After now-former special counsel Robert Mueller said on Wednesday that he hopes not to testify about his Russia investigation to Congress, stating that his report on his investigative findings “is my testimony,” as quoted by The Washington Post, Democrats in Congress stepped up efforts to bring Mueller before congressional committees.
“He says he doesn’t want to testify — doesn’t make any difference,” Florida Democrat Donna Shalala told a group of her constituents on Wednesday, as quoted by The Hill. “We’re going to bring him up, because he’s got to explain his report.”
But while Shalala’s comments were echoed by numerous other congressional Democrats, a new group emerged on Thursday as unexpected advocates in favor of compelling Mueller to testify — Republican backers of Donald Trump. As The Daily Beast reported, Fox News host Sean Hannity — a longtime, staunch supporter of Trump — and others are now clamoring for Mueller’s testimony, because they believe that congressional Republicans will humiliate Mueller.
“If you are wondering whether or not Mueller is open to transparency, accountability in this deeply flawed investigation, think again,” Hannity said on Wednesday, as quoted by The Daily Beast, after Mueller made his first and final public statement as special counsel. “Oh, Bob Mueller does not want to answer questions [from] Jim Jordan, Mark Meadows, Matt Gaetz, and other Republicans.”
Trump’s personal attorney, former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani, also said on Thursday that he would “dare” Mueller to testify, and subject himself to cross-examination by Trump loyalists in the House of Representatives, according to Fox News.
“I’d love to see Meadows and Jordan cross-examine him on when did he find out there was no collusion?” Giuliani said, in an interview with Fox News personality Brian Kilmeade.
But Clint Watts, a former FBI agent and expert on Russian “active measures” to undermine the political systems of rival nations, called the Trump supporters apparent plans to push for Mueller’s testimony in hopes that he would be somehow exposed under questioning from other Republicans, “extremely dumb.” But Watts added on his Twitter account that he was “all for” Mueller testifying.
Former Trump lawyer John Dowd, however, claimed to The Daily Beast that Mueller’s report was “one of the most dishonest reports ever,” and that Mueller’s reluctance to testify stems from Mueller’s own alleged knowledge that he “pulled a fast one.” But Dowd did not explain which elements of the Mueller report he found to be “dishonest.”
In his public statement Wednesday, as in his report, which may be accessed online via The New York Times, Mueller said that he was unable to “exonerate” Trump of obstruction of justice allegations. He also emphasized that “Russian intelligence officers who were part of the Russian military launched a concerted attack on our political system,” and that the attack was designed to help Trump.
Trump, speaking to reporters Thursday morning, seemed particularly irritated by Mueller’s emphasis on the Russian election attack.
“Russia did not help me get elected. You know who got me elected? You know who got me elected? I got me elected,” he said, as The Inquisitr reported.