Robert Mueller’s Disastrous Testimony And Its Significance, Part Two

Part I is here.

Random Observations on the Mueller testimony and aftermath:

  • Observing the desperate spin offered by frustrated “resistance” members, desperate Democrats and social media Trump-Haters has been almost as revealing as Mueller’s performance. The most positive  takeaway they could muster is that Mueller clearly said that his investigation didn’t exonerate the President. That’s meaningless. It is not a prosecutor’s job to exonerate anybody, ever. An investigation’s goal is to determine whether there is probable cause to determine that a crime or crimes have been committed, not to prove anyone’s innocence. The hearts of the impeachment mob leaped for joy briefly during the morning hearing of the Judiciary Committee when Mueller answered “yes” to Rep. Ted Lieu’s (D–Calif.) question whether he had declined to indict Trump because of an existing Department of Justice Office of Legal Counsel (OLC) opinion stating that a sitting president couldn’t be charged with a crime. Ah-HA!  Mueller had found evidence of illegal activity committed by the President and was only prevented from indicting him by Justice Department policy! Start those impeachment hearings!

Never mind. In the afternoon hearing before the House Intelligence Committee, reversed himself,   saying that that OLC opinion prevented him from making any determination, period, of Trump’s culpability in obstructing justice. “As we say in the report, and as I said in the opening, we did not reach a determination as to whether the president committed a crime,” Mueller told the Committee after specifically referencing the Lieu exchange.

“I want to go back to one thing that was said this morning by Mr. Lieu, who said, and I quote, ‘you didn’t charge the president because of the OLC opinion.’ That is not the correct way to say it,” Mueller said.

This did not prevent journalists, pundits and my Facebook friends from ignoring the second statement so they could falsely promote the first. “They got him to confirm that he didn’t make a charge because of the Justice Department memo,” said “Meet the Press’s” Chuck Todd in an NBC panel. No, they didn’t. That’s a direct lie, as well as fake news.

  • The contention that Mueller was only a convenient figurehead for what was designed as a partisan hit job was made more credible by Mueller’s confusion. Mueller’s chief deputy, the infamously over-zealous,  partisan and controversial prosecutor Andrew Weissmann, headed a group of mostly left-leaning investigators. Complaints about the apparent rigged nature of the investigation were met by reminders of Mueller’s party affiliation and reputation for fairness and rectitude. That defense was left in the dust.

Now the anti-Trump tenor of the report no longer suggests the objective conclusions of a political neutral, but the partisan bias of prosecutors with an agenda.

  • Mueller’s weakness also suggests an answer to the persistent question of why the investigation appeared to be so incompetently managed, as with, for example, the involvement of Peter Strzok.

It didn’t appear that Mueller was capable of competent oversight, or even paying attention.

  • The most damaging and disturbing Mueller answer by far was when he was asked about Fusion GPS, which hired Christopher Steele to compile the infamous Russian-sourced ‘dossier’ against Trump.  Mueller said that he was ‘not familiar‘ with it. KABOOM! How is this even possible, unless Weissman and the other anti-Trump Jauberts on his team kept the old man locked in a closet somewhere? The involvement of the Steele dossier undercut the legitimacy of his investigation, and the investigation’s leader  was that uninformed about its origins? Was this wilful ignorance? Blatant incompetence?

Finally, how could the investigators and Mueller justify following bread crumbs that led to indictments of various Trump administration and campaign figures for crimes unrelated to the subject of the investigation, but be oblivious to the strong indications of wrongdoing—the FBI’s FISA fraud, the conflicts of interest, the surveillance of Carter Page—related to the investigation itself?

  • In another ridiculous addition to the Ethics Alarms, “Nah, there’s no mainstream media bias!” files—at this point, I  cannot maintain any respect for the intelligence and/or integrity of anyone who denies the obvious partisan bias of CNN, MSNBC, and the major networks—I watched CNN for over 30 minutes this morning to see how they would cover the hearings. Over at Fox News, of course, Mueller’s disturbing demeanor was being dissected in detail. The “Fox and Friends” blonde of the day said, sympathetically, that she would be “praying for him and his family,” since something is definitely seriously wrong.

At CNN, however, there was just a crawl representing Mueller’s testimony as straightforward, sticking to the report, and, of course, emphasizing the “no exoneration” statement and his answer to Lieu, retracted though it was. CNN showed no video of Mueller from either hearing, and its panels all focused exclusively on “where the Democrats go from here.”

Incredible. (Can something be simultaneously incredible and unsurprising?)The big news from the hearings, what those who didn’t have the time or stamina to watch them needed to know, was unquestionably Mueller’s frightening lack of preparation, clarity, or knowledge of the report he had signed and the investigation he had supposedly overseen, and how this undermined the report’s legitimacy, especially as an anti-Trump document.  Not only did he fail to give Democrats more ammunition for their coup as they clearly hoped it would, he undermined the credibility of the entire report.

Spin is one thing; intentionally hiding what occurred to make spin easier is something very different, and a major breach of journalism honesty and integrity.

  • Mueller’s repeated concern during his testimony regarding Russian interference in our elections, past and future, is being largely ignored by CNN and the rest because it directly points the finger of accountability to Barack Obama. The Mueller report  states that Russia began interfering in American democracy in 2014, with the operation becoming full-blown during the 2016 presidential election. The Obama administration knew this was going on, and took no discernible action.  In 2016, Obama’s National Security Adviser Susan Rice told her staff to “stand down” and “knock it off” as they drew up plans to “strike back” against the Russians, according to  Michael Isikoff and David Corn in their book “Russian Roulette: The Inside Story of Putin’s War on America and the Election of Donald Trump.”

Yet I continue to read attacks on Trump because he didn’t take adequate steps to foil the Russians,

  • Where is the accountability? House Judiciary Chairman Jerry Nadler had said over the weekend that Mueller’s report showed “very substantial evidence” that President Donald Trump is “guilty of high crimes and misdemeanors” — an impeachable offense. “We have to … let Mueller present those facts to the American people, and then see where we go from there, because the administration must be held accountable,” Nadler,  said on “Fox News Sunday.” Yet Mueller’s testimony, orchestrated by Nadler,  confirmed none of this. Nadler was intentionally misleading the American public.


Sources (for Parts 1 and 2): NBC News, Grabien, The American Spectator, Reason, Issues and Insights, The Hill,

21 thoughts on “Robert Mueller’s Disastrous Testimony And Its Significance, Part Two

  1. If Trump had an obligation to do more about Russian involvement in the 2016 election can’t we say the same thing about Tapper, Stephenopolis, and all the other folks that had the pulpit to expose such activities.

  2. >>The most damaging and disturbing Mueller answer by far was when he was asked about Fusion GPS, which hired Christopher Steele to compile the infamous Russian-sourced ‘dossier’ against Trump. Mueller said that he was ‘not familiar‘ with it. KABOOM! How is this even possible, unless Weissman and the other anti-Trump Jauberts on his team kept the old man locked in a closet somewhere? The involvement of the Steele dossier undercut the legitimacy of his investigation, and the investigation’s leader was that uninformed about its origins? Was this wilful ignorance? Blatant incompetence?

    Here is the relevant section:



    Director Mueller, my Democratic colleagues were very disappointed in your report. They were expecting you to say something along the lines of he was — why President Trump deserves to be impeached, much as Ken Starr did relative to President Clinton back about 20 years ago. Well, you didn’t, so their strategy had to change. Now they allege that there’s plenty of evidence in your report to impeach the president, but the American people just didn’t read it. And this hearing today is their last best hope to build up some sort of groundswell across America to impeach President Trump. That’s what this is really all about today.

    Now a few questions: On page 103 of Volume 2 of your report, when discussing the June 2016 Trump Tower meeting, you referenced, quote, “the firm that produced Steele reporting,” unquote. The name of that firm was Fusion GPS. Is that correct?

    MUELLER: And you’re on page 103?

    CHABOT: 103, that’s correct, Volume 2. When you talk about the — the firm that produced the Steele reporting, the name of the firm that produced that was Fusion GPS. Is that correct?

    MUELLER: Yeah, I — I’m not familiar with — with that. I (inaudible)

    CHABOT: (inaudible) It’s not — it’s not a trick question, right? It was Fusion GPS. Now, Fusion GPS produced the opposition research document wide — widely known as the Steele dossier, and the owner of Fusion GPA (sic) was someone named Glenn Simpson. Are — are you familiar with…

    MUELLER: This is outside my purview.

    CHABOT: OK. Glenn Simpson was never mentioned in the 448-page Mueller report, was he?

    MUELLER: Well, as I — as I say, it’s outside my purview and it’s being handled in the department by others.

    CHABOT: OK. Well, he — he was not. In the 448 pages the — the owner of Fusion GPS that did the Steele dossier that started all this, he — he’s not mentioned in there. Let me move on.

    At the same time Fusion GPS was working to collect opposition research on Donald Trump from foreign sources on behalf of the Clinton campaign and the Democratic National Committee, it also was representing a Russian-based company, Probison, which had been sanctioned by the U.S. government. Are you aware of that?

    MUELLER: It’s outside my purview.

    CHABOT: OK, thank you.

    My first observation, watching the video is that Mueller does not sound well. There is a heaviness in his voice. That being said, I don’t think the quote “Yeah, I — I’m not familiar with — with that. I (inaudible)” means ignorance of the document. It sounds more like a verbal gaff made in real time, made by a man unfortunately running on too few cylinders.

    It does undercut his statements that the matter is not under his purview. Is he stalling because he cannot remember, or is he legitimately barred from speaking about it because it an ongoing matter?

    This also proves what a fiasco the whole investigation was. I wonder if Mueller was aware of his apparent health issues before taking the job. If mid-job, did he refuse to resign? Did he realized his limits, but felt stuck regarding resigning because it would unjustly implicate the president? What was happening?

    It also interesting that the Democrats accuse Trump of having dementia as a pretext for impeachment, but their hired goon couldn’t produce satisfactory evidence for them possibly due to the very same condition.

    I must also note, that the investigation stretched so long, it is also very possibly he was perfectly healthy when it started, and declined quickly…

    Now, why do the Democrats think they can run 3 major candidates for the nomination candidates above the age of 70???

  3. I think the point here was that Democrats thought that what was in the report was damning, but thought (and they’re probably right) that people generally didn’t have the fortitude to actually slog through the 400 page document, so if they got Mueller up on the stand, it might reach people who were too lazy to read the book, but might watch the movie. What that required though, was for Mueller to appear competent and competent, and to agree with them. He failed them on all three counts.

    I don’t know whether it was an act of obfuscation, or if he was really that unfamiliar with his own report, or if he indeed is approaching some kind of senility, but the one thing I think we can all agree with is that no amount of spin is going to make that performance a blockbuster hit. And so from a public perspective angle, I think that this was a boon to Republicans.

    The other thing that matters from a PR angle is that America, generally, has moved on. The dangers of a homogeneously biased news media is that the things that seem to matter deeply to them often don’t matter a whit to average Americans, and you’re left experiencing a bubble-shock… The news media writ large treated this testimony like it was their sermon on the mount, and for it to come to such a bumbling conclusion…. We’ve seen this show before: It’s the Capone Vault scenario again. Just like with Maddow and Trump’s taxes, or literally everyone in news Media and the release of the Mueller report: Hype. Tons of Hype. And then an all consuming, deafening silence while everyone looks at each-other with a “The Emperor Has No Clothes” raised eyebrow.

    The thing that matters from a detailed perspective, is that the Republicans struck some serious blows to the credibility of the investigation as a whole, Nunes and Gaetz did an OK job of this, I think they may have overstated their cases, but Jim Jordan was awesome, in my opinion.

    I think this needs to be shown in its entirety:

    [JORDAN: Director, the FBI interviewed Joseph Mifsud on February 10th, 2017. In that interview, Mr. Mifsud lied. You point this out on page 193, Volume 1, Mifsud denied, Mifsud also falsely stated. In addition, Mifsud omitted. Three times, he lied to the FBI; yet, you didn’t charge him with a crime. Why…

    MUELLER: Excuse me — are…

    JORDAN: … Why not?

    MUELLER: … did you say — I’m sorry, did you say 193?

    JORDAN: Volume 1, 193. He lied three times, you point it out in the report, why didn’t you charge him with a crime?

    MUELLER: I can’t get into internal deliberations with regard to who or who would not be charged.

    JORDAN: You charged a lot of other people for making false statements. Let’s remember this — let’s remember this, in 2016 the FBI did something they probably haven’t done before, they spied on two American citizens associated with a presidential campaign.

    George Papadopoulos and Carter Page. With Carter Page they went to the FISA court, they used the now famous dossier as part of the reason they were able to get the warrant and spy on Carter Page for a better part of a year.

    With Mr. Papadopoulos, they didn’t go to the court, they used human sources, all kinds of — from about the moment Papadopoulos joins the Trump campaign, you’ve got all these people all around the world starting to swirl around him, names like Halper, Downer, Mifsud, Thompson, meeting in Rome, London, all kinds of places.

    The FBI even sent — even sent a lady posing as somebody else, went by the name Azmiturk, even dispatched her to London to spy on Mr. Papadopoulos. In one of these meetings, Mr. Papadopoulos is talking to a foreign diplomat and he tells the diplomat Russians have dirt on Clinton.

    That diplomat then contacts the FBI and the FBI opens an investigation based on that fact. You point this out on page 1 of the report. July 31st, 2016 they open the investigation based on that piece of information.

    Diplomat tells Papadopoulos Russians have dirt — excuse me, Papadopoulos tells the diplomat Russians have dirt on Clinton, diplomat tells the FBI. What I’m wondering is who told Papadopoulos? How’d he find out?

    MUELLER: I can’t get into the evidentiary filings.

    JORDAN: Yes, you can because you wrote about it, you gave us the answer. Page 192 of the report, you tell us who told him. Joseph Mifsud, Joseph Mifsud’s the guy who told Papadopoulos, the mysterious professor who lives in Rome and London, works at — teaches in two different universities.

    This is the guy who told Papadopoulos he’s the guy who starts it all, and when the FBI interviews him, he lies three times and yet you don’t charge him with a crime. You charge Rick Gates for false statements, you charge Paul Manafort for false statements, you charge Michael Cohen with false statements, you charge Michael Flynn a three star general with false statements, but the guy who puts the country through this whole saga, starts it all for three years we’ve lived this now, he lies and you guys don’t charge him. And I’m curious as to why. \

    MUELLER: Well I can’t get into it and it’s obvious I think that we can’t get into charging decisions.

    JORDAN: When the FBI interviewed him in February — FBI interviews him in February, when the Special Counsel’s Office interviewed Mifsud, did he lie to you guys too?

    MUELLER: Can’t get into that.

    JORDAN: Did you interview Mifsud?

    MUELLER: Can’t get into that.

    JORDAN: Is Mifsud western intelligence or Russian intelligence?

    MUELLER: Can’t get into that.

    JORDAN: A lot of things you can’t get into. What’s interesting, you can charge 13 Russians no one’s ever heard of, no one’s ever seen, no one’s ever going to hear of them, no one’s ever going to see them, you can charge them, you can charge all kinds of people who are around the president with false statements but the guy who launches everything, the guy who puts this whole story in motion, you can’t charge him.

    I think that’s amazing. ]

    Back to me, “Is Mifsud western intelligence or Russian intelligence?” is sort of a “when did you stop beating your wife?” question, because it’s damning nomatter how you answer it, if he’s an American agent, America set Papadopoulos up, if he’s a Russian agent, then it’s probable that a lot of the FBI investigation was based on Russian counterintelligence. James Comey has said he believes Mifsud was a Russian agent, but that doesn’t make a whole lot of sense, because if Mifsud was a Russian agent, and he’d lied three times to the FBI, why wasn’t he charged? The theory, and I admit that it’s a little conspiratorial, that I ascribe to is that the FBI didn’t charge Mifsud because he has contacts on capitol hill. That is, he’s an American agent, and if they went after him it might be hard to hide that.

    • The theory, and I admit that it’s a little conspiratorial, that I ascribe to is that the FBI didn’t charge Mifsud because he has contacts on capitol hill. That is, he’s an American agent, and if they went after him it might be hard to hide that.

      I suspect this is correct. No other explanation really makes sense. He would’ve been a nice scalp to add to their process crime collection too, and the fact they did not after three chargeable lies is evidence that they had a good reason for not charging him.

      Your analysis fits that bill nicely. In fact, I can’t think of a single other explanation that even comes close.

  4. We keep hearing of these illegal acts that support impeachment from Nadler and Schiff. They have been spouting them for 3 years. When will they actually present these crimes to the American people?

    Put out an itemized list. Specific activity involved, when it occurred, and the code section it violated. Until this happens they have nothing. They need to quit bull-shitting the American public,those people who they purport to represent.

      • I disagree as to the listing of the offenses (crimes) as being boring to the Public. Being called out and asked to s*** or get off the pot..; that might hurt in the vote department. [Apologies to our host and esteemed commenters, but I’m fast approaching the end of my rope and I don’t recalled if I tied a knot down there…]

        • I’m tired of the resistance, our host is not asking for my vote like all the congresscritters wasting everyone’s time. There are a hundred other thigs that could have used a fraction of this flailing over a three your old election loss. While I have never thought much of Trump, I really wish they would listen to the Eagles and “Get Over It.” Criticize the President all you like, that’s part of the system, but this is wasted tax money and time that could have gone to productive areas, like infrastructure. Wailing during working hours don’t fix no bridges.

          Those in my circle are caring even less than during other presidencies as Congress is making itself even less relevant. This so-important flailing, interrupts the rest of us getting on with our lives. They are making Trump look better. Actual crimes is not boring, but all yesterday’s song and dance proved is that the whole additional testimony thing was a dog and pony show and not worth missing the latest local news on the heat wave due to the prempting.

    • Well, in reality they don’t need to. The Big Lie works as well for this as anything else, and they figure if they keep saying it as if it’s an obvious fact, a fair number of gullible people will swallow it.

      Most people really don’t want to hear dry evidence about crimes — they just want the smoking gun, and without that, just a large number of people in authority saying it confidently.

      It’s both an appeal to authority and an appeal to ignorance at once, along with the Big Lie game.

  5. I wonder what the reaction would be if instead of waiting for Durham and the IG’s report, Barr states that he will be investigating a coup against the President and suggests it was to benefit Pelosi so that she would become the first woman president after ousting Trump and Pence. Then he would convene a Grand Jury to investigate her co-conspirators. These might include all those currently pursuing charging Trump.

    How hard would it be to get Schumer to flip on Nadler or Swallwell to rat out Schiff or vice versa. I bet it would not be difficult to catch any of these guys in a perjury trap and then charge them with obstruction of justice.

    I see that reasonable suspicion exists to pursue this path which is exactly what they are claiming to have against Trump. If they had probable cause they would move on it.

    Obviously this is just a dream because it would be unethical and make a mockery out our judicial system. Tit for tat feels good but Barr has more integrity than probably every player in this fiasco including most Republicans.

    It would however demonstrate how easily political machinations can turn us into a shithole country like many others around the world.

    • Yeah, Republicans could have a field day hauling Democrats into questioning on flimsy pretenses and then nailing them for all sorts of process crimes. But you are correct, that would indeed make a mockery out of the justice system. Still, that line has already been crossed, and it’s going to be an ongoing temptation, since I don’t see any reason why Democrats wouldn’t keep doing it in perpetuity from now on Up until this moment, it’s worked for them. It probably won them the House last year.

      What could still save our future is A LOT of high-profile Democrats facing serious consequences (ruined careers, jail, etc.) because of this investigation. With a complicit media and so many allies in the system, I doubt that will happen. The guilty parties will be celebrated for their service in “the resistance,” and even the ones who go to jail will become celebrities after a fashion. They will all fall upwards into six-figure jobs at media companies and universities, celebrity status, and book deals.

      If you think about it, Democrats are probably even immune to political failure at this point. Does it matter if Trump is in the White House, if they still control 90% of corporate media, including entertainment media, as well as most universities and public education, and most of the biggest corporations and donors? However many Leftists are in politics, they can continue to partner with for mutual enrichment, and if some angry deplorables vote in Republicans in a few times and places, the Left is in a position to ride that out until there are enough of them to ban the Electoral College or whatever other tactics succeed in shutting the Heartland out. They already have every major city with the possible exception of Phoenix.

      • Trump can’t do this because this isn’t a Democrat v. Republican thing. This is the swamp against Trump thing. Trump wants to get reelected. If he fights fire with fire, if he brings charges against all the FBI, Justice Department, and Democrats who committed crimes during these last few years, he will look petty and dangerous. He will look like the threat to Democracy the Democrats have been warning about for years. The funny thing is that the Democrats can act this way with impunity because their supporter actually WANT a totalitarian ‘utopia’.

        So, Trump’s hands are tied. They are also probably tied because who would he find to arrest and charge these people? The press and the courts have forcefully stated the idea that Trump cannot be allowed to be in charge of the executive branch. It is likely the law enforcement and Justice Department personnel would refuse and rebel. A federal judge or two would agree with them. Then, there really would be a coup. During the Obama administration, I noted some federal judges seemingly at wits end by the Justice Department lawyers lying, and refusing to comply with their orders. The judges never did anything about it, however. I always wondered if that was because they didn’t want to expose the fact that the Emperor has no clothes. If they had tried to enforce their rulings on the Obama administration, would the FBI, the Marshall’s service, and the Justice Department have refused to comply?

    • Chris, I agree. This whole Russian collusion propelled coup attempt is the most serious attempt to overthrow the government in U.S. history. It’s absolutely unprecedented. How much scarier that Watergate is this? Think of the huge numbers of people involved: HRC and her campaign staff and hired guns, DOJ people, FBI, CIA(?). Plus various Congress people and the media. Jerry Nadler has had a hard on for Trump for decades. This thing will go on right through Trump’s next term, and possibly beyond.

  6. My late father was a frequent user of rustic turns of phrase, which in my youth I called “Jed-isms” (after Jed Clampett from “The Beverly Hillbillies.” ) Listening to the Democrats spinning efforts yesterday I was reminded of one of Dad’s sayings: “Trying to make chicken soup from chicken shit.”

  7. The contention that Mueller was only a convenient figurehead for what was designed as a partisan hit job was made more credible by Mueller’s confusion.

    But again, why would Mueller consent to such a fraud? I agree that the performance we saw renders this more likely than before, but it still seems like a lot of people would’ve had to be complicit in such a conspiracy.

    I’m not ready to jump on this train.

    The most damaging and disturbing Mueller answer by far was when he was asked about Fusion GPS, which hired Christopher Steele to compile the infamous Russian-sourced ‘dossier’ against Trump. Mueller said that he was ‘not familiar‘ with it. KABOOM!

    Kaboom, indeed. This is res ipsa loquitur that Muller was extremely disconnected from his own investigation. Or, I guess, he is suffering from serious dementia. Nobody could possibly forget such an important fact, not even people only peripherally interested. The leader of the investigation would not be unfamiliar with Fusion GPS under any theory of leadership.

    Which tells us, without any real doubt, Mueller was not the one in charge.

    Spin is one thing; intentionally hiding what occurred to make spin easier is something very different, and a major breach of journalism honesty and integrity.

    Yes, it’s called dissimulating. Or lying, if you prefer, by omission and misrepresentation of facts.

    Yet Mueller’s testimony, orchestrated by Nadler, confirmed none of this. Nadler was intentionally misleading the American public

    Also dissimulation. But I would expect no less from a partisan politician on either side, frankly. He’s entitled to an opinion on whether the facts represent crimes, I guess, even a transparently dumb one. We should expect more from our elected officials, but alas.

    Those who purport to bring us fair news and analysis, however, are much worse than Nadler for doing the exact same thing.

    They are, in effect, lying about what they are doing when they purport to be fair, balanced, and objective.

  8. I heard most of the Wednesday morning session of the Mueller circus. Glad I couldn’t see him; that would have been even more painful.

    Two things about Mueller’s testimony really struck me.
    1) He claimed that he didn’t care about their politics, and the only thing he considered in forming his team was that he thought they were people who could do a good job.
    2) He seemed unable to give a reasonable response as to why the investigation appeared to largely ignore people/information that connected Russians to Democrats.

    What to make of this?
    Was he already so mentally compromised or naive that it didn’t occur to him that in this most politically-charged of investigations, the absence of bias should be a prime consideration? Did he believe, at the onset, that the investigation would only look at Russians, so it wouldn’t matter? If that were the case, Strzok and Paige, and who knows how many unrevealed like-minded players, surely disproved that.

    If not, could it be that after he started the ball rolling, he didn’t/couldn’t oversee the project as he should have done, left everything to his team, and was just unaware of most of what was actually being done? Perhaps he was kept largely in the dark, and fed only such bits of information as his band of partisans wanted him to know. That might explain his seeming unfamiliarity with certain information and aspects of the investigation he supposedly conducted.

    In any case, it was up to Mueller, and he blew it. Whether by way of mental incompetence and/or managerial dereliction of duty he deserves no praise, but only scorn or sympathy, as may be warranted, for how he handled this job.

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