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AS I SEE IT

Posted 7/31/19 (Wed)

By Neal A. Shipman
Farmer Editor

It’s hard to say how many Americans took the time last week to watch all or part of former special counsel Robert Mueller’s testimony before the House Judiciary Committee and the House Intelligence Committee regarding his report, which investigated Russia’s interference in the 2016 White House race and whether the Russian government coordinated with individuals associated with Donald Trump’s campaign.
Mueller was subpoenaed by Democrats to appear before the two congressional committees as a follow-up to his March 22, 2019 report, which found that the special counsel investigation did not establish that members of Trump’s campaign conspired with Russia and that he declined to make a judgement as to whether Trump obstructed justice.
At the time when he issued his report, Mueller made it clear that he had nothing more to say than what was outlined in his report. But still the Democrats insisted that he appear. And true to his word, Mueller shed little or nothing more than what was in his report. And what Mueller said, or didn’t say, was not good news for Democrats who had been hoping for some kind of bombshell that would open the door to impeachment proceedings against President Trump.
Instead of learning anything new from Mueller, the American public was subjected to hours of political grandstanding by both Democrats and Republicans.
Those seven hours of hearings, as well as all of the time both parties spent preparing to quiz Mueller, were a complete waste of precious time that those elected officials could have put into solving other national issues.
The lack of substance in the Mueller hearing was borne out in an ABC/Ipsos poll that found 47 percent of Americans who had read, saw or heard about Mueller’s testimony said that his appearance before those congressional committees made no difference to their support or opposition to impeachment. Twenty-seven percent of that group said the testimony made them more likely to support impeachment, while 26 percent said it made them less likely to. And equally not surprising was that those increases and decreases in support broke almost entirely along party lines.
Does Congress need to be concerned about foreign involvement in American elections? Without a doubt.
But there are also many challenging issues facing the United States that both parties in Congress need to come together to resolve. Issues like addressing illegal immigration, making sure our borders are safe, keeping American businesses competitive in a world market, and ensuring that every American that wants to work can find employment.
Those are the issues that matter to the American people. American voters want their elected leaders in Congress to put aside their political agendas and differences and work together to solve this country’s problems.