UPDATE #4: President Trump goes absolutely bananas when asked about the Mueller comments that were precipitated by Rep. Buck’s questioning. Watch the video below and then tell us: Does this sound like a guy who really thinks today was a big victory?
ME: “Mueller said you could be criminally charged after leaving office?”
TRUMP: Denies Mueller said this and then when I challenge him on facts, calls me “the worst.” #MuellerDay #MuellerHearing pic.twitter.com/1v66aApQKJ
— Paula Reid (@PaulaReidCBS) July 24, 2019
UPDATE #3: This statement from Colorado Democratic Party Chairwoman Morgan Carroll has to sting a bit:
“Mueller confirmed that the reason he did not indict Trump was because of a DOJ policy that a sitting President could not be indicted. But, I would like to personally thank Ken Buck for confirming with Robert Mueller that President Trump could indeed be indicted and criminally charged with obstruction of justice after he is out of office. Given that the investigation resulted in nearly 200 criminal charges already filed, it’s good for voters to know that Donald Trump soon could face legal consequences for his corruption after they vote him out of office in 2020.”
UPDATE #2: Dammmmmnnnnnnnnn!!!!
Paul Waldman of the Washington Post uses similar language:
That is what soccer fans call an “own goal.” What Buck inadvertently argued, with Mueller’s help, was that while the evidence of Trump’s personal cooperation with Russia was insufficient to sustain a conspiracy charge, the evidence may well have been sufficient to sustain an obstruction charge, and it may have only been Trump’s current position that is saving him from an indictment.
UPDATE: This is really, really, really bad for Buck.
Tonight in Denver, the @cologop, of which @RepKenBuck is chair, hosts voter registration training as part of “Trump Victory National Week of Training.” #copolitics
Slide 1: Don’t repeat 👇🏻 https://t.co/6i9OAJBTGW
— Marshall Zelinger (@Marshall9News) July 24, 2019
Former special counsel Robert Mueller is testifying publicly before Congress about his investigation into President Trump’s office and potential Russian interference in the 2016 election. Two Members of Colorado’s Congressional delegation are part of the House Judiciary Committee, which got first crack at Mueller’s testimony: Rep. Joe Neguse (D-Lafayette) and Rep. Ken Buck (R-Greeley).
Oddly enough, it was Buck — the man who is also the newest Chairman of the Colorado Republican Party — who ended up creating one of the biggest moments of the morning:
Rep. Ken Buck: “Could you charge the president with a crime after he left office?”
Robert Mueller: “Yes”
Buck: “You could charge the President of the United States with obstruction of justice after he left office?”
Mueller: “Yes” https://t.co/jFAp2RJoaI #MuellerHearings pic.twitter.com/rG1psVL0ib
— ABC News Politics (@ABCPolitics) July 24, 2019
The Hill has more on this back-and-forth:
Buck appeared to be taken aback, and asked the question again, but adding whether Mueller believed a president could be charged with obstruction of justice after leaving office. The former special counsel again said he believed that was the case…
…Whether Trump would be charged with obstruction of justice were it not for the Justice Department guidance has been an area of focus for Democrats, some of whom are pushing to start impeachment proceedings against Trump in light of Mueller’s findings.
Hundreds of former federal prosecutors and DOJ officials have signed onto a letter saying that they believe Trump would have been charged with a crime were it not for the guidance.
Buck is a former Weld County District Attorney, so he should be well familiar with the old axiom to never ask a question of which you don’t already know the answer. Folks watching the Mueller hearings caught Buck’s mistake immediately:
Did Ken Buck just get Mueller to confirm that Trump can be charged with crimes for what he’s done after he leaves office?
A Republican did that?
— Kevin M. Kruse (@KevinMKruse) July 24, 2019
There’s really no way to spin this for Congressman/Party Chairman Ken Buck. This was a YUGE mistake.
It was a stunning moment – especially from a prosecutor. What did Buck believe Mueller was going to say? Why did he ask that question?
This is no doubt the first and only time I would ever say, "Thanks, Ken Buck."
way to go, Buckaroo! Keep it up!
Where is our chief Buckbooster, Andrew Carnegie, to ‘splain that this isn’t exactly as bad for Trump as it seems?
We should all hope that any of the Democratic questioners are half as effective at implicating Trump in criminal behavior as Buck . . .
. . . methinks that somewhere orange poolada has just hit the fan.
Too bad Buck didn't ask the money question: "Could you secure a conviction of the president after he leaves office?"
It would have been priceless to hear Mueller say, in the words of Mr. Big: "Abso-fucking-lutely"
On the bad-news side,
Buck’s questions and Mueller’s answers, just gave increased incentive to a scared, insecure, and unstable Yammypants, and his crime syndicate of minions, to do anything to win again in 2020 . . .
. . . not that it wasn’t going to be, anyway
Trump is faced with a second term or a prison term. The stakes for Trump have just been raised on this election, and we can anticipate unimaginable tactics to be deployed by Trump and the GOP, as you say, including challenging the actual voting results.
Those "unimaginable tactics" may hinge on whether or not Putin thinks Trump has outlived his usefulness for the Kremlin.
Another entry in the Book of Chairman Buck’s Famous Quotes…..
right up there with the rape victim’s buyer’s remorse, cowboy boots and no high heels, and if you’re gay, get to an AA and start working the Steps to straighten yourself out.
…don’t forget the black squatter in his White House that caused the snowflake to lose his appetite.
Buck was trying to criticize the inclusion of non-charges in Mueller's report, but he own-goaled by the timer and I think by Mueller's indication that the report was not written as a public report, but rather as a DOJ internal report.
Maybe Kenny wasted too much time going through Mueller's CV and lauding him before going on the attack.
Maybe not. Getting the answer he did allows Buck to go back to the local G.O.P and stir up rage that Mueller and the Dems are out to get Fearless Leader, and that he HAS to be reelected to save him from the Democrats vendetta against their hero.
For once I'm proud to be represented by Ken Buck. Lol.
Is it too late for Susan Beckham to request a recount?
Best GOP chairman ever.
I wonder if Poddy Mouth now hates him more than he hates Steve House.
Mindless obsequious toadies don’t hate anyone more than they do another mindless obsequious toady.
Think of it as kind of a Darwinian thing — the competition among rivals for limited resources: food, attention, and Kleenex boxes, and such . . .
Paul Waldman explains Ken Buck's questioning further:
TRUMP: "Read the correction"
Excerpt from the transcript (hint: there is no correction):
BUCK: OK, but the — could you charge the president with a crime after he left office?
BUCK: You believe that he committed — you could charge the president of the United States with obstruction of justice after he left office.
BUCK: Ethically, under the ethical standards.
MUELLER: Well I am — I’m not certain because I haven’t looked at the ethical standards, but the OLC opinion says that the prosecutor while he cannot bring a charge against a sitting president, nonetheless he continue the investigation to see if there are any other person to might be drawn into the conspiracy.
NADLER: Time of the gentleman has expired. The gentleman from Rhode Island.
Not only that, but Mueller later reinforced this statement under questioning by Lieu:
LIEU: Thank you. So to recap what we’ve heard, we have heard today that the president ordered former White House Counsel, Don McGahn, to fire you. The president ordered Don McGahn to then cover that up and create a false paper trail. And now we’ve heard the president ordered Corey Lewandowski to tell Jeff Sessions to limit your investigation so that he — you stop investigating the president.
I believe any reasonable person looking at these facts could conclude that all three elements of the crime of obstruction of justice have been met. And I’d like to ask you the reason, again, that you did not indict Donald Trump is because of OLC opinion stating that you cannot indict a sitting president, correct?
MUELLER: That is correct.
Well, I was wrong. Mueller did walk it back some this afternoon. From the House Intelligence Committee testimony: