. He says no, only to have his report quoted back to him saying the words are synonymous. He then says he’ll go with what the report says.
— Brit Hume (@brithume) July 24, 2019
In another exchange that found Mueller seemingly confused over the words collusion and conspiracy, Rep. Doug Collins (R-GA) directly asked Mueller, “Are collusion and conspiracy essentially synonymous terms?”
“You’re going to have to repeat that for me,” Mueller said in what was one of many occasions where Mueller needed questions said multiple times.
Asked the question again, Mueller simply responded, “no.”
Rep. Doug Collins: "Collusion is not a specific offense or a term of art in the federal, criminal law, conspiracy is."
— The Hill (@thehill) July 24, 2019
Collins responded by reading off a passage from the Mueller report that states that collusion and conspiracy are largely synonymous terms. Face to face with own words, Mueller stumbled and asked for the citation multiple times and then openly contradicted himself.
He eventually said he would go with what the report stated, but that was completely different from the answer he had just given to Collins.
It’s only more proof that Mueller either possesses a dangerous incompetence or he is purposefully being misleading in both his report and his comments on said report to the public.
Democrats went predictably easy on Mueller during his two hearings, but several Republican lawmakers pushed Mueller enough that the investigator offered up several gaffes and confusing statements that only throw more doubt onto the Mueller investigation and his attempts to backhandedly accuse the president of obstruction of justice.
The hearings themselves did little to clear up confusion over the findings in the Mueller report or the investigation’s true origins. Mueller repeatedly refused to directly answer questions either referring back to his report or flat-out stating his refusal to discuss the matter.
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