Top Democrats in the House are reportedly planning to invite Robert Mueller to testify on Capitol Hill in televised hearings if President Trump takes action to fire the special counsel and shut down the Russia investigation.
— The Hill (@thehill) November 8, 2018
Senior Democratic aides told POLITICO that if Trump fires were to fire Mueller and other Justice Department leadership in a scenario like Richard Nixon’s “Saturday Night Massacre,” Democrats in Congress would take their own steps. They said their response would be to invite Mueller to testify before the House in a televised hearing.
“I think you could expect Democrats to take pieces of what they shut down and expose it publicly,” a senior aide to House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi’s thinking told POLITICO.
“This is a report paid for with taxpayer dollars. So taxpayers would have a right to know what Mr. Mueller found,” the aide added.
Trump has attacked Mueller’s special counsel investigation for many months. He has called the Russia probe a “witch hunt” even though many members of his campaign team have been charged and have pleaded guilty to multiple serious crimes connected to the campaign. His former campaign chairman, Paul Manafort, is in jail. His former lawyer Michael Cohen is awaiting sentencing. Over 30 indictments have been issued by grand juries who have seen the evidence. Clearly Mueller has been extremely productive.
Trump has previously threatened to fire the special counsel, and there have been rumors that has previously attempted to do it on more than one occasion.
The White House has publicly said that the president has no plans to fire Mueller or any other top officials at the Department of Justice. However yesterday Attorney General Jeff Sessions was fired, leading to more speculation that Mueller’s days are numbered.
“As we’ve said many times before, we have no intention of firing the special counsel,” White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said at a press briefing.
“We’ve been beyond cooperative with them, we’re continuing to cooperate with them,” she added.
Rep. Adam Schiff (D-Calif.), who in January will become the new chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, said on MSNBC that Democrats would protect Mueller.
“I think that the chances that Bob Mueller will be able to finish his work improved for the reason that our committee and others like the Government Reform Committee and the Judiciary Committee, which under Republican leadership served as basically surrogates for the president in their efforts to batter down the Justice Department, to give the president a pretext … to fire people in the Justice Department, all of that tearing down of the independence of these institutions is going to end,” Schiff said.
"I think that the chances that Bob Mueller will be able to finish his work improved."
Rep. Adam Schiff is poised to become chairman of the House Intelligence Cmte. when Democrats take control of the House. https://t.co/2ykZi8eQlM
— MSNBC (@MSNBC) November 7, 2018
Schiff then added,
“Now that doesn’t mean the president can’t still act in ways that are antithetical to the rule of law and the interest of justice, but it does mean that we’re better able to protect our institutions and see this investigation, I hope, complete.”
Firing Bob Mueller would be a truly stupid move by Donald Trump, but that doesn’t mean he won’t try to do it. If he does, it may lead to his impeachment. And it also may lead to some very highly rated televised congressional hearings that everyone in the United States would want to watch.
Televising Mueller’s testimony may be the best way for the whole country to find out exactly what the special counsel has learned during his investigations. He may disclose some of the secrets and the incriminating evidence he has uncovered about Donald Trump. He may show America that the president has committed numerous crimes. Televised Mueller hearings could be the biggest “must see TV” event the country has ever seen.
I am a lifelong Democrat with a passion for social justice and progressive issues. I have degrees in writing, economics and law from the University of Iowa.