U.S. Special Counsel Robert Mueller makes a statement on his investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 U.S. presidential election at the Justice Department in Washington, U.S., May 29, 2019.
The chairman of the House Judiciary Committee says he expects special counsel Robert Mueller to have "a profound impact" when he testifies before Congress on July 17, even though Mueller has said he won't provide any new information.
He issued a report, a redacted version of which was made public in April, that concluded the Trump campaign had not colluded with Russian Federation during the election, but reached no conclusion on the question of obstruction of justice.
The chairman of the House Judiciary and Intelligence Committees announced the deal Tuesday night.
"If we had had confidence that the president had clearly not committed a crime, we would have said so", said Mueller, adding, "Charging the president with a crime is not an option we could consider".
Democrats vehemently disagree with that reading, and hope to entice Mr. Mueller to say so in his appearance.
Others were more realistic, pointing out that Mueller has had two years to expose the crimes (or lack thereof) of Donald Trump. "May this testimony bring to House Democrats the closure that the rest of America has enjoyed for months".
Representative Jerrold Nadler, chairman of the judiciary panel, and Representative Adam Schiff, head of the intelligence panel, said in a joint statement that Mueller had agreed to testify after the two committees issued subpoenas on June 25. He has since been accused of abusing his position to protect Trump and painting Mueller's findings as less significant than they were. However, he had also said that he wished to no speak publicly on the matter. "So I guess the question here is: Mueller has said, 'I'm just going to tell you what is in the report again, and again and again.' So why?" Likewise, he and his collaborators analyzed whether the head of the White House obstructed justice, as political opponents of the Republican president consider. Why didn't Mueller subpoena the president to testify personally?
It will be the first time Mueller has been questioned by Congress over his report into Russian interference in the US election. Any intelligent homo sapiens could have figured out already that Mueller believes this, given both his report and his May news conference, in which he pointedly said the report did not exonerate Trump on that charge.