I don’t think former Special Counsel Robert Mueller is senile. If he were, the Democrats would have canceled his testimony. I think, indeed we all know, that he has a long history of mismanagement and incompetence, as well as seemingly illegal actions as head of the FBI. His testimony to the House Intelligence and Judiciary Committees was just more of the same.
The best account of Mueller’s many misdeeds was written a few months ago by Texas Congressman Louie Gohmert, and covers years of botched investigations, criminal prosecutions, false accusations and internal political skullduggery. The best-known case is that of the late Senator Ted Stevens, falsely accused of underpaying for improvements to his cabin in Alaska. Mueller’s FBI won the court case just eight days before Stevens lost his bid for reelection in 2008.
It subsequently emerged that Stevens was innocent, that an FBI whistleblower had provided proof of his innocence, that the whistleblower had been driven out of the Bureau, and that the FBI agent who had masterminded the case against Stevens was rewarded. Stevens’ conviction was overturned, and the FBI was publicly excoriated by Judge Emmett Sullivan, currently, as luck would have it, in charge of the case against General Michael T. Flynn, which in many ways resembles the operation against Senator Stevens.
Then there is the saga of the anthrax attacks that came right after the 9/11 attack, in which Mueller, in tandem with James Comey, misidentified the murderer. Gohmert quotes Mollie Hemingway:
Comey and Mueller badly bungled the biggest case they ever handled. They botched the investigation of the 2001 anthrax letter attacks that took five lives and infected 17 other people, shut down the U.S. Capitol and Washington’s mail system, solidified the Bush administration’s antipathy for Iraq, and eventually, when the facts finally came out, made the FBI look feckless, incompetent, and easily manipulated by outside political pressure.
Mueller and Comey branded Steven Hatfill as the guilty party, and later, when it turned out he was innocent, had to pay him millions in damages. The Bureau didn’t have much of a case:
So what evidence did the FBI have against Hatfill? There was none, so the agency did a Hail Mary, importing two bloodhounds from California whose handlers claimed could sniff the scent of the killer on the anthrax-tainted letters. These dogs were shown to Hatfill, who promptly petted them. When the dogs responded favorably, their handlers told the FBI that they’d ‘alerted’ on Hatfill and that he must be the killer.
Mueller refused to apologize, just as he has when grilled by House Republicans. As Gohmert has documented with justified rage, Mueller should have been removed years ago. Comey, too. But presidents are very slow to fire top intelligence community officials, as we have recently seen with National Intelligence director Dan Coats.
Meanwhile, Mueller has overseen the ruination of innocent people, from Ted Stevens to Steven Hatfill, and now Mike Flynn. It makes no sense to conjure up the usual psychobabble to “explain” Mueller’s dismal performance in defense of his report. He’s produced a whole career of dismal performances, never should have led the FBI, never should have been appointed special counsel, and never should have testified. The report was bad enough; we didn’t need to have him “explain it.”
If more people had paid attention to Louie Gohmert, we wouldn’t have been surprised.