Democrats will get to hear from special counsel Robert Mueller next month, getting their long-awaited chance to seize on the Russia scandal in what is seen as a potentially risky stunt to inflict political damage to President Donald Trump.
Mueller’s long-anticipated testimony, which is to take place on Capitol Hill on July 17, was announced late on Tuesday. It deals a blow to Trump, who has claimed the special counsel’s report fully exonerated him.
Democrats on their part are hopeful that Mueller’s public appearance will do what his report failed to – move Americans against President Trump. It could also nudge more Democrats into supporting opening impeachment proceedings against Trump, CNN informs.
“Our interest is for the American people to hear it from him. There has been a campaign of misrepresentation by Attorney General Barr … by the President, who keeps saying the report found no collusion, no obstruction. That’s not true either way,” House Judiciary Chairman Jerry Nadler said on “Cuomo Prime Time.”
Following the announcement about the special counsel’s hearing, Trump tweeted a claim he has been making for some time now, that it represented “presidential harassment.”
Democratic Representative Raja Krishnamoorthi, who sits on the House Intelligence Committee, applauded the announcement, saying that Mueller had “credibility in a town where sometimes it feels like the truth doesn’t matter anymore.”
However, some political and legal experts say that the Democratic subpoena to Mueller could backfire, considering he made no conclusions on collusion and has refused to deviate from the 448-page report made public in April, Fox News writes.
Republican Senator Lindsay Graham said late on Monday that for him it was “case closed.”
“The bottom line is, after all of your looking and all the time you had and all the money you spent, did Trump collude with the Russians? No – Do you stand by your report? – Yes,” he said for Fox’s Sean Hannity. “They can do anything they want to in the House, and I think it will blow up in their face.”