U.S. House Democrats to Focus Mueller Testimony on Trump’s Conduct

Jim Bourg/Reuters

When former U.S. Special Counsel Robert Mueller appears in Congress on Wednesday, House Democrats will try to focus his testimony on clear examples of conduct by President Donald Trump that would lead to criminal charges against any other American.

The strategy, described by Democratic congressional aides at a briefing for reporters on Thursday, is intended to build support among Americans for an investigative agenda that Democrats plan to advance, possibly leading to impeachment proceedings.

Republicans, who say Trump is the victim of a political attack by Democrats and former Justice Department officials, plan to use Mueller’s appearance to explore the origins of his investigation and the politics of his former team.

Mueller, who for nearly two years dug into Russian meddling in the 2016 U.S. presidential election and Trump’s efforts to impede his probe, will appear under subpoena separately before the House of Representatives Judiciary and Intelligence committees.

He is expected to spend about five hours total delivering testimony that is unlikely to stray from the 448-page report he submitted in April.

The former special counsel did not find sufficient evidence to establish that the Trump campaign conspired with Russia and declined to make a judgment that Trump obstructed justice.

However, his report said, “If we had confidence after a thorough investigation of the facts that the president clearly did not commit obstruction of justice, we would so state.”

Democrats contend the report contains shocking descriptions of behavior by the president that most Americans are unaware of, including alleged efforts by campaign officials to welcome and even capitalize on Russian election interference and then try to cover up their actions.

For Democrats, a goal at the hearing will be to get Mueller to help connect evidence pointing to misconduct into a “meaningful and compelling account” for the public, said the aides, who spoke on condition of anonymity.

House Judiciary Democrats will try to get Mueller to focus on five instances of possible obstruction described in the Mueller report including witness tampering, aides said.

The report said Trump tried to remove Mueller and then cover up his actions; sought to persuade former Attorney General Jeff Sessions to direct the Russia probe away from the campaign; and appeared to dangle pardons before former campaign manager Paul Manafort and personal lawyer Michael Cohen while they faced federal prosecution.

FOCUS ON MCGAHN

Much of the questioning will center on former White House Counsel Don McGahn, whom Mueller said Trump directed to remove the special counsel and then to deny he was told to do so. McGahn refused to carry out Trump’s instructions.

Mueller made no determination on whether Trump committed the crime of obstruction in light of a Justice Department ban against indicting sitting presidents. But the former special counsel also did not exonerate Trump.

Democratic Judiciary Committee aides said lawmakers hope to show that some of the president’s actions, which he repeated again and again, would land any other American with a multi-count indictment.

Meanwhile, House Intelligence Committee lawmakers will concentrate on evidence that the Trump campaign allegedly welcomed Russia’s election interference, used the assistance, based campaign messaging on it and then tried to cover up their actions by lying to federal investigators, aides said.

Democrats on the panel will also focus on whether Trump knew when he touted Wikileaks during the campaign that the group possessed emails damaging to his Democratic rival Hillary Clinton that were hacked by Russia, aides said.

(Reporting by David Morgan; editing by Kevin Drawbaugh and Cynthia Osterman)

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General Confusion
Member

Brad: I agree. Bring charges and let the chips fall where they may.

Tom Bodine
Member

Keep digging the hole for yourselves. Thanks The RNC.

Brad
Member

Mueller’s comment is “If we had confidence after a thorough investigation of the facts that the president clearly did not commit obstruction of justice, we would so state.” Does anyone really believe that if they really had ANYTHING…..ANY EVIDENCE AT ALL that if Trump was guilty of an Impeachable Offense that those charges would not have been made by now? There hasn’t even been a leak suggesting ANY EVIDENCE against the POTUS!? Unless you want to include the bald face lies of Adam Schiff and his personal baseless COMMENTS, reinforced by liberal media rhetoric of ABC, NBC, CNN, CNBC and… Read more »

Otis
Member

The Desperatecrats are going to keep on keeping on in the face assured defeat in 2020 because they love to waste time and money while pretending to be doing something important for the country.

Kay
Member

We are headed for a Republican landslide. Open borders, lying for 3 years about a duly elected president, anti semitism and anti American behavior is not who we are. Voter know that.

Sirvando Vargas
Member

Mueller the CON man is going to Prison. NO thought about that. After a Witch Hunt for 2 years, he knew it was a FRAUD from the beginning ,yet continued on his Impeachment Fiasco of the President . Now desperate to save his Tail.

Joey
Guest
Joey

Let me see, so far they have subpoenaed liars, like Cohen, to come in to testify. Now they are getting Mueller the head of a biased team, who now has shown his own bias, to testify and focus on Trumps conduct. Lets look at conduct, we are being invaded by millions of illegals and these very same democrats have opened the border. Just look at the product of that, MS 13 in LA right now. Adam Schiff a long time ago said he had proof that the president colluded and obstructed in the Russian investigation, but has never shown the… Read more »

James
Member

The Left’s pack of mental midgets still have not been told (or shown in pictures) what they were elected to do – – FOR THE PEOPLE OF THE UNITED STATES. Their whining, harassment of this President and wasting millions of dollars to investigate non-issues SHOULD demand the American people vote them ALL out of Office in 2020.

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