Special counsel Bob Mueller agreed to testify before Congress next month after two House committees issued subpoenas for his testimony.
“Robert Mueller has agreed to testify before Congress pursuant to subpoena,” tweeted Rep. Adam Schiff, the Democrat who heads the House Intelligence Committee.
Schiff and Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerrod Nadler issued subpoenas to Mueller after he resisted testifying publicly.
“I hope and expect that this is the only time that I will speak to you in this manner,” Mueller said in his only public statement back in May.
Nadler and Schiff wrote in a letter to Mueller on Wednesday that they understood his reservations but demanded that he appear before the public to discuss his report.
“The American public deserves to hear directly from you about your investigation and conclusions,” the letter said. “We will work with you to address legitimate concerns about preserving the integrity of your work, but we expect that you will appear before our committees as scheduled.”
The White House did not comment on the report, but President Trump fired off a context-free tweet Tuesday night after the news broke, declaring, “Presidential Harassment!”
Despite Trump’s apparent dismay at the news, Republicans said they welcomed the testimony.
“Thank God,” Georgia Rep. Doug Collins, the top Republican on the Judiciary Committee, told The New York Times. “We’ve been asking for this for awhile.”
Mueller’s testimony is scheduled for July 17 at 9 am.
What will Mueller say?
Mueller has been notoriously tight-lipped since he was appointed and warned in his May statement that any testimony “would not go beyond our report.”
“It contains our findings and analysis and the reasons for the decisions we made,” Mueller said. “We chose those words carefully, and the work speaks for itself. And the report is my testimony. I would not provide information beyond that which is already public in any appearance before Congress.”
Mueller's report listed 10 possible acts of obstruction of justice by Trump, detailing exactly how the law applies, but ultimately concluded that the special counsel did not have the authority to prosecute the president and only Congress had the authority to enforce the law.
Dems want to speak to Mueller aides, too:
Along with Mueller, Democrats want to hear from his deputies like Andrew Weissman, who prosecuted Paul Manafort, Andrew Goldstein, one of Mueller’s lead prosecutors, Jeannie Rhee, who led the investigation into Russia’s interference in the election, and Michael Dreeben, who represented the Mueller team in court challenges to the special counsel’s authority, Politico reported.
“I think it’s good to get [Mueller] to say as much as he has to say, in his own voice, rather than subordinates,” Ted Kalo, a former Democratic general counsel to the House Judiciary Committee, told the outlet. “If they’re willing to say more, it’s an excellent idea to have them follow up.”