Democrats hoping for explosive testimony of former Special Counsel Robert Mueller on July 17 may end up disappointed. Mueller has previously said his report is “my testimony” and that he won’t go “beyond our report.”
Mueller’s appearance before the House judiciary and intelligence committees will come following a subpoena, according to the committees' respective chairmen, Reps. Jerry Nadler, D-N.Y., and Adam Schiff, D-Calif.
House Democrats have seized on the Mueller report detailing Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election and some have cited possible examples of President Trump’s obstruction of justice, as detailed in the report, as grounds for impeachment.
But the effort to bring a deeply polarizing figure to the Capitol may leave the Democrats empty-handed as Mueller himself stressed during an unprecedented press conference last month that he won’t be adding anything more than what’s already in the report.
"The report is my testimony. I would not provide information beyond that which is already public in any appearance before Congress."
— Robert Mueller
“Now I hope and expect this to be the only time that I will speak to you in this manner. I am making that decision myself. No one has told me whether I can or should testify or speak further about this matter,” Mueller said May 29.
“There has been discussion about an appearance before Congress. Any testimony from this office would not go beyond our report," he continued.
“It contains our findings and analysis and the reasons for the decisions we made. We chose those words carefully and the work speaks for itself. And the report is my testimony. I would not provide information beyond that which is already public in any appearance before Congress.”
Yet Democrats appear to tout Mueller’s upcoming testimony not for any new information he may disclose but because he will repeat the findings of the report in a public forum that will be watched by millions of people.
“Russia attacked our democracy to help Trump win. Trump welcomed and used that help. As Mueller said, that should concern every American,” Schiff wrote in a tweet. “And now, every American will get to hear directly from Mueller.”
But the latest stunt may even backfire as Mueller will also be grilled by Republicans about the allegations of spying on the Trump campaign, the text messages between FBI officials Lisa Page and Peter Strzok, and the salacious dossier penned by former British spy Christopher Steele that they claim eventually paved way to the Russia probe.
Trump’s attorney, Jay Sekulow, echoed Mueller’s previous comments on Tuesday night amid the news of his testimony, saying the testimony is unlikely to differ from the report.
“I don’t think you’re gonna see anything different in his testimony than in his report,” Sekulow said on Fox News' "Hannity." “There are a lot of questions that have to be asked and have to be answered. … I can make a list of 100 questions.”