Congressional hearings on Robert Mueller’s report on the investigation into Russia’s meddling in the 2016 U.S. presidential election take place in coming days, amid mounting pressure to launch proceedings that could lead to the impeachment of President Donald Trump.
But Mueller, the special counsel who recently stepped down after completing the report, will not testify before the House Judiciary Committee, which is holding a hearing in Washington Monday entitled “Lessons from the Mueller Report: Presidential Obstruction and Other Crimes.”
The panel will, instead, hear testimony from former U.S. attorneys and other legal experts, including John Dean, the star witness in the early 1970s Watergate hearings and former White House counsel for then-President Richard Nixon. The committee says the witnesses will discuss the report’s evidence that Trump often tried to obstruct or limit the probe, which reinforced the U.S. intelligence community’s conclusion that Russia interfered in the election with the intent of helping Trump win the presidency.
On Wednesday, the House Intelligence Committee will also hold a “Lessons from the Mueller Report” hearing. It’s focus will be on the “counterintelligence implications” of Mueller’s findings, the committee said. Mueller, nor members of his team, will testify but the panel will hear from former top FBI officials Robert Anderson and Stephanie Douglas.
Both committees are chaired by Democrats, who represent a party that is divided over what to do with Mueller. He has refused to testify before Congress out of concern he may be exploited for political reasons. Most House Democrats believe Mueller is obligated to explain his findings to the public as the party considers issuing a subpoena to compel him to testify.
Efforts by the committees to get more information about Mueller’s findings have been largely obstructed by Trump’s claims of executive privilege and by ordering key witnesses to refuse to testify or submit documents.
Trump’s actions have prompted the most liberal members of the House to increase pressure on Speaker Nancy Pelosi to begin a process that could lead to impeaching the president. But Pelosi has dismissed that approach, preferring a slower, more methodical strategy that includes litigation.