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Mueller Hearings – Interview with AMAC Spokesperson, Robert Charles, on The Bob Frantz Authority

Bob Frantz

Joining us now with more reaction to yesterday’s fireworks on Capitol Hill, Robert Charles. Robert Charles worked in the Reagan and Bush 41 White Houses, he was the Assistant Secretary of State under Colin Powell for Bush 43, he is a nationally recognized author, his latest book is Eagles and Evergreens and he also represents AMAC, the Association of Mature American Citizens.

Mr. Charles, good morning sir how are you?

Robert Charles

Thank you, Bob, for having me, an interesting morning.

Frantz

Oh my goodness, you aren’t kidding. Listen I’m gonna jump right to the heart of this whole thing and ask you, as you watched Bob Mueller yesterday, did you see more incompetence and maybe somebody who doesn’t necessarily have it all going on for him anymore, a confused man perhaps with some problems, or did you see a skilled tactician trying to delay and obstruct the questioning of the Republicans with his constant interruptions of, “I’m sorry could you repeat that,” “I’m sorry could you tell me where to find that,” “I’m sorry could you tell me this,” “Oh that’s not in my purview,” because we didn’t get much from him yesterday, but what we did see was a man who very clearly was not in control of that report.

Charles

Yeah I think that the testimony of Bob Mueller who historically was viewed with favor, more or less, in Washington is one of those things that the Democrats should have asked themselves or told themselves be careful what you ask for. They’re the ones that insisted upon bringing him before them and I had always thought that Gramm in the Senate actually should bring him for them and actually do some of the things that Jim Jordan very expertly did yesterday. The sad, sad fact is that, understand that I come at this from a slightly different perspective. Under Newt Gingrich, I ran the biggest part of the Oversight Committee for five years and so we regularly held hearings, we regularly vetted witnesses, I ran the Waco hearings. You are very careful about who you put in front of that microphone, I think that the Democrats are in a strange stumbling sort of frenzy to try to create enough of a predicate for something that they’d like to call impeachable that they just have stumbled all over themselves. And this is really, in a sense this is like the capstone because here was supposed to be their star player, their star witness the guy that would expand on the report that didn’t say what they most wanted it to say, and instead he turns out in front of a microphone undermining his own report, undermining the conclusions, confirming all the things as Jim Jordan in your clip rightly pointed out, confirming that frankly they didn’t go after the people they should have gone after and the people they went after were really irrelevant and of no consequence.

So you know I also think that this, I know Bill Barr sort of from a distance during the Bush 41 era, I worked a bit with Terwilliger who was his and with Roger Porter and a few other people who were directly related to him, I think the world of Bill Barr. I think Bill Barr is a very competent, capable, thoughtful, on top of his game attorney and when he puts another US attorney, which he has done, on the trail to find out what really happened, I’m confident that what we’re really going to get the truth is from Bill Barr.

But yeah, I think it really was sampled yesterday and I think it’s obviously disappointed some of the Democrats, but to me I didn’t expect anything better. I think they were really in a jam because there isn’t anything to become actionable on, they’re not governing as a house is supposed to do, they’re a divided caucus, they can’t seem to get any legislation forward that anybody would sign and instead they’re preoccupied by doing a bunch of junk hearings in order to produce junk headlines or junk media that generate really just a sense I think only a part of the average American of disappointment. This is not what we want our Congress to be doing and Mueller certainly was a disappointment too.

Frantz

We are talking with Robert Charles. Robert again was the Assistant Secretary of State under Bush 43 under Colin Powell, he also worked in the Reagan and Bush 41 White Houses. How familiar are you with Andrew Weissmann, who was widely regarded as Bob Mueller’s top, you know, right hand man in this investigation? And the fact that he has been exposed as being a corrupt attorney, somebody who is actually in on the Russia hoax, he met with a Russian oligarch during all of this run-up and moreover he is an extraordinarily close personal friend of the defeated Hillary Clinton and on election night he spent it with the Clintons, and then a few weeks later he is appointed to the Mueller team investigating Donald Trump. How can there possibly — first of all how could he be on the team? And second of all it’s my contention, Robert, and others that he led this thing, that Bob Mueller’s name was on it, but that Andrew Weissmann led this investigation and that’s why it took the direction it did.

Charles

I think your inference is a fair one, I say that as the guy who did oversight for five years. I was just disappointed from the outset, I mean as an older American and I am a member and a spokesperson for AMAC, I look at things through a more cerebral lens. I’ve lived long enough now to think, to sort of look around corners and I hope to see some of the things that are on the other side of the corner and when they appointed that team, you know your first instinct is to say well obviously they’re trying to find people who will be fair critics to the president. But when you look deeper, three, four layers in you see that it was the description of Weismann that you just gave is only a partial description. This is not an attorney who has distinguished himself for anything but aggressive prosecution. He in fact, I mean go back and look at his record before the Supreme Court, he’s been reversed, what you come away with is the idea that this is sort of a dyed-in-the-wool partisan, who at the same time really is known chiefly for being an aggressive, gotcha before we’ve even got the evidence kind of an attorney.

And well my question really goes back to the judgment of Mueller, why do you pull around you — I understand in your law firm world you know some of these people better than others, but why do you pull around you a body of almost exclusively Democrat partisans? I understand that gives you validation later when they say well you didn’t whitewash a report that cleared the president but at the same time, you then delegate all your authority to these partisans and it really, it taints your report before you’ve ever begun. And I think although the president said it in tweets and he was a little more direct, I think his point is right, that if you pull partisans in to do a nonpartisan investigation, it’s tainted from the outset.

Frantz

The old appearance of impropriety line, right? I mean you would think he would have appointed, you know at least a balanced staff of 19 lawyers and of course he had 40 FBI agents. But put a balance of people there who are maybe Clinton loyalists in and who are not just so that it looks like, hey we had a bipartisan investigative group here and this is what we came up with because it certainly would never look that way now.

Charles

You’re absolutely dead on and you know the law is only as good as the space that the people have in the law. We really still are a country dedicated to honor and the idea that we honor the law because we believe it to be true and not fungible and when you taint the law by making it partisan, you’ve undermined the very rule of law that you say you stand for. And so that was my complaint from the get-go, if you’re putting people on this that are not credible because their judgment is already tainted by being arch partisan, then you kind of missed the boat before you even launched.

Frantz

We’re talking to Robert Charles analyzing yesterday’s testimony with Robert Mueller. Did you see the question-and-answer period with Representative Ratcliffe?

Charles

I saw — I was in and out of the hearings so I mean I rather saw them in and out, but are you thinking of a particular exchange?

Frantz

Yeah, that’s a reason I wanted to find out so I can set this up. The question of exoneration has been a very, very important one here, as pointed out by almost every legal scholar including some on the Left, it has never ever been the job of a prosecutor or an investigative prosecutor to find proof of innocence. It is in fact his job to try to find reasons to indict and if there’s not enough evidence to indict, by very definition that person is exonerated. We didn’t have evidence to prove him guilty of anything or to charge him to see if he’s guilty of anything, therefore in a criminal justice system in which the presumption of innocence is granted to everyone, then he is indeed presumed innocent end of story. And Ratcliffe exposed this by pointing out that virtually the entire second volume of the report which was entering information that were not included as crimes was simply undoing decades and decades, well really a couple of centuries, of criminal legal precedents.

Charles

You’re dead on with respect to the law and in one of my past lives I was clerk to the US Court of Appeals Ninth Circuit for Reagan Appointee and litigated a little bit after that. You’re right on, exoneration is the result of not finding guilt and in this particular instance you had a report, which you know, when you have a case it is typically pursuant to the Constitution a case of any kind and investigating the case, you’re looking at an individual case or controversy. You’re looking at facts surrounding that particular event and then you come to a conclusion if you’re a prosecutor whether you will or you will not bring that case because there’s a predicate, there’s sufficient information that will support and what they either call an indictment or an information, which is kind of a document, but there either is or is not enough information and support for that to go forward. And if there isn’t, then they — then the subject is exonerated. The interesting part about this is that the president used that word, I don’t know if it’s because he was talking to his council or not, he used that word right at the outset of the release of the report and he was right. And when you get a decision from a court that comes down in that direction, you call it holding. Anything that is added to that, anything that is opinion that gets lardered [sic] on like extra fluff and liberal judges tend to do lots of that, and apparently liberal investigators do too, is called “dicta.” It’s really useless, it has no bearing on the case it may reflect their, in this case, partisan opinion, but it doesn’t have any bearing whatsoever on the guilt or innocence of the party. And unfortunately, what you have here is a Democrat House led by Nadler who I almost get the feeling he’s got some prior axe to grind with this president from coming up in New York.

Frantz

Oh, he does, President Trump has talked about that in the past that he’s battled and sparred with Nadler in New York for years. And in the President’s words he always defeated him.

Charles

Yeah in all fairness Bob, I’ll tell you what’s really a disgrace and it’s not in that report. What the disgrace is that that chairman has run roughshod over the rules of the house. I ran a committee, I didn’t gavel down every single Republican and ignore them and he’s done that for more than a year. He has literally — during his period of time as chairmanship, he has literally, in my opinion obviated the rules of the house. Look at the rules of the committee and how you’re supposed to recognize people, you know Robert’s Rules, it’s a very straightforward process and I was counseled to a committee.

But what upsets me is that both in this series of hearings, obviously in the ones they plan ahead and in the ones that they’ve conducted, they really have not honored the idea of being a representative to the House of Representatives for the people and allowing all parties to have their say. We as Republicans never gavel down a Democrat who had a legitimate objection or point of clarification in a hearing and he gavels down 30 or 40 of them in a row, and you say where do we get to speak? I mean, thank God there were cameras up that I think embarrassed them into following some of the rules yesterday, but it’s disappointing when the process itself becomes so partisan that the word investigation doesn’t really mean investigation anymore, it just means excuse for holding hearings and trying to score political points so that they can I guess embarrass the president, that seems to be their goal.

Frantz

That is exactly what their goal is and now of course to try to, even though it was a disaster for them yesterday to continue to try to push for impeachment. They cannot beat him in 2020 I think they know that not one member of that pool of candidates can beat him, especially if the economy continues to hum along the way that it is, so their only option is to try to invalidate his first election and impeach him.

Robert Charles from AMAC, the Association of Mature American Citizens, also of course long political experience in two White Houses and of course with Assistant Secretary of State position under Colin Powell. I really appreciate your great insight and analysis. Thank you very much Robert, we’ll talk again soon.

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Jack Thomas

Robert Mueller’s testimony on Wednesday, July 24 before the House Judiciary Committee was a colossal flop. Worse, Mueller himself came off looking woefully incompetent, not remembering details in his own report, resisting questions from Republicans (“That’s not in my purview” nine times), asking to have questions repeated . . . on and on . . . ad nauseum. No one learned anything new about Russian interference in the 2016 Election except that Mueller seems to have lost it. Very sad. And even sadder still is the fact that the despicable Dems would parade a failing man in front of the whole country on national TV who never wanted to be there, who couldn’t really add anything new beyond the results of his own 448 page report. So the bottom line is the Dems never got the final nail in the coffin that they had hoped for. Again, Trump could take… Read more »

Steve

Meuller was , at best, manipulated by the Dems. They have made fools of themselves for two years and don’t care if they make Mueller look like a fool, which he did. Meuller’s own family should have prevented this. He needs handlers. We know now that Weisman lead the investigation but you can’t put him on the stand because he has no credibility. How does this guy retain a license ?? Finally, we don’t really care if the Russians tried to interfere or not. This has been going on for at least 50 years and our govt knows it but they don’t care. This is a topic only because of the manufactured lie that Trump got involved. When we have the 2020 election, meddling by the Russians will be a non-topic. Also, while this nonsense continues, our congress refuses to debate illegal immigration, health care, and infrastructure. Business as usual.