Who Wrote the Mueller Report? Because I Don't Think It Was Robert Mueller | Opinion

The biggest conclusion I reached after watching Robert Mueller in front of Congress was that he clearly did not have a detailed knowledge of the report issued in his name.

He failed to answer nearly 200 questions.

He frequently was not familiar with citations from his own report.

On several key points, he contradicted his own report and his own letters to Attorney General William Barr.

When he said he never asked his team their political views, I believe him.

It also signals that the most charitable conclusion you could reach was that Mueller had come of age in an era of professional responsibility and did not realize he now lived in an era of harsh, even vicious, partisanship.

My first reaction to his assertion that he did not ask the political opinions of his staff was that it was laughable that he could randomly assemble a group of hard-line, anti-Trump prosecutors without a single pro-Trump Republican lawyer in the room.

However, the more I watched him, the more I came to the conclusion that he must have been a figurehead. The tough, younger Trump-hating Democrats must have networked with one another and assembled a legal team dedicated to destroying President Donald Trump and protecting the Clintons.

Seen from this perspective, it is a tribute to Trump that despite their best efforts these deeply hostile prosecutors could not find evidence of serious wrongdoing. They could write innuendo—and huff and puff—but in the end the Trump wall of obeying the law withstood the best these smart, tough, widely experienced prosecutors could do.

Wednesday's stunningly inadequate performance by a widely respected career civil servant (my own tweet on his appointment had been entirely positive, and it was only while watching the team he assembled that I grew hostile to his project) raises its own new questions.

If Mueller has been as out of touch with his report over the last two years as he seemed Wednesday, then who was driving the team, and who was writing the report?

Robert Mueller Testimony
Former special counsel Robert Mueller testifies before the House Intelligence Committee about his report on Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election in the Rayburn House Office Building July 24 in Washington, D.C. Alex Wong/Getty

Mueller did not seem to know the details of his own report or of the two years of investigations behind the report.

Who, then, does know all those details?

Who masterminded putting Paul Manafort in solitary confinement for months?

Who made the decision to not look into the Steele dossier, the company that paid for it or the links to the Clinton campaign?

After yesterday's disastrous performance by the so-called leader of the Mueller investigation and report, the attorney general should ask for a thorough internal review of how that system worked, who made the decisions and how internally hostile to the president they were.

I believe there was no Mueller report. There was a report signed by Mueller, but it was really someone else's work. This was the biggest lesson from yesterday's hearings.

Newt Gingrich was speaker of the United States House of Representatives from 1995 to 1999. He is now the host of the Newt's World podcast and the author of Trump's America: The Truth About Our Nation's Great Comeback. Follow him on Twitter @NewtGingrich.

The views expressed in this article are the writer's own.

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