Unfortunately for Republicans, Mueller said in his opening statement he won't be discussing their wild conspiracy theories.
Rather than focus on the content of the Mueller report, House Republicans plan to push conspiracy theories during special counsel Robert Mueller's Wednesday House hearings, Rep. Jamie Raskin (D-MD) told Shareblue Media.
Republicans will embrace "paranoid deep state conspiracy theories about the genesis of the investigation," Raskin said Tuesday, one day before Mueller testifies before both the House Judiciary and Intelligence committees. Raskin, a constitutional scholar, is a member of the Judiciary committee.
Raskin is referring to unsubstantiated claims by Trump and Republicans of a so-called coup by the "deep state" at the FBI or within the Department of Justice meant to take Trump down. Some of the outlandish conspiracies revolve around the FISA warrant used to gather surveillance and information about Trump campaign aide Carter Page. Republicans have repeatedly claimed without evidence that there was some sort of abuse of power among top officials.
Trump's attorney general, William Barr, has embraced these claims, going so far as to suggest that the U.S. government may have "spied" on the Trump campaign.
Raskin's prediction of Republican behavior lines up with statements made by several House Republicans.
Florida Rep. Matt Gaetz, one of Trump's most loyal devotees in the House, told Fox News that he hopes to "expose the biased investigation that was run" as well as "expose the substantial omissions" in the Mueller report. He was bluntly honest with the New York Times about his goal for the hearing, which he said is simply "to reelect the president." Gaetz has previously stated that he considers protecting Trump his reason for being in Congress, saying in March, "I wake up every day and I do what I can to expose what I believe is an intractable bias among the people who are investigating the president."
When asked by the New York Times about the FISA warrant and page, Rep. Chris Stewart (R-UT), a member of the Intelligence Committee, said, "They are questions that deserve answers," adding, "The whole FISA process is extraordinarily concerning to me."
Georgia Rep. Doug Collins, the top Republican on the Judiciary Committee, told the AP that "there's going to be a lot of questions [about] how this thing started."
Rep. Louie Gohmert (R-TX) plans to attack Mueller's integrity rather than focus on either Trump's crimes or Republican conspiracy theories, according to statements he made to McClatchy's.
In his opening statement Wednesday morning, Mueller told the committee that he would not be delving into the areas Republicans have focused their conspiracy, including the origins of the FBI investigation.
While Republicans hope to sow confusion, Raskin says he hopes those who watch the hearing will come away with clarity. "Mueller made it clear there will be no factual bombshells," he said. But his testimony "will land as a bombshell for the 98% of people who haven't read the report."
The conclusions in Mueller's report, Raskin said, are still "explosive and startling today."
By speaking directly to members of Congress and the American people, Mueller will be able to dispel the "thick fog of propaganda" that Barr and Trump created when Mueller completed his report. Barr waited weeks before releasing a redacted version of the report, instead releasing a biased summary full of lies.
During those weeks between Barr's summary and the release of the redacted report, both Barr and Trump "misled the country" as to the findings, according to Raskin. For example, Barr unilaterally declared that Trump did not obstruct justice despite the Mueller report laying out "10 different episodes where Trump tried to interfere." Raskin called such interference was "alarming."
The evidence about those episodes was so damning that more than 800 former federal prosecutors signed an open letter stating that if Trump were not in office, he would face multiple felony charges.
Mueller's testimony before the Judiciary Committee begins at 8:30 am, followed by his testimony before the Intelligence Committee.
Published with permission of The American Independent Foundation.