"Never meet your heroes," the saying goes , "they'll only disappoint you."
Democrats across the country learned it the hard way on Wednesday when former Special Counsel Robert Mueller testified on Capitol Hill. If you watch the other cable channels, you're probably accustomed to thinking of Robert Mueller as a kind of progressive superhero sent here from on high to do battle with the diabolical "Mr. Orange" on behalf of the forces of light and justice.
Hollywood literally produced a comic book about Robert Mueller. That's how convinced they were of his power and goodness. Singlehandedly, Robert Mueller was going to save America.
And then came the long, sad spectacle of Wednesday's hearings.
Rep. Steve Chabot, R-Ohio: When discussing the June 2016 Trump Tower meeting, you reference quote, "The firm that produced Steele recording," unquote, the name of that firm was Fusion GPS, is that correct?
Robert Mueller, former Special Counsel: And you're on page 103?
Chabot: 103, that's correct. Volume 2.
Mueller: I'm not familiar with that — can you –
Chabot: It's not a trick question, it was Fusion GPS.
Not familiar with Fusion GPS. Well, it turns out that if you're watching this show right now, you almost certainly know more about the Russia investigation than the man who led the Russia investigation. You know that Fusion GPS is the democratic oppo firm that paid Christopher Steele to produce the Trump Dossier. Fusion GPS is the reason we're talking about Russia right now. In fact, Fusion GPS is the reason we had a Mueller investigation in the first place. But of course, you knew that because you're paying attention.
Somehow Robert Mueller himself did not know that. What does that say about Robert Mueller? Well, this isn't a medical program, so we're not going to speculate about it. What we can say for certain, though, is that Robert Mueller never should have been testifying before Congress on Wednesday. He didn't want to come. He came because Democrats forced him. They knew his condition. They were happy to exploit him anyway, and they did.
To the left, the individual is always far less important than the mission. And the mission never changes — acquiring political power. Watch the congenitally shameless Jerry Nadler of New York use Mueller as a kind of human backboard. Throw the question, get it back.
Rep. Jerry Nadler, D-N.Y., chairman of the House Judiciary Committee: The report did not conclude that he did not commit obstruction of justice, is that correct?
Mueller: That is correct.
Nadler: And what about total exoneration? Did you actually totally exonerate the President?
Nadler: Now, in fact, your report expressly states that it does not exonerate the President.
Mueller: It does.
Mueller did not exonerate the president. That was the headline on CNN today. Of course, it was the headline. And that was the point of asking the question in the first place – to create a headline.
Unmentioned was the fact that prosecutors don't exonerate anyone — ever. Prosecutors charge people with crimes, or they don't. That's the full scope of their power. Only God exonerates. The whole thing was a dishonest word game.
Moments later, in fact, Robert Mueller conceded that his was the first Justice Department investigation in history to claim that its unindicted subject was not exonerated.
Rep. John Ratcliffe, R-Texas: Can you give me an example other than Donald Trump, where the Justice Department determined that an investigated person was not exonerated because their innocence was not conclusively determined?
Mueller: I cannot — but this as unique.
Ratcliffe: Okay, well, you can't — time is short. I've got five minutes. Let's just leave it at you can't find it because, I'll tell you why, it doesn't exist.
That was probably the high point of the day for everyone — everyone participating, everyone watching at home. Most of the rest of the time, it was depressing to watch. Mueller seemed deeply confused — at times confused about why he was there. Repeatedly, he struggled just to hear the questions he was being asked. When he did hear them, his answer often revealed he was not familiar at all with the report that bears his name.
Robert Mueller never should have been testifying before Congress on Wednesday. He didn’t want to come. He came because Democrats forced him. They knew his condition. They were happy to exploit him anyway, and they did.
It went on like this for more than six excruciating hours. We hope you were doing something else today. We can tell you, though, that over 200 times, Mueller simply declined to answer the question at all. Repeatedly, he said that critical questions central to the Russia investigation weren't in his purview.
Rep. Matt Gaetz, R-Fla.: Do you have any basis as you sit here today to believe that Steele was lying?
Mueller: As I said before, and I'll say again, it's not my purview. Others are investigating what you address.
Gaetz: So, it's not your purview to look into whether or not Steele is lying. It's not your purview to look into whether or not anti-Trump Russians are lying to Steele. And it's not your purview to look at whether or not Glenn Simpson was meeting with the Russians the day before and the day after you write 3,500 words about the Trump campaign meeting.
CARLSON: So, given what we've already said about Mr. Mueller, we don't want to be cruel here. But we also want to be clear about what he is indicating.
Mueller just told us that he doesn't know if Christopher Steele is lying about the basis of the entire Russia investigation. Nope, he doesn't know. And by the way, he doesn't care.
Keep in mind, Robert Mueller is the very same man who, as of right now, is trying to send Roger Stone to prison for the rest of his life for telling minor and totally irrelevant lies, allegedly, that hurt no one. But he doesn't care to know if Christopher Steele is lying about the most important question in the investigation, to which he has dedicated two and half years of his life.
It's enough to shake your faith actually. By the end of the day, even partisan Democrats had to admit that Mueller's testimony had been a complete debacle.
At the very least, we now know the truth about Robert Mueller, a mysterious prosecutor with unchecked power revealed, at last, to be a daft old man blinking in the sunlight once his curtain was torn away. It was a sad coda to the long and ridiculous Russia saga — an absurd story for certain, but not a harmless story. Hardly.
This year's long charade deeply hurt this country. It corrupted our most important institutions and divided our people. But worst of all, it distracted all of us from our real problems, which are legion.
Get in the car and drive five hours in any direction in this country. Stop frequently. Look around. How is America doing, do you think? Now, remember that all the sadness you just saw on your drive – the drug zombies and the homeless people, the payday loan places, the boarded-up buildings, all the slow-motion disasters unfolding unmistakably all around us. All of that has been completely ignored for years in favor of some stupid invented story about Russian spies that never even made sense and didn't even happen.
The ruling class did that. They did that to you as a distraction. They do not deserve to rule, that much is clear.
Adapted from Tucker Carlson's monologue from "Tucker Carlson Tonight" on July 24, 2019.