Schiff: Mueller will bring report “to life” during hearings
California Rep. Adam Schiff, the Democratic chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, is expecting special counsel Robert Mueller to bring his exhaustive report “to life” during hours of testimony before Congress this week by offering the American public a compelling, televised account of alleged wrongdoing and unethical behavior by President Trump and his 2016 presidential campaign.
“Since most Americans, you know, in their busy lives haven’t had the opportunity to read that report — and it’s a pretty dry, prosecutorial work product — we want Bob Mueller to bring it to life,” Schiff said on “Face the Nation” Sunday.
While his team did not find the Trump campaign coordinated with the Russian government, Mueller detailed in his 448-page report an apparent willingness by campaign officials to accept help from Kremlin-affiliated individuals, as well as a series of concerted efforts by Mr. Trump to derail — and even thwart — an investigation he believed would doom his presidency.
“It’s a pretty damning set of facts that involve a presidential campaign in a close race welcoming help from a hostile foreign power, not reporting it but eagerly embracing it, building it into their campaign strategy, lying about it to cover up, then obstructing an investigation into foreign interference again to try to cover up,” Schiff said.
The California Democrat believes Mueller — who no longer works for the Justice Department — will be able to effectively describe these details contained in his nuanced report to lawmakers and the public during his two hearings on Capitol Hill on Wednesday.
“Who better to bring them to life than the man who did the investigation himself?” Schiff said, referring to Mueller, who is scheduled to testify before the House Judiciary Committee in the morning and the House Intelligence Community in the afternoon.
Schiff said Mueller’s high-stakes congressional testimony, which had to be postponed from an earlier date in July, will also serve as an indispensable opportunity for the special counsel to talk about his investigation without any interjecting statements from Attorney General William Barr, who Democrats have accused of shielding the president.
Barr and his then-deputy, Rod Rosenstein, made the determination that the evidence against Mr. Trump was “not sufficient” to conclude he had obstructed justice. Mueller did not make a determination on that question, primarily because of longstanding Justice Department policy that says sitting presidents cannot be indicted. Additionally, the attorney general mounted aof Mr. Trump’s actions in a preemptive press conference ahead of the release of Mueller’s report, saying the president faced “an unprecedented situation” throughout the two-year investigation.
“We want the people to hear it directly from [Mueller], not filtered through Bill Barr, who had his own misleading characterization of it, but from the man who did the work himself,” Schiff said.
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