Both Democrats and Republicans on the House Judiciary Committee have expressed interest in having special counsel Robert Mueller III answer questions on Capitol Hill. Mueller could be called to testify as early as May 15. Meanwhile President Trump took to Twitter on Sunday to say that “Mueller should not testify.”
Both the Democrats and Republicans have high political stakes as the drama surrounding the Mueller investigation winds to a close.
Since Mueller’s 448-page investigative report was delivered to Congress, Democrats have sought to critically review as many as 10 incidents described in the report that might constitute obstruction of justice by the Trump administration. While Attorney General William Barr and Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein concluded that interference in the investigation did not meet legal standards for obstruction under federal statues, Democrats continue to debate whether to pursue impeachment of the president on the basis of obstruction.
Republicans on the House Judiciary Committee likely have a completely different set of questions for Mueller. Namely, how the investigation into Donald Trump’s Russia connections got started in the first place. What role did the dossier created by Christopher Steele for Trump’s political opponents play in establishing the Russia allegations within the FBI? Why did the FBI pursue an investigation for nearly two years only to conclude that no collusion took place? What was the purpose of continuing the investigation if there was insufficient evidence of collusion?
If Mueller testifies before Congress, it is sure to be political theater on par with Attorney General Barr’s contentious hearings before the Senate Judiciary Committee. The Trump administration has maintained that Mueller’s investigation was entirely unwarranted and politically motivated, not only by political rivals, but by an anti-Trump faction within the FBI.
Rep. Doug Collins (R-Ga.) the top-ranking Republican on the Judiciary Committee, said in an interview on Monday, “I think Mueller should testify. There was no collusion, no obstruction, and that’s what Bob Mueller will tell everyone.”