Mueller’s Upcoming Turn in the Witness Chair

The ex-special counsel has agreed to take questions from a congressional committee and James Howard Kunstler can think of a few he’d like to have answered.

By James Howard Kunstler
Clusterfuck Nation

James Howard KunstlerThe playwrights of yore had a neat way of resolving sticky plots: when it seemed all was lost among the confounded mortals on stage, a supernatural figure would descend from the riggings above the proscenium, lowered in a basket on a cable — Moliere liked to use an actor playing Louis XIV, his patron — to resolve, untangle, forgive, and pardon all the complications of the story. This device is known as the Deus ex Machina, God in a machine.

Robert Mueller internet meme.

Rep. Jerrold Nadler (D-NY) announced last week that ex-Special Counsel Robert Mueller has agreed to descend from on-high into the witness chair of Nadler’s House Judiciary Committee chamber on July 17, presumably to resolve all the conundrums left by his semi-inconclusive Russiagate report. Remember, in his nine-minute homily on May 29, Mueller said that if called to testify, he would only answer by referring to the text of his report — hallowed in Wokesterdom until its disappointing release.

Mueller’s notion of testimony-by-script is at least as unorthodox as his innovation of pronouncing the object of his criminal inquiry “not exonerated,” an unprecedented and certainly extra-legal spin to the prosecutorial standard of finding an indictable offense or not — without added aspersions, insinuations and defamations.


Meanwhile, Mueller’s standing as a potent God figure has eroded badly. He started out in 2017 as the Avenging Angel in a Brooks Brothers suit, morphed into Yahweh as the Russiagate Mob patiently awaited his Last Judgment, and then got demoted to mere Sphinx-hood after his Sacred Text failed its basic task: to oust the Golden Golem of Greatness from his unholy occupation of the White House.

Did Nadler summon Mueller from beach or lake-side to just recite chapter and verse from his report? What would be the point of that? Well, perhaps to whip up enough media froth to refresh the public’s memory of how Comrade Trump stole the 2016 election at the bidding of his Russian handlers. Is that all? Could be.

Nadler: Opening Mueller up to questions. (NASA/Bill Ingalls)

The problem is that Nadler’s majority Democrat members are not the only ones who get to ask questions. Did the chairman forget that? Or did he think the minority — including Reps. Doug Collins, Jim Jordan, Louis Gohmert, and Matt Gaetz — would just lob softballs at the witness?

Few Hardballs 

I can think of a few 90-mph sliders I’d like to pitch to Mueller, some of them already floated in the press:

-Why did you allow the GI cell phones of Peter Strzok and Lisa Page to be destroyed shortly after you were informed about their unprofessional and compromising text exchanges, for which they were fired off your “team?”

-When did you learn that international men-of-mystery Stefan Halper and Josef Mifsud, whose operations spurred your prosecutions, were not Russian agents but rather in the employ of U.S. and British government intel agencies?

-Your deputy, Andrew Weissmann, was informed by Deputy Attorney General Bruce Ohr in the summer of 2016, months before your appointment, that the predicating documents for your inquiry, known as the Steele Dossier, amounted to a Clinton campaign oppo research digest — when did he happen to tell you that?

-You devoted nearly 20 pages of your report to the Trump Tower meeting between the president’s son, Donald, Jr., and two Russians, lawyer Natalia Veselnitskaya and lobbyist Rinat Akhmetshin. Why did you omit to mention that both Russians were in the employ of Glenn Simpson’s Fusion GPS company, candidate Clinton’s oppo research contractor, and met with Simpson both before and after the Trump Tower meeting?

-How did it happen that you hired attorney Jeannie Rhee for your team, knowing that she had previously worked as a lawyer for the Clinton Foundation?

-Under what legal standard did you pronounce Trump to be “not exonerated” in the obstruction of justice matter, considering you told Attorney General William Barr that it was not based on findings by the DOJ Office of Legal Counsel concerning presidential immunity from indictment?

2009 production of “Medea,” which established the practice in Greek theater of using a machine to bring a god character onto the stage. (Sailko, CC BY 2.5, via Wikimedia Commons)

The public has been well-distracted by the Democratic Party primary circus, and all reporting about the aftermath of Russiagate has vanished from the front pages of the news media. Ostensibly, Hillary Clinton is enjoying her solitary walks in the Chappaqua, N.Y., woods and all seems well in the Deep State world. Yet, consider that wild things lurk in those thickets.

The DOJ Inspector General Michael Horowitz is overdue with his own report — perhaps stymied by a lack of cooperation in wringing declassified documents from the hands of the many intel agencies involved… while Barr and his deputy, John Durham, are at work in the background on their own investigation. There will also be repercussions upcoming in the matter of General Michael Flynn, who switched attorneys recently and may be reconsidering his guilty plea based on Mueller’s prosecutorial misconduct in withholding exculpatory evidence from Judge Emmet Sullivan’s court.

It’s just possible that Robert Mueller will not be reading chapter and verse from his sacred report, like an old-school Episcopal priest, but rather pleading the Fifth Amendment to avert his own potential prosecution.

James Howard Kunstler is author of “The Geography of Nowhere,” which he says he wrote “Because I believe a lot of people share my feelings about the tragic landscape of highway strips, parking lots, housing tracts, mega-malls, junked cities, and ravaged countryside that makes up the everyday environment where most Americans live and work.” He has written several other works of nonfiction and fiction. Read more about him here.

This article is from his blog, ClusterfuckNation. 

27 comments for “Mueller’s Upcoming Turn in the Witness Chair

  1. the underfundedmentalist
    July 6, 2019 at 23:21

    Here’s my 20/20 hindsight into who meddled in the 2016 election.
    I’ve based it on who got what since then.

    1st place
    They got Jerusalem, the Golan Heights and Jared Kushner

    2nd place
    Saudi Arabia
    They got away with murder, and billions in weapons deals to get away with more

    and in last place
    they got sanctions

    when you can’t follow the money,
    follow the favors

    • Keith Brooks
      July 7, 2019 at 14:47


    • July 7, 2019 at 19:36

      Excellent points

  2. Rich Becker
    July 6, 2019 at 14:10

    I think this may finally be the testimony that shows just how deep the tentacles are embedded into everyone who dares enter “the borg” I predict no crucial yet obvious questions will be asked and the pooh show will carry on with everyone still protected from within. That or a horrific “incident” takes place on the 17 that will divert all media attention away from the clown circus.

  3. July 5, 2019 at 19:15

    Maybe Mueller doesn’t want to testify, because he knows Russiagate is a farce.

    • Hawaiiguy
      July 6, 2019 at 14:13

      Everyone knows it was a farce, aside from those healing crystal global warming fruitcakes. Crystals can heal I belive mind you, they just can’t do it in the age of iron, very bad resonance this 7.83hz.

  4. polistra
    July 5, 2019 at 03:40

    A more meaningful investigation would skip all of these details and ask why our intel agencies are no longer providing intel.

    Spies are necessary. Spies are meant to watch hostile military developments so we can defend against them or match them. Our intel agencies spend all their time creating chaos, creating “terrorists”, and playing internal political games. They completely missed Russia’s development of hypersonic missiles.

  5. Barbara Garcia
    July 4, 2019 at 12:58

    I hope Mr. Barr reports come out before Mullers. Testify and i also think we need to vestigate Pelosi and the drug dealer Texas picked up because there is a picture that has come up with her and the drug dealer in Mexico City and I feel that all of the Democrats should have to show their tax returns for the last 10 years

    • geeyp
      July 5, 2019 at 05:29

      Hello Ms. Garcia – Interesting comment. Would you mind telling where you saw this pic of Pelosi and this dealer? Thank you in advance.

    • July 7, 2019 at 19:32

      What are you on?

  6. AnneR
    July 4, 2019 at 09:04

    It would be nice to see that the House Reps – or even an unbrainwashed House Dem – would ask any of these questions, but I’m not holding my breath.

    Frankly – the HRC owned and controlled DNC should be being roasted for having sicced the Strumpet on us and the world. But for their internal and infernal machinations we would likely have Sanders as prezzie. Not that I’m all that sure, mind, Bernie being prezzie would have brought an end to our occupation of Afghanistan, Iraq, our war on Syria, our support for destroying Yemen, our chummy support for Israel or our political- corporate-capitalist-imperialist and bourgeois Russo, Sino and Irano-phobia.

    • Abby
      July 4, 2019 at 21:45

      It’s not just the democrats that are pushing the Russian interference propaganda nonsense. The republicans are also saying that Russia interfered with the election because both parties know that in order to get their war with Russia going they will need consent from the masses.

      Mueller never explained how Russia interfered with the election. He just reported that 1/6/2017 intelligence report by Brennan and Clapper which stated that they believed that Russia did the deed and that they have high confidence on it.

      The Russian Internet agency had nothing to do with Putin either. This company got its start when the owner was a food contractor and his hotdogs made people sick. He hired people to write reviews of the hotdogs to change the publics perception of the dogs. Then he went from there… seeing a picture of Jesus and Satan discussing the election was one of the ads. How that could have affected people to vote for Hillary or Trump is beyond me…

  7. Bob Van Noy
    July 4, 2019 at 08:44

    Again I must praise Joe Lauria and CD for near flawless presentation of articles and timing.

    I’ve known of James Howard Kunstler’s expert writing on Urbanism and Sustainability but he has become an exceptional commentator on America’s human condition…

    For those unfamiliar with “his work”.

    • bjd
      July 4, 2019 at 16:55

      JHK’s TED talk on Urban Geography is priceless and oh so to the point.

      • Bob Van Noy
        July 5, 2019 at 09:22

        Thank you bjd…

  8. Skip Scott
    July 4, 2019 at 07:20

    What a great set of “hardball” questions! If only it were to come to pass to have them actually asked and answered! However, it is much more likely that we will be subjected to more theater rather than any real grilling of Mueller. I hope I’m wrong.

  9. Bill Pilgrim
    July 4, 2019 at 00:12

    Another pertinent question: Why did you rely solely on the ‘investigation’ of the DNC email server by a private cyber-security firm (that had been employed by the Clinton campaign) rather than a forensic analysis by FBI experts?

    • DW Bartoo
      July 4, 2019 at 09:39

      That, Bill Pilgrim, is THE “slam dunk!” question.

      Therefore, it is neither polite nor proper to raise it.

      A pyramid-shaped “case” built of flimsy playing cards, will collapse into a pile on the floor if the essential supporting card is dislodged.

      The whole edifice of propriety and power, of a multi-tiered “legal” construct, must never be subject to the gravity of genuine question, because so very many other things would be exposed, it might even be noticed that the ruler is wearing no clothes.

      Were Russia-did-it(!), exposed as canard, just imagine how many paragons of virtue would fall from grace and high place?

      Such revelation would deflate the myths of exception, indispensability, and even Manifest Destiny.

      Would the nation be better off were its grand investigative marshals, its intelligence wizards, its media minstrels, and its earnest, noble rulers, exposed as cheap chislers, phoney frauds, con artists, and pusillanimous fabualists?

      Now, I ask ya.

      What would that do to trust, to respect for our betters, and to our standing on the world stage?

      Just imagine the pearl-clutching, the precipitous drop in the mock starket, and worse, think how our enemas would laugh.

      Do you want that fizzle on YOUR conscience?

      What would your grandkids say?

      On balance?

      I think that someone really should ask that damned dear question, frankly.

    • punkyboy
      July 4, 2019 at 13:20

      That was my first question. Something’s rotten in the DNC.

    • jaycee
      July 4, 2019 at 13:45

      It’s actually even worse than that, as court documents revealed just recently: federal investigators received from Crowdstrike a redacted draft i.e. not a “final report”, and something like a “final report” may never have been completed. This reacted draft then was used for the January 2017 ICA which began the hysteria, and also the basis for the indictments of Russian officials in 2018 which Mueller announced on the eve of the Trump-Putin summit.

      There is also the case of Manafort’s business partner in Kiev – Kliminik – who as late as this past January Mueller’s officials were describing to the media as a known “GRU agent” while the whole time they were sitting on State Department documents which reveal Kliminik as a long-time valued source of information to US officials on internal Ukraine politics.

  10. IvyMike
    July 3, 2019 at 17:52

    The prospect of real change in our media/politics is teensy weensy, but it would be at least a small pleasure to see Mueller on the TV taking the 5th.

    • July 7, 2019 at 19:39

      And while he is taking the 5th maybe we could get the current white house gangsters in a pillory?

  11. Drew Hunkins
    July 3, 2019 at 16:27

    A few years ago I read Kunstler’s book “Too Much Magic”. Terrific read, highly recommended.

  12. July 3, 2019 at 14:27

    Went on Kunstler’s website with the tasteless name and read comment about Hannity screaming to bomb Iran. And if Mr. Kunstler’s facts are correct I imagine the Republicans will be saving Mueller’s answers for the next election. Whatever Mr. Kunstler has to say, he says it well. What a mess. The way the bad guys have dug in and rigged the election process and the “News” business, it is difficult to imagine anything can change.

    The controls of our society have become so efficient it is tempting to say what the hell and see if there is a good old film or an meaningful sporting event and let it go at that.

    In saying that, it brings to mind the other CN article about anti-war sentiment and organizing against war and the war machine that has gone missing makes the point very well. I do think the protest against the Iraq war was a watershed moment, when the protests were simply ignored, and the in your face response by the powers that be.

    • Eddie S
      July 4, 2019 at 10:01

      “I do think the protest against the Iraq war was a watershed moment, when the protests were simply ignored, and the in your face response by the powers that be.”

      Yes, I know that the whole Iraq War-crime episode was an extremely disheartening episode to myself and millions of others who had marched in protest. It was horrible enough when the neo-cons were able to blatantly orchestrate an illegal invasion (with the obeisance of the long-cowed Democrats), but the RE-election of ‘W’ — a year after the non-existence of the WMDs was proven by our OWN invading military — was in a political sense worse because it showed that the majority of the US public was indifferent to illegal US invasions of other countries, so there would be little resistance in the future to these ‘wars’. It was only when the media was portraying the deaths & bad injuries to US soldiers occupying Iraq that a modest amount of public sentiment turned against the whole sordid episode.

      So the tacit message was pretty clear to powers that be —- as long as US troops aren’t hurt, go-ahead and bomb-away… those foreign men, women, and even children getting killed by them don’t matter, especially if our military leaders offer-up oh-so-sincere apologies and state that ‘these were unavoidable collateral civilian casualties because we only perform surgical strikes on terrorists’ (and said in a most serious, gravitas-laden tone, so you KNOW they’re telling the truth).

      • Windup
        July 4, 2019 at 16:09

        George wasn’t ‘elected’ in the first place, let alone ‘re-elected’. I don’t know if that makes you feel better. Maybe it does- at least about the American public (at that point in time anyway). But it was certainly a forerunner to how we ‘elect’ our officials, which at this point is more blatantly fraudulent. At least to those of us not reading/watching msm.

      • Thomas j. Taylor
        July 6, 2019 at 13:52

        Well there is that small matter of the computers going down while counting Ohio votes. Before Carey after W. See Jonathan Simon Code Red.

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