After months of teeth gnashing and wailing, it appears that special counsel Robert Mueller will finally appear in front of Congress to give testimony on his investigation into Russian meddling in the 2016 election, according to an announcement from the House Judiciary Committee and House Intelligence Committee.
It’s happening! It’s really, finally happening!
House Judiciary Committee chairman Rep. Jerry Nadler and House Intelligence Committee chairman Rep. Adam Schiff announced the news.
“Americans have demanded to hear directly from the Special Counsel so they can understand what he and his team examined, uncovered, and determined about Russia’s attack on our democracy, the Trump campaign’s acceptance and use of that help, and President Trump and his associates’ obstruction of the investigation into that attack,” Nadler and Schiff said in a joint statement.
Though Mueller’s report, released in April, didn’t specifically accuse Trump of any crimes, it also didn’t clear him. Since then, politicians and media figures have called for Mueller to testify and for the full, unredacted report to be released. But Mueller has resisted, and finally Congress took action.
Mueller had said he didn’t want to testify beyond the content of the report. In recent days there were disagreements over whether Mueller should be subpoenaed or asked to testify voluntarily. It looks like the House ended up going with the former option.
“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,” Nadler and Schiff wrote in their letter.
Mueller’s testimony, which is apparently scheduled for back-to-back open sessions on July 17th, is almost certain to be a letdown. The former FBI director has hardly appeared in public throughout the course of his two year investigation. When he did, he made a point to defer to the report he’d already submitted.
But let’s not let those facts dampen anyone’s excitement!
Schiff confirmed on Rachel Maddow’s MSNBC show that Mueller’s staff will also testify in a closed door session.
Some on Twitter complained that Mueller’s testimony is unnecessary as there is already enough evidence to begin an impeachment inquiry against Trump, something Democrats have so far refused to do.
Even earlier today, top Democrats were still ignoring calls to open an impeachment inquiry. The party is apparently polling the electorate to see how such an inquiry would be received.
But members of Congress say it’s only a matter of time before it becomes impossible to resiste public sentiment on impeachment.
“It’s a dam that could break at any minute,” Rep. Gerry Connolly told HuffPost. “We are one major explosive piece of testimony or evidence away from that dam breaking.”