News and Commentary

Schumer, Pelosi Demand Robert Mueller Testify Before Congress

Democrats didn’t get what they wanted from the Special Counsel investigation. President Donald Trump wasn’t indicted or impeached. The 2016 election wasn’t overturned due to collusion. Hillary Clinton still isn’t president.

So, what’s the party to do when it doesn’t get its way? Demand Special Counsel Robert Mueller testify before Congress.

While this wouldn’t be out of the ordinary – he conducted the investigation, so it seems right that he would be the best person to answer questions about it – the reasoning Democrat leaders gave for demanding Mueller testify is odd, to say the least.

“Attorney General [William] Barr’s regrettably partisan handling of the Mueller report, including his slanted March 24th summary letter, his irresponsible testimony before Congress last week, and his indefensible plan to spin the report in a press conference later this morning – hours before he allows the public or Congress to see it – have resulted in a crisis of confidence in his independence and impartiality,” House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer wrote in a statement.

“We believe the only way to begin restoring public trust in the handling of the Special Counsel’s investigation is for Special Counsel Mueller himself to provide public testimony in the House and Senate as soon as possible,” the continued. “The American people deserve to hear the truth.”

First, let’s take a step back and examine the first sentence in the statement. Pelosi and Schumer don’t like how Barr handled the report. They claim he wrote a “slanted March 24th summary letter.” Did he? He did write a summary letter on March 24th, but it simply said Mueller found no evidence of collusion and insufficient evidence to support a charge of obstruction. Barr wrote that the report “did not exonerate” Trump. How is that slanted?

Further, I’m guessing Barr’s “irresponsible testimony before Congress” was in reference to his use of the term “spying.” Democrats hyperventilated over that term, and left-wing media pundits objected to using that term over “surveillance,” as if there was much of a difference.

Finally, Pelosi and Schumer claim Barr is attempting to “spin” the report before its released by holding a press conference. Seems like a pretty poor plan to mislead people about a report that will be easily fact-checked within hours.

Pelosi and Schumer follow Russia-collusion conspiracy theorists Adam Schiff’s (D-CA) calls for Mueller to testify. Back in late February, Schiff threatened to call Mueller to testify if the Special Counsel didn’t release his final report. There was never a question about whether the report would be released in full (minus legally required redactions), but Schiff needed his name in the papers.

What happens when Mueller – who has literally been treated like a religious icon by Democrats and anti-Trump Republicans the past two years – testifies before Congress and still doesn’t give them what they want? No amount of questioning or temper tantrums are going to change the fact that after a two-year investigation, not one person associated with Trump was indicted for colluding with Russia.