Democrats Don’t WANT Mueller to Testify
When Attorney General William Barr decided not to testify voluntarily before the House Judiciary Committee after they had changed the rules at the last minute, Democrats made a huge deal out of it. The committee voted to hold him in contempt for not turning over the entire unredacted Mueller report, even though they hadn’t taken advantage of the opportunity to read almost the entire thing, and even though it contained grand jury material that would have been illegal to release. However, when they failed to reach an agreement with special counsel Robert Mueller to testify sometime soon, Democrats simply backed away from the idea. As much as they said they wanted to talk to him, I think they’ve reconsidered and realize that it might not be such a good idea.
That’s because the Republicans get to ask questions, too. And I would be popping the popcorn for that.
Oh, the Democrats on the committee will still PRETEND that they want to talk with him, but it will no longer be that important that he come in. When committee chairman Jerrold Nadler was asked if Mueller would be testifying before Memorial Day recess, which starts next Friday, he simply said, “I would assume not.” Gosh, he didn’t bring up anything at all about subpoenaing Mueller or holding him in contempt.
It would have been great for Republicans to be able to ask him details concerning why he put his team together the way he did --- bringing in disreputable Hillary supporter Andrew Weissmann to lead the group and letting him make all the hiring decisions --- and why he looked only at Russian “collusion” as it might have involved the Trump campaign, not Hillary’s at all, when that’s where the actual evidence was. Oh, and when did Mueller realize that there really was no evidence supporting a Russian conspiracy with Trump, and why did he continue anyway?
I’m sure there are many other questions the Republicans would like to ask Mueller. But it’s looking as though they won’t get the chance. Trump tweeted on May 5 that Mueller “should not testify,” but I wonder if he’s rethought that in the days since. The point may be moot, as it sure doesn’t look as though Mueller will come in.
Bill Barr told the Wall Street Journal on Thursday that it’s up to Mueller to decide whether or not to appear before lawmakers. (In that, he’s being consistent, as it was his decision not to testify as well. Of course, that was after the committee changed the rules to have staff attorneys grill him instead of asking all the questions themselves.) “It’s Bob’s call whether he wants to testify,” he said.
By the way, Bill Hemmer’s outstanding interview with Barr that ran Friday morning on FOX News is not to be missed. It’ll sure inspire confidence that Barr knows exactly what he’s dealing with and what he needs to do. Here it is: