Democratic representatives chairing the House Intelligence and House Judiciary Committees are reportedly considering issuing dual subpoenas to compel former Special Counsel Robert Mueller‘s testimony before Congress.
A Tuesday Politico report described House Intel Chairman Rep. Adam Schiff (D-Calif.) and House Judiciary Chairman Jerrold Nadler (D-N.Y.) as “linking arms” on the decision of whether to subpoena Mueller.
Schiff told reporters that this was a pressing issue because time is running out before August recess.
“We need to resolve this this week. I hope we will. One way or another, he needs to come in and testify. Time is running out,” he said. “We want him to come in before the August recess.” It was Schiff who said and Nadler are “linking arms in [their] request.”
Schiff said that “One way or the another, we expect [Mueller] to testify.”
Mueller has not shown a willingness to do so.
In his only public comments about the Russia probe, Mueller said that his 448-page report on Russian interference in the 2016 election and the investigation into whether or not President Donald Trump obstructed justice was his testimony; he said he wouldn’t be telling Congress anything new.
During his brief public statement, Mueller repeated the wording of his report.
“If we had confidence that the president did not commit a crime, we would have said so,” Mueller said. “Charging the President with a crime, therefore, was not an option we could consider.”
Mueller also said it was his belief that it’s important for his office’s report to speak for itself.
Even after calls for Mueller to testify publicly intensified, Mueller and House Democrats were not able to reach an agreement. Democrats would prefer that Mueller testify at a public hearing, but there’s been a disagreement about how much testimony would take place in public. Per Politico:
Nadler said Mueller has expressed a willingness to answer lawmakers’ questions behind closed doors, but Democrats want Mueller’s entire testimony to be in front of the cameras.
The Washington Post reported in May that Mueller wants his public testimony to only cover subjects that come from his publicly issued Russia report. Democrats, on the other hand, would want to ask Mueller about whether he thinks the president obstructed justice and to comment on Attorney General William Barr‘s handling of the Mueller Report.
[Image via SAUL LOEB/AFP/Getty]