WASHINGTON — When Special Counsel Robert Mueller finally spoke about his investigation into President Trump’s ties to Russia, he hammered home the “central allegation” of his probe: Russia made multiple attempts to interfere in the 2016 election.
Democrats seemed to have got the memo. While they’re still in talks about getting testimony from Mueller, the House Intelligence Committee on Friday announced a “Lessons from the Mueller Report” hearing to be held this Wednesday, with a specific focus on the “counterintelligence implications” of his findings.
No one from Mueller’s team is expected to show up, but the committee will hear testimony from two former top national security officials at the FBI, Stephanie Douglas and Robert Anderson.
“Our committee’s goal will be to explain to the American people the serious counterintelligence concerns raised by the Mueller Report, examine the depth and breadth of the unethical and unpatriotic conduct it describes, and produce prescriptive remedies to ensure that this never happens again,” said committee chairman Rep. Adam Schiff, Democrat from California.
The event will focus on the first volume of Mueller’s report, which identified several points of contact between members of Trump’s circle and people close to Russian President Vladimir Putin — but stopped short of finding a criminal conspiracy between the Trump campaign and Russia to influence the 2016 election.
Mueller has so far declined to testify before Congress for fear of appearing political, House Judiciary Chairman Rep. Jerrold Nadler has said. House Democrats are weighing the possibility of handing him a subpoena to compel his testimony if he continues to resist.
The second volume of Mueller’s report recounts various ways Trump attempted to derail the Russia investigation, presenting what 1,000-plus former prosecutors have said amounts to strong evidence that Trump obstructed justice. Mueller himself declined to label any of Trump’s behavior criminal, however, arguing that since DOJ policy blocked him from indicting a sitting president, it would be unfair to accuse Trump of a crime without the opportunity to clear himself in court.
On Monday, the House Judiciary Committee will hold a separate hearing on the second volume, entitled “Lessons from the Mueller Report: Presidential Obstruction and Other Crimes,” featuring Nixon-era White House counsel John Dean.
Mueller won’t be there for that one, either.
Cover: Chairman Rep. Adam Schiff, D-Calif., speaks at a House Intelligence Committee hearing on national security implications of climate change on Capitol Hill in Washington, Wednesday, June 5, 2019. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik)