In his first and only public statement as Russia investigation special counsel last Wednesday, Robert Mueller said that he did not believe he should testify before Congress about the findings in his 448-page report.
“The report is my testimony. I would not provide information beyond that which is already public in any appearance before Congress,” according to a transcript of his statement published by The Washington Post.
But the report will not be his testimony, according to Democratic House Judiciary Committee Chair Jerrold Nadler, who on Wednesday pledged not only that Mueller would testify “soon,” but that the committee would slap Mueller with a subpoena “if we have to,” according to a report by The Hill.
“Let’s just say that I’m confident he’ll come in soon,” Nadler said at the United States Capitol, exactly one week after Mueller delivered his sole public statement.
Not only did Nadler pledge that Mueller will testify, but he also expressed confidence that Mueller will offer public testimony. However, according to Nadler himself, Mueller has not expressed any willingness to do so, NBC News reported.
“He’s willing to come and testify, make an opening statement and then testify only behind closed doors,” Nadler said. “We’re not willing to do that. We want him to testify openly.”
Nadler added that he believed it to be Mueller’s “duty to the American people” to testify in public, and “we’ll make that happen.”
Though Mueller said that he would offer no other information beyond what is already stated in the report — a report available online via The New York Times — the often elliptical language Mueller employed in the report, and in his public statement last week, has left important questions remaining to be answered, as The Washington Post columnist E.J. Dionne noted.
For example, Dionne said Mueller was described in a recent Politico report as having “all but said” that Congress must now begin impeachment proceedings against Donald Trump due to the numerous instances of obstruction of justice detailed in the report.
“I’m sorry, Mr. Mueller. ‘All but said’ is not good enough,” Dionne wrote. “Do you say it, or do you not?”
According to a CBS News poll released last month, nearly three out of every four Americans — 74 percent — believe that Mueller should testify before Congress. Even a majority of Republicans, 56 percent, say that Mueller should be required to testify.
With his resignation as special counsel last week, Mueller is now a public citizen, meaning that the Justice Department cannot prohibit Mueller from testifying should he choose to do so, The Post reported.