Ted Lieu on Mueller Testimony: 'I Don't Know Who Got to Him'

'I don’t know who talked to him, but that was really odd what he did'

July 26, 2019

Rep. Ted Lieu (D., Calif.) was less than happy with Robert Mueller when the former special counsel issued a correction to his congressional testimony, wondering the next day on CNN who "got to him."

Most observers viewed Mueller's Wednesday testimony as a dud, with no new disclosures about his investigation into President Donald Trump and the allegation that he colluded with Russia or attempted to obstruct the investigation.

The only moment that seemed game-changing was when Mueller responded in the affirmative to a question from Lieu whether "the reason that you did not indict the president is because of the [Office of Legal Counsel] opinion that you cannot indict a sitting president."

But after a recess, Mueller clarified his answer, and said that he didn't mean to imply that he would've indicted the president if not for the OLC opinion. "I want to go back to one thing that was said this morning by Mr. Lieu..." he said. "As we say in the report and as I said at the opening, we did not reach a determination as to whether the president committed a crime."

The following day, Lieu insisted to CNN's Wolf Blitzer that Mueller did understand the original question, arguing that Mueller had initially rebuffed Republican efforts to have him clarify his answer.

"It wasn’t until there was a recess in the Intel Committee that he sort of walked some of that back. I don't know who got to him, I don’t know who talked to him, but that was really odd what he did," Lieu said.

"Well, what are you suggesting?" asked Blitzer. "Because he said he misspoke, he didn't understand, or whatever it was, that's why he wanted to clarify... are you saying he only did that because of pressure from someone?"

"I don't know," Lieu responded. "But he clearly answered the way he answered to me, and then he had numerous times to walk that back by the next Republican member who asked a series of questions on the same exact same issue trying to get him to walk it back. So I don't understand what happened."