Whip It, Whip It Good: Who’s Read the Report? [Updated]
[NB: Yeah. Not Marcy. Post has now been updated to reflect Special Counsel’s statement today. /~Rayne]
By now you know Robert Mueller gave a statement today in which he both resigned as Special Counsel and offered a summation of the Special Counsel’s report on the Trump-Russia investigation.
Marcy has a post up summarizing Mueller’s statement.
Bottom line: the evidence needed to launch an impeachment inquiry is in the Special Counsel’s report.
He further made a remark about Attorney General Bill Barr’s release of the report which should be scrutinized carefully.
Mueller’s statement makes yesterday’s piece on Rep. Justin Amash in the Washington Post more important. Amash published a Twitter thread yesterday criticizing Attorney General Bill Barr’s handling of the Special Counsel’s report:
Amash now has primary opponents including Michigan state representative Jim Lower. This bit is telling:
Two Republicans have filed to run against him in the primary; one of them, state Rep. Jim Lower, told The Washington Post that he raised $60,000 since Amash’s impeachment tweets. The wealthy DeVos family, a force in western Michigan and supporters of Amash’s previous campaigns, said through a spokesman last week that they would support another Republican for the 3rd Congressional District seat; Lower said he’d been in touch with the family.
In an interview, Lower said he had not read Mueller’s report but agreed with the assessment of most Republicans that it ended questions about Trump’s conduct. On Monday, as he greeted voters at a Memorial Day event, several Republicans told Lower they were ready to help him get Amash out of office, citing his criticism of the president.
“Those voters do not want the president to be impeached, and they disagree with the congressman’s conclusion,” Lower said. “Throughout this primary campaign, I will be the voice for those voters.”
Lower is yet another Republican legislator who has made a pro-Trump assessment without having read the Special Counsel’s Report on the Trump-Russia investigation.
He’s absolutely certain Trump didn’t do anything wrong but he couldn’t tell you what in the report exonerates Trump because he couldn’t be bothered with reading it.
Now Lower is a state level elected at the moment, running for the House in 2020 with the aim of replacing Amash. What of the other elected Republicans who are already in the House and the Senate who are pro-Trump? Have they read the report? Have their staff members read the report?
The report’s been out now for more than a month; if they read 5-10 pages a day they should have finished reading it by now so they don’t have a legitimate complaint that the report is too long.
And yet many GOP electeds may stick their neck on the line for Trump, going to stake their credibility on something they haven’t read.
Note Mitt Romney’s feedback about the Special Counsel’s report, keeping in mind Romney was once in the anti-Trump camp:
We should take Sen. Mitt Romney (R-Utah) at his word when he says, as he did on CNN’s “State of the Union,” that he has read the entire Mueller report. He told the show’s host, Jake Tapper: “I just don’t think that there is the full element [of intent] that you need to prove an obstruction of justice case. I don’t think a prosecutor would actually look at this and say, okay, we have here all the elements that would get this to a conviction.”
The 2012 Republican presidential nominee added, “I think, in part — one of the things that is difficult in order to make a case for obstruction of justice or impeachment is whether or not there was intent. And when there’s not an underlying crime, I think it’s difficult to put together an effective case to prosecute for those crimes.” So Romney is merely “troubled by it” and found it “very disappointing, for a number of reasons.”
Here’s Romney a month earlier:
Sen. Mitt Romney, Utah Republican, said Friday that he was “sickened” by President Trump’s behavior as detailed in special counsel Robert Mueller’s newly released report.
The former Massachusetts governor and 2012 GOP presidential nominee shared his reaction on social media after reviewing the sprawling report summarizing the special counsel’s investigation into the 2016 race and related matters.
“It is good news that there was insufficient evidence to charge the President of the United States with having conspired with a foreign adversary or with having obstructed justice. The alternative would have taken us through a wrenching process with the potential for constitutional crisis. The business of government can move on,” wrote Mr. Romney.
Yet nearly a thousand prosecutors feel there was ample evidence in the report to conclude Trump obstructed justice. Did Romney really read the report? Is he going to stake his credibility and rally behind Trump based on a bad interpretation of what he may have read, which may or may not be the entire redacted report?
The Washington Post this past week surveyed members of Congress to learn who had and hadn’t read the report. It won’t surprise you that the number of Republicans who haven’t read it outnumber Democrats who haven’t read it.
But now they’ve had a long holiday weekend to read it. Have they? Are they still going to claim that the report exonerates Trump even after Robert Mueller clearly said today Trump isn’t out of the woods?
Are they still going to ignore the hundreds of federal prosecutors across the country who say the report reveals Trump obstructed justice?
Let’s find out. If you’re up to it let’s make phone calls to find out if the lawmakers have still not read the report.
Share your findings in comments and I will update this chart.
Let’s whip it good.
One last observation: Rep. Amash’s townhall last night in a staunchly GOP city, home of the DeVos family, drew a capacity audience and earned him a standing ovation.
GOP Rep. Justin Amash: “Congress has a duty to keep the president in check … And I think we owe it to the American people to represent them, to ensure that the people we have in office are doing the right thing, are of good character, aren’t violating the public trust.”
Via CNN pic.twitter.com/MVC8zKHHXY
— Kyle Griffin (@kylegriffin1) May 28, 2019
Amash stressed how appalled he was at the conduct spelled out in Volume II of the Special Counsel’s report and that he felt those who read the report would likewise be offended.
Why aren’t more GOP members of Congress offended? Because they can’t be bothered to read it?
Whip it — Congressional switchboard: (202) 224-3121
WaPo used these questions which are still a pretty good script for callers:
1. Did members of [lawmaker]’s senior staff read the executive summaries for both Volume I and II of the redacted Mueller report, or not?
2. Did members of [lawmaker]’s senior staff read the redacted Mueller report in its entirety, or not?
3. Did members of senior staff brief [lawmaker] on the contents of the redacted Mueller report, or not?
4. Did [lawmaker] read the executive summaries for both Volume I and II of the redacted Mueller report, or not?
5. Did [lawmaker] read the redacted Mueller report in its entirety, or not?
Make the calls. Whip it good.