So, if Mueller didn’t run the investigation, who did?

… and, what are the implications?

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I think that it was clear to any reasonably objective person that Mueller was testifying under what’s called “diminished capacity.”

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For the record my mother fought a 20 year battle against dementia and Alzheimer’s disease, so I’m both sympathetic and — while I have no medical credentials whatsoever — I’m reasonably well-versed in the symptomology and terminology.

Said differently, I’m sympathetic to Mueller and not just trying to take a cheap shot.

In my opinion, his symptoms weren’t a spontaneous response to the stress of testifying, but more likely, reflected an accumulative progression over time. 

If I’m right, that conclusion raises major questions and implications…

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For openers…

Why did Rosenstein hire Mueller for the job and let him continue in the position in a diminished capacity?

The NY Times reports that shortly after the Special Counsel’s Office was formed, Mueller aides began to notice the symptoms.

And, there have been numerous reports over the past day that Congressional Democrats were aware that Mueller had “lost a step” and would be a risky witness.

Reportedly, Mueller provided Rosenstein with frequent updates.

I assume that some or all of the updates were done face-to-face.

So, was Rosenstein completely oblivious to Mueller’s diminished capacity and sketchy knowledge of the investigation?

Assuming that Rosenstein picked up on the cues, why didn’t he take corrective action?

After all, it was the Presidency that was being investigated.

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Who was running the show?

There seems to be an emerging consensus that the investigation was spearheaded by a trio: Andrew Weissman, Jeannie Rhee and Aaron Zebley.

All were diehard Hillary supporters.

Not just petty campaign contributors, diehards.

The notorious Weissman – who destroyed Arthur Andersen on a bogus obstruction charge that was overturned 9-0 by the SCOTUS … even attended Hillary’s election day party.

Rhee represented Hillary Clinton in litigation regarding  personal emails originating from Clinton’s time as Secretary of State.  Source

Zebley represented former  Justin Cooper  — the IT guy who took a hammer to Clinton’s Blackberry. Source

Despite their well publicized conflicts, Mueller put them on his team.

Mueller testified that he wasn’t aware of the conflicts before selecting them (source) … and justified that apparent oversight:

“We strove to hire those individuals that could do the job.

I’ve been in this business for almost 25 years. And in those 25 years, I have not had occasion once to ask somebody about their political affiliation.

It is not done.” Reference

Given the subject matter of the probe, its magnitude and the current level of hyper-partisanship … that’s quite problematic.

Maybe in the 1970s … but not in 2017.

The deck was stacked.  Period.

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So what if the deck was stacked?

First, the anti-Trump sharks were Dems best shot at finding Trump guilty of an indictable crime.

Right, they couldn’t indict him, but they could find him guilty of an indictable crime … as Starr did with Clinton.

They came up empty on both collusion and obstruction (i.e. “insufficient evidence to establish guilt”).

Re: obstruction …

Key exchange from the testimony transcript:

REP. LESKO: Were you allowed to complete your investigation unencumbered?

MUELLER: Yes.

Can a person be charged with murder if no one was killed?

Again, Dems got their best shot with  2 years of sleuthing, over $30 million spent and a stacked ant-Trump team … and came up dry.

Unlikely that Nadler’s going to do any better.

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Second, Mueller’s charge was to conduct a “full and thorough investigation of the Russian government’s efforts to interfere in the 2016 presidential election.”

It’s understandable that the Team Trump was investigated.

But, it’s baffling why Team Hillary wasn’t investigated.

Baffling, that is, until you consider so-called “prosecutorial discretion.”

Clearly, the stacked investigated team chose not to pursue Team Clinton’s well-publicized connections to FusionGPS, Christopher Steele, etc.

They threw up a protective shield around Hillary.

As Mueller said: “I’m not familiar with Glenn Simpson and FusionGPS.”

So much for a “fair and thorough” investigation.

The good news is that an IG report is forthcoming … and won’t be constrained by the same political biases.

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Follow on Twitter @KenHoma

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