(The Following is a Comedy Sketch)
With amazing parallels, but in an alternative universe, the Mueller investigation is also about a joint criminal conspiracy between Trump and Russia to help him get elected…But it is their conspiracy to kidnap, kill and eat a presidentially pardoned turkey, in order to fire up Trump’s Obama hating base, that captures the bulk of the media attention and enrages Democrats the most…
Chairman Jerry Nadler calls the Mueller testimony proceedings to order before the House Judiciary Committee by banging the gavel:
Nadler: Let the hearing now begin…Mr. Mueller, thank you for your service, and for coming before us today to discuss whether or not in fact, Donald Trump obtained the Obama pardoned turkey in question by engaging in a conspiracy with others who shared an interest in the illegal turkey sandwiches, and whether or not Trump and members of his campaign subsequently engaged in obstruction of justice by lying to hide that conspiracy and criminal behavior. My first question is, did your report exonerate the president in these matters, as Atty Gen Bill Barr has claimed?
Mueller: No it did not.
Nadler: How did your investigation into the killing and consuming of the presidentially pardoned turkey begin? What prompted the investigation?
Mueller: The FBI already had an investigation authorized by a FISA warrant, with electronic surveillance monitoring suspicious individuals identified as having an interest in undermining our National Security.
Nadler: Were any of those individuals identified for surveillance in the FISA warrant members of the Trump campaign?
Mueller: I’m not authorized to reveal that information.
Nadler: Were any of those individuals identified for surveillance by the FISA warrant members of Russian Intelligence?
Mueller: Again, I’m not authorized to reveal that information.
Nadler: Did your investigation into the kidnapping and devouring of our presidentially pardoned turkey uncover evidence of the Trump campaign colluding with…meaning CONSPIRING with the Russians?
Mueller: We determined, as I detailed in my report, many contacts between the Trump campaign and Russian individuals with connections to Putin and Russian Intelligence, and as I detailed in my report, we detailed many efforts by members of the Trump campaign to hide those contacts and discussions.
Nadler: Did your report find any evidence linking those contacts to the disappearance of Obama’s presidentially pardoned Turkey?
Mueller: I can say we drew a direct correlation to the disappearance of the Obama pardoned turkey from the Washington D.C. zoo to comments made by then candidate Donald Trump during a nationally televised debate.
Nadler: Would you please elaborate on those comments for the American public?
Mueller: Yes…During this presidential debate in 2016, Trump specifically appealed to the Russian government, saying, “Russia, if you’re listening, I hope you can get access to the Washington D.C. petting zoo after hours…They close at 8pm, 6pm on Sundays.”
Nadler: Is that it?
Mueller: No…The day after Trump made those comments appealing to Russia from the debate stage, the D.C. zoo was burglarized and the Obama pardoned turkey was found missing from their petting zoo.
Nadler: Was there any evidence found at the scene of the petting zoo linking the disappearance of our nationally protected turkey to the Russians?
Mueller: Yes…It appears the turkey put up quite a fight, assisted by some of the ducks, goats and pigs…there were feathers everywhere, and in the ruckus it appears they managed to cause one of the thieves to drop his vodka bottle, which shattered next to the gate of the petting zoo. One of the goats managed to bite one of the thieves in the buttocks, and was found chewing on what we identified as the remains of a known Russian black ops undergarment.
Nadler: How do we know that kind of detail about Russian black ops undergarments?
Mueller: I’m really not at liberty to answer that Mr. Chairman.
Nadler: Well anyway, all that seems to be pretty damning evidence in itself. Did you find any other evidence linking Trump and his campaign to Russian assistance in stealing, killing and eating Obama’s presidentially pardoned and protected Turkey?
Mueller: Yes. As I detailed in my report at length, we found an email from the Russians that Donald Trump Jr. received. In the email, a member of the Russian government with close ties to Vladimir Putin told Donald Jr. that they were acting on behalf of the Russian government, and were interested in having a meeting at Trump Tower to discuss their shared interests after Trump had called on their assistance during the prior presidential debate.
Nadler: What was Trump Jr.’s response to that email from the Russians?
Mueller: He replied simply by saying in all caps, “I LOVE TURKEY SANDWICHES SOOOO MUCH, and he then added 10 exclamation points followed by several variations of excited, smiling cartoon emojis.
Nadler: OK I know we just started, but I’m getting really hungry, would anyone object if I call a quick lunch break…Looking around the chamber I can see no objections…OK let’s all return in 1 hour to continue.
Mueller: Sounds good Mr. Chairman.
(1 hour later, Chairman Jerry Nadler calls the House Judiciary Committee proceedings to back to order…Nadler bangs gavel loudly to wake several other Representatives up, sleepy from the tryptophan in the turkey sandwiches they ordered for lunch from the Congressional Cafeteria)
Nadler: I need all those with their heads on their desks to wake up and be present for these proceedings, that is very unprofessional…Now, to continue where we left off before the lunch break… Mr. Mueller, that is all very damning evidence of collusion – Or should I say conspiracy with the Russians by the Trump campaign to steal, kill and eat the Obama pardoned turkey, wouldn’t you say?
Mueller: I am not at liberty to express an opinion either way because of the Dept. of Justice policy of not charging a sitting president with criminal behavior.
Nadler: Mr. Mueller, it is my understanding that Trump’s campaign manager Paul Manafort met multiple times with a man named Konstantin Kolimnik, someone who has been identified by the FBI as being a member of Russian intelligence. Is this true?
Mueller: Yes. And it wasn’t just Trump’s campaign manager, but also Rick Gates, Trump’s deputy campaign manager. And it wasn’t just one meeting, it was several over an extended period of time.
Nadler: (Belching) Excuse me…And what was the nature of those meetings that Trump’s campaign manager and deputy campaign manager were having with this Konstantin Kolimnik?
Mueller: On most occasions, they were meeting at a nearby cigar bar around the corner from Trump Tower, and they were sharing Martha Stewart turkey salad and turkey sandwich recipes with Mr. Kolimnik. However, on at least one occasion our undercover agent was able to see that they were sharing blueprints of the Washington D.C. zoo, with the petting zoo highlighted in yellow. And on yet another occasion we determined that they were sharing a list of the kind of animals present in the D.C. petting zoo. After each meeting they all departed from different exits to avoid being seen leaving together.
Nadler: OK excuse me if I sound a little perplexed and frustrated Mr. Mueller. But to me, that is a staggering amount of clear evidence, detailing criminal behavior and conspiracy by Trump and his campaign with the Russians, all for the purpose of undermining our national security and making a meal out of our nationally protected turkey. But you elected NOT to take any action?
Mueller: Alright look, I’ve been pretty patient through all of this, but I have a few things to say…First, I DID take action, Mr. Chairman! I have detailed the evidence in my report, and like said already, I was completely hamstrung and confined by the current Dept. of Justice policy of not charging a sitting president with criminal behavior…
I mean, could I have been ANY more clear than I was when I wrote on PAGE ONE of Volume Two of my report: “the OLC opinion concludes that a sitting President may not be prosecuted, it recognizes that a criminal investigation during the President’s term is permissible .3 The OLC opinion also recognizes that a President does not have immunity after he leaves office. 4 And if individuals other than the President committed an obstruction offense, they may be prosecuted at this time.”
Or where I wrote on PAGE EIGHT of Volume Two in my conclusion guided by the current policy not to indict a sitting president, “Because we determined not to make a traditional prosecutorial judgment , we did not draw ultimate conclusions about the President ‘s conduct. The evidence we obtained about the President’s actions and intent presents difficult issues that would need to be resolved if we were making a traditional prosecutorial judgment. At the same time, if we had confidence after a thorough investigation of the facts that the President clearly did not commit obstruction of justice, we would so state. Based on the facts and the applicable legal standards, we are unable to reach that judgment. Accordingly, while this report does not conclude that the President committed a crime, it also does not exonerate him.”
And again where I wrote on PAGE 182 of Volume Two guided by the restriction not to indict a sitting president, “Because we determined not to make a traditional prosecutorial judgment, we did not draw ultimate conclusions about the President ‘s conduct. The evidence we obtained about the President’s actions and intent presents difficult issues that would need to be resolved if we were making a traditional prosecutorial judgment. At the same time, if we had confidence after a thorough investigation of the facts that the President clearly did not commit obstruction of justice, we would so state. Based on the facts and the applicable legal standards, we are unable to reach that judgment. Accordingly, while this report does not conclude that the President committed a crime, it also does not exonerate him.
And last but not least, the sentence right before my conclusion on PAGE EIGHT of Volume Two, where I specifically wrote for you,“The conclusion that Congress may apply obstruction laws to the President’s CORRUPT EXERCISE OF THE POWERS OF OFFICE accords with our constitutional system of checks and balances and the principle that no person is above the law.”?
So Mr. Chairman, if I may, I’d like to ask YOU a question sir.
Nadler: Absolutely Mr. Mueller, feel free.
Mueller: Why hasn’t CONGRESS taken any action?
(Connie Bryan is a writer and comedian in Sacramento, and host of “The Connie Bryan Show” on Access Sacramento Channel 17…Check out all of her material on her website and blog at www.conniebryan.com)