Special counsel Robert Mueller's investigation into Russian election interference and related matters has been consuming the attention of the public and the media alike for more than two years. It will reach its definitive epilogue on July 24, when Mueller is scheduled to testify before the House Judiciary and Intelligence committees.
As previously reported by The Inquisitr, the top prosecutor was originally scheduled to testify on July 17, but now, having been moved one week, his testimony occurs only two days before the six-week-long summer recess, which means that the Democrats will almost certainly not be able to take any concrete action.
The opposition party has already backed away from impeachment, voting this week against Representative Al Green's impeachment articles. President Trump declared a "massive victory," taking advantage of the opportunity to accuse the Democrats of "playing games."
Although the Mueller hearing is unlikely to change anything in terms of impeachment, it could influence public perception. According to a new report from The New York Times, House Republicans are well aware of that, which is why they are preparing to take Mueller on.
"The obvious first question will be, 'When did you know there was no coordination and no conspiracy?'" Representative Jim Jordan of Ohio told the publication, explaining that his main goal at the hearing will be to get Mueller to deliver his conclusion -- that there was no Trump-Russia conspiracy -- to the public.
Representative Matt Gaetz of Florida announced a more aggressive approach. "We are going to re-elect the president," he said, revealing that he will seek to start a discussion about Mueller's alleged bias in order to cast doubt on his investigation and about his credibility.
Disagreeing with his colleague, Colorado Republican Ken Buck opined that it would be "silly" to be aggressive toward Mueller, given that he has not charged the president with conspiracy.
"He exonerated the president on the collusion issue and for anybody to go after him would seem silly to me," he said.As the New York Times notes, for both parties, the testimony is an "unusual chance to shape the views of a large number of Americans" who haven't read the Mueller report. For Republicans, it presents an opportunity to convince the public that the goal of the investigation itself was to disrupt the Trump presidency.
GOP lawmakers will, according to the NYT, seek to question Mueller about the anti-Trump text messages exchanged by Peter Strzok and Lisa Page. They also intend to question Mueller about the FBI's use of the discredited Steele dossier and look to allege that the Trump campaign was unlawfully spied on.