This morning, prominent House Judiciary Committee member David Cicilline appeared on the Chris Wallace show and stated that he expects Special Counsel Robert Mueller will testify before the committee on May 15th. After this was widely interpreted as Mueller having agreed to testify on that date, Cicilline clarified on Twitter that it’s merely the committee’s expectation, and that Mueller hasn’t yet formally agreed to it. That said – wow – it really is Mueller time. So now what?
When the news leaked last week that Robert Mueller was negotiating directly with the House Judiciary Committee about testifying, the GOP realized they were being left out in the cold, so Trump lackey Lindsey Graham promptly sent a public letter inviting Mueller to testify before the Republican-controlled Senate Judiciary Committee. Mueller may not be so inclined, after the way Graham and his fellow Republicans tried to help prop up William Barr’s lies about the Mueller report last week.
The fact that House Democrats are still talking openly about working with Mueller to schedule his testimony, even as Senate Republicans try to pounce, suggests that Mueller may have already signaled to the Democrats that he has no intention of testifying before the Senate. We’ll see if Graham tries to subpoena him. But Mueller could drag such a fight out for awhile, meaning that even if he did eventually have to appear before Graham’s committee, it would come long after his House testimony had a chance to sink in for American viewers.
In any case, barring some snag, we’re now just ten days from Robert Mueller sitting in front of a Democratic Party-controlled House committee and telling the live TV audience at home what his real findings and conclusions are about Donald Trump’s crime spree. The power of television, and the massive audience for such a landmark TV event, will allow Mueller’s words to have a huge influence over America’s views on Trump’s status as a criminal and the prospects for impeachment.
Bill Palmer is the publisher of the political news outlet Palmer Report