Americans will soon hear testimony on the Mueller report from the man who wrote it — former Special Counsel Robert S. Mueller III.
Mueller, who oversaw a two-year investigation into Russian meddling in the 2016 U.S. presidential election, has agreed to testify about his findings in an open session before Congress on July 17, House Democrats announced Tuesday.
Mueller agreed to comply with subpoenas issued from the House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerrold Nadler, Democrat of New York, and House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff, Democrat of California.
It’s a blow to President Trump, who has repeatedly mischaracterized the more than 400-page report as an exoneration. In fact, the Mueller report documents actions by Trump that hundreds of career prosecutors have said clearly amount to obstruction of justice.
“The American public deserves to hear directly from you about your investigation and conclusions,” the chairmen wrote. “We will work with you to address legitimate concerns about preserving the integrity of your work, but we expect that you will appear before our committees as scheduled.”
Mueller has resisted testifying publicly and declined to express an opinion on the interpretation of his report offered up by Trump’s handpicked attorney general, William Barr.
But his testimony before Congress could reignite Democratic efforts to keep the report in the news and advance the cause of impeachment.
Mueller has already said his public comments won’t go beyond what’s in his report. But Democrats and legal observers have argued that the facts in the report are bad enough — and that even a public recitation of those details could help raise awareness of Mueller’s findings.
“This stuff is pretty damning, and they ought to just get it out there,” said Nick Akerman, who was a member of the prosecution team during the Watergate scandal of the 1970s. “Nobody out there is reading the report except for nerds like myself, so let’s have him read it for everybody on television. There is a lot of meat there.”
Cover: Special Counsel Robert Mueller speaks on the investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 Presidential election, at the US Justice Department in Washington, DC, on May 29, 2019. Special Counsel Robert Mueller said Wednesday that charging Donald Trump with a crime of obstruction was not an option because of Justice Department policy not to indict a sitting president. (Photo: MANDEL NGAN/AFP/Getty Images)