June 12, 2019
When and if former Special Counsel Robert Mueller testifies before Congress, his face will be familiar—but the story he tells won’t be, according to findings of a CNN poll fielded in May, which found that fully 75% of Americans have not read the Mueller report on Russian interference into the last presidential election and obstruction of justice by the Trump administration.
Most legislators have failed to read the 448-page document, either.
But that doesn’t include House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerry Nadler (D-New York)—who told Democratic leaders at a closed-door meeting this past week that he could issue a subpoena to within two weeks to Mueller, if he is unable to reach an agreement to secure the former special counsel’s public testimony, according to two sources familiar with the meeting, Politico reported.
Nadler’s comments clarified whether the chairman had considered compelling Mueller’s attendance at a public hearing. The committee is still negotiating with Mueller, who, according to Nadler, is thus far only willing to answer lawmakers’ questions in private—a nonstarter for most House Democrats.
The sources cautioned the news outlet that the committee has not settled yet on a timetable for a potential subpoena to Mueller. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-California) hosted the meeting, and four other committee chairs were in attendance.
However, according to Politico’s sources, Nadler told reporters that he was “confident” Mueller will appear before his panel, and that he would issue a subpoena “if we have to.”
“We want him to testify openly. I think the American people need that,” Nadler added. “I think, frankly, it’s his duty to the American people. And we’ll make that happen.”
This week, the committee began to hear testimony related to the report, in an effort to educate the American public.
In addition, Nadler said that, with the threat of a civil contempt citation from the committee hanging over his head, Attorney General William Barr had agreed to release the underlying documents to the report, which had been requested by the House Judiciary Committee back in April.
However, on June 11, word came out that the White House would work with the Department of Justice to decide exactly how much (and what type of) material would be released—leaving the actual evidence that the committee would be permitted to see in question yet again.
Research contact: @politico