Former Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s hotly-anticipated testimony to the House Intelligence and House Judiciary Committees regarding Russian interference in the 2016 election lasted nearly seven hours, but legal expert and MSNBC commentator Neal Katyal summed up some of the most damning moments in under a minute.
It doesn’t look good for President Donald Trump.
While the brunt of Mueller’s testimony was already noted in his 400+ page report on the Trump campaign’s contacts with Russia and Donald Trump’s attempts to obstruct Mueller’s investigation, many Americans were hearing some of the statements for the first time.
Katyal pointed out five elements of the report and Mueller’s subsequent testimony on MSNBC’s coverage of the hearings.
1. Russia interfered in the election
2. They did it to help Trump
3. Trump’s campaign welcomed the help
4. Don Jr. welcomed it, said he “loved it”
5. Trump sought to profit from Russia with Moscow Trump Tower@Neal_Katyal gives a damning summary of the second #MuellerHearing: pic.twitter.com/OOguiV5wtu
— CAP Action (@CAPAction) July 24, 2019
While Republicans widely claim that the Special Counsel investigation found “no evidence” of conspiracy with Russia, the report actually claims that it couldn’t establish sufficient evidence.
Katyal pointed out that Russia offered help which campaign staff—including the President’s son, Donald Trump Jr.—welcomed. What’s more, the president was working on a deal to build a Trump Tower in Moscow, despite previously denying any business dealings in Russia.
Katyal elaborated on what this means:
“Those five things together are a devastating portrait…You wouldn’t want a CEO, you know, target or something to have that, but let alone the President of the United States to have these accusations.”
Many think Katyal didn’t have to stop at five either.
6. Russian interference is ongoing in American politics now
7. Russia interference is gearing up for the 2020 campaign
8. Russian help is still welcomed by the Trump Administration
9. Trump is doing nothing to stop Russia from helping him again
— pauline davis (@huffandpuff) July 24, 2019
6. Trump directed others to obstruct the investigation into Russian interference and some of his associates lied to investigators and deleted relevant evidence.
— Samuel S. Saltman (@SamuelSSaltman) July 24, 2019
6. Russia continues to interfere.
— L.A. (@romaa13) July 24, 2019
Many praised Katyal for his analysis and House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff (D-CA) for his efficient line of questioning, which Katyal credited with painting the “devastating picture.”
Neal Katyal is the smartest man in the Capital Today!! Please make it clear too all watching you right now !!!
— Mark Glifort (@mark_glifort) July 24, 2019
— asH9.58 (@asH9C) July 24, 2019
Neal you're awesome
— O (@Allthisandabago) July 24, 2019
While there were few revelations from Mueller’s testimony not already included in the report, many Democrats hoped his statements would bolster calls for impeachment, possibly swaying more reticent Democrats to support commencing hearings.
As Katyal pointed out, the information in the report paints an insidious picture.
Many Americans agreed.
3 things are clear from Mueller today so far:
1) No exoneration.
2) Overwhelming evidence of obstruction.
3) The OLC memo prevented Mueller from indicting Trump.
I renew my call for the House to begin an impeachment inquiry. No one, especially the President, is above the law.
— Senator Mazie Hirono (@maziehirono) July 24, 2019
There is enough in today's #MuellerDay hearing to start impeachment inquiry because there was always enough bad behavior contained in the Mueller Report to start an impeachment inquiry.
That's the news.
— Zerlina Maxwell (@ZerlinaMaxwell) July 24, 2019
The politics of this are frustrating. Let’s focus on the substance – Mueller found that Russia attacked America, Trump helped and then lied to cover it up. Mueller could not charge a sitting president with a crime. The process for addressing presidential misconduct is impeachment
— Barb McQuade (@BarbMcQuade) July 24, 2019
Mueller has confirmed that he didn’t charge Trump with a crime because you can’t indict a sitting president, and that Trump can be charged once he leaves office.
The only remedy to hold Trump accountable while in office is impeachment.
There’s nothing else to learn here.
— Jon Favreau (@jonfavs) July 24, 2019
I read the Mueller report the day it came out. Three things were clear: A hostile foreign government attacked our 2016 election, Trump welcomed their help, and Trump obstructed the investigation into that attack. I agree with @NAACP—it's time to begin impeachment proceedings. pic.twitter.com/W0iCN9Cv7k
— Elizabeth Warren (@ewarren) July 24, 2019
Q: "You believe that you could charge the president of the United States with obstruction of justice after he left office?"
That should be enough for ANY House member who has not yet called for an impeachment inquiry. No more excuses!#ImpeachmentInquiryNow
— Jon Cooper (@joncoopertweets) July 24, 2019
I mean, the path forward is to start the impeachment inquiry. If Mueller wows the country, start the inquiry. If Mueller stonewalls the committees, start the inquiry. There's "no path forward" only if Democratic leaders decide they don't want to do the inquiry. https://t.co/QuFnyWQGJ0
— Brian Beutler (@brianbeutler) July 24, 2019
Some have cautioned that launching impeachment proceedings could prove politically fatal for Democrats in 2020. The 91 Democratic lawmakers calling for proceedings to begin, however, emphasize that Congress should focus on its duty of oversight rather than political palatability.
While Katyal pointed out the information laid bare in the report, it appears today’s hearing resulted in even more questions as to what comes next.
If you’d like your own hard copy of the Mueller Report, it’s available for purchase here.