Former special counsel Robert S. Mueller III pointedly not pounding on the table and demanding President Trump's immediate resignation. (Salwan Georges/The Washington Post)
Columnist

Here is approximately how the testimony of former special counsel Robert S. Mueller III went today.

Mueller: Hello, good morning. I am here to provide what Donald Trump and the media onlookers who have helped bring all this about, I imagine, immediately describe as a low-energy performance and an optics disaster for the Democrats. Will this be fun and dramatic to watch? I anticipate that it absolutely will not. It will be like trying to put your cat into a fun little suit. All signs indicated that he does not want to be put in the suit, but you put him in the suit anyway, and then you act surprised when nobody has a good time.

Questioner (Democrat): Counselor Mueller, I think I can say without fear of contradiction that you are the greatest, indeed the only, patriot in this room. You have a Purple Heart, do you not? And you have always acted with extreme probity, have you not?

Mueller: I try to.

Questioner (Democrat): Try? No! You succeed!

Mueller: Uh, thanks.

Questioner (Republican): Mr. Mueller, when Christopher Steele gave Joseph Mifsud the dossier full of vile secrets, was it eight or 35 lizard-men whom you immediately deputized to suppress the truth-tellers, seven of whom are presently in my home and refuse to leave, even when I tell them I will sue them?

Mueller: Uh, could you repeat the question?

Questioner (Republican): I think that’s an answer. We all know that upon his return from the exoplanet — which, conveniently, you omitted from your report entirely, as has NASA, although I have sent them a lot of irate faxes — your double agent released the mind serum that proved that Hillary Clinton’s emails were what allowed Steele’s dossier to offer well-drink to the feeble-minded and credulous media?

Mueller: I’m not sure I got the question.

Questioner (Republican): Why did you choose exclusively witches and Democrats (but I repeat myself) to staff your phony witch hunt — with, may I add, an unlimited budget? Why did you not test every member by first dunking them in water, then obliging them to pull a black ball from a vat of boiling oil?

Mueller: Uh, there were several premises in that question that I would take some issue with.

Questioner (Republican): Is it not — listen carefully, for I will speak at lightning speed — salkdjg;wktjeq;ag;dklgn;aethwod;nvgos;rhwaozsfhngoewithqwo?

Mueller: I take the question.

Questioner (Republican): asdgkjasl;dgjsk;ldgjkla;sdgjl;kasdgjkls;adgjl;asdjgtweieqhtoiqetiqebeqbtqeutbqeoooooooooooooo

Mueller: If that is what it says in the report.

Questioner (Democrat): Are you the only righteous man in these United States?

Mueller: I think that’s putting it too strongly.

Questioner (Democrat): At long last, does the president have no decency? Is he not motivated solely by greed?

Mueller: That is outside my purview.

Questioner (Democrat): Are you sure you cannot say, please, that at long last, does the president have no decency?

Mueller: If you could refer me to a page in the report, I would be happy to read aloud.

Questioner (Democrat): Thank you, but we will be doing the citing of page numbers and reading aloud from the report. Is that correct?

Mueller: Yes?

Questioner (Democrat): Can you speak about the president’s crimes?

Mueller: That is territory into which I cannot go.

Questioner (Democrat): How about —

Mueller: That is not my bailiwick.

Questioner (Democrat): Or rather —

Mueller: That is just as outside my purview as interfering even more disastrously in our future elections is within Russia’s purview. Which is to say, very.

Questioner (Democrat): But —

Mueller: That’s not within the scope of my investigation.

Questioner (Democrat): But —

Mueller: Let’s assume I am banned from all Chili’s restaurants. The answer to your question would be in a Chili’s.

Questioner (Democrat): H —

Mueller: I promise you I have enough synonyms for “not in my purview” to go for hours.

Questioner (Democrat): But can you confirm that the report did not exonerate President Trump?

Mueller: Yes.

Questioner (Republican): (Bursting out of the floor.) BUT CAN ANYONE, EVER, TRULY BE EXONERATED?

Mueller: (Inhales to speak.)

Questioner (Republican): I think that says it all. Also, why is the report not about Hilary Clinton? I think at least 50 percent of it should be about Hillary Clinton, or you will never convince me that it is not biased. Also, why are you best friends with James Comey, and why do you like to stand on the train tracks with him and not with the president, who is perfect and has given you so much more than you deserve, you scum, you worm? And why have you failed to address the lizards?

Mueller: I would like to confine myself to the things in the report.

Questioner (Democrat): Thank you for your service.

Questioner (Republican): LIZARDS!

Donald Trump and the media onlookers who have helped bring all this about: This was a low-energy performance and an optics disaster for the Democrats!

Read more:

Karen Tumulty: The real bombshell in Mueller’s testimony wasn’t about impeaching Trump

Henry Olsen: Mueller's testimony crystallized public opinion against impeachment

Stephen Stromberg: What Robert Mueller and Pickle Rick have in common

Greg Sargent and Paul Waldman: The two big Mueller exchanges that capture the Russia scandal

The Post’s View: Mueller gave a warning on Russian meddling. Congress — and America — should listen.

Dana Milbank: Trump was right. Testifying was a disaster for Robert Mueller.

Erik Wemple: Republican lawmaker complains to Mueller about lack of Fox News in his report

Got a question about the Mueller testimony? Submit a question for Harry Litman’s Twitter chat.