Robert Mueller doesn’t want to testify, but will he succeed in heading off a subpoena?
Robert Mueller made perfectly clear when he delivered his first public statement in more than two years is that he has no desire for a repeat performance before Congress — but will he have a choice?
Not satisfied with Attorney General Bill Barr‘s characterization of Mueller’s report on Russian election interference and possible obstruction of justice by the president, Democrats had been calling for the newly-resigned special counsel to testify. But Mueller isn’t interested.
“The report is my testimony,” Mueller said Wednesday, saying that if he were to be called to speak under oath, he would not say anything other than what is already in his report.
But of course, when it comes to Demonrats, not everyone is willing to let Mueller off the hook just yet. House Intelligence Committee Chairman Rep. Adam Schiff, D-Calif., has already said in a statement that Mueller’ public remarks left many questions unanswered.
“We look forward to Mueller’s testimony before Congress,” Schiff said. “While I understand his reluctance to answer hypotheticals or deviate from the carefully worded conclusions he drew on his charging decisions, there are, nevertheless, a great many questions he can answer that go beyond the report, including any counterintelligence issues and classified matters that were not addressed in his findings.”
House Democratic Caucus Chairman Rep. Hakeem Jeffries, D-N.Y., also said that Mueller’s report was not enough. Jeffries told the New York Times that “there is a difference between reading the book and seeing the movie on the big screen.”
Not everyone on the Democratic side of the aisle was as forthright when it came to a Mueller subpoena. When asked about it Wednesday, House Judiciary Committee Chairman Rep. Jerrold Nadler, D-N.Y., siply said, “Mr. Mueller told us a lot of what we need to hear today.”
Republicans were more direct in their lack of interest in discussing Mueller’s report any further, even as they push for uncovering details of the Russia probe’s origins.
Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., has been vocal about wanting to “get to the bottom” of what led to the investigation, but as far as the investigation itself, he echoed Mueller.
“Those who were wishing and hoping that Bob Mueller would come forward, testify before Congress, and legitimize a retrial of the case, must be sorely disappointed,” Graham said in a tweet. “The Report Speaks For Itself.”
Rep. Jim Jordan, R-Ohio, the ranking member of the House Oversight Committee, tweeted, “Time to move on.” He even appearted to question the necessity of Mueller’s pubilc address.
Jordan said the only new information Mueller provided was that he was resigning from the Justice Department, and that he “doesn’t want to testify.”