Mostly, Wednesday's testimony from former Special Counsel Robert Mueller to the U.S. House Intelligence and Judiciary committees came off exactly as one would've suspected. Democratic members of the committees pushed Mueller to make definitive statements about potential crimes committed by President Donald Trump during the 2016 campaign and his first two years as president. Republicans focused on conspiracies, perceived bias and moving goalposts, while Mueller did his best to say as little as possible.
It's hard to imagine how the hearing would change the minds of anyone watching, but that doesn't mean those who tuned in wasted their mornings and early afternoons. They have Texas Rep. Louie Gohmert to thank for that.
Gohmert, a back-bencher from East Texas, is perhaps best known for "Gohmert hour," his frequent, lengthy speeches on the House floor. About once a week, after the close of regular House business, Gohmert will go on, and on, about red meat issues like abortion, the border wall or more recently, the conspiracy against Trump's presidency.
Mueller's testimony and Gohmert's spot on the judiciary committee meant that the congressman got to take his arguments from their usual forums — late-night C-SPAN and his YouTube page — to the bright lights of blanket network and cable news coverage.
Gohmert didn't disappoint.
At various points during his five or so minutes questioning the former FBI director and prep-school classmate of the Observer's Jim Schutze, Gohmert introduced an op-ed he wrote for Hannity.com headlined "Mueller Unmasked," into the congressional record, suggested that one can't obstruct justice if one didn't do anything wrong and obsessed over Mueller's relationship with former FBI director James Comey, who, if he isn't the person most responsible for Trump getting elected president, is at least in the top five.
.@realDonaldTrump knows he is innocent. He's not corruptly acting in order to see that justice is done. What he's doing is not obstructing justice -- he's pursuing justice; and, the fact that you ran it out for two years means you perpetuated injustice." https://t.co/aSEC5ioAkC— Louie Gohmert (@replouiegohmert) July 24, 2019
Gohmert, who has spoken on the House floor about the dangers of including same-sex couples in potential space colonies, also lectured Mueller about credibility.
After Mueller refused to answer a question about whether he anticipated investigating Trump's decision to fire Comey when he was appointed special counsel, Gohmert told him why he should have.
After entering his op-ed from https://t.co/ATgMlB2Jo2, "Mueller Unmasked," Rep,. Louie Gohmert asked about Mueller's relationship with Comey, a frequent source of Fox nonsense. pic.twitter.com/GCPyJkOCpE— Matthew Gertz (@MattGertz) July 24, 2019
"Actually, it goes to your credibility and maybe you've been away from the courtroom for a while. Credibility is always relevant. It's always material and that goes for you, too. You are a witness before us," Gohmert said, picking up steam.
Holy crap -- by the end of his questioning Gohmert's face was beet red, he was yelling, and it looked like his head was about to explode pic.twitter.com/3AXt1D5sEZ— Aaron Rupar (@atrupar) July 24, 2019
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Mueller, Gohmert yelled, "perpetuated injustice" by hiring a team that hated the president and dragging out his investigation for two years when he knew the president was innocent.
To his credit, Mueller was having none of it.
"I take your question," he said, responding to Gohmert and drawing laughs from the gallery.