After months in the making, former special counsel Robert Mueller is scheduled to appear on Capitol Hill on Wednesday as House Democrats say they hope his appearance spurs committees’ ongoing probes of President Trump. Although Mueller has he won’t go beyond the four corners of his 448-page report, House Democrats are expected to shine a spotlight on its most untoward and unpleasant aspects as they try to move the ball in their investigation of Trump. Meanwhile, House Republicans are expected to defend the president and question the origins of Mueller’s 22-month investigation. It is also likely that they will invoke Mueller’s finding that there was no collusion among Trump, his campaign associates and Russians.
Morgan Chalfant looks at 10 questions that lawmakers on the House Judiciary and Intelligence Committees could pose to the former special counsel. Among them:
Whether he would have charged Trump if it weren’t for the Office of Legal Counsel’s opinion that a sitting president cannot be indicted.
Why his office wrote a letter to Attorney General William Barr objecting to his four-page memo detailing the report’s main conclusions.
Whether the investigation exonerated Trump on the questions of collusion and obstruction of justice.
The Hill: Key numbers to know for Mueller's testimony.
James Comey: What I would ask Robert Mueller.
Mueller’s appearance will be time-limited as his team negotiated constraints for the former special counsel with each panel. He is slated to testify before the House Judiciary Committee for three hours and before the House Intelligence Committee for two hours. It is unlikely that all lawmakers on the Judiciary Committee will be able to ask questions due to the time limit.
With Mueller set to testify and comply with a subpoena more than three months after his report was released, House Democrats are defending the looming testimony and do not believe that the country has moved past the report in the meantime. In an interview with “Fox News Sunday,”House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerrold Nalder (D-N.Y.) noted that most people did not read the full report, necessitating Mueller to speak about it publicly.
“The country has not moved on. The president and the attorney general have lied to the American people about what was in the Mueller report,” Nadler said. “That it found no collusion — that was not true. That it found no obstruction — that is not true.”
“People don’t read a 448-page report, and I believe that when people hear what was in the Mueller report then we’ll be in a position to begin holding the president accountable and to make this less of a lawless administration,” he added.
The president, who labeled the investigation “bullshit” during a campaign rally in North Carolina last week, told reporters on Friday that he will not be watching Mueller’s appearance on Wednesday, redirecting the conversation to the House’s vote last week on impeachment. The House voted 332-95 against launching impeachment proceedings, although Rep. Al Green (D-Texas) and Rep. Steve Cohen (D-Tenn.) have vowed to continue the push to impeach the president (The Hill).
Republicans agree with Trump and are hopeful to make the president’s case at the hearings. As Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-Fla.), a top ally of Trump who sits on the House Judiciary Committee, told The New York Times, “We are going to re-elect the president.”