On Tuesday evening, House Judiciary Committee Chairman Rep. Jerry Nadler (D-N.Y.) announced that Special Counsel Robert Mueller will testify before Congress next month in two hearings: before the Judiciary Committee and before the House Intelligence Committee. Democratic presidential candidates welcomed his testimony, but President Donald Trump seemed justly irritated.
“Well my reaction is it never ends, we had no obstruction, we had no collusion, we had a report that was – you know, considering it had 18 people that hated Donald Trump and you had Mueller that obviously was not a Trump fan, not a Trump person, how these people were picked is, you know, by itself incredible,” Trump told Fox Business’s Maria Bartiromo on Wednesday morning.
“And yet the report is no collusion, no obstruction, which was ruled on by our great attorney general,” Trump continued. “He’s great, he’s doing a fantastic job in many other ways too. But he ruled on it, he read it, he saw it and he ruled on the report and based on the report there was no obstruction whatsoever. And of course it’s hard to have obstruction when you have no crime, we can also add that, he didn’t rule on that basis, he just ruled on it that there’s no obstruction. But you had no event.”
“You didn’t have crime, you had crime on the other side, OK, if you want to know the truth,” he concluded.
As news of the hearings broke, Trump tweeted, “Presidential Harassment!”
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) June 26, 2019
Democrats running for president in 2020 welcomed the forthcoming testimony. Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.) responded to news of the hearings with a one-word tweet: “Good.”
— Amy Klobuchar (@amyklobuchar) June 26, 2019
Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) also welcomed the testimony. “The Mueller report made clear that the president obstructed justice multiple times. If he were anyone else, he’d be in handcuffs. Attorney General Barr can try to cover for the president all he wants, but the American people deserve to hear the full truth from Mueller himself,” she tweeted.
The Mueller report made clear that the president obstructed justice multiple times. If he were anyone else, he'd be in handcuffs. Attorney General Barr can try to cover for the president all he wants, but the American people deserve to hear the full truth from Mueller himself.
— Elizabeth Warren (@ewarren) June 26, 2019
Pete Buttigieg, the mayor of South Bend, Ind. and a surprise standout in the 2020 Democratic primary, also approved of the testimony. “I certainly think that there is value to members of Congress being able to ask him, ‘What did you mean when you said these things?'” Buttigieg told MSNBC. He suggested Mueller’s “clinical” language was vague.
WATCH: Pete Buttigieg discusses fmr. Special Counsel Robert Mueller agreeing to testify publicly before US House cmtes. on July 17.
— MSNBC (@MSNBC) June 26, 2019
Many Democrats have welcomed Mueller’s report as a “roadmap to impeachment.”
Sebastian Gorka, former deputy assistant to the president and a Fox News contributor, suggested one important question for “EVERY” Republican member of Congress. He would ask Mueller, “explain how you didn’t have a conflict of interest accepting the position of Special Prosecutor the day after you interviewed with [Donald Trump] and failed to get your old FBI job Director’s back.”
Only 1 question EVERY @GOP member needs to ask Robert Mueller:
– Explain how you didn’t have a conflict of interest accepting the postion of Special Prosecutor the day after you interviewed with @realDonaldTrump and failed to get your old FBI job Director’s back. https://t.co/chA8zOqhox
— Sebastian Gorka DrG (@SebGorka) June 26, 2019
According to former Fox News host Bill O’Reilly, Trump also thinks Mueller may continue to hold a grudge against the president over a $15,000 golf club payment. Republicans should ask hard-hitting questions.
The Mueller testimony is likely to draw a great deal of attention in Washington, D.C., but fewer and fewer Americans actually care that much about the report or the collusion narrative. The publication of the Mueller report did not make a dent on Trump’s popularity, despite constant obsessive coverage in the media.
It is unlikely Mueller will say anything to move the needle decisively toward impeachment, but his responses to hostile Republican questions could prove revealing. While Trump sees the testimony as “Presidential Harassment,” there’s a chance it may actually help him.
Follow Tyler O’Neil, the author of this article, on Twitter at @Tyler2ONeil.