Doug Schoen: Mueller testimony won’t lead to Trump’s impeachment

Anyone hoping that former Special Counsel Robert Mueller will offer explosive testimony before two House committees Wednesday that will lead to President Trump’s impeachment is in for a serious disappointment.

The public’s high expectations for the hearings by the House Judiciary and Intelligence Committees have been perpetuated by a constant mainstream media narrative that suggests Mueller’s testimony will be a political bombshell.

But Mueller has been abundantly clear that his public remarks about his investigation of Russia’s interference in our 2016 presidential election and allegations of obstruction of justice by President Trump will be taken solely from his publicly available report.

BARR SAYS MUELLER ASKED DOJ TO SEND LETTER LIMITING TESTIMONY TO ‘BOUNDARIES' OF REPORT

Further, the Justice Department released a letter Monday binding Mueller even further, stating that the former Special Counsel “must remain within the boundaries” of his report, and that he is not allowed to “discuss the conduct of uncharged third parties.”

“Should you testify, the Department understands that testimony regarding the work of the Special Counsel’s office will be governed by the terms you outlined on May 29,” the letter said, in reference to Mueller’s rare public remarks where he said precisely that his report should serve as his testimony.

Attorney General William Barr told Fox News Tuesday that Mueller’s team asked the Justice Department to send the letter limiting Mueller’s testimony to material within his publicly available report.

In the absence of clear and irrefutable evidence that President Trump committed a crime, Democrats need to be prepared once and for all to move on from their investigations of Trump to address the issues that matter most to voters – including health care and the humanitarian crisis at our border.

News reports have confirmed that Mueller’s opening statement for the record at the hearings will simply be the entirety of his 448-page report.

To be sure, this media spectacle comes on the heels of several critical developments in the series of investigations into the Trump administration that are being peddled by House Democrats.

Last week, most House Democrats joined Republicans to officially block a vote on an article of impeachment that had been introduced by Rep. Al Green, D-Texas. With a resounding 332-95 vote, the House made it clear that impeachment is off the table – for now.

“With all the respect in the world for Mr. Green ... we have six committees who are working on following the facts in terms of any abuse of power, obstruction of justice and the rest that the president may have engaged in, “House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., said. “That is the serious path that we are on – not that Mr. Green is not serious, but we will deal with that on the floor.”

Pelosi has been reluctant and even antagonistic to impeachment up to now.

I have consistently argued that it would be a profound mistake for Democrats to be provoked into pursuing the impeachment of President Trump. The unambiguous killing of the article of impeachment in the House provides critical context for Mueller’s testimony Wednesday.  

Let me be clear: public testimony from Mueller can certainly provide greater clarity into the more nuanced findings in his report. And the American people deserve transparency from a process that has been muddled by partisan politics and a biased media.

However, it is also clear that voters are tired of – and frankly, desensitized to – the continuous investigations of Trump, his presidential campaign and his administration.

In the absence of clear and irrefutable evidence that President Trump committed a crime, Democrats need to be prepared once and for all to move on from their investigations of Trump to address the issues that matter most to voters – including health care and the humanitarian crisis at our border.

If Democrats are hoping to reclaim White House in 2020, they will need to focus their attention on the issues that voters actually care about – and not continue to pursue closed cases that will only hurt the Democratic Party come 2020.

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At the end of the day, if House Democrats are merely hoping for Wednesday’s hearings to be a televised political spectacle, they may very well have their way.

However, if they are looking for a way to remove President Trump from office as quickly as possible, then I would suggest they focus more on the Democratic Party’s message for 2020 and less on impeachment.

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