Special Counsel Robert Mueller faces mounting pressure from Democrat members of Congress as they want him to publicly testify.
House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerry Nadler, among others, want to hear directly from Mueller regarding his 448-page final report and his opinion as to whether or not President Trump should be charged with collusion or obstruction of justice.
The Washington Examiner reports: “The special counsel’s office has indicated that Mueller does not want to appear political, CNN reported Tuesday. Throughout his 22-month investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 election and possible obstruction of justice, Mueller avoided speaking publicly and the special counsel’s office rarely issued statements in response to news reports.”
Nevertheless, Democrat lawmakers want him to appear, CNN reports:
“I think it’s important for Mr. Mueller to come before the committee and testify in public,” said Rep. David Cicilline, a Democratic member of the Judiciary Committee. “This is an investigation that was done on behalf of the American people after our democracy was attacked by a foreign adversary. They have a right to see the results of the investigation and really hear from the individual who led it.”
Rep. Pramila Jayapal similarly added the committee should be “very careful about” restrictions on Mueller’s testimony. “If it cuts off the ability for us to talk about it publicly, we’re not sure how that helps us because we need the American public to also understand what is happening,” she told CNN.
Yet Rep. Doug Collins, the top Republican on the Judiciary Committee, suggested at Tuesday’s hearing, a meeting where former White House counsel Don McGahn did not appear after being subpoenaed, that Democrats appear to have a lack of urgency in scheduling Mueller’s testimony.
“We’ve subpoenaed the documents, we’ve subpoenaed the underlying documents, we’ve subpoenaed stuff that we can’t get, but the one thing that we seem to avoid is Mr. Mueller himself, the one who wrote it,” Collins said. “We’ve asked since April about Mr. Mueller coming. But every time we seem to get close to Mueller, Mueller just gets pushed on a little bit. Haven’t seen a subpoena here, and this is what’s really amazing — we’ll get back to subpoenas in a moment — but just think about that. You wanted the work of the author, but you don’t want to talk to the author.”
Attorney General William Barr even permitted Mueller to testify, the report adds.
A potential testimony from the former special counsel seems unlikely as he knows he is caught in a proverbial rock and hard place with congressional Democrats and President Trump. Should Mueller placate congressional Democrats by saying there was enough evidence found to warrant further investigation, it would seem contradictory to his final report and put his own reputation on the line. Should Mueller testify that there was no collusion or obstruction—as he wrote in his final report—he could be ostracized by the Democrats.
Here’s more via the Washington Examiner:
Negotiations over possible testimony hit a roadblock as the committee and the special counsel’s office have been unable to reach an agreement on how much of Mueller’s testimony would be public, the Washington Post reported Tuesday.
Committee Chairman Jerry Nadler, D-N.Y., has repeatedly called for Mueller to testify publicly and has threatened to subpoena him if necessary.
Attorney General William Barr told the Wall Street Journal last week “it’s Bob’s call whether he wants to testify.”