As we near Robert Mueller’s much-anticipated appearance before a joint House Intelligence and Judiciary committee hearing later this month, Attorney General William Barr is making his displeasure over his longtime frenemy testifying known.
Describing the upcoming appearance as a “public spectacle” in an interview with the Associate Press published Monday, Barr—whose spin on the special counsel’s investigation earned a rare rebuke from Mueller—insisted the DOJ would back any decision by Mueller to skip the scheduled hearing if he “doesn’t want to subject himself” to questioning.
Mueller himself has said publicly that if called to testify, he’d simply repeat the findings from his lengthy report on Russian interference in the 2016 election. He has not, however, signaled any interest in actually backing out of the testimony, as Barr suggested to the AP. But I’m sure Barr would be thrilled if Mueller suddenly decided not to go before Congress to describe how the president of the United States almost certainly did a bunch of crimes.
Barr reiterated his opposition to Mueller’s testimony outside a federal prison in Edgefield, SC on Monday, saying he was “disappointed” to see Mueller subpoenaed “because I don’t think that serves an important purpose dragging Bob Mueller up if he in fact is going to stick to the report.”
Earlier this spring, the Daily Beast reported that Mueller was willing to testify, but was being stymied by Barr’s DOJ.