Democrats Dial Up Pressure On Robert Mueller To Testify

Alex WongGetty Images

Even though Robert Mueller made it clear in his surprise Wednesday morning press conference that he prefers to avoid any additional appearances on Capitol Hill about his two-year investigation into President Donald Trump, a growing number of Democrats would like him to reconsider.

For Democrats, Mueller’s press conference left many unanswered questions — questions that could possibly be answered in front of various House committees.

Rep. Cedric Richmond, a member of the House Judiciary Committee, told The Hill by phone that while he respects Mueller’s request, the issue is too important to put aside.

“I understand his reluctance,” Richmond said. “But I think the stakes are so high that he has an obligation to [testify].”

Richmond explained that he wants to understand the finer details of the Justice Department’s policy that won’t allow them to indict a sitting president, after Mueller said during his remarks that bringing charges against Trump was “not an option.”

Richmond even gave Mueller the option of a private testimony.

“I don’t care if it’s private — I’m not saying it has to be public testimony — but there are questions I think people need an answer to,” Richmond explained.

Rep. Mike Quigley, who sits on the House Intelligence Committee, was decidedly more direct in his desire to have Mueller testify.

“I have the greatest respect for the special counsel, but he doesn’t get to decide whether or not he testifies before the American people, and he doesn’t get to decide which questions he can talk about,” Quigley said.

During a town hall on Wednesday, Rep. Donna Shalala made clear her intent to compel Mueller to take the stand and seemingly didn’t leave him a choice in the matter.

“He says he doesn’t want to testify — doesn’t make any difference. We’re going to bring him up, because he’s got to explain his report,” she explained to a room full of constituents.

Last but not least, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi weighed in, saying that a Mueller testimony would be “useful,” but that she’ll leave the negotiations up to the Judiciary Committee to make that happen.

The desire for Mueller to testify crosses party lines. As reported by Fox News, conservative radio and television host Mark Levin wants the former special counsel to go in front of the Senate.

Democrats hope that a Mueller testimony will bring more eyes and ears to the issue by generating headlines and dominating news networks, as a majority of Americans are not likely to read through his 448-page report.

The Hill noted that comments from the Judiciary Committee on plans for setting up a Mueller testimony were currently not available.