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House Democrats have finally compelled special counsel Robert Mueller to testify before the Judiciary and Intelligence Committees next month in an appearance eagerly anticipated by the anti-Trump #Resistance.
Judiciary chair Jerrold Nadler and Intelligence chair Adam Schiff cornered the reluctant special counsel with a pair of subpoenas accompanied by an almost cartoonishly deferential letter praising Mueller for “admirably limit[ing] public comment while the Special Counsel’s Office’s work was ongoing” and promising to “work with [him] to address legitimate concerns about preserving the integrity of [his] work.” The apologetic missive lamented that it had become “necessary” to use legal means to compel his testimony, but noted he had had plenty of warning that the summons was coming.
Mueller has stated he wants the 440-plus pages of the report his office delivered months ago to speak for itself, and even seemed to warn those who would force his testimony that it would not diverge from the contents of the report during a press conference last month. But his failure to deliver the long-anticipated proof of “Russian collusion” has been a burr under Democrats’ saddles ever since that report dropped. While the special counsel found no basis to charge President Donald Trump with any crimes based on the two-year investigation, the inclusion of multiple scenarios potentially interpretable as obstruction of justice has convinced Democrats that there is, in fact, a “there” there, if they can only tease it out of Mueller. The special counsel has seemingly done his best to fuel these suspicions, resigning last month with the cryptic statement that “if we had confidence that the president clearly did not commit a crime, we would have said so.”
Schiff took to Twitter after Mueller “agreed to testify,” boasting about the great service he had performed for the American people. The #Resistance rushed to tweet their gratitude, flooding his post with “Thanks!” and “Finally!” while others pointed out that Mueller didn’t exactly have a choice – subpoenas aren’t optional.
“We look forward to hearing his testimony, as do all Americans,” Nadler gushed in his own Twitter victory lap, basking in #Resistance adoration. Fans suggested questions to ask the taciturn special counsel, vowed to take the July 17 hearing date off work (“Happy Birthday to me!” one enthused), and urged Congress to provide “added security” for Mueller over the next month – lest “Barr, trump Putin or the furry rotten complicit GOP” try to take him out before then.
Others were more realistic, pointing out that Mueller has had two years to expose the crimes (or lack thereof) of Donald Trump. “Robert Mueller will not save us,” Senator Brian Schatz (D-Hawaii) lamented. “‘We got him this time!’ They said for the 80th time,” another user joked.
And the president’s defenders were more pointed in their criticism. “Robert Mueller will be eaten alive on the stand by Republicans,” one user anticipated.
But hope springs eternal, and many appeared certain that this time Trump would be swept into the dustbin of history. ”Impeachment inquiry begins on July 18?”