At 3:29 pm Eastern time on Wednesday, House Oversight Chair Adam Schiff (D-CA) gaveled the end of former special counsel Robert Mueller’s hours of testimony. Two minutes later, the Trump campaign pushed out an email blast blatantly lying about what Mueller said.
After characterizing the hearings as “a disaster for Democrats,” the statement, which is attributed to Trump 2020 campaign manager Brad Parscale, says, “Robert Mueller confirmed what we already knew: No collusion, no obstruction, and the way President Trump has been treated is unprecedented.”
Here’s the whole thing:
“These hearings were a disaster for Democrats. This entire spectacle has always been about the Democrats trying to undo the legitimate result of the 2016 election and today they again failed miserably. Robert Mueller confirmed what we already knew: No collusion, no obstruction, and the way President Trump has been treated is unprecedented. Almost three years and tens of millions of dollars have been wasted on this witch hunt and it is now even more apparent that Democrats are completely consumed with their hatred of the President and their obsession with overturning the will of the people who elected him.”
—Trump Campaign Manager Brad Parscale
That is not, however, what Mueller said. With regard to the crimes Russians hackers committed to purloin emails from the Democratic National Committee and Hillary Clinton campaign, Mueller at one point noted that his investigation found “insufficient evidence of the president’s culpability” to bring charges. But “insufficient evidence” is not the same as proclaiming there was “no collusion” whatsoever.
And with regard to the 10 possible instances of obstruction of justice his team investigated, Mueller rooted the decision to not bring charges in an Office of Legal Counsel opinion that holds that a sitting president cannot be indicted. He left the door open for Trump to possibly face charges after his term in office ends.
NADLER: Is it correct that if you had concluded POTUS committed the crime of obstruction, you couldn't publicly state that?— Aaron Rupar (@atrupar) July 24, 2019
MUELLER: The statement would be that you would not indict because of the OLC opinion.
N: But he could be prosecuted after he leaves office?
M: True pic.twitter.com/6FWRBbcXOi
It’s worth noting that by most accounts that hearings were at least not a disaster for Trump or the Republicans. Mueller’s testimony was largely limited to his final report, so there were no major bombshells. His somewhat flat delivery and shaky grasp of details left White House and GOP officials reportedly feeling “euphoric” before the afternoon session even began.
Yet the Trump campaign still felt compelled to try and gaslight people about it. And in an ironic, fitting twist, while his campaign pushed out lies, Trump reacted to end of the hearings by proclaiming on Twitter that “TRUTH IS A FORCE OF NATURE.”