Media Coverage of Mueller's Testimony Off the Mark By Shana Gadarian
Reading coverage of Mueller testimony is disappointing because the focus seems (as always) to be about how it helped or hurt the parties. The testimony and report is not only about scoring political points. It's not just about the 2020 election.
Having Mueller testify is also about the importance of Congressional oversight on the executive branch. It is about informing the public (again) about what Mueller found about a foreign actor interfering in an election.
The testimony is about potentially setting up impeachment but everyone knew he wasn't going to go past the report. Mueller said so himself. The Department of Justice said so too.
The testimony was about ensuring that Russia knows that Congress takes interference seriously even if the president does not. It was about the “normal” workings of government even in extraordinary times.
Were Democrats waiting for Mueller to say "definitely impeach"? Probably not.
Nothing in Mueller's history or work so far would indicate that he would say that. It would make the strong claim for impeachment easier but it’s hard to believe anyone thought he would say it.
Shana Kushner Gadarian is Associate Professor of Political Science at the Maxwell School at Syracuse University and Senior Research Associate at the Campbell Public Affairs Institute