It Begins: Mueller Report Hearings Start This Week In The House

U.S. Speaker of the House Nancy Pelos
Win McNamee / Getty Images

Democrats in the House of Representatives have just scheduled a series of hearings about special counsel Robert Mueller’s report on Russian interference in the 2016 election, The Associated Press reports. Hearings are scheduled to begin starting this week. House Democrats have indicated a desire to increase the pace of the investigation, potentially creating what House Speaker Nancy Pelosi describes as an investigative “path” which some believe could lead to the impeachment of President Donald Trump.

The hearings represent a call to bring further public attention to mounting allegations that Trump deliberately obstructed the federal investigation. Also on the table is the possibility that Mueller himself, who has so far shown no interest in making himself available for public appearances, could be compelled to testify publicly.

The Democrats have two main items of focus when it comes to Mueller’s report. The first is the obstruction of justice allegation. The second is the Russian interference itself, the issue which kicked off the investigation in the first place but has largely taken a back seat to the Trump-related drama which unfolded as a result (and continues to do so).

Beginning on Monday, the House Judiciary Committee intends to cover the first matter through a hearing on “presidential obstruction and other crimes.”

On Wednesday, the House Intelligence Committee will begin the review of evidence related to Russian meddling in the election.

Mueller, in his report and in a subsequent public statement, was clear that he and his team did not uncover enough evidence to determine a conspiracy between Russia and the Trump campaign. He was, however, also clear in saying that he did not find sufficient evidence to exonerate the president on the matters of obstruction.

The scheduling of the hearings may have started to bring some measure of satisfaction to more aggressively-minded congressional Democrats who have expressed frustration with the slow pace Democratic leadership has taken in holding Trump accountable for the contents of the Mueller Report.

Maryland Representative Jamie Raskin, who had asked Pelosi to begin an impeachment inquiry, has indicated that the forward progress is, at least for the moment, satisfactory.

“I am very satisfied that things are moving in the right direction,” she said.

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“And I think the American people are getting increasingly educated and engaged about the lawlessness of the president.”

Representative David Cicilline, a member of the House Judiciary Committee who has said he is in favor of an impeachment inquiry, walked more of a middle road.

“We should never proceed with impeachment for political reasons,” he said.

“We should never refuse to proceed with impeachment for political reasons.”