House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerrold Nadler (D-N.Y.) said special counsel Robert Mueller wants to testify privately about his investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 election.
Nadler was appearing on “The Rachel Maddow Show” on MSNBC Thursday night and said he doesn’t know why Mueller wants to testify privately as opposed to publicly.
“He is willing to make an opening statement but he wants to testify in private,” Nadler said. “We’re saying we think it’s important for the American people to hear from him and to hear his answers to questions about the report.”
Nadler also said that a private Mueller testimony would still come with a transcript that would be publicly made available.
“We’d see a transcript,” he told Maddow.
Rep. Nadler: Mueller wants to testify in private. pic.twitter.com/Wn7YBUK3lQ
— Maddow Blog (@MaddowBlog) May 24, 2019
Nadler along with other Democrats have been pushing Mueller to publicly testify for a number of weeks following the release of his report on his investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 election. But reports came out earlier this week that Mueller was hesitant to appear publicly out of concerns it would seem political.
“He envisions himself, correctly, as a man of great rectitude and apolitical and he doesn’t want to participate in anything that he might regard as a political spectacle,” Nadler said.
“Especially if Republicans on the committee start asking him questions about this stuff, about the beginning of the investigation,” he added.
Nadler said he would subpoena Mueller to testify if the two sides cannot come to an agreement but he did not discuss that plan Thursday night on Maddow’s show.
Mueller has basically been silent during his 22-month investigation that concluded earlier this year.
A public appearance before the committee would be his first comments on the investigation and report, which did not find evidence to conclude that the Trump campaign engaged in criminal collusion with Russia. It would give lawmakers an opportunity to ask follow-up questions for the first time as well.
Credit: The Hill