Mueller to Testify to Congress, Setting Up a Political Spectacle

Jun 25, 2019 · 620 comments
carlg (Va)
If Republicans held the house and Clinton was president she would have been impeached in her first month in office. Had she done even one of the 10 listed potential charges she would have been impeached again.
sabean (Greenville, SC)
Assigned reading for every American: The Mueller Report!
Bill (Terrace, BC)
Even if Mueller simply recites what he said in his report, it will be quite damning. The fact that the Liar-in-Chief is already trying to attack Mueller's credibility is proof of that.
dutchiris (Berkeley, CA)
Of course, Robert Mueller agreed to testify. He was subpoenaed to appear before House committees to testify, and, unlike the Trump coterie, he is an honorable man who respects and obeys the law. He already stated that everything he had to say was in the report, and he might not be forthcoming with further evidence against Trump, but if he is asked he will answer, and he will not lie.
R.G. Frano (NY, NY)
Re: '...His 448-page written report, Mr. Mueller asserted, should speak for itself..." I've read parts of the Barr Report; ...when do we get to read the Mueller report? Before I forget: As a U.S. voter_citizen I can finally say I've seen a Republican I can admire / MIGHT consider voting for, were he running for office: when subpoenaed, Mr. Muller DIDN'T blow, if off; ...He said, (in, effect), "...what's convenient, schedule wise, for everyone??"...and...presto! He'll be testifying on the 17, and/or, later dates, unless the Trump Administration tries to prevent his testifying! As a Pvt. Citizen, I HOPE Mr. Mueller laughs at Trump, if Trump tries to prevent this lawful accounting!
Asher Fried (Croton On Hudson NY)
The Democrats must meticulously prepare for this hearing. Mueller will,play it close to the he has warned. However, although he is certain that his Report answers all questions, his answers are not apparent to even careful readers; he will have to clarify specific points if properly posed to him. What the Democrats must not expect is an opinion or characterization of Trump’s conduct as criminal. Mueller’s report is clear on this point: he did not consider the legal and factual questions to reach such a conclusion. The questions must elicit his opinion as to process: does he believe that Congress should investigate both “collusion” (;this may be contacts which are not illegal,but pose conflicts of interest) and obstruction of justice; does he believe that Congress should have access to all the evidence he developed if they proceed to so investigate.
gary e. davis (Berkeley, CA)
Congress should insist that Mueller speak as expert witness, no longer as Special Council. The Special Council Report speaks for itself. But Robert Mueller has the right to speak for himself about that report. As expert prosecutor and former FBI director, he is entitled—also as citizen expert witness—to express views to Congress ABOUT the Special Council report. The Congressional Justice and Intelligence Committees need the views of that expert prosecutor. offering his citizen opinion. Congress should make the difference between exited role (Special Council) and ongoing expertise clear, and urge citizen Mueller to speak as expert witness. Apparently, Americans will be asked, in 2020, whether or not to re-elect a man whom tens of expert prosecutors believe is culpable for multiple crimes, apart from violations of the Oath of Office—too many "misdemeanors" to count, it seems (and a pathological degree of lying that insults the U.S. system of government, if not rising to the level of "high crimes"). Americans deserve to appreciate that Dept. of Justice policy should not be weaponized to prevent a citizen from expressing, as incomparable expert, what normal prosecutorial reasoning compels.
Alexandra Hamilton (NY)
The main purpose is not to reveal new information, it is to have Mueller give his findings out loud on national TV so the audience can hear them without having to read hundreds of pages or having select bits quoted to them out of context by pundits. The hope is that the audience will accept that the Russians actually did meddle in our elections, that Trump’s campaign staff and family did have a number of Russian ties even if there was no collusion, and that the report did NOT clear Trump of obstruction. It’s not anything new but it is a chance for the report’s conclusions to be communicated in a way even Trump supporters can hear and accept.
RHernandez (Santa Barbara, Calif)
Mueller should have been subpoenaed weeks ago. Russia is trying to destroy our democracy, and they favor their Manchurian Candidate, Trump. Trump desperately trying to keep the dam from breaking and unleashing a flood of information that will unleash a torrent of information that will begin to crumble his financial and criminal empire. When cornered, Trump tends to make threats, cage children or look for wars because he believes it will take the heat off of all the investigations against the Trump Crime Family. Also, there are civil lawsuits, including those for sexual abuse. There is no reason why the American people shouldn't hear Mueller testify so people, who paid taxes to pay for his salary, can find out how their money was spent and its conclusions. The American people should keep in mind that Mueller and the current Attorney General Barr are pals and have known each other from their days at the DOJ. So, don't expect Mueller to interpret hard facts or make strong statements against Barr's distortions and lies to protect Trump. This is a pretty precarious time for America since Trump is looking for a war. He is a nefarious and mentally unstable man who would start a war in that region with Iran and shutdown world economies. Worse, Trump has no qualms about sacrificing other people's kids in a war or creating millions of more refugees. Meanwhile, Pelosi is taking a political approach to a Constitutional dilemma of impeachment. America is in perilous times.
'...whether he believed he had enough evidence to charge Mr. Trump if he were not president.' If the committee(s) can get an answer out of Mueller on this question alone, the hearings will be worth it.
arusso (or)
Is it in the realm of possibility that some of the people involved in this process may actually be interested in the truth of the events that Mueller investigated, and are not simply playing politics? I, for one, would seriously like to know what happened so I can make an informed decision about what should be done. I am weary of the posturing, positioning, and constant attempts to undermine the credibility of, well, pretty much everyone involved in this process on both sides. If there is no one we can trust then no information is useful, so whether or not there were crimes or inappropriate behaviors we cannot know with any certainty one way or the other. So we just throw our hands up, "Oh well", and move on? Something must change!!
brownpelican28 (Angleton, Texas)
Robert Mueller’s appearance before Congress can be what ever the political winds dictate. As usual, Trump calls Mueller’s appearance “Presidential Harrassment.” Nothing new there; certainly no truth. However, hopefully, one’s sees the last days of Trump as President. The 2020 Election could be the year of private citizen Trump as America votes him out of the Oval Office and back to his private kingdom-Trump World, Mar A Largo, also known as Fantasy Island!
Jay Marciano (Silver Spring Md)
There is fire in the belly’s of immigrants who risk their lives on their way north. A 24 month old dies with her dad after their car veered off the road in ElSavador. Every day at the community college I work at- I meet with students from all over the world taking the steps to better their lives. They do not come here to play golf... no they hope to get out of the sand traps that pull them down in their homelands. I have faces-hundreds - to put on these dangers aliens. These alien criminals like John Wilkes Booth, Tim Mcvey, Lee Harvey Oswald, J Hinkley, all felons who killed in Pitts, Florida, Sandy Hook, Columbine... the list of American citizens who inflicted pain on other Americans... people. Just read Robert Mullers second section of his report. Some of these are right out of The Godfather. These are not behaviors of the dead Salvadorans dad wantedfor his daughter. These are not the reasons they and thousands of others come to the US for. They are leaving their countries to get away from the Don Corleone “kiss my ring” loyalty practices. The City on the Hill? The raised arm of Liberty in NY harbor. This is not about agreeing with each other. It is time for Mr Muller to speak. Democrats and Republicans not to grandstand at the hearings. Stop letting the grand standing in the way of the truth. When their is pain at the border or death strikes on the journey northward it will not have been in vain. Jay Marciano, Maryland
Alice's Restaurant (PB San Diego)
The dude has got to be feeling his age at this point and quite weary after being dragged through Comey's snipe hunt for the last two years. Another piñata party for the House, it seems. Hope he makes it to the party. Whatever else might happen or be said, no question it will be another "Ace in the Hole" for our Sovietized mass-media.
Cmary (Chicago)
Our free press has not been Sovietized, as you describe it. That would mean it functions as a propaganda arm of the government. Only Fox News does that. The current president’s lack of respect for the First Amendment and his continuous denigration of the American news media suggests he would like the press to act as it does it Putin’s Russia. But as citizen of this country who depends on hearing the truth, I personally am glad we do not follow Russia’s example, much as Trump would prefer it be so.
DR (New England)
@Alice's Restaurant - Perhaps he shouldn't have run for President and cozied up to the Russians while he was doing so. Just a thought.
M (CA)
Democrats wasting time on this nothingburger while doing nothing for the children at the border. Typical.
Alexandra Hamilton (NY)
Democrats just passed an aid package for the border that the Republican senators voted down.
Topher S (St. Louis, MO)
Actually funding has been approved for them. It's highly ironic that you're accusing the Dems when it's Trump's policies that caused the problem and Mitch McConnell who refuses to let any legislation move into the Senate from the House.
David (Philadelphia)
Democrats and other compassionate Americans have sent lots of supplies to these innocent imprisioned children. ICE, Trump’s enforcers, would not let any of the supplies through.
John Gilday (Nevada)
Have a feeling this may do more damage to the democrats than they can imagine.
lauren (wa)
yes, because the Republicand ignore the facts and truth.
Since when is the appearance by the author of the definitive report on the crimes of the century a “political spectacle”? If this be spectacle, then give me more of it!
GMooG (LA)
@JRB Since when? Ever since everyone with a brain realized that Mueller is (a) not going to say one word that is not in the report, and (b) not going to win the election for the Dems.
lauren (wa)
all Obama had to do was wear a tan suit one day then Fox and Republicans went into spinout overdrive. Trumo lies on a daily basis. disrespects anyone not loyal to him. even a deceased former POW and that's alright???
bea durand (planet earth)
Witch Hunt, Presidential Harassment, and all of the other names Trump has assigned to the investigation of Russian interference in our 2016 election. He doesn't like it. His staff and family say he has been treated far worse than anyone. Ever! He suffers because the Democrats are sore losers. Yet he still does not condemn the Russians for their involvement. In fact, he denies it even when US intelligence data says it happened. Mr. Trump, do you recall when you started questioning Obama's place of birth ? Did you not harassment Mr. Obama on a daily basis to show his birth certificate (the long one because you wouldn't accept the short version)? Do you think that was bothersome, that he didn't like it, that his family was also dragged into your made up conspiracy? We know that you were setting yourself up for a presidential run. And when you finally "sort of" reluctantly gave up about Mr. Obama's place of birth, yet still today do not give a solid yes answer to that question, and call him out almost daily on his supposed failings while in office. Do you not consider these things to be Presidential Harassment? Well Mr. Trump, I guess the old, "what goes around comes around" still holds true. So it seems that you will just have to suck it up, and grin and bare it.
SCPro (Florida)
@bea durand I would rather see him take steps to secure the 2020 election from outside influence than to hear him admit that Obama failed miserably at this task. But honestly, what power does the President have to prevent social media from being a source of foreign propaganda?
Pete (CT)
Mr. Mueller should give each committee member a complete un-redacted copy of his report.
Derac (Chicago, IL)
Just impeach. Its your job Congress. Trump has done enough things to warrant it. Just do it and get it out in public.
GP (nj)
It comes down to the pointed questions Mueller will faithfully answer. Not sure at this time who gets to throw out questions, but I hope AOC gets a shot.
Character Counts (USA)
You can add yet another count of obstruction to Trump's impeachment rap sheet, and also slander of Mr. Mueller. Just goes to show you just how much Trump has to lose if the truth comes out, since he's willing to commit more and more offenses in public. He either gets reelected or gets indicated. He's all-in now.
Rex Daley (NY)
Do former presidents still get Secret Service protection if they are in jail?
AACNY (New York)
I look forward to Mueller's being asked about the claim that he "couldn't" recommend charges. Barr said he asked Mueller several times about this, and Mueller said it wasn't the reason. Will democrats accept the fact that Mueller simply decided not to recommend charges because of a weak case, say? Democrats may not like what they hear.
Doremus Jessup (On the move)
Semper Fi Always faithful, always loyal. Guess you've forgotten that, right Mr. Mueller? It's very sad that you had to be subpoenaed to speak to the American people. I hope your faithfulness and your loyalties haven't been misplaced.
AACNY (New York)
@Doremus Jessup You could have just read the report.
David (Philadelphia)
The heavily-censored report that Barr edited, redacted and tried to completely suppress?
DR (New England)
@Doremus Jessup - Mueller is supposed to be loyal to the U.S. and its constitution. He owes no loyalty to anyone who engages in activities that harm our country.
The Newseum (Florida)
Yes he will, No he will not, Yes , No, Yes, No..... Finally Mueller is going to testify. Mueller agree'd to testify before congress in Trump-Russia probe
Robert (Out west)
I’m looking forward to the shrieks of inchoate rage from Trump and Trumpists, myself. Guess the bellowing fog on Iran and the border didn’t work as well as expected, eh? This goes on, the rubes may even remember that North Korea’s still piling up nukes, China’s still expanding its power, Putin’s swelling into the Mideast, and that Big Trade Revamp with Canada and Mexico is still sitting over at Senate, going noplace. Might even start wondering about the smoking departure of the DOD head from Boeing, or that all those pricey F-35s are gonna need several million bucks’ worth of repairs apiece, or that we are literally complicit in killing kids at our border because nobody at ICE knows what the heck they’re supposed to be doing. I am looking forward to the shrieking.
GMooG (LA)
@Robert The only shrieking will come from the Dems, when they (finally) realize they overplayed their hand. Mueller isn't going to say a word that isn't in the report. Our Congressmonkeys will do their darndest to try to get Mueller to say that Trump obstructed justice, is a criminal, whatever, but if history is any guide, they won't be able to ask a single coherent question. This will be the Dems' "Let's get OJ to try on the glove" moment.
lauren (wa)
never heard the term "Dems" until Trump disrespectfully began to. Now he has parrots without conscuence.
Patrick (TX)
Nothing will come of these hearings; it will just be grandstanding from both sides and Mueller will give them nothing they want. He's tight-lipped and plays by the book, so he will not comment on ongoing investigations/litigation (e.g., the upcoming Roger Stone trial) nor will he disclose anything remotely national-security-sensitive. Also, I envision a lot of "that's not for me to decide" to questions such as, "did you intend for Congress to open an impeachment inquiry?" This will be a media spectacle bearing little to no fruit.
Robert (Out west)
Gee, makes you wonder why Trump would scream about it then, don’t it?
GP (nj)
@Patrick Maybe someone will ask Mueller about his gut feelings. I believe that is the quest.
Bethannm (connecticut)
@Patrick Unfortunately, I agree. I think also Robert Mueller will be dragged through the mud by Republicans and by the White House, which has already begun and is a huge injustice to him. I wonder how many times we’re going to have to listen to them whining about crooked Hillary’s emails, Obama failures, etc. and how they weren’t treated so poorly. So tiresome and sad. The only justice we’ll have is if he loses in 2020, and even then they will only leave kicking and screaming and whining about how unfairly they were treated.
Jules (California)
The headline sets an expectation of new, potentially shocking information being revealed. Doubtful. It's all laid out in Mueller's report, and I expect zero new revelations. If they won't begin impeachment based on the report, Mueller in-person isn't going to change anything.
Citizen (Fairfax CA)
I look forward to someday seeing Trump in handcuffs. But Mueller has stated unequivocally that there is NOTHING he will add in public testimony to what appeared in the report. Does anyone really believe that after 2 years of virtual silence Mueller will reveal ANYTHING not already stated? Will this be an exercise in repeating the same questions enough times that a different answer will somehow slip out? Hopefully I'm wrong and something will be revealed that the Democrats can take to the bank. Republicans would have gleefully tarred and feathered both Clintons over trifles. What would the penalties for Trump be if the same standards were applied?
Ross Simons (pascagoula, ms)
@Citizen I don't think it's about additional information, but about having a story told to viewers or listeners unable or unwilling to plow through 400 pages of government legalese. For this to do any good, however, the show should have been put on at or near the time AG Barr spun his fable. The Medium is the Message. Credit to Marshall McLuhan.
David (Philadelphia)
Marshall McLuhan followed that in 1967 with “The Medium Is The Massage,” and that’s exactly what it became.
Michael (Evanston, IL)
Now, if the Democrats can just get Mueller to speak in clear, non-legalese English, free of double negatives. Even so, the optics of the Mueller investigation have already been manipulated by the Republicans to their advantage. The Democrats, proceeding with plodding, risk-avoidance prudence, have allowed the Trump organization to control the narrative, and the reluctant Mueller isn’t likely to rock the boat with any revelations. And how hard on him are the Dems likely to be? The Democratic strategy has been to circle the wagons and wait with fingers crossed for Trump to implode. But in response to the Mueller announcement, Trump has already released an offensive barrage calling Mueller’s upcoming testimony a personal attack on him which means an attack on his base. “They are really going after you,” he said to supporters at his Orlando rally. That may be all he needs to reduce Mueller's testimony to another dull thud – and to win the battle. Trump stays one step ahead with preemptive strikes. Whatever Mueller says will be re-framed, amplified, and beamed to his base. More red meat for their hungry alienation and anger. The Democratic strategy of walking-on-eggs hasn’t worked so far – nothing ventured, nothing gained. I’m not going to hold my breath.
Bruno Parfait (Burgundy)
How could a testimony before Congress not go beyond a written report? Robert Mueller is not about to re-read his own words aloud, verbatim,while facing Congress, the US population and maybe the rest of the world.
GMooG (LA)
@Bruno Parfait That's EXACTLY what he is going to do.
Terry Ward (Pa.)
The fact that trump has not been dragged out the WH in chains & a strait-jacket is all we need to know. Somewhere behind the curtain there are still adults in the room. They do not want a civil insurrection. Comey said that in so many words. Trump's die-hard supporters -who remain supportive no matter what he does -are itching for a civil war. They are armed with weapons and we are armed with NPR totebags. No sane person wants a civil insurrection. Trump is less dangerous in office than he would be were he forced out. And anyone who does not believe there are still adults in the room might consider the fact that Trump didn't invade some hapless country the minute his approval ratings began to drop. Because he would have if he could have.
Tom Goslin (Philadelphia PA)
@Terry Ward I wish you were right that there are still some adults in the room keeping Trump from doing really stupid things, but I don't know who they would be. John Bolton and Mike Pompeo are pushing for war with Iran, which is completely insane.
Carol B. Russell (Shelter Island, NY)
The Mueller Report is an investigative report; it does not make conclusions; Attorney General Barr has erroneously prejudiced the Mueller Report by singularly put his summary and conclusion on it. The need now is to undo the prejudicial conclusions made by AG Barr....and leave the unanswered questions which the report was...unable. due to lake of White House cooperation to report on. The White House has refused to let Don McGahn testifly and also refused to have others who were mentioned in the Mueller Report testify....Mueller has done his job as best he could given the refusals to comply by the Trump White House. Now it is up to the US Congress to go further into an investifation which has been prevented by Trump.
AACNY (New York)
@Carol B. Russell Mueller was certainly free to recommend indictments. In fact, every single expert agrees that this is what he was hired to do (or not do). Few believe it was his job to opine without bringing charges. That was a departure and, rightly, it failed to have any effect since it ultimately became just an "opinion" piece.
JAB (Daugavpils)
Mueller will disappoint those (most of us) who hope he will lower the boom on Trump. It isn't going to happen. He is too much of an inside man who doesn't want to upset his GOP friends, especially his long time friend Barr. "Birds of a feather, stick together". It's as simple as that!
mikecody (Niagara Falls NY)
Having been subpoenaed, he really has no choice but to appear. As to testimony, however, he should answer any questions by reading aloud the relevant sections of the report and nothing else. His personal opinions, his methodology, and any allegations not presented therein are irrelevant. The report should, and does, speak for itself.
Robert (Out west)
They’re relevant if he’s asked about them. Might want to find out how this stuff works.
CWM (Washington, DC)
Please stop writing headlines that play to Trump's lies that everyone else is dishonest and "political." No one ever wrote a headline during the Watergate hearings that an upcoming Congressional hearing with John Dean, etc. was "...Setting Up a Political Spectacle." Yes, as in the Kavanaugh hearings, and to their enduring shame, Trump Republicans will make a disgusting "Spectacle" out of the hearings of (Republican) Muller's legal findings. But this is not "Political" in the sense of both sides equally at fault. When the facts are on your side you pound the facts, when they are not, today's Republicans make a spectacle of themselves.
just Robert (North Carolina)
Two questions have been gnawing at my mind since the Mueller report appeared and really must be asked perhaps related to each other. 1. Did your report really exonerate the president of colluding with Russian's in the election? or was it just you inability to obtain testimony from recalcitrant witnesses that led you to incomplete conclusions? From ho would you need information to clarify the President's culpability? Were the president's responses to prepare questions adequate? Do we we need to hear from Mr. McGahn, Donald Trump Jr., Jarec Kushner directly? Many more questions come to mind, and at last we may find some clarity with the testimony of Mr. Mueller. Mr. Trump may try to block this testimony, but it will only deepen the out cry for this appearance and cast further doubts on Trump's innocence. What is the president attempting to hide?
Bob in NM (Los Alamos, NM)
No mention here as to whether or not Congress saw the entire report or the one "sanitized" by Mr. Barr. I sure would like to know.
theresa (new york)
Long past time for the Democrats to stop waiting for Mueller, a Republican, to save them.
Bill Fennelly (New Jersey)
I hope someone is smart enough to ask Mueller, that in saying that if the president were not guilty of obstruction the report would have so stated, did Trump. in fact, obstruct. I get that Mueller wishes to stay apolitical in this mess, but he needs to state clearly whether or not there is a crime here, even if as POTUS, Trump cannot be indicted
David (Philadelphia)
Trump can absolutely be arrested while President. The rule against it is just a guideline, not a law. Just ask Nancy Pelosi.
Lex Mundi (McLean VA)
Even if a sitting president cannot be indicted, the independent counsel can still point out criminal activity and come to a conclusion in the report. Counsel can also state whether there is or is not an impeachable offense. Former independent counsel Kenneth Star had no problem stating in his report: “There is Substantial and Credible Information that President Clinton Committed Acts that May Constitute Grounds for an Impeachment.” Robert Muller could have done the same. He did not. Instead, we are to believe that Muller somehow purposely left a vague trail of breadcrumbs for Congress to pick up on? Come on.
Derac (Chicago, IL)
@Lex Mundi, No, Mueller was under a different set of rules. Those rules were instigated after the Starr circus so that it wouldn't happen again. Mueller has stated that he could not accuse a man, or a president, of a crime if said person couldn't acquit themselves in a court of law. Since he couldn't indict he couldn't accuse either. Trump had no way of clearing himself.
GMooG (LA)
@Lex Mundi Mueller is not an Independent Counsel
Chickpea (California)
I believe it was Barbara McQuade who said last night that, given the high profile of the investigation, it was hard to believe that Mueller wouldn’t have expected he would be called to testify to Congress. And Neal Katyal, who was a writer of the special counsel regulations, has said he intended for the special counsel to be free to testify as a citizen after leaving his appointment. Mueller’s reluctance is disappointing, and I’m sure his testimony will be as well. I only hope that the committees will focus on getting Mueller to talk about what he is willing to to speak of for the sake of that part of the country unwilling or unable to read his report. No one will be served by putting Mueller in the hot seat. But Mueller owes it to the country to at least tell Congress in closed door sessions, in what ways his investigation was impeded. There are too many loose ends, too much money not followed, and too many indictments left hanging. The job was left unfinished, and that is not Robert Mueller’s style. No doubt Trump, and his personal lawyer, William Barr, will eventually tell Mueller not to testify. Given Mueller’s notorious love for his country, the rule of law, AND dedication to formal chains of command, we may witness the taciturn Mueller’s head explode.
Katalina (Austin, TX)
But for Cohen, Trump's people have kept things about the russians hidden somewhere, perhaps in plain sight as in a condo or two in a Trump building or just money changing hands, fingers, and toes. Mueller did his job as he believes he was expected to do, regardless of what did not emerge. I had hoped for much much more, but since not, I expect nothing from his appearance before the House cmtes. How any voter could dismiss all that has occurred before, during and after the last presidential election regarding Trump, I do not know.
Will Tosee (Chicago, IL)
The Mueller hearings should be held in prime time. They will change the game entirely. Does anyone remember the Watergate hearings and their immedite and dramatic impact on public opinion -- and then, alas, on Senate and House Republicans?
John (Upstate NY)
Let's make it a one-minute hearing, to stay in line with the public's attention span, and for the benefit of the millions of Americans who did not read the redacted report. First question: In your many months of exhaustive inquiry, did you find reason to believe that the President may have engaged in obstruction of justice? Second question: Did you conclude that the President was clearly not guilty of obstruction of justice? Final question: Did you point to any future actions that some other authorized body might undertake with regard to the crime of obstruction of justice? As for "political spectacle," I'll have all I can handle with the Democratic debates.
Easy Goer (Louisiana)
Sarcasm noted. I would love for Mr. Mueller to emulate John Dean when he testified about President Nixon and his staff. It was one of the most important singular political events broadcast live that I have ver seen. Although it was 45 years ago, the importance and weight of Mr. Dean telling the truth did more than almost any single person in the history of 20th Century American politics. I do not wish to "step on the toes" of Bob Woodward's and Carl Berstein's incredibly researched articles (a herculean task; decades before the Internet, cell phones, etc.) in The Washington Post; From the morning of the bungled Watergate break-in of The National Democratic Headquarters, until the day Nixon resigned. Without them, plus the help of Mr. Dean "things" may have been different.
GMooG (LA)
@John First Answer: Read the report. Second Answer: It's in the report. Third Answer: Read the report.
Rev. E. M. Camarena, PhD (Hell's Kitchen)
Once again, this quotation comes to my mind: "How many times are you guys going to let the media sell you on 'this is the end of Trump!'? They always pretend it's so close, and this latest thing is IT. And it never happens. I bet you thought Gilligan was going to get off the damn island every episode too." - Ben Williams
Robert (Out west)
Who in “the media,” says this, please? Other than right-wingers who bellow that them libruls say this all the time.
Rev. E. M. Camarena, PhD (Hell's Kitchen)
@Robert: Here's one - hardly a right-winger: "Rachel Maddow: Michael Cohen’s Testimony Could Trigger The End Of Trump’s Presidency" How's about this 'un pardner? Watch Joy Behar cheering the coming end of Trump's presidency - before retracting. I leave finding the rest for your own initiative.
manfred marcus (Bolivia)
As important as Mueller's testimony becomes when seen and heard on TV, when he answers in the affirmative that Trump would be indicted if no restrictions were in place, is the shamelessness of this vulgar bully in-chief when confronted, with his incredible denials of the facts...and the public's insensitivity to his grave immorality in screwing the standing of the republic. Insensitivity created by Trump, by his constant assault of the truth, and his 'superb' lies, by now considered just part of the way he is. How sad is that?
RS (Missouri)
@manfred marcus Here in America we believe Donald Trump to be of high morale character. The kind of example we set for our kids and a true American patriot. It sounds if your presidential expectations are lack luster.
MidtownATL (Atlanta)
In his testimony, Mr. Mueller will refer to the findings in his report. Because it is televised, more citizens may become aware of those findings. It is a sad day for American democracy when many citizens will rely on a television spectacle rather than reading the report. It is a sad day for American democracy when the press does not report the important findings of the report, and follow up on those facts with further investigation -- as opposed to reporting on the gossip, partisan bickering, and horse race.
Robert (Out west)
Apparently, however, people who don’t care about the country, care about clinging to the obvious nonsense they’ve been told by the shabby likes of Donald Trump. It’s simple, okay? Mueller did not directly investigate “collusion,” because “collusion,” is not a crime. Conspiracy is, which is why all the indictments of Russians. And as for Trump, what Mueller clearly said was pretty much exactly what Comey said about Hillary Clinton’s stupid e-mail server—yep, a real problem and yup, completely inappropriate, but nope, I ain’t got enough evidence to take this to court. As for obstruction, Mueller clearly said that DOJ policy prohibited him from bringing charges against a sitting President, but here are ten or so times that Trump did something that might very well be actionable. Then he very strongly implied that the proper place to address all this was Congress. Along the way, Mueller had charges brought that put Trump’s personal lawyer and campaign manager and several other staffers in the slammer, and caused his NSA head to cop a plea that’s still in the works, and...and...and. How one contorts all that into squeaky-cleanness is amazing to watch.
Chickpea (California)
@jaco As MidtownATL was saying.... Read the report.
David (Philadelphia)
Ten counts of obstruction and change the word “collusion” (not a crime) to “conspiracy” (yes, a crime). Conspiracy with a foreign country to undermine the United States is a capital crime.
Frank McNeil (Boca Raton, Florida)
This story is seriously overhyped, setting expectations that only a Barnum (or a Trump) could endorse. To avoid disaster, I urge Speaker Pelosi to use her deservedly legendary powers of persuasion to keep Democratic members of the two committees from speechifying or otherwise making fools of themselves. Nor should any of them fawn over Mr. Mueller, who doesn't need or want adulation. I should add that I have less concern about the new members, who have shown skill at asking pointed questions than I am about the tendency to histrionics among some of the older members. No Claghorns please. Lastly, no Democrat should utter Trump's favorite word, "collusion" which Mueller did not investigate (nor should he have investigated). Leave that to Republicans like Rep. Collins who publicly licked his chops at the prospect of questioning Mr. Mueller (Beware of Getting Your Wishes!). By making clear at the beginning and end of his remarks that the most important thing looking forward was to act to prevent further attempts by Russia or others to alter our elections, Mueller signaled a need to ask him for his views about what needs to be done. For example, are new laws needed? What would you do to secure the ballot if you had that responsibility? What America needs from the Mueller hearings is not spectacle but clarity.
AACNY (New York)
@Frank McNeil Democrats alleged "collusion" for two years. They had no problem using that term.
Chris (Missouri)
There are some questions that he could answer. Like: 1) Is there a difference between your redactions and those made by the Executive Branch? 2) Are the redactions in the published report made over continuing investigations concerning the executive branch? 3) If Congress is to take their oversight responsibilities to heart, should they not have the full report? 4) In your experience and opinion, should not the full unredacted report with all evidentiary attachments be issued to the House investigating committee?
Robert M. Koretsky (Portland, OR)
I’ve never understood why those that formulated the American Constitution never put very strict controls on the power of the presidency, particularly since they had just revolted against a aristocratic monarchy. And now, we’re living through a time where those controls could have been used to protect democracy. For example, there’s nothing in the Constitution that prevents a sitting president from being prosecuted for a crime. Could it be that the framers of the Constitution never envisioned that a criminal, or someone likely to be a criminal, would be elected President of the United States? More likely, at heart, and at the bottom of it all, they in fact were aristocratic monarchs themselves. And that’s what Mueller tacitly condones, so expect nothing to change.
Zev (Pikesville, MD)
There is no value in Mueller's testimony. The Report is all inclusive. Mueller will not apply any spin. The only political value is that Mueller will be asked to reiterate what has already been written in the report. The American public have a very short attention span and will not, by and large, read the Report, This is like an audio presentation of a book. An ADD's crutch. Since we have short attention span, any spike in presidential disapproval will be long forgotten by November 2020.
David Godinez (Kansas City, MO)
I would propose editing Representative Nadler and Schiff's joint statement from saying "Americans have demanded" to instead read "Grandstanding partisan politicians have demanded" to hear from the counsel. That way, at least these gentlemen are speaking for themselves!
FritzTOF (ny)
If Mueller doesn't tell us what we need to know -- let's have Obama testify! (Hear that one, Mitch?)
Kally (Kettering)
Is this an opinion piece or an article? This headline, so firmly asserting that this is “setting up a political spectacle,” has got to go. Please just report the facts, we don’t need to hear the reporter’s opinion that the Democrats will “probably be disappointed.” This is just irresponsible. (I’ll be the first to praise the Times for their usual excellence—I’m still getting through the Meet the Candidates piece where 21 of the Democratic candidates answer 18 questions. Granted, it’s long, and while sometimes the moderators are a little annoying—why does the one keep asking Bill de Blasio to say yes or no when she isn’t doing that to anyone else—errrrr—but the piece is excellent and I wish everyone would look at it to see how impressive these people are. Even the least impressive of them, Tulsi Gabbard, looks like a genius next to Trump. That’s the kind of reporting I want from the Times. Not speculation.)
P&L (Cap Ferrat)
Nadler should get Putin to show up too. Make it a full on event. Forget network television make it pay per view. This is so exciting. Do the Democrats have the rights to the video game?
Dee Hoover (Pulaski, Tennessee)
Mr. Mueller surely recognizes that all written are subject to interpretation, including his report on improprieties during the 2016 presidential election. He owes it to the public to further explain the 400-plus page document written after his investigation was complete.
Diana (Centennial)
"The question is what Mr. Mueller will be willing to say." Indeed. Adam Schiff stated last night on a cable news program that the subpoena issued to Mr. Mueller "was not a friendly subpoena". He went on to say that Mr. Mueller had made it known that he did not want to testify, that he wanted the report to speak for his work. I have little doubt that Mr. Mueller will not go beyond his original findings, and this hearing will be mostly political theater on both sides of the aisle. Further there is a chance that the public will start to see Trump as harassed and the underdog. Since Mr. Mueller did not make a recommendation in the report, what more do the Democrats really expect him to say, even in sworn testimony, other than what is already known? Mr. Mueller reported what his staff could prove, and he cannot go beyond that. Further, Trump and the DOJ have successfully blocked other witnesses from testifying, and they could also block Mr. Mueller from testifying, even though he has agreed to do so. This is a gamble that could backfire in the worst way. Just as the Kavanaugh hearing turned out badly for Dr. Ford and the Democrats, this could as well. Since a sitting President cannot be indicted, and impeachment proceedings against Trump will die in the Senate, we need to move on to putting our energy into electing a Democrat as President in 2020. When Trump leaves office, then if evidence warrants, he should be charged immediately with wrong doing.
Suzanne (Rancho Bernardo, CA)
@Diana- the risk here is the Dems being afraid of doing their mandated duty of beginning an impeachment investigation, which would give access to the documents needed to properly Investigate this mess. Trump Will not be able to weasel out of it. Regardless of whether the Senate does or doesn’t take up the vote (if evidence is found), is inconsequential. The Congress needs to do their due diligence and investigate.
Diogenes ('Neath the Pine Tree's Stately Shadow)
Mr. Mueller's written report gave Congress a clear roadmap to impeachment. Other than a few voices crying in the wilderness, nothing happened. I don't see that his testimony will change anything (no matter how much I wish it would). trump's unholy and mind-boggling alliance is dug in for the duration of the conflict. Meanwhile, Democratic members of Congress are afraid of losing seats. "As sands through the hourglass, so are the days of our Republic."
PG (Woodstock, NY)
I was astounded by the headline “. . . Setting Up a Political Spectacle.” Russia unquestionably exerted influence over the 2016 U.S. presidential election and Trump demonstrably obstructed a serious and necessary investigation into foreign interference and any possible role played by his campaign. In choosing not to indict while finding ample evidence of obstruction, Robert Mueller has an absolute responsibility to testify publicly—on the facts and on his decision not to indict. His testimony is a sign of a democracy still working, though sputtering. The Times should keep up the story but change the headline to one that is, at the very least, neutral.
New World (NYC)
Strap him to the polygraph ! I don’t trust any of ‘em.
Don (USA)
The best part will be when Mueller is forced to answer questions that expose democrats use and abuse of the legal system to politically attack President Trump.
Pat Choate (Tucson, Arizona)
The question for me is are the Republicans on these Committees up to the job they face in examining Mueller? Trump expects them to defend him. The GOP House Leadership will be throwing all the diversions they can find to distract attention. But the big unknown is how will the individual Republicans use their 5 minutes of question time. I fear that most will make fools of themselves denying that Russia attacked our elections, that Trump sought foreign help, that Trump obstructed the investigation and that Trump has declared on national television that he would take Russia's help again. Some may even claim that it was Hillary's fault or that the Obama Administration spied on the Trump campaign. Nonetheless, the entire spectacle will give voters some hints as to which Republicans have effectively become a part of Trump's Pro-Putin gang and which remember their Constitutional Oath to defend the nation agains all enemies, foreign and domestic. It promises to be revealing. Would not miss it.
KMW (New York City)
The Democrats will just not let the Mueller investigation rest. The American public is getting tired of these endless investigations. And when this latest Mueller investigation comes up empty with no new information, will the Democrats be satisfied? Of course not. They are wasting good tax payer money that could be used for more important endeavors. Americans are losing patience with this witch hunt and it will hurt the Democrats in 2020. This is good news for President Trump though. He should easily be reelected.
Allan Slipher (Tucson, Az.)
Overt foreign interference in elections is a serious issue and is now much, much easier in the internet age. Worse still, willing and active exploitation of foreign interference in elections by any candidate for national office veers into treasonous conduct and is an exponentially more serious issue. Now that Donald Trump has publicly doubled down on his personal willingness to accept and exploit foreign interference on his behalf in the 2020 election, public Congressional hearings and legislative remedies are urgent and essential. The US constitution emoluments clause prohibiting officeholders from seeking and taking 'gifts' from foreign powers needs to be legislatively strengthened and updated to deal with internet age malicious practices by making clear such practices are criminal conduct and adding strong law enforcement measures and prison penalties for candidates who accept and exploit foreign interference in elections. Mueller's upcoming testimony can only help speed up enactment of the necessary legal remedies to clamp down hard and put an end to this kind of treasonous misconduct.
AACNY (New York)
Mueller is not a god nor is he a SCOTUS member. His opinion is important but not binding. It's one man's opinion among several, many of which disagree, most significantly the Attorney General's. Those clinging to the Mueller report as if it's a final "decision" are in for another disappointment, especially since Mueller failed to actually make any.
mike4vfr (weston, fl, I k)
My reading of the censored rendition of Mueller's report provided stunning clarity regarding the essential questions at hand. #1. Mueller's refusal to investigate the counter-espionage issues that are at the core of Russian assistance to Trump's campaign stand as proof of its corrupt motives. #2. Mueller's failure to investigate the financial aspects of Russian involvement with Trump's campaign invalidates his claim on legitimacy. Identifying the sources and amounts of financial involvement is essential to any investigation of criminal activity. Mueller ignored these questions completely. Why? #3. The Mueller Report was a white-wash written by Republicans for Republicans. #4. Trump's transparent obstruction of all efforts to investigate his obvious subordination to Vladim Putin remains effectively unchallenged by Congress, the Federal Judiciary and the Press. The failure of both print & electronic media to consistently push back every time Trump & his minions parrot the "No Collusion" mantra speaks to their role in protecting Trump's presidency. That phrase has become a repetitive fixture of almost every public appearance made by the President. There is almost never any challenge from anyone present. That reflects the cowardice, incompetence or outright corruption of everyone in attendance with access to a pen or microphone.
John (Stowe, PA)
Three things we need to hear - A specific reason why he did not indict on obstruction and how obstruction obfuscated the possibility of indictments on the obvious Russia conspiracy What were the other 14 investigations that were active when his investigation ended, since it appear that the Trump Legal Team (IE. Attorney General) is ending those to aid in his cover up And did "Cover Up General" Barr order an end to the Russia investigation The usual buffoons, Gaetz, Jordan, Meadows, have already indicated they are eager to make fools of themselves by pushing Brietbert and Info Wars conspiracy theories during the hearings. If Kevin (AKA Steve) McCarthy had a shred of integrity or concern for the dignity of congress he would pull them from the committee.
JimmySerious (NDG)
The base aren't tethered to the mothership. They're in a free fall and they're proud their guy broke the law to save them. They don't want freedom and equality for the left. They want the left put in their place. If it takes a dictator, so be it. They're the protected ones. That's the world they live in and Mueller's testimony won't matter to them.
frank (london)
Time to get the popcorn out methinks.
Iliipofhudson (Hudson NY)
Why not also subpoena Mueller's team? They were in the room w/ Mueller and are the ones who actually wrote the report and can put meat on the bones of Mueller's report. If Trump tries to block them from testifying then they should all simply ignore Trump and testify, the same way all of Trump's lackeys have ignored congress so far. What's good for the goose is good for the gander. No wait I forgot, Mueller & his team are law abiding officials. Speaking of ignoring....why is it taking so long for the courts to take up the cases of the subpoenas handed out by congress to Trump staff??
GMooG (LA)
@Iliipofhudson "...why is it taking so long for the courts to take up the cases of the subpoenas handed out by congress to Trump staff??" umm, because Congress, knowing it has a weak cases, has not asked any Court to enforce the subpoenas
Sherry (Washington)
The only political spectacle will be Republicans attacking Mueller's integrity to divert attention from Russia's attack on our election. One wonders why Republicans don't care about Russia's election interference; but here is a disturbing hint. A recent Gallup survey found that the share of Republicans who see Russia as an ally has doubled, from 20 to 40 percent.
Joel Croteau (Antioch, CA)
Woah, July 16th? Slow down there, don't want to rush in to anything.
G. Sears (Johnson City, Tenn.)
Muller will abide by the House directive to appear and testify, but he will brook no spectacle. Mostly this is about staging political theater. The Special Council will do exactly as he has already indicated providing no useful cover for the Democratic House majority to dodge the impeachment issue. The House needs to get on with its pressing constitutional responsibility to credibly and fully address the President’s reprehensible conduct.
Mike Edwards (Providence, RI)
“House Democrats have seized on those comments as a de facto referral to Congress to act.” And Congress has acted in a very definitive manner. Senate leader, Mitch McConnell, earlier last month, said that– having studied all the information in the Mueller Report –that the case was closed. “It’s finally over”. I may not like his conclusion but he – as a democratically elected official – has the right to make it. The founding fathers provided that impeachment most be a bipartisan effort, otherwise a Congress led by a party opposing that of the President could bring about impeachment proceedings on any pretext, purely to get rid of him/her. Mitch has acted. He is saying there will be no bipartisan impeachment proceedings. End of.
Maxine and Max (Brooklyn)
If I were President Trump, I would use my executive privilege put a gag order on Mueller, as a matter of national security, or make the Supreme Court he created do that. Trump's justification is that the House is trying to do something to damage the presidency by not moving passed a report that had vindicated him. As president, Trump is constitutionally required to protect the office of the presidency, even if he had obstructed justice. Silencing Mueller does not obstruct justice, it only harms the presidency. Mueller does not even threaten Trump with his testimony. He will only fire up public opinion and probably not change any minds. From Trump's point of view, the testimony pours an accelerant onto the smolder that had been extinguished by Mueller's report.
Steve (SW Mich)
A MUCH larger percentage of voters will watch TV than those who will take the time to read a report. Call it laziness, or call it being spoon-fed vs. actively reading and seeking out information. But it is why the Dems want this public testimony.
Kodali (VA)
There won’t be anything new will come out of his testimony. The most important question the committee should ask is does he agree with AG Barr conclusions in his four page report released soon after Mueller handed over his report to AG. The second question is why he did not write the conclusions of his report. The rest is stage theatrics.
styleman (San Jose, CA)
I hope Mueller doesn't default back to "it's all in my report". The report is very long and very detailed (he really got down into the weeds) and it is not realistic to expect the average American to read the whole thing. I've only gotten through Volume 1 and I am used to reading long documents. I think it will be extremely helpful to the American public to hear him vocalize his conclusions, in a Reader's Digest version, and why he appeared to take a somewhat "hesitant" ground on collusion (or more accurately "conspiracy") and obstruction of justice. The thresholds for criminal conduct are much higher than civil misconduct. He found "dirt" there on the conspiracy issue but as an experienced lawyer, he knew there was not enough to connect the dots to Trump and convict. On obstruction of justice there is more meat there but because the Justice Department won't indict a sitting president, Mueller referred to procedures "outside of the criminal justice system" - an obvious reference to impeachment proceedings and an open invitation for Congress to do its constitutional duty.
Dudesworth (Colorado)
Mueller is a Republican. I’m not saying he’s a bad guy or anything like that, but after two poorly thought-out wars, a recession that lost the middle class billions if not trillions of dollars, GOP brinksmanship and stonewalling on myriad issues and the evil toad that is Donald Trump, isn’t time we just give up on that whole party? Isn’t it time that sane people of all stripes come together and move past the GOP? We are no longer a two-party system. We are a one-party system battling against scalable nihilism. We should not put much credence in Mueller’s testimony and instead work across the spectrum of Democratic voters, Independents and disillusioned Republicans to find nominees that can win in 2020 and undo so much of the awfulness, the evil, the coarseness that the GOP has wrought on our country and the world.
Mary Feral (NH)
@Dudesworth---------------------Dudesworth, yes he is a Republican but maybe, just maybe, he's a throwback to Eisenhower.
LI Res (NY)
No one can convince another person to “read the 448 pg report.” Plus, trying to get both sides to discuss what they read and how they “see” it is not going to happen. But, sitting in front of congress of both democrats and republicans, being questioned, they actually MAY listen to what was in the report. People read what they want, interpret it the way they want, but when it comes to listening, they listen with a different “ear.”
Standup (New York, New York)
Mr. Mueller issued his report. Mr. Mueller also made a public statement following issuance of that report. What is expected that Mr. Mueller will relate that has not already been communicated in Mr. Mueller's report and public statement? Is Mr. Mueller ethically or otherwise really able to provide any new comments or opinions? I'm a bit confused.
David (Murrica)
"Ultimately, the members of Mr. Mueller’s team concluded that because Justice Department policy prohibits indicting a sitting president, they could not determine whether Mr. Trump’s actions had been criminal. " Total cop out and absolution of responsibility. Pull the trigger, DOJ.
Heysus (Mt. Vernon)
I feel for Mr. Mueller. He has a lot of weight on his shoulders and I'm afraid he is not going to give the answers folks want to hear. We wait and see.
Carl Center Jr (NJ)
I cannot wait for this. I do not think that anything groundbreaking is going to come of it although I hope I am wrong. I hope that Mr. Mueller absolutely unloads on "president" Trump, now that is no longer Special Counsel. I have complete confidence in Mr. Mueller's ability to withstand any cross examination, just as I have complete confidence in Cult 45 to declare victory and exoneration if, as I expect, nothing new comes out of this.
Prof. Jai Prakash Sharma (Jaipur, India.)
The ambivalence of "no obstruction, no exoneration" and "the constitution doesn't permit indictment of a sitting President" is likely to be maintained by Robert Mueller in his testimony to the Congress. This wouldn't much change the situation.
John Doe (Johnstown)
Finally some objective reporting. A spectacle is all this will be and everything related to it for the next 21 days preceding it. Perhaps it’s just a diversion from the pathetic chaotic spectacle that the beginning mass Democratic presidential debates promise to provide.
HENRY (Albany, Georgia)
This spectacle- the perfect word, btw- will once and for all prove what a total hoax this inquiry has been. It will also expose the slant of the special prosecutor in ignoring FISA warrant abuse, delaying the conclusion of no collusion endlessly for maximum political damage, charging anyone for anything mentality regardless of the irrelevance to the task at hand for fake impact on the story, and I think Mueller will get humiliated by seasoned Republican former prosecutors while Nadler and Schiff reinforce their images as partisan buffoons. This expose is overdue, and they will be sorry that got what they asked for.
Mary Feral (NH)
@HENRY------------------I think you underestimate Mr. Mueller. I think he will stand his ground, immovably, no matter how outrageous the former Republican prosecutors' attacks may be. Perhaps you remember that one US Destroyer turned murderous D-Day around by the ship's Captain, the navigator and the gunnery sergeant. By slowly and very carefully changing the ship's angle to the beach, the gunnery sergeant could place his gun exactly at the gun portal of the German concrete battle station. He fired directly through that portal, destroyed the German gun and all the German soldiers in the building. That cut down half of the deadly German gunning that dreadful day. And that's how we won D-Day and thus the war. Mueller's steeliness reminds me of that.
Chrisinauburn (Alabama)
Meanwhile, Trump is again abusing the office of the presidency, this time by accusing Mueller of some Trumped up nonsense about "illegally terminating" some FBI emails disparaging Trump. We might have to dig up some Republicans from the Watergate era, literally, to show present Republicans what spines look like.
Angela Zimm (Massachusetts)
Hearing the actual words from the report read out loud is quite compelling. I've read the report. I've also watched this presentation of the actual text of the obstruction findings and recommend it for those who haven't bothered to read the report.
Mark (Georgia)
​I see only two outcomes for the Mueller interrogation... The first possible outcome... He reveals facts that because of some reason that could not be documented at the time the report was published. Congress gets a new list of witnesses that can be called to testify. Mueller provides copies of evidence that he felt were not conclusive enough. The impeachment process is rejuvenated because of Mueller's testimony. The second possible outcome... Mueller continues his policy of answering in Yoda-speak. For example... "Collude. Or collude not. There is no collude try."
JayK (CT)
Don't delude yourself into thinking that Mueller is all of a sudden going to cough up a Perry Mason moment for Adam Schiff or any of the other very fancy lawyers on those congressional committees. While it's the duty of congress to see this thing to it's conclusion, this will prove to be a complete waste of time. Mueller is not going to give them anything. He already went in the tank for Trump and nothing congress does during this dog and pony show is going to change that.
Mike C. (Florida)
What, no boring transcript to decipher? No redactions? The American public isn't used to honesty in a congressional hearing...what are we to make of it?
PJM (La Grande, OR)
I will predict that Republicans will be assertively ridiculous, and the Democrats will follow suit. It will be political theater at its best/worst.
MH (Long Island, NY)
I don’t agree with your choice of words. “Spectacle?” No. It’s an important part of our system, a hearing before Congress. But, if it is a “spectacle,” bring it on!!! It’s time!
DecliningSociety (Baltimore)
Mueller is part of the insurance policy. Problem is the totalitarians can't see 2 moves ahead. Trump will remain president and will probably be re-elected because of this debacle. I mean the DNC is really going to the mat over the Russia conspiracy? - which is essentially just spin after the exposure of Hillary rigging primary elections with CNN and the DNC. I mean did anybody ever deny that the DNC was sabotaging the Bernie campaign? And then there is the documented evidence of potential spying on the Trump campaign. Oh but please do tell about the Russia conspiracy and Facebook ads and why HRC lost. Maybe politics was always this way and now we just have more of a paper trail.
Bob Jordan (Potomac MD)
President Trump will never be removed from office via impeachment. The votes are not there in the Senate. The best way to remove him is via the voting booth. 2020 is fast approaching; find your candidate and support them by voting.
rosa (ca)
I wouldn't call this a "spectacle". I would call this "overdue". Trump has lied over 10,000 times since he has taken office. Now, he is demanding that any person who works for him NEVER take the stand, NEVER obey a legal subpoena. I call that "obstruction of Justice". I'll also point out that I AM the one who pays all of these paychecks and I'm tired of the whole crooked bunch, so tired that I want every one of them fired. I find it a mystery why Mueller has not already spoken up. Daniel Ellsberg did. Why won't Mueller?
RS (Missouri)
@rosa because trump has done nothing wrong. Trump has not lied either. Rosa I am truly sorry you have been spoon-fed a fountain of misinformation.
curious (Niagara Falls)
Accusations of "harrassment" from the "birther-in-chief". Rich! The hypocrisy of Trump (and those behind him) is mind-numbing. Or mind-blowing. Which makes it a good thing for the chief 'gator and his supporting swampsters that they don't have minds to blow.
Homer Simpson (San Diego)
To say that there was no collusion and no obstruction is to insult the intelligence of America. Firing Comey was obstruction, firing McCabe was obstruction, firing Sessions was obstruction, instructing McGahn to fire Mueller was obstruction, we have a pictures of Lavrov and Kislyak in a secret meeting in the WH with no reporters allowed, Helsinki, repeated rejection of our intel in favor of Putin. It's overwhelming empirical evidence.
DecliningSociety (Baltimore)
Politicos being whiny babies that dare to think they do anything but deprive useful things of oxygen. They are all spending all of our grandchildren's money on their petty drama and vote buying, meanwhile they cannot even secure a border or balance a checkbook.
EGD (California)
Republicans get to ask questions too. Can’t wait.
Amir Girgis (New York)
Witch Hunt part II ... coming July 19 in theaters near you ... Trump will leave the White House in 2024 as promised by my fellow Democrats,
Roland Berger (Magog, Québec, Canada)
“His 448-page written report, Mr. Mueller asserted, should speak for itself.” Yes, as long as you can get the uncensored version.
Stephen (NYC)
Trump said he'd welcome foreign interference. He thinks other countries are full of admiration for him. But they really see him as a useful idiot, e.g., Russia.
JH (Philadelphia)
Even without Mr. Mueller embellishing one iota on his report, nearly half the country gets their news by watching TV, so his testimony is essential to adequately inform the public:
Mitch (Seattle)
Congress should just read the report on social media and network TV to reach all of America. It may well sway some voters who becomes overwhelmed with the bad behavior
Bruce Savin (Montecito)
The audacity of Robert Mueller claiming to a public servant then dictating the perimeters of what he will or will not discuss during his testimony to Congress.
kkm (nyc)
Question for Special Counsel Robert S. Mueller, III: You stated in your report, “If we had had confidence that the president clearly did not commit a crime, we would have said so." What, precisely led you to that statement, and what is it that you believe we, as members of Congress, should be looking at to clearly ensure the president did not, in fact, have any criminal intent or did not actually commit crimes throughout the period you investigated?
Steve (Texas)
@kkm It is in the report. It seems very few people these days have the attention span necessary to actually read something.
kkm (nyc)
@Steve: No, Steve, it is not in the report and perhaps reading my comment again, slowly, you will understand the question.
GMooG (LA)
@kkm We understand the question. What you don't get is that this is not a TV quiz show. Mueller is not going to answer your questions with "X, Y, and a letter dated May,,,,," He is going to answer that question by saying, " The facts that lend me to draw that conclusion are set forth in my report."
Steve Ell (Burlington, VT)
i would be interested to ask the following question and i think it would provide an overview that casts light on the most important subjects of the investigation: Mr. Mueller - the president constantly repeats the statement that the report shows (a) no collusion, (b) no obstruction, and (c) total exoneration. do you think that is an accurate conclusion? if the answer is no, it paints trump, barr, and every other person who has repeated that statement as - for lack of a better term - a LIAR. then congress can proceed. and hopefully the findings of the testimony, whatever they may be, will be believed by the american people. there are far fewer that have read the report than those who have not. this should end the range of interpretations and bring them to an end that is in agreement with the report and its intentions.
Futbolistaviva (San Francisco, CA)
This is good news. Now all of the lazy, partisan and willfully uniformed American voters can hear him (if they choose to) attest to the findings in his report. Every American should have read it. Instead most didn't and most of our feckless politicians didn't read it either.
Russian Bot (In YR OODA)
Maybe Lucy won't pull the football this time...
Larry (Union)
Two questions for Robert Mueller could include: Why didn't you question President Trump directly? Do you believe he broke the law and committed anything under the category of "high crimes and misdemeanors?"
AACNY (New York)
@Larry And why did former UN Ambassador Samantha Power issue over over 200 FISA unmasking requests and then claim she knew nothing about them? How could something like this happen?
Bob81+3 (Reston, Va.)
Two questions to ask Robert Mueller; Do you sir believe that the POTUS has behaved in a way that violated the oath taken at his inauguration to defend the Constitution of the United States of America? Do you sir believe that the POTUS has behaved in any way that violated any laws in this country?
Wondering (NY, NY)
@Bob81+3 He will answer neither.
John Doe (Johnstown)
We just can’t stop with the self abuse, can we?
GMooG (LA)
@John Doe "Self abuse" has a different connotation, but OK, I know what you meant
Boyd (Gilbert, az)
GOP had 8 Benghazi investigations with ZERO indictments. The 1st Muller report has over 40 indictments clearly points out dealing with the enemy and the GOP says....nothing to see here and we'll block any testimony. yep that's called a COVER UP
Northway (California)
I hope Trump doesn't bomb Iran that day to deflect the attention from Mueller. I wish I was kidding.
Deborah (Bellvue, Colorado)
If Congress decides to impeach, does this prevent indictment after Trump is no longer protected by inhabiting the office of the Presidency and apparently above the law? What about Don Jr? If Mueller contradicts his testimonies, will he be held accountable to the law? So many questions to be answered. The Mueller testimony is a priority on my calendar .
James (Arizona)
He will not provide savy sound bites, attention spans will become fluid and elusive. Behold the paper tiger, not the lion in winter.
GladF7 (Nashville TN)
@James OMG!! Robert Muller paper tiger? For his service in and during the Vietnam War, his military decorations and awards include: the Bronze Star Medal with Combat "V", Purple Heart Medal, two Navy and Marine Corps Commendation Medals with Combat "V", Combat Action Ribbon, National Defense Service Medal, Vietnam Service Medal with four service stars, Republic of Vietnam Gallantry Cross, Republic of Vietnam Campaign Medal, and Parachutist Badge. This is your idea of a paper tiger? Robert Muller is the very definition of a lion.
Why is everyone saying that Mueller "agreed" to testify? He was forced to testify. And it deeply concerns me that he didn't want to.
N. Smith (New York City)
This should be interesting. Not only because Robert Mueller is now free of the constraints of being a Department of Justice employee -- but because the White House has no valid authority to muzzle his testimony, even though they might try to. That's basically why he was so restrained when speaking about the outcome of his investigation before the public almost a month ago. And the fact that Donald Trump is already tweeting about "Presidential Harassment" is a sure sign that he's worried about what Mr. Mueller will say both before Congress and behind closed doors. One way or the other the truth is going to come out. Hopefully he won't resort to starting a war with Iran as a distraction.
Bemused Observer (Eastham, MA.)
Mueller must be disillusioned when his so-called friend, AG Barr, wrote in his summary of Mueller's report that "there was no collusion and obstruction" by Trump. No wonder he wants to set the record straight by testifying before Congress. Mueller must think to himself: "Et tu Brutus."
Macktrain (new england)
The dems should plan accordingly for the fact that Mueller is not willingly going to be cooperative as he does not want to be a sound bite or have GOP wrath put to him.
ExPatMX (Ajijic, Jalisco Mexico)
Now if the Representative will ask pertinent questions and not show boat their political agendas, we may actually learn something.
Len (Duchess County)
Mr. Mueller has very serious legal questions to answer, and any attempt to artificially restrict what questions will come at him just isn't going to work. When did he know that Mr. Trump had no collusion with Russia? When did he know the whole dossier was fake? Why didn't he pursue Hillary's actions of obstruction and secret payments to foreigners during the election? Why did he hire clearly biased lawyers? Why didn't he recuse himself from the very beginning, having just been passed over by President Trump for the FBI job? He is a very compromised person and it will be more than interesting to see him answer these and many more important questions.
99percent (downtown)
We already know where Mueller stands on Trump: No Collusion. What we don't know is what he knows - and when he knew it - about the FISA warrant. Dems want a PR Nugget, but I think the republicans will be the ones getting the nuggets.
PB (Northern UT)
No matter what Mueller testifies--especially about Trump's obstruction of justice that we all witnessed rolling out in real time--the GOP is going to interpret Mueller's testimony as "Trump is exonerated." In other words, we didn't see what we saw or hear what we heard. Plus, the Republicans, Fox, and the right-wing well-funded conservative think tanks and and pundits have already worked up a set of bulleted talking points to spin Mueller's fact into fiction and truth into lies--because that is who they are, and this is what they have been doing for decades. Available already in some of the comments to this article before Mueller has even testified. What happens to a country when truth no longer matters and partisan politics is injected into every decision, appointment (no matter how unqualified), and action?
db2 (Phila)
How many are holding out hope that these hearings change a thing? A show of hands, please.
Lynk (Pennsylvania)
Do you really believe this president’s intransigence has “slowly lost the attention of the wider public”? We’re here. We’re reading. We’re talking it up to friends. We’re calling our representatives. We voted in 2018 to restore order and we are as ready for 2020, as far as the lack of election system protection allows us to be.
Paul (NYC)
I strongly urge congressional democrats to abdicate questioning of Mr Mueller to their staff lawyers who are better equipped to pursue a more concise line of questioning and prevent the same questions being asked numerous times by each individual congressional member.
Sarah D. (Montague MA)
This is not a "spectacle," although it certainly will be closely watched. And, playing on the same word, let's not speculate too much. It won't be news until it has actually happened.
Bert Gold (San Mateo, California)
Robert Mueller’s reticence to testify cast doubt on the future of both our Justice system and democracy. His inability to publicly question the DOJ rules that prevented charging the President flies in the face of what a democracy is, or should aspire to be. We are not royalists here, in these United States. No person is or should be above the law. Yet, it is clear as day that a mobster is at the helm in the Whitehouse, excommunicating reports, collecting illegal fees, defending those with clear ethics violations, offering pardons in exchange for suppression or alteration of testimony, evading taxes, refusing to answer questions directly asked by the Mueller team and using Executive Privilege as a personal defense. The number of crimes is staggering. Mueller’s responsibility to prosecute is obvious; but his courage has been obviously lacking. Americans can’t have democracy unless authorities are willing to defend it. So far, Bob Mueller has failed to defend democracy. Let’s see if he will change his ways.
Elly (NC)
Trump has lead people to believe anything can be handled in a tweet. If it gets oh my goodness, any longer they dumb down and can’t comprehend it. Much like him. In his own words in regards to healthcare, it’s more complicated than what was thought. No it can’t be tweeted. And yes we’ll actually have to read And listen to what is said. And not take his interpretation.
JABarry (Maryland)
I must say, Mr. Mueller's reluctance to testify before Congress is very disappointing. He has led an exemplary life of patriotic service and must be honored for his sacrifices and dedication to the nation. But why Mr. Mueller do you not see that testifying before Congress is an imperative duty? Why do you not see that the American people need to be informed about Donald Trump's disgraceful entanglements with Russia? You may not have been able to find sufficient evidence to establish a conspiracy, but he was complicit in taking advantage of Russian interference. And you found plenty of evidence to charge him with obstruction of justice. Don't you think the American people need to hear that and not have to read a 400 page report? Our democratic republic hangs precariously as too many Americans are uninformed of the scoundrel occupying the White House.
donaldo (Oregon)
The question I hope is asked: "If the evidence and acts you uncovered on obstruction of justice were committed by anyone other than the president, would you have sought an indictment?"
sbobolia (New York)
We are a divided country today. There are Americans who will not accept what Mueller has to say regarding Trump and there are Americans who will believe Mueller. What will happen is not yet known.
AACNY (New York)
@sbobolia There are Americans who will believe Attorney General Barr's assessment that it wasn't collusion and there are those who will believe Mueller believed it was.
Jefferson (Dallas)
My only request to the members of each committee is for each member to actually read the most unredacted version of Mueller's report available to them prior to their respective hearing. It would be a disgrace to their office for any member to ask questions of Mueller without having personally read his report.
Josh (Tokyo)
To Mr. T and his supporting voters, these hearings and media coverages are just exciting political Reality Show. Laughter and anger, twists and shouts, the Show gives thrills and suspense so that many American voters enjoy themselves. Then they will vote for the central figure, Mr. T, their hero, to become the next American president (small letters).
Hal (Illinois)
I'm not a fan of Mueller and I'm certainly not expecting anything as far as Trump being put behind bars because of this new hearing. Mueller is a well seasoned government employee and has already stated he is not going to say anything additional to his written findings. Whats is going on with all the various lawsuits against Trump NYT? I'd be interested in an article that gives a rundown of them all and where the currently stand.
C3PO (FarFarAway)
Give Nadler credit. He keeps finding a way to extend his 15 minutes of fame. Unfortunately nobody cares.
Scott (Brooklyn, NY)
Desperate message to the Democrats on the House Judiciary and Intelligence Committees: please please please make a plan for your questions. No grandstanding, long self aggrandizing introductions, no absurd or gotcha questions. Use methodical, planned questions, with each member taking on a specific subject matter and then yield back to a central questioner. Jamie Raskin for Judiciary and Adam Schiff for Intelligence. For the sake of our nation, please loose your egos for a day. Start meeting NOW and make a plan, cause it sure as heck didn't seem like you've had one on previous inquiries.
Aus (Gold Country California)
It will be interesting to see and hear Mueller. I do want to point out, however, that there is an elephant in the room that has been there since Day 1 of this Administration. It is the completely ineffective and unprincipled operations of the daily workings of Donald Trump & Friends. The continual exposure of his mishandling of foreign and domestic affairs, his misogyny, racism and nepotism. Why we are hanging on Mueller to produce a silver bullet, when everything Trump does indicates his disdain for the Constitution and his inability to operate on the lowest order of competency in his job should be enough to jettison this man from office? It seems almost as if we are shifting the responsibility to stand up and deal with our business of being citizens, hoping for "the other guy" - in this case, Mueller - to do our job.
I’m afraid his testimony will end up being another huge disappointment.
Tony (New York City)
I hope everyone in this country has read the Mueller report or if you can’t read than had an opportunity to listen to the actors perform the book. If you have read the book you should be excited to listen to Mr. Mueller who most of us and let’s be real couldn’t carry his briefcase because we are selfish , shallow people. This country has been destroyed by ignorant anti democracy corruption. If we want honesty the truth of the destructive forces in this country at work Mr. Mueller needs to talk to the nation. The only way we can find the path back to decency is for Mueller to verbalize from his report the rot in our country. July 18 will be the dawn of a new day for America. If you don’t like democracy and want a dictator move to Russia or the Middle East. Trump, Barr you can’t hide from the truth.
Charles (NY)
Stop already. This has become a big 3 ring circus. Nothing will come of it. Between Barr covering up for Trump. The admission from Mueller that they cannot prosecute a sitting president, all the lies that were redacted from the report. Its all a big sham wasting taxpayer dollars.The people who were the fall guys for Trump are already doing time. They fell on their swords for him. He is surrounded by people to take the hits while he keeps on rolling. He has insulated himself from any crime. We can only hope that people will wake up and vote him out in 2020. That's the only way this will end.
SCPro (Florida)
Just a colossal waste of time. Mueller's testimony will be followed by three days of media circus,which no one will notice. Then we will be right back where we started, dealing with a do nothing Congress. It won't alter the political landscape one iota.
AACNY (New York)
@SCPro The media will get another bump in ratings. It plays partisan Americans like a fiddle to keep them coming back for more, like a crack dealer.
SCPro (Florida)
@AACNY Good point. I had a similar thought this morning. I wonder if the media will be more friendly to Trump as the election approaches. If he loses, their bottom line will drop exponentially.
Leonard Dornbush (Long Island New York)
"Political Spectacle" . . . or the beginning of the Final Act of the "End of Trump" ! We know, disappointingly, Mueller has colored well within lines of the boundaries of his assigned investigation. I for one, am very disappointed that Mueller did not at least "to up to the lines" - or even push past them, as the current administration has obliterated the lines of presidential behavior. Mr. Mueller will not stray very far from the content of his report as he has formally stated. Knowing this, the questions posed to him should not push him for some silver bullet as this will only shut him down. What we really need from Mueller's public testimony is to; "Explain his intent" of his conclusions - and what his real expectations he has for what he expects Congress to do with the "breadcrumbs" he left for us. And as we may have some Trumpians watching, we need to get Mueller to spell out in plain simple mono-syllabic language: "My report does NOT exonerate the president" - "We have compelling evidence of Obstruction of Justice" - "The Russians Directly Interfered with our 2016 Election" - "We have questioned many people involved with Trump's campaign and transition team who had direct contact with Russian Operatives; several have been indicted and jailed." Finally, we need to "change some language" - Mr. Fandos writes: " took over the investigation of Russia’s election meddling and possible ties to the Trump campaign" - Let's call it what it is: Cyber Warefare !
coale johnson (5000 horseshoe meadow road)
muller's report shows in HD the double standard that exists in our judicial system. in our system lady justice may be blind but she bends over backwards to protect privileged white men. people of color especially but really any persons lacking power get locked up every day for a whole lot less.
Frea (Melbourne)
I don’t see anything coming of this! I think he’ll do precisely what he’s done so far with his report and the recent “statement:” play to satisfy republicans and democrats, instead of stating his findings in clear terms without worry for who gets pleased or not. In a way, even as an anti-Trump person, I think he’s not doing justice to Trump or the country. If he can’t bring charges against him, but thinks he has committed some crimes, why not state it plainly. Or why not clear him completely? Why keep dancing around and keeping the country in limbo. Let people know if Trump is a criminal just being protected by the office, or clear him and let everybody move on. On the hand, the fact that he “can’t clear” Trump may be what should speak volumes!!! Does it suggest he found serious crimes that he just can’t clear him? Again, he’s left everybody in limbo.
Sherry (Washington)
Even if Mueller just reads his report, Americans will know more than they do today; especially if they watch Fox News.
PB (Northern UT)
@Sherry I would be surprised if Fox News viewers even bother to with Mueller's actual testimony. If they are like some of our southern relatives, they will wait for a William Barr and Fox "interpretation" of what Mueller says. They are not comfortable with their preconceived GOP and Fox notions being disputed by actual facts and reality.
Josh (NY)
The problem is that the framing of the issue has already been established in Americans’ minds. No matter what Mueller says in the hearings, Republicans will say that his testimony was a nothingburger, and that the do-nothing Democrat socialists in Congress are just jealous that Trump has created peace and prosperity for all Americans. The opposite of my personal view! But that will be the Party of Trump’s playbook.
karen (bay area)
Bad headline. This is not a political spectacle. This is Congress performing its essential and constitutional duty. GOP defenders of trump and team may not like this, but Congress is the most powerful of the 3 branches -- by the design of enlightened men who would be horrified at how the presidency has amassed power, with the acquiescence of congress. Over decades.
Kev (Sundiego)
In recovery meetings we all talk about the importance of accepting the things we cannot change. We have therapists and sponsors who help us accept whatever things happened to us in the past so that we can move past our current situation and have a happy and healthy life. However acceptance of the things in our past that we cannot change is the most important step in recovery. It’s been over two years since Trump won yet many people still can’t accept what happened, why it happened and move on. They are still pointing their fingers and blaming everybody but themselves. You all need to accept this new reality and move on. It’s no different than the addict who might be sober right now, but obviously hasn’t come to terms with their present and their past, and relapse is therefore inevitable. If you all don’t accept that Trump won and he was the better candidate then you will relapse and lose the election again.
Tim (The Upper Peninsula)
@Kev You had a good point going there, Kev, until you said that Trump won because "he was the better candidate." That's when I laughed out loud and realized you were just kidding about acceptance and moving on.
Larry Roth (Ravena, NY)
That you frame accepting Trump in the same terms as attempting to deal with dependency is more apt than you realize. Turning to Trump to make America great again is like turning to booze or drugs to ‘solve’ your problems. You may feel better briefly, but the end result is a downward spiral. That is the reality you are denying. In a functioning democracy, the better candidate is the one who gets more votes. That was not Trump.
Rob (Boston)
@Kev I fully accept that Trump won despite what Fox news tells. It saddens me, however, that so many thought a hateful, racist misogynistic, many times bankrupt, charity stealing, narcissistic, self dealer would solve their problems. I am not blaming or pointing fingers. I sadly accept this is where the hearts of a good portion of the American people lie. However, it not contradictory to both accept that fact that he won, and accept the fact that once sworn into office, he continues to lie, commit obstruction of justice , subvert the law and the constitution and grift every day of his presidency. I, and many Americans can hold these two very separate concepts in our brains. I hope that clarifies the "acceptance" issue for you.
PaulM (Ridgecrest Ca)
I don't really have much hope that Mueller's appearance before Congress will be anything other than another disappointment. I never understood why he didn't appear shortly after the release of the report, which would have tempered Barr's distortions, and why he has fought appearing voluntarily. There are numerous descriptions of Mueller being a highly principled individual, who stays above the fray. For the past two years he has been given the trust of the American people to conduct an investigation and write an objective report about Trump's possible conspiracy with Russia and his efforts to obstruct investigations. Mueller's conclusions were ambiguous at best and did a disservice to our citizens ability to learn the truth. He left the door open for Barr to cloud our understanding and to enable Trump. I think that Mueller is obligated to the American people to stand before them and present an accurate and complete report on the findings of the report. Anything less than this will be a disappointment and another capitulation to the Trump White House and to Attorney General Barr, and will do more damage than good.
paul (White Plains, NY)
Democrats, liberals and progressives just can't help themselves. They cling to the hope that some new bombshell revelation will prove Trump-Russian collusion. Now they have intimidated Mueller into a public spectacle with a subpoena threatening jail if he does not appear. What's next, a subpoena for the president to humble himself before Nadler and Pelosi in the House chamber?
Tim (The Upper Peninsula)
@paul "What's next, a subpoena for the president to humble himself before Nadler and Pelosi in the House chamber?" That would be awesome.
Andrew Wohl (Maryland)
@paul No, Democrats, liberals and progressives are not looking to prove collusion. They are rightfully concerned with obstruction of justice. And by the way, the crime of obstruction is still relevant even if an underlying crime does not exist. After all, it is the unobstructed pursuit of justice that rightfully determines if an underlying crime exists.
David (Philadelphia)
“Collusion,” actually conspiracy with Russia against the United States, has already been proven. Read the Mueller Report.
Ted (NY)
Why is having the Special Counsel explain the results of his two-year investigation in plain language a spectacle? Because the report is long and written in formal, some say legalize, language, it can be a heavy going for people who don’t have the time to decipher the report. Mr. Mueller’s presence will provide a face and counter Trump’s misleading assertion that the report exonerated him of all crimes, real and imagined. BTW, It will be a spectacle if, and only if, the press acts like hungry paparazzi rather than journalists. Let’s hope for the latter
Brasto (Minneapolis)
these hearings will get us no more closer to uncovering the corruption of our justice department and how far the Obama administration had gone to try and destroy our democracy
@Brasto Of course you do know that Mueller is a Republican, was hired after Trump was inaugurated, by a Republican yes?
Dock Yard (Connecticut)
In the words of John McEnroe, “You cannot be serious, man ...”
Truth Is True (NY)
Better late than never. We will see if the Muller Show will have any impact on Kag voters. It will be good to see Mueller answer the Republicans when they ask him why he exonerated Trump when we all know the Truth is he didn't exonerate Trump, but rather sent the report to Congress, as per DOJ policy, counting on the Congress to do their jobs. I hope that Mueller will retort that they should do their jobs rather than continue to cover up for a criminally implicated sitting President.
Wondering (NY, NY)
@Truth Is True DOJ policy is not to send report to Congress. Barr agreed to share most all of report with them, but did not have to. Mueller is not going to trash his hard-earned reputation by letting Democrats use him as a partisan tool.
Gwennie11 (USA)
When will those (McGhan, Hicks, etc.) ignoring subpoenas be forced to appear and provide complete testimony? I've watched every episode of Law and Order, many more than once, so I am pretty much an expert. On the show, if you ignored a subpoena, you were arrested. Jack McCoy, what say you?
Larry (NY)
It's wishful thinking to believe this will alter the course of events. Mueller has already spoken - well intended but misguided in his equivocating - and I don't think we will see another version of him when he testifies. Meanwhile the danger that is Donald Trump continues day in and day out. Sad.
Steve Davies (Tampa, Fl.)
I dislike the framing of this testimony as a "political spectacle," and Mueller isn't a knight in shining armor ready to tell the whole truth and put country before self the way John Dean, Daniel Elllsberg and others have. Mueller is a lifelong conservative so enamored of the standard American exceptionalism and hegemony mythology that he eagerly volunteered for the Vietnam War, and has never repented for his role in invading and occupying a country that never posed any threat to the USA. He was one of many W officials who spread the Iraq War lies, and has defended illegal mass surveillance. I hope AOC, Ilhan Omar, and some other young Democrats who haven't sold their souls yet will be the ones who question him and force him to admit on the record that Donald J. Trump and his gang are a white collar White House mob.
Saints Fan (Houston, TX)
As a conservative, there are a LOT of questions I would like to see Mr. Mueller address.
Oliver (New York, NYC)
I want Robert Mueller to be asked whether he would have indicted Donald Trump were Trump not a sitting president. Mueller must know that question is coming. Even if Mueller says to Congress, in so many words, that they are trying to get him to make their case and he won’t do it, it will imply to the American voter that Mueller believes Congress has enough to impeach albeit only in the House. Everyone knows the Republican senate won’t convict.
simon (MA)
Mueller isn't going to share anything that wasn't in his report, i.e., there's nothing more he has to say. He said as much in his previous presentation. So don't hold your breath for new revelations. Sad but true.
Haynannu (Poughkeepsie NY)
I'll believe it when I see it. Trump is sure to try and block this.
eric (kennett square, pa)
Trump and his thugs will find a way to force the special counsel to not appear, declaring in some convoluted legal (illegal?) jargon that national security is the issue. After all, "we the people" no longer matter.
Kurt Pickard (Murfreesboro, TN)
Does anyone with half a brain think for one moment that Robert Mueller is going before the House Judiciary and Intelligence Committees and reveal anything new? That there's something he forgot to put into his report? Schiff and Nadler promised us the Mueller report would be the end all, a slam dunk and the President would be given a one way ticket on the impeachment train. But instead all we've gotten from them is puffery and nothing burgers.
TIm Love (Bangor, Maine)
Well, I have waited with baited breath to hear from Robert Mueller concerning Trump's obstructionist conduct. While, we the public, have witnessed Trump's mobster mentality at work, Mueller's assembled facts speak the truth. Trump's enablers, William Barr, Lindsay Graham, Mark Meadows, VP Pence, and others continue groveling in the dirt terrified of Mueller's public testimony, and they should be. God has taught America a valuable lesson, now let it be done. Cheerio, Trump!
JACK (08002)
Schiff & Nadler, hardly two congressman with any credibility, integrity or style, are hurling the Democrats into a maelstrom of hurt. For one, Mueller will most likely, as he has just said, confine himself to the four corners of the Report. But what will change is aggressive public questioning by Republicans, something Mueller hasn't experienced since the beginning of the probe. Such questions are likely two include why he didn't recuse himself from this assignment. One day before, he was interviewing for the AG position that he didn't receive. Additionally, he had long close working relationships with Comey, Rosenstein and other FBI & DOJ employees. Why did he choose 17 members of his staff that had close ties to Clinton including the attorney for the Clinton Foundation & Weissmann who attended Hilary's pre-election party. Not one Republican? When did Mueller know that collusion was not on the table (all indications were early on) and if so why didn't he close it down at that point. With so many FBI & DOJ top people fired or left why didn't he also investigate the apparent malfeasance that is now being investigated by the IG, Barr and John Durham? Why did he hire Page & Strozk, two blatantly biased people. Why no investigation into the phony dossier that was used to spy on Americans...and so much more. Not only will the Democrats not get their holy grail smoking gun but Mueller's reputation will be shredded.
Sherry (Washington)
Indeed, Republicans will try to shred his reputation, reflecting their utter absence of interest in the main fact of the case, that Russia attacked our Democracy. Why do Republicans not give a damn about that, one wonders.
N. Smith (New York City)
@JACK You just forget one thing. No one is above the law.
Mark (PDX)
If the GOP wants to die on this hill that you are describing then I say go for it
DJS (New York)
“It contains our findings and analysis and the reasons for the decisions we made,” Mr. Mueller said. “We chose those words carefully, and the work speaks for itself. And the report is my testimony. I would not provide information beyond that which is already public in any appearance before Congress.” What is Mueller hiding ? He was supposed to be impartial Why does Robert Mueller. believe that he has the right to withhold information from Congress ? He has a duty to answer Congress's questions. He has a duty to the United States of America, and to its people. What right does Robert Mueller have to withhold information that could make the difference as to whether Congress moves to impeach ? If Robert Mueller withholds information. from Congress, he will be obstructing justice.
Leslie374 (St. Paul, MN)
I urge EVERY American Citizen to read Mueller's Report. In most cases, this task will need to be completed in a number of sessions over a period of time. Mr. Mueller and his team spent approximately 2 years, diligently and responsibly investigating his matter. His findings cannot be reduced or condensed to an inane Twitter entry. That's a problem for many Americans of all ages. Communication via Twitter does not cultivate Critical Thinking Skills. I have read the entire version of the report that was released for the American Public to Review. I would like to read and review a copy of the report without redactions. There is plenty of information/facts within the redacted report. 1. Russia / Putin did interfere in the Presidential Election. 2. Trump, his children and his staff members were intentionally exploited, manipulated and played with by Russian government officials and private citizens. 3. How much of a knowing/participatory role Trump played is left unanswered... but the most important facts radiating from the report center on this fact. Trump is unfit for office. He has no interest in serving the American People. He serves himself and his perceived financial empire. Respect our country. Do your part to protect the American Democracy for coming generations. READ THE REPORT.
WhaleRider (NorCal)
The one question I am eager to hear asked of Mr Mueller: Setting aside your grave concerns of Russian interference in our elections for a moment, sir, if you were a congressman and not working under the long standing DOJ policy not to indict a sitting president, given the evidence you gathered in your report, would you vote to both impeach and then convict Trump on obstruction of justice?
SGK (Austin Area)
In reading The Mueller Report, I find it both fascinating and frustrating (I'm delighted it has now a cast of actors doing a dramatic reading!). While I see why Mueller couldn't indict, the circumstantial evidence surrounding Trump's corrupt behavior earns him a Benedict Arnold of the 21st Century award. If Mueller is not blocked from talking, I fear his testimony may result in a tight-lipped, cautious, and lawyer-ish set of answers, with a lack of new information, no revelations, and a 'refusal' to enter any territory that leads to any useful insight. High hopes, low outcomes.
Steel Magnolia (Atlanta)
Robert Muller will never answer the hypothetical question, "Would you have indicted the president if you could have?" He believes too strongly that the decisionmaker on whether the president in fact committed "high crimes and misdemeanors" is Congress, and he will not prejudge their case. If asked directly, however, he may very well say that in so many words, rather than in the oblique ones he used in his statement. And he may very well answer the question, "Did you have sufficient evidence to establish 'probable cause' to believe the president had obstructed justice?" He might not answer in crisp yes-or-no terms, but he might recite his evidence in summary form--which the public needs to hear since few will ever read his 400-page report. And he might very well distinguish between his "insufficient" evidence on the conspiracy count and the level of evidence he had on construction of justice count. It is clear from everything Mueller has said and done that he believes 1) there is sufficient evidence of wrongdoing for the proper decisionmaker to consider whether the president obstructed justice, and 2) under our constitution that decisionmaker is Congress. If he is the patriot I hope and believe he is, he will communicate that, loudly and clearly. And that is ultimate the message Congress and the American public need to hear.
mq (anytown, Europe)
Yes, the report speaks by itself, but we can't expect Fox News viewers to read its summary (not the one Barr wrote to mislead the public). Mueller reading aloud the conclusions of the report in a way that everyone in America hears it can change public opinion and get the Dems moving towards impeachment. It's a no-brainer. Not impeaching Trump will set a new low-bar for future presidents. He's already inviting foreign interference in 2020, simply because he suffered no consequences for his previous betrayal.
dugggggg (nyc)
This concerns me for at least two reasons: 1) he will not have any kind of smoking gun despite the high expectations of those who aren't paying attention, and some who are, and 2) the statement he released a few weeks ago was pretty darn horrible imo, it was poorly written, ambiguous where it should have been certain, and not what anyone wanted. I can't help but fear the live testimony will be more of the same.
karen (bay area)
Agree. He inaccurately claimed the very bad DOJ "policy" of not inditing a sitting president has constitutional roots, when in truth it should be overturned if we are a nation of laws, as we claim. Should be first priority of a Democratic administration.
Faisal (New York, NY)
Until I see this happening, I wont get my hopes up. There's plenty of time between now and July 17th for Trump to stop Mueller from testifying.
TFL (Charlotte, NC)
If the public's attention is so short, and if it is so difficult to capture because of some kind of collective ADD or malaise, what do Democrats hope to achieve by having Mueller testify again? Don't they have enough evidence to proceed with impeachment against Trump? Why keep dragging this out and making it look so self-serving? Get on with it, already!
hula hoop (Gotham)
This is a big mistake by the Dems. A prosecutor, even a very "special" one like Mueller, is by definition, not competent to testify as a fact witness. All Mueller can really do is refer any questions to his 488 page report. This will go exactly nowhere.
Tame (San Francisco)
I suspect the very smart and methodical Mr. Mueller knew exactly how this would play out and knew he'd be called to testify, letting Congress be the one to indict Trump for his treasonous actions.
deb (inoregon)
Open hearings!! Yay! It'll be amazing to watch FOX try to spin it, when information comes directly from Mueller's mouth, and the questions finally get answered. Barr and trump and the republicans in Congress have had several weeks to hide the information, and they've used it to tell us all to go to sleep and to mistrust America's processes. I. can't. wait.
Ed (Philadelphia)
@NYT, your headline makes this appear to be some sham hearing for only political purposes and not an essential hearing from the head of the only thorough independent investigation we’ll ever get about Russian interference in the 2016 elections. Please do better.
Usok (Houston)
Mueller will testify while Trump will be out of the country. So the news media will focus on Mueller instead of Trump. But I doubt that Mueller can provide any substantial evidence damaging to Trump regardless how good Mueller is. Sitting president has a lot of power. With Trump and his abled legal staff members, I doubt we will see any good outcome from this investigation. In the meantime, we have tons of important issues to be addressed and resolved, but just sitting there.
Liz (Los Angeles, CA)
Mueller was a dupe from the start. I knew nothing would come of his "investigation." Him testifying to Congress will change none of it.
Ze Tiago (Philadelphia)
He's not going to say anything that is not already in the report. The important thing to focus on is getting sound bytes of the most damning parts. Few people read the report, many watch TV.
Javaforce (California)
I’m surprised that Mueller is so reticent about representing his report. He obviously knows more than the rest of us about Trump’s misdeeds than everyone else. Frankly I find it strange that Mueller found Trump not guilty of conspiring with Russians before and after the 2016 election. The public evidence show deep involvement between Trump and Russia that even a rookie prosecutor should be able to clearly make an airtight case. It does not take the Barr version of the Mueller report to see that Trump has continuously obstructed justice since before the 2016 election and it’s only getting worse.
John Jabo (Georgia)
I know this makes media types breathless. But I would best most of the nation is like me -- weary of these political parlor games that serve only to highlight the vast different realties between the political class of the rest of us. If Trump is guilty, indict or impeach him. If not, please move on.
LC (France)
How can Mueller change the narrative emanating from the White House, and its inhabitant, that has successfully perverted the national logic and ability to reason? His report was clear and should have resulted in the immediate impeachment of the president. Republicans would have had no hesitation to pull the trigger had the subject of the report been a Democrat, yet Democrats have hesitated, giving Trump and his co-obstructionists ample time to sow yet more Orwellian lies in their efforts to prevent the workings of justice. The main issue is not to remove the president (hopefully the public will vote him out), but to show America, and the world, that this type of medieval behavior is completely unacceptable, and that those who do believe in the rule of law have not been abandoned. As it is, we can expect a tour de force of false accusations, lies and another full assault on the incontrovertible evidence before our eyes.
Ron (Nicholasville, Ky)
Read the Mueller Report and then you decide. I have and concluded Trump et al are guilty of undertaking this skulduggery and the subsequent obstruction of justice to cover their tracks. This report is dry as cardboard to read, but a few well crafted questions, asked in public and answered by Mueller should clarify (for anyone with a brain) the reports conclusions.
Dash (Still Not Sure)
What a sad statement on our society; we're at the stage where we have to compel/force people to tell the truth.
RLW (Chicago)
Why are so many determined that Mr Mueller's testimony will somehow reveal what they don't already know? Donald J. Trump by his own egocentric narcissistic behavior has already revealed in public statements and on his Twitter account many of the various impeachable offenses he has committed before and during his tenure as POTUS. He is an open book of public and private corruption. We elected a very flawed individual to be the leader of the country and we are now suffering the consequences. What more can Mr Mueller add? We have the special counsel's report. Even redacted the report details several impeachable offenses. We have the televised statements. We have the Tweets. What we don't have is what Mr Trump revealed in secret to Mr Putin and the Russian ambassador. What we don't have is what Trump promised N. Korea's Kim. What we don't have is how Trump is benefiting financially from his position as POTUS. But those things were apparently not revealed to the Special Counsel either.
Character Counts (USA)
Maybe this is wishful thinking, but I have a feeling that Mueller knows Trump will eventually be up a creek with at least a few of the other ongoing investigations, especially in NYS. He is clearly unwilling to put his neck out and be a political pawn or spokesperson for this round, despite the fact that many Americans can't be bothered to read a paragraph, never mind a 400 page report, and many get their news spoon fed to them by Faux. This is Round 1 for Trump, no doubt. I can assure you that other very qualified investigators, financial experts, are looking through Trump's past decades of banking and lending deals with fine toothed combs. This is what really worries Trump, because while he may be able to sweet talk or lie his way out of grey areas like "no collusion" (he sure invites Russian help, as he recently admitted), "no obstruction" (yes, there was clear obstruction), and hide behind the Presidency, he can't hide from NYS and black-and-white issues like money laundering and tax fraud. Trump knows that the day he walks out of office, sealed indictment(s) will be awaiting - Individual #1. And, perhaps NYS will be even more bold, and move earlier, while Trump is in office, seeing as they consider *every* citizen accountable to the law (unlike the DOJ).
Margot LeRoy (Seattle Washington)
This American will be thrilled to see a member of our government answer questions and interact about our election issues with foreign interference. The fact that Mr. Mueller is a man of integrity with a resume far better than many who will attempt to derail his integrity makes it even more valuable and reassuring. He doesn't wear a leash and dance on command. Refreshing to see someone whose work and life were handled with integrity and purpose. Republicans will try to disparage him and Democrats will try to elevate his words beyond what he intended.... And the impotence of both will prove how we really need to stop pretending America is okay. I wish him the gift of tolerance..
Girish Kotwal (Louisville, KY)
Mueller has been a political spectacle eight from the beginning and now the chickens will come home to roost and expose the Mueller fiasco.
DJ (New Jersey)
More feelings vs facts and grandstanding. What a waste of time and money. My money.
jbm (chicago)
The Mueller Report basically contained nothing but old news. For two years we had daily reports in the media about the investigations. By its release, almost everyone had already formed an opinion, or tuned it out, and few, if any, changed their view subsequently. Those who think that Mueller's testimony will somehow substantially change the political landscape are going to be disappointed.
J Young (NM)
As an ex-prosecutor and now a state and federal litigator, what infuriates me is the repeated refrain that Mueller might not be 'willing' to answer the direct question of whether sufficient evidence exists to satisfy each element of the crime of obstruction of justice. When a witness is under subpoena to testify, he or she doesn't have the option to pick and choose which questions to answer--absent assertion of privilege, which doesn't apply here. Either Mueller answers, asserts the Fifth, or goes to prison for contempt of Congress.
@J Young ALAN DERSHOWITZ: Nobody can defy a subpoena, but you can respond to the subpoena and then refused to answer questions based on the traditions of the Justice Department, based on grand jury material, based on an ongoing investigation, based on a range of possible defenses. but he can't refuse to answer questions about the FISA application. Those are the kind of questions that I think Republicans will be very well prepared to ask. Those are the kind of questions which are currently under investigation by the inspector general whose report we are waiting for. But those are not in any way precluded. So I think that they will regret having called him. Look, I'm a liberal Democrat and I'm on the Democrat side.
Alix Hoquet (NY)
If this devolves into a spectacle of partisan speeches by members it will invalidate the entire enterprise. Our national security depends in restraint, focus and discipline.
RCJCHC (Corvallis OR)
"Ultimately, the members of Mr. Mueller’s team concluded that because Justice Department policy prohibits indicting a sitting president, they could not determine whether Mr. Trump’s actions had been criminal." ...and therein lies the problem. Justice Department policy needs revamping.
Jenny (Atlanta)
I hope Mueller will translate the tortuous legalese of his report into plain English for the American public: An enemy attacked our elections, and Trump and his campaign's only response was, "if it's what you say, I love it."
Brian (Ohio)
This news paper is either incompetant or lying about the obstruction case. Here's an excerpt from the article: Ultimately, the members of Mr. Mueller’s team concluded that because Justice Department policy prohibits indicting a sitting president, they could not determine whether Mr. Trump’s actions had been criminal. This is from a DOJ special counsel joint statement: The Attorney General has previously stated that the Special Counsel repeatedly affirmed that he was not saying that, but for the OLC opinion, he would have found the President obstructed justice. The Special Counsel's report and his statement today made clear that the office concluded it would not reach a determination - one way or the other - about whether the President committed a crime. There is no conflict between these statements. I trust this paper obfuscate to the fullest extent possible but not to lie outright.
Oliver (New York, NYC)
@ Brian And you believe AG Barr? I don’t. I think AG Barr was hired because AG Sessions wouldn’t do the president’s bidding.
Sean (Victoria, BC, Canada)
"The two committees issued subpoenas compelling Mr. Mueller to speak, and he accepted." What strange times we live in that we could have such a sentence, on top of everything else that's strange these days: that we're in a time when people have the option not to "accept" a subpoena.
Simon (On A Plane)
A spectacle is right!
sob (boston)
Even the NY Times understands that this "Political Spectacle" is all sound and fury, and means nothing, except as a way to prolong the attack on the President for having the gall to beat Mrs. Clinton. All the polls said she was going to win and win big and the only matter of dispute was by how much. The Dems are waging a proxy war against the American people, the deplorables, who rebelled against the established order. Hopefully, the Democratic leadership can get back to doing their jobs, to make America Great Again, instead of staging this idiotic political theater. I'm not going to hold my breath.
Ann Salvadori (New York)
Read the report.
Tame (San Francisco)
I'm guessing you haven't read the report. If you did you'd understand why Mueller is being subpoenaed.
wyleecoyoteus (Cedar Grove, NJ)
The timing of this announcement is curious. Despite refusing for months, Mueller announces that he will appear when horrific stories about mistreatment of immigrant children begin dominating the headlines. Is this really another Republican gimmick to manage the news?
Dale Mead (El Cerrito CA)
I hope Congress gets more bang for Mueller's buck than he did in his prior public statement. He discounted Tump's "no obstruction" and "no collusion" claims by simply reading the relevant report text. But his impact would have been ten times as forceful if he had preceded it with "it has been claimed that the report absolves Mr. Trump of collusion. It does not do that...." THEN read the text. Same with "no obstruction": "It does not do that," a direct, quotable rather than implied repudiation of the false claims. Some representative must ask him directly, "did you absolve the President of collusion? Yes or no?" His answer would be a headline, big and black enough to put Trump's, Barr's and the Republicans' lie to rest.
Gary (NYC)
What will be gained by this spectacle. Mueller will not go beyond the report otherwise he loses his credibility. What I would like to know is why he did not pursue the FISA warrants and how they were obtained. Now that could prove embarrassing.
MKKW (Baltimore)
The report proves that the warrants were warranted. end of story.
Thomas T (Oakland CA)
Trump will not be Impeached. Perhaps he will lose 2020, but it is unlikely. Facebook has been weaponized and the Dems are incompetent and nearly as bad as the GOP. Most likely Trump will be forced out in 2024. However, Trump may try to stay for a third and forth term. It would be illegal, but he is not shy to commit crimes. He and many others consider Trump above the law. Emperor Trump, clad with invisible robes of gold.
Dan Botez (Madison, WI)
It took two subpoenas to get to Mueller time. Let's hope it will be the first key step towards exposing what Trump and his minions did.
Larry (New York)
And that’s all it will amount to, a political spectacle. Anything important was in the report. Trouble is, there’s not as much as Trump’s enemies hoped for. Talking about it now won’t change that.
RickF (Newton)
Most people don't know what's in the report. Television ( and streaming ) is the only way to get the information out. People are to lazy to read.
Stephanie (Jill)
Why frame this as political spectacle? It implies that Congress’s action are merely a part of this grand side show, when in fact the committees are seeking to protect the Constitution and Democracy.
99percent (downtown)
@Stephanie Nadler's and Schiff's efforts have absolutely nothing to do with "the Constitution and Democracy" and everything to do with "Gotta Get Trump No Matter What."
ED (New York)
What Mueller never said in report (to my knowledge)? "We never had the opportunity to interview Russian National's (the hackers we indicted) to find out what they knew about the Trump campaign's (super frequent) interactions with Russia and who ordered them to hack Democratic offices and what was their motivation for doing so". So lack of evidence? How could their NOT be? Isn't it suspicious that Trump invited Russian diplomats into the oval office the very next day after he fired Comey? And said, "Firing Comey relieved a great deal of pressure on me". WHY would he invite them the very next day? WHY would he make that comment (which he didn't think would be reported/leaked) Without those Russian witnesses (subject to American laws/threat of perjury) the American public really has NO DEFINITIVE IDEA of why Russia/Putin supported Trump. All we have are suspicions there is some quid pro quo going on between Trump and Putin. Lack of evidence? Of course!! Trump knew he could never be 'caught' as the Russians/Putin would never admit to anything. Trump says derogatory things about EVERYONE (especially foreign leaders) but has never said one negative thing about Putin? Or Kim Jong Un (N. Korea is their ally) Or Bashar Assad (Syria)? Smell a rat? I do. Russia always denies any wrongdoing (like Trump btw). Why would an incoming President staff have SO MANY frequent contacts with Russia (BEFORE even assuming office). This is unprecedented.
Allecram (New York, NY)
I think we need to manage our expectations on this one.
Ken (St. Louis)
Note to Trump: You Tweeted that Congress's plan to require Robert Mueller to publicly testify about his report is "presidential harassment." Sorry, prez, but Mr. Mueller's testimony won't be nearly as harassing as your daily rants against Americans -- and international peers -- who take issue with your corrupt presidency.
RLW (Chicago)
The POLITICAL SPECTACLE has been playing out for the past two years with Donald J. Trump's behavior in the public arena and on Twitter. Trump IS political spectacle. The real question is whether what he has done as the elected POTUS is so damaging for the nation that we will never ever recover.
AACNY (New York)
It's hard to understand why everyone clings to the Mueller report as if Mueller's is the final word on all legal issues. It isn't. Barr has already said that he believes it wasn't obstruction. People can rant and rave all they want about Barrs opinion, but it carries as much weight, if not more because of his seniority, than Mueller's. People are clinging to the report as if it is a SCOTUS decision. It's not. It's the *opinion* of Mueller. There were no charges recommended. Mueller made his case, but it's not binding. It's an opinion. Nothing more.
Joe From Boston (Massachusetts)
@AACNY Over 1000 former federal prosecutors signed a letter that says that on the evidence Mueller put in the report, ANYONE who is not sitting in the Oval Office would be indicted for obstruction of justice. Yeah, right, the Mueller report is "just an opinion." It does mention that during the investigation a pile of people were indicted, and a bunch either were found guilty or pleaded guilty. Only the Russians who are beyond the reach of US authorities have not had to answer the accusations against them.
susan (nyc)
@AACNY - "Barr has already said that he believes it wasn't obstruction." That is Barr's OPINION. Barr came in at the tail end of Mueller's investigation. And as someone who has worked for lawyers for over 35 years, I can attest that lawyers DO NOT read. And I will wager Barr DID NOT read the entire Mueller report.
Tom (Hudson Valley)
Sadly, my biggest concern is that the Democratic members of Congress who interview Mueller will be ineffective, and this pivotal opportunity for our nation will be wasted.
kim (nyc)
Enough with these overhyped moments that lead to nowhere. The Republican Party is now the Trump Party or maybe what it always was which was a party that puts forward some genial face to get votes and then turns over the agenda to its most extreme, oligarchic, undemocratic elements. I've given up as the Democratic Party doesn't seem to exist so we live in a one party state and that's that.
Jo Anne (Florida)
Just another political dog and pony show.
Jim Sande (Delmar NY)
This is great news. Let's get the truth out there instead of this incredible barrage of lies mostly emanating from the White House and its GOP backers. The American people need to hear Mueller.
ehillesum (michigan)
Mueller is worried about what the IG’s report will reveal concerning the team of Trump haters he put together and the corrupt actions they engaged in to let Hillary (the real Russian collider) skate and to persecute Trump (the non-colluder). Not to mention the special AG’s separate investigation which will be a double whammy for Mueller. But his attempt to salvage his reputation and place in history will fail.
Brylarif i (New Jersey)
One of the best ways to “Make America Great Again” would be to realize that before we are Republicans or Democrats, we are Americans first, and that facts matter. Trump’s team had 116 contacts with the Russians, Trump was personally informed by President Obama that General Flynn was under investigation, The FBI has recorded conversations of Flynn with the Russians, Jared Kushner personally asked the Russians for a back door channel for discussions, and this is but a few of the provable, actual facts, Yet Trump hired Flynn, gave him access to our Nation’s mist guarded secrets, was warned by Acting Director Sally Yates and still kept him on. But why? We get no answers from Trump, or Kushner, only obfuscation or outright claims of falsehoods. One only need look at the facts. Fox News can spin their stories, but the facts remain. Simply put, is two plus two six, or is it four? Or is math just a witch-hunt to single out stupid people? Let Trump answer the questions, explain to the American people why he made such choices. I want to hear more than just “witch-hunt” from our president. No country will become great based on total disregard for the truth.
ehillesum (michigan)
@Brylarif i. Hillary used a Brit spy and his Russian contacts to create the fake Dossier which has upended our country for the last 3 years. The Russians love that!
Stephen Feldman (White Plains NY)
It's about time Mueller testified and I'm grateful he'll do it. Now, what about all the other subpoenas? Hope Hicks, William Barr? I want all the House members to do their job, especially the Democrats. Uphold the rule of law. It's one thing if the Republicans soil themselves every day, but Democrats need to have confidence in themselves and the US Constitution.
Dan (Sandy, Ut)
Trump will undoubtedly resort to more tweeter tantrums and blame the emails for the reason Mr. Mueller is speaking before the House committees. Sounds absurd? Not really.
Mike Pod (DE)
For heaven’s sake, could we please have a full airing of Russia’s cyber-attack on our elections! Just because it punctures his fantasy of a glorious election victory, and his ego, trump* is trying to finesse the whole thing. Discourages discussion of it at cabinet meetings and refuses to fully level with American voters. This ALONE rises to the level worthy of impeachment...certainly for hearings.
GM (Universe)
A victory for our democracy!
Rob (NY)
Finally. Sheesh. I know this is only about the president, but I’ve heard more public testimony about catching and neutering feral cats!
Coastal (NC)
Just when you thought it was safe to go back in the water the Chairman of the House Judiciary Committee Jerry Nadler commits a huge blunder and displays a complete lack of understanding of what Mueller can and cant comment about vis a vis his Investigation into Russian Collusion*. The Republicans have wanted to cross examine the Head of this 2 plus year so called investigation from the beginning and now they will get their chance and its going to blow up in their faces bigger than the upcoming circular firing squad debacle of 20 Democratic candidates trying to outdo each other on National Television tonight and tomorrow. I suspect that Mueller who only a short time ago gave a somewhat tremulous Press conference once again affirming the findings of his 2 year investigation into Russian Collusion* and making it clear he stood by those findings and would be answering no more questions, is now going to try and justify some of his own actions because he knows that States Attorney Durham who is investigating the Investigarors is going to uncover things that will shall we say reflect poorly on him. This also shows clearly that Mueller was never unbiased to start with.
charles almon (brooklyn NYC)
I suspect Mueller is being very cooperative as all the accusations of 'pulling his punches' are effecting his ego.
Christy (WA)
About time. The Dems should have subpoenaed him long ago instead of waffling around for several months. Some questions to ask: 1-Why did you never subpoena Trump for a sit-down interview? 2-Why did you never subpoena any of his family members for sit-down interviews? 3-Did you examine Trump's financial ties to Russia? 4-Would you have charged Trump with obstruction of justice had he not been president? 5-Trump aides like KellyAnn Conway publicly and repeatedly violated the Hatch Act? Wasn't it your duty, as special counsel, to prosecute any ancillary crimes uncovered in your investigation?
Warren Roos (California)
Alas this is more kabuki theater while the statue of liberty weeps.
J (West)
Why the long wait? This is so far overdue at this point !
Good Things (PA)
President Trump has prolonged the Meuller investigation by refusing to testify. Had he testified early in the process, and if -- as he claims -- he did not collude or obstruct justice, the investigation would have ended long ago. He brought this on himself.
Oliver (New York, NYC)
I understand the reasoning of the House Democrats. They know that Mueller’s report does NOT exonerate the president and they know that AG Barr put a spin on the results when he distilled the report for public consumption. So the report is a 450 page memo that people won’t read and those people will just take Barr’s word for it. However, if that is the “book” then appearing before Congress, not behind closed doors, but on TV, then that is the “movie” and people (voters) will certainly watch the movie. Remember, more people were for impeachment now, at this stage, than they were during Watergate, but it was the televised Congressional hearings that persuaded the public to get on board. So I understand the Democrats’ thinking. They need Mueller and all those White House aids to speak in front of a camera so people can see their body language, etc. I just hope it doesn’t backfire because Mueller did not have the intestinal fortitude to take down a president, for example, the way John Dean took down Nixon. But what if Mueller is asked: “If the president we’re a private citizen, would you have indicted him for obstruction of justice?” And if the answer is “No” then it’s game over.
Scott B (St. Petersburg FL)
On July 24 1974 the Supreme Court unanimously demanded that Nixon turn over the oval office tapes. Nixon complied on August 5th and resigned three days later. Today there is vastly more evidence of obstruction -- which is on-going and in plain view of the world as Trump gags witnesses, ignores subpoenas and Congressional requests for documentation and uses the Bully Pulpit to blatantly lie about Mueller's conclusions. Mueller's position is obvious: "What do you need me for? He's obstructing justice in front of your face on a daily basis. Just do your job." Whether Mueller's oral testimony will do anything to focus the nation's attention on the obvious is an open question.
Carlos Netanyu (Palm Springs)
Mueller will put an end to the "no collusion, no obstruction" lie, once and for all. Anyone who reads the report knows it lists both collusion and obstruction in stark detail.
ATN (San Francisco)
Let's hope he finds some fortitude and stops being coy. This guy couldn't spit out a bottom line, couldn't provide the Manafort "missing link" between Trump and Russia, couldn't get Trump to testify and got totally run over by Trump's lapdog Barr. For people expecting a hero, I suggest you look elsewhere. Mueller lives in a world that doesn't exist anymore; his rules are for a bygone era. He may love democracy but his timidness certainly hasn't helped it.
Janet Lesniak (Wellfleet,MA)
A point of clarification; Mr. Barr is not the President’s attorney general, as stated in the article. “The president and his attorney general, William P. Barr”. Although William P Barr was chosen by the President, he is the Attorney General of the United States and accountable to the citizens of the United States, not personally to the President.
Mark Evans (Austin)
This might backfire on the Dems. Mueller is likely to repeat in monotone only what's in his report but Republicans will ask some uncomfortable questions like "when did you know there was no collusion?","why did you staff your team with Democract partisans?", etc. Post interview spin will be Olympic and we will all be back where we are today. It will be interesting if Horowitz or Barr drop any findings before July 17.
Boring Tool (Falcon Heights, Mn)
In addition to formulating their own questions for Mr. Mueller, I hope the Democrats will spend sufficient time and serious enough thought that they can anticipate, and effectively and quickly rebut - and ridicule -the meandering questions, interminable faux outrage, and baseless accusations their Republican counterparts are likely to hurl at Mr. Mueller. Let’s not have a rerun of Lindsay Graham’s time-wasting, overwrought performance during the Kavanaugh hearing.
Ms. Pea (Seattle)
Barr will most likely try to stop Mueller's testimony. Trump has to be nervous about the public hearing directly from Mueller what his findings were. And, if Mueller repeats what he wrote in his report, he will be on the record as publicly stating that the report "does not exonerate" Trump, which will contradict the lies Trump has told since release of the report. Democrats will no doubt ask Mueller to explain what evidence he found that Trump obstructed justice and why he left it to Barr to determine whether the “conduct described in the report constitutes a crime." Finally, Mueller may be asked to describe the “several matters" that he referred to other offices for further action. We know that federal prosecutors in Manhattan are currently pursuing at least two criminal inquiries involving Trump or people in his circle that were referred by Mueller. Mueller's testimony could be very damaging to Trump. It's not a stretch to imagine that Barr and Trump will try to stop it before July 17th.
Anthony (beacon)
His testimony will be the biggest flop since this whole investigation began. He won't say anything other than is in the report and he won't say whether he would have prosecuted the President.
freeasabird (Montgomery, Texas)
Did candidate Donald J. Trump cross the legal line, how often did he do so, if he had done it at all? Did President Trump use his presidency as a shield while engaging in obstructing justice? Why would president Trump obstruct Justice in the first place, if he had believed that he didn’t cross the legal line. What exactly constitutes “sufficient evidence” as stated in jour report, Mr. Mueller Some of the questions I would ask Mr. Robert S. Mueller on July 17, 2019
ArmandoI (Chicago)
If Mueller doesn’t reveal something NOT included in his investigation, please, don’t hold your breath. It will be an event insignificant for many of us and it may even reinforce the idea in Trump’s supporters that he is victim of a conspiracy.
Religionistherootofallevil (Nyc)
Given Mueller's fastidious refusal to do what more he could could thwart the undermining of democratic governance, I wouldn't get your hopes up.
AACNY (New York)
Democrats and The Times keep hoping they'll finally convince everyone they were right about Trump. They've been trying since he was elected. They think their case has gotten better with the Mueller investigation. It's actually gotten worse. People weren't all that concerned about Russia, as democrats learned when they returned home for the midterms. And, now, people see the benefits of an improved economy and appreciate his efforts on immigration. Plus, the Democratic Party has lurched left which makes Trump look even better.
Joe From Boston (Massachusetts)
@AACNY Please come back on November 4, 2020 and tell us how NY State voted on November 3, 2020.
Dorothy (Emerald City)
I hope we feel a sense of closure after this. As American citizens, need to move forward with constructively addressing Russian interference and aggression.
Lynn (New York)
"promise to be among the most closely watched spectacles" Shame on Fandos for fitting this in to Trump's TV series approach to the Presidency rather than step out of that narrative to return to the reality of democratic government. A foreign power used cyber attacks with the goal of affecting the outcome of our election The candidate the foreign power favored won, and has been obstructing an inquiry into fully understanding what occurred in order to prevent such manipulation of the vote. This hearing should be serious business for anyone who cares for democratic (small d) government. The witness is a serious patriot, who certainly wants no spectacle. If the hearing It is a spectacle only because much of the coverage focuses on it as a made-for-TV political game, rather than ignoring the histrionics and focusing on the substance.
Ken Margolis (Chappaqua)
According to The Times, Mueller's testimony will be a "political spectacle." If that is the case, it is indeed sad that Reps. Schiff and Nadler are using such a serious matter for purposes of political theater.
Charles Focht (Lost in America)
Speaker Pelosi and some other Democrats are hoping Mueller's testimony will be compelling enough that they can substitute it for their moral and legal obligation to initiate an impeachment inquiry. They take no responsibility for protecting democracy and put it all on Mueller's head along with a wish and a prayer. Disgusting profiles in cowardice.
Steve (East Coast)
By the end of today, the White House will block his testimony. Executive Privilege will trumpeted from the WH press briefing room, all the way through the fox news propaganda empire. I would not be surprised if Bar Barr threatens to charge Mueller with treason if he testifies. July 17th, will not happen. The supreme court will have to weigh in on this.
oogada (Boogada)
"Mueller to Testify to Congress, Setting Up a Political Spectacle" Here's hoping this headline is as misleading as so many of yours are these odd days. The last thing Mueller needs, if he is to be forthcoming, is any hint of spectacle. The show, the spectacle, is Kryptonite to serious men such as he. This election year, please, let us see serious politicians, committed to the law and the truth and the welfare of the nation. No Robert Mueller, I, but the first bit of showmanship from the Left side of the panel and I'm checking out, too. Its time somebody in Washington takes all this seriously. I'm so glad this will not include Pelosi or Schumer, because I'd really like to know what happened, and maybe do something about it.
TMah (Salt Lake City)
Mueller will never testify. In the "Delay-Delay-Tie-it-up-in-the-courts" world of Donald Trump, they will present a document to the courts on the day before it is scheduled (to take up as much time as possible). Things will be tied up in the courts with delaying tactics such as requesting delayed hearings, and appeals at all levels, until after the 2020 elections, when it won't matter any more.
JS (Minnetonka, MN)
It's not out of the question that Trump will order Barr to file an injunction against Mueller's testimony becuse he knows that Mueller knows the full force of Trump's criminality. Barr will be fired if he refuses and the next AG will do it. The litigation could get to the Supreme Court before the election if Trump acts immediately, but he will probably stall until July 16 so he can try to run the calendar. From there it's a race to the election. If the Court gets the case, it will be the most seminal and consequential ruling since the Nixon tapes. It's hard to imagine the Court finding for Trump, but not impossible.
EAK (Cary NC)
A possible reason why Mueller may be forced to speak is that the president continues to obstruct justice by preventing Congress from taking appropriate action on the basis of his report. In other words, what Trump calls “executive privilege” is simply more obstruction of justice.
Goahead (Phoenix)
Is this the moment our country has been waiting for? Will it be the major stimulus for the impeachment process? I pray that it is, for our country's sake.
Katherine (Cambridge)
Over the past tumultuous months, I've watched countless hours of congressional testimony. I have a new appreciation for the acumen and professionalism of a few members of Congress (Elijah Cummings, Kamala Harris, and--to my pleasant surprise--AOC). I also have a new appreciation for the crass hackery of too many of these politicians, who squandered their precious allotted minutes in preening for their constituents. Perhaps someone can tell them that public congressional hearings are not campaign events. Robert Mueller is an honorable public servant. He will honor the subpoena and appear before Congress, clearly very much against his own wishes. I hope that his questioners will likewise conduct themselves with dignity, honor, and serious purpose. But if they do not, if yet again they hijack the hearings with self-serving grandstanding, this time their constituents will see their conduct for what it is. So will historians, as they study the decline and fall of democracy in the United States of America.
KHAnderson (Minneapolis)
“The stakes could scarcely be higher for Mr. Trump, who is facing re-election next year, or for Congress, which is battling to weaken him.” No. Congress is battling to hold the president accountable, as is their duty. Big difference.
Elizabeth (Roslyn, NY)
A made for TV spectacle by the Democrats? I don't think they have the know how of the ultimate TV producer Trump. Mueller will NOT go beyond his report in any way. He is too strict in his definition of duty and will adhere to guidelines issued by AG Barr as much as he can. Sure the fact that he is there may bring to more people the findings in his report so that may accomplish something. But this is not a huge moment. Nadler and Schiff need to sit down and finally decide impeachment hearings yes or no. This seemingly endless indecision is almost at the end game of pointlessness. It's now or never.
Keith D. Kulper (Morris Plains, NJ)
Bob Mueller knew that he would have to testify before Congress which is why he recently said to everyone:read the report first and understand what’s in it. He will be very careful not to say much more but what is in the report is very powerful information for all of us to consider. Going before Congress helps to remind everyone about the importance of having leaders who respect our laws and founding values. trump and his supporters have little regard for the report or its findings or our laws and founding principles. They’re wrong to feel that way as further testimony by Mueller will support which will indeed help to assure the election of more Dems in national, state and municipal elections in the years ahead. The Dems need to keep refining their “ to do” list so that important things like improving our economy, infrastructure, healthcare, immigration and education systems and global environment can start happening in the right ways that much sooner. So bring on Mueller; it will be helpful to keep the story of trump’s obstruction and incompetence in front of the American people and the world.
Is_the_audit_over_yet (MD)
Anyone that frames this as only a political show or spectacle is not following along or doesn’t understand how our government works. Congress provides oversight of our executive branch. This hearing and inquiry into the misdeeds of this administration is part of that oversight. DJT and those HE chose to surround himself with brought on this response from the House. This is government oversight. Mueller ran a 2 year investigation into the current administration. The House has a Constitutional responsibility to uphold and we must hear from Mueller! For those that think this is a show- don’t watch!
Clayton Marlow (Exeter, NH)
I feel we will be best served if Congress plans questions in a sequential way that enhances a clear story with timeline. People respond to stories. We need the story.
Regards, LC (princeton, new jersey)
I can’t wait to hear Mueller testify under oath before both congressional committees. His reputation for integrity, his honor, courage and patriotism and his Gary Cooper taciturn demeanor in counterpoint to #45 will be a revelation and a source of great pride to the average American-regardless of party affiliation. Nevertheless (invariably there’s a “nevertheless”), the Special Counsel is not a fact witness. Unlike John Dean during Watergate or McGhan, Hicks and others in #45’s inner circle, Mr. Mueller can’t provide a narrative of wrongdoing, corruption, lying and obstruction. We can’t expect him to express conclusions about impeachment or possible criminality that go beyond the report. Maybe, just maybe, it’ll provoke the conscience of some who’ve been unwilling to tell the country about the true Trump and come forward and unmask him to those who’ve convinced themselves that he’s a man of honor and decency.
Norman (Kingston)
@Regards, LC, there is something quite remarkable about the Mueller investigation that few people have pointed out: mueller was not just investigating events from recent history, he was also investigating and observing events happening in real time. I believe the efforts to obstruct partially fall under this latter category. In that sense, he is not merely an investigator but a witness.
Tom (Pennsylvania)
@Regards, LC This is purely a show for the democrats "educated" voters. Never before in American history has a sitting president been subjected to this kind of partisan attack. The democrats have lowered the bar to the basement. I fear that all future presidents will face this kind of partisan attack.
Christopher (San Francisco)
@Tom Are you referring to Trump, who just last week again said he would accept election assistance from the Russians? You’re correct, “ never before in American history” has such treachery been witnessed.
John Adams (CA)
Republicans are happy that Mueller is going to testify? There’s going to be questions about Obstruction of Justice that if answered will have them squirming in their seats. Mueller is a Boy Scout and the GOP should be careful what they wish for when they go after him.
AACNY (New York)
@John Adams There are several investigations underway of the origins of the Trump investigation. Republicans are going to debut the findings at this hearing.
Joe From Boston (Massachusetts)
@AACNY "Republicans are going to debut the findings at this hearing." With the same overwhelming success as they did investigating BENGHAZI!!
Mark (FL)
Mueller will, without doubt, testify in such a manner that will have the least amount of damage to himself. Knowing that, Democrats, you have two clear scenarios: 1. (and most likely), grandstand and speech-i-fy ad infinitum or 2. (sadly less likely) a behind the scenes lawyer pores over this document for the one or two items that can become indelible in the news cycle for more than a week or so. Can't say I'm optimistic for the second option.
Sharon (Los Angeles)
@Mark plus, democrats are horrible at asking questions. They are far too deferential and do not follow up properly. In a word, they are weak and we will not get what we need from these hearings.
Paul-A (St. Lawrence, NY)
@Mark "pores over this document for the one or two items that can become indelible in the news cycle for more than a week or so." That won't be hard to do, because there are plenty of damning items in plain sight in the report. In fact, by having Mueller repeat those lines will make them stand out, even for low-info voters who haven't plowed through the 400+ pages of the report. And politics is, in fact, all about "grandstanding and speechifying." Keeping Trump's corrupt actions in the public eye is a very sharp move by the Dems.
DJS (New York)
@Sharon "Mark plus, democrats are horrible at asking questions. They are far too deferential and do not follow up properly. In a word, they are weak and we will not get what we need from these hearings." Democrats should have an attorney question Mueller, just as Republics had an attorney questioning Dr. Blasey Ford and others.
tim k (nj)
The report may "speak for itself" but its word are limited. It says there was no collusion between the Trump campaign and Russia. It says there was insufficient evidence to charge the Trump campaign with "obstructing" the investigation. What it doesn't say is when Mueller knew there was no collusion by the Trump campaign. With all his resources Mueller had to have known the answer within weeks of starting his investigation if not sooner. So why did he OBSTRUCT the release of information exonerating President Trump of charges that have undermined his presidency for two years?
Brian (Olympia)
@tim k The report didn’t say there was insufficient evidence to charge the president with obstruction, it said that a president cannot be charged while in office, and that such activities needed to be addressed in another forum - i.e. congressional investigations and potential impeachment. As to him supposedly knowing within weeks about there being no collusion - that’s not how investigations work.
AACNY (New York)
@Brian And, yet, Mueller told Barr that this wasn't his reason for not charging Trump. Three times he was asked, and three times he denied it. Hopefully, this will get cleared up. People believe what they want to believe, and this goes for those who believe Mueller's report is the final word. It isn't. It's long on opinion, which has been refuted by many legal experts.
Maxy G (Teslaville)
Wrong. It does not say there was insufficient evidence to charge Trump with obstruction. It says since it was believed that a sitting President cannot be indicted, it would be left to Congress to proceed based on the 10 incidents of obstruction laid out in the report that there was evidence for. Mueller will reinforce this with his testimony. Republicans will be reduced to attacking Mueller’s integrity. Good luck with that.
Manderine (Manhattan)
I hope that one of the questions asked of Mueller is, “Now that you have completed your extensive report on the Russian interference with our 2016 election, what do think about the so-called president saying that he would gladly welcome help from a foreign government in the up coming 2020 elections?”
JohnB (NYC)
Why do you headline this as a “political spectacle”? Do you think the notion of, oh, the *American people uncovering the truth* is a secondary concern at this point, or has even the Times given up on that now?
Objectivist (Mass.)
Democrats of the future will look back on the decision to call Mueller to testify and wonder what those people were thinking. This, because the Republicans will get to ask questions, too. I predict that Mueller's memory will fail him frequently.
Scruples the Cat (Texas)
@Objectivist Mueller's memory will be much better than Trump's was in his "responses" to Mueller's written questions.
Steve (Westchester)
This is not difficult. The report did all but spell it out completely. Trump is guilty of obstruction of justice multiple times. Mueller said they didn’t have enough evidence to make a case that Trump worked with the Russians. That doesn’t mean Trump didn’t, it just means Mueller couldn’t find enough evidence. Mueller didn’t say that about obstruction. He just said he can’t indict because of Justice Department rules. And he said the report speaks for itself and he said that if he didn’t have enough evidence for obstruction, then he would have said so. Mueller must be thinking “what do I have to do? Yell ‘he’s guilty!’?” Congress can decide that obstruction doesn’t rise to the level of high crimes and misdemeanors, but it’s clear that Trump committed a crime multiple times.
Kathy (Chapel Hill)
I disagree with one detail: Congress is not battling with the executive branch—only the House of Representatives is. McConnell is protecting and will continue to protect Trump any way he can — with the help of his wife (Elaine Chao, Sec of Transportation), pouring millions of taxpayers’ $$ into key districts in Kentucky while making millions from her business arrangements in China. Maybe the House should turn its oversight attention to the Dept of Transportation ??
Chris I (NY)
It's Mueller time. Mr. Mueller must explain, in plain English, his conclusions so all can understand that Trump is an obstructionist.
Bill (Nyc)
Prediction: Mueller will tell all! Trump will resign rather than be impeached! Or likely not. After all Pelosi doesn’t want to impeach. So presumably this is political spectacle.
Disillusioned (NJ)
This is a mistake that will blow up in the Democrats faces. Don't add support to Trump's witch hunt claims. Don't continue to help him claim martyr status.
David (Philadelphia)
To learn what Republicans fear the most, just look at what they ridicule.
Brannon Perkison (Dallas, TX)
I'm glad this is happening, but it's going to be too little too late. The Democrats have placed far too much stock in Mueller's investigation from the beginning, and they've allowed Trump and his team of sickos to thoroughly distort the narrative. Even if Mueller says he thinks Trump is a stinking Putin-compromised traitor, which of course he will not, Trump will be able to shout it down. No, I'm not getting my hopes up that this will change anything. The Dems should have gotten 100% behind the Impeachment narrative the moment this paper discovered that Trump's team lied about the meeting with Russian agents in Trump tower. And, yes, I know they were in the minority then, but we would have been well down the path by now to getting this disgusting, criminal person out of office.
Mary (Pittsburgh, PA)
@Brannon Perkison But then we would have Pence as President ... & he’d likely win the sympathy votes in 2020 of all those “moderate” Republicans, who helped the Dems in 2018. Try thinking of Pence as president for (at least) four more more years.
Brannon Perkison (Dallas, TX)
@Mary I understand, and I don't like Pence either, but he's at a minimum a more stable person who would not try to subvert the entire justice system to keep himself out of jail. We're talking about an actual criminal in Donald Trump. That's what impeachment is for. And I disagree that Pence would win 2020 either. He's done nothing as VP that would suggest he has any new appeal outside of the Conservative Christian base. But like I implied, Mueller's testimony won't change anything, and we'll have a criminal unjustly serving out a term as President of the United States.
ExPatMX (Ajijic, Jalisco Mexico)
@Mary Don't make me lose my breakfast, please.
Harry B (Michigan)
Hope he stays safe, and I truly hope he is not another republican stooge. Your former friend Barr doesn’t seem to care. Be a hero, be remembered as a great American and not a political hack. Country over party Robert.
Anon (Corrales, NM)
The very first thing he should be asked is if thinks that AG Barr’s four-page letter to Congress and his subsequent testimony misrepresented the findings of his investigation.
Manderine (Manhattan)
First question, “did your report completely exonerate donnie trump as he boasted on fox and his twitter feed?”
glennmr (Planet Earth)
Sequence of events: Mueller testifies. Nothing new here. Angry Trump tweetstorm. Democrats run in circles wondering why this isn't a knockout blow.
The NYT writes down that the hearing will be a political spectacle. Which is already shameful for a serious newspaper... But one wonder who this spectacle will benefit or who will enjoy it most. Which provokes another feeling of disgust . The intellectual level of politics in the USA is really at the level of education in this nation who has the last of the reading skills of all industrialized nations.
Oliver (New York, NYC)
@JPH And is the intellectual level of education in the US the reason we have a president who doesn’t read?
@Oliver Who voted for him ? Who is supporting him now ? Who will vote for him again ? Who might become violent if he ever gets impeached ?
badman (Detroit)
Does it not occur to these people that this will actually weaken their position; to a large extent proves the harassment charges Trump is making? It is a good report and congress just needs to move ahead with the next step . . . either now or after Trump leaves office. Makes you wonder if they carefully read the report and thought it through. They appear unprofessional, showing off. Adolescent. Come to think, what else is new? Sad.
Marc (Chicago)
Mueller was "one of the most vexing figures in American public life" to Nicholas Fandos because journalists couldn't obtain many scoops. Yet the silence of Mueller and his team was entirely appropriate – indeed essential – given the grave nature of their work. The country would be in a worse place today had the Mueller team leaked in the manner of the Ken Starr team.
gary (belfast, maine)
Mr. Mueller must know very well that the report, in it's currently available 'public' form, cannot speak for itself. In interviewing Mr. Mueller, members of the House are doing what they promise to do when they take their places in the legislative branch. Voids, such as redactions, obfuscate rather than shed light. It demands speculation, and does not support clarity. We need light shed upon the logic and the technicalities of decisions that were made.
Martin Veintraub (East Windsor, NJ)
Gee, I sure hope he brings an unredacted copy of the report with him for the committee. He says he wants it to speak for him. He said that Barr misrepresented it. Whose side is he on? Everyone knows it must be a blueprint for indictment. Why else would the WH go to such length to keep it secret? Maybe Mueller should be threatened with an indictment or two if he doesn't come clean. He works for us, like all public servants. Not Trump, not DOJ, not himself. Can't have it both ways. Well, his buddy, James Comey, managed to abuse the public trust by pretending to be oh so righteous-heh, heh-blowing up the Hillary campaign at the last minute with absolutely nothing and defying DOJ rules, to say nothing of fundamental prosecutorial ethics, when he went public before he even knew if there was any reason. And there wasn't any. So don't let Mueller pull a phony rule on the USA. Tell the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth. The world is hanging on this. And can we please stop pinning our hopes on an election that is being rigged as we sit here?
Independent1776 (New Jersey)
Don’t expect a revelation from Mueller, he does not want to be responsible for the downfall of Trump. He will stick to what he wrote in his report & not come to any conclusions.His job was to uncover smoking guns & he left the conclusions to the politicians, which will amount to a stalemate.
Scruples the Cat (Texas)
@Independent1776 We already have a revelation from Mueller. Its just that the average American isn't going to read 400 pages to get to it. I hope he is asked to read the most damning portions of it, especially since the media doesn't bother doing it.
D (Pittsburgh)
I'm thinking I can already predict the outcome: Muller won't say anything new, instead continually referring to his report and repeating the same answers over and over again. And Trump will go on a Tweet storm AND manufacture (and possibly solve) a crisis to deflect everyone from the hearings.
Joe From Boston (Massachusetts)
I suspect that Mr. Mueller will volunteer little, and will only answer questions posed to him, as long as the questions do not require him to disclose anything about grand jury testimony and other ongoing investigations. If the questions are well founded, his testimony may be informative. For example, he could be asked: If any person, other than a sitting president, was found to have engaged in the acts referred to in volume II of the report, such as directing a subordinate to fire a criminal investigator investigating the person, and then directing that subordinate to prepare a memo to file that stated that no such request had been made (an untruth), whether such a person would have been indicted for obstruction of justice. Another would be: "AG Barr stated that the report found no obstruction of justice. You wrote a letter to him stating that you believed he misstated your findings. You stated that you would have exonerated if you could, but you did not so find. Would I be correct thinking you would believe that obstruction of justice by Trump might be found by a jury at trial?" Many other such questions could be posed. Don't expect a "Perry Mason" moment. Hopefully, our Representatives will do their homework, and will pose questions, the answers to which make explicit that there was a plethora of dirty deeds committed by Trump personally, and by many of his subordinates, including by William Barr in misrepresenting what the report actually stated.
Karen K (Illinois)
@Joe From Boston My fear is the representatives will use their allotted time to grandstand and pontificate their own positions. Especially the Republican members. Surely there's a prosecutor or two in the bunch who can fire away at Mueller with questions that may elicit answers which will shed some light.
Norman (Kingston)
It might be worthwhile to reframe this less about Democrats vs. Republicans and more about traditional Republicans vs. the Republican zombies who seem to be supporting Trump.
lulu roche (ct.)
Sadly, it appears many people can no longer absorb facts. In order for this to work, it will need to be in the form of a reality show, much as the president is a reality show actor pretending to be president. I do hope there won't be a rose ceremony but his base may require one to pay attention.
Clara (Brooklyn)
One thing that no one seems to be mentioning is the fact that Mueller has “agreed” to testify before Congress. Why? Why would he be doing this now when he said that his report would speak for itself? It seems obvious to me. It is for the very reason he appeared randomly for a brief press conference in May. People, specifically members of the House, didn’t seem to be “getting it.” The evidence was there and he was telling Congress clearly, if not indirectly, to impeach. Why was this message so confusing? Mr. Mueller sees he news. He sees how his succinct message was misinterpreted over and over again and that no action was taken. I believe it is for that reason he is opting to appear again despite saying he wouldn’t. He needs to underscore his point in front of the America people: it’s time to impeach. His willingness speaks volumes.
Bill (New York)
The N.Y. Times omitted the most essential and accurate part of Representative Collins’ statement: “May this testimony bring to House Democrats the closure that the rest of America has enjoyed for months, and may it enable them to return to the business of legislating," Collins said.
Scott B (St. Petersburg FL)
@Bill the House has passed 49 bills and resolutions since January. They all are sitting in Mitch McConnell's in box. It's not the House that isn't legislating, it's the Senate.
Gary (United States)
@Bill Closure? You are definitely one who should listen to the testimony!
AACNY (New York)
@Bill Brilliant comment. Recognizes that outside the bubble Russia was never an issue, and there is little interest in democrats' "bait-and-switch" from collusion to obstruction.
J. von Hettlingen (Switzerland)
As Mueller has completed his investigation and resigned from the Justice Department, Trump has no longer sway over him. Although Mueller would have preferred not to testify before Congress, saying his report should speak for itself, he’s a “strait-laced” law enforcer and can’t possibly ignore or reject a subpoena. We don’t know what else Mueller is going to contribute to his report. The Russian meddling in 2016 was an alarming reality. I hope he’s deeply concerned with Trump’s appalling declaration on July 13, when he said he’d gladly accept help from a foreign power if it tries to interfere the 2020 election, inviting Russia to help him win again. Mueller’s appearance on July 17 will grab headlines. His sphinx-like presence has captured the public's fascination. If he repeats aspects of his findings in a televised testimony to highlight the nefarious activities of the Trump campaign in 2016, it could be politically damaging for Trump himself. Before harbouring high expections, we take one step at a time. First Mueller’s testimony, then .....
Manderine (Manhattan)
I hope that one of the questions asked of Mueller is, “. Ow that you have completed your extensive report on the Russian interference with our 2016 election, what do think about the so-called president saying that he would gladly welcome help from a foreign government in the up coming 2020 elections?”
RLW (Chicago)
@Manderine The question "What do you think about the president saying he would gladly welcome help from a foreign government in the up-coming 2020 election?" should not be directed to Mr Mueller. He is simply one private citizen at present. That question should be directed to every member of Congress and every American citizen.
Steve (SW Mich)
@Manderine....I think Mueller would say the same words he used to end his previous public statement: "...this is something that should concern every American." In other words, vote.
Grey (James island sc)
Mueller has an opportunity to step outside his purist persona and say what he really concludes. But he won’t. The hearings will allow the GOP to claim illegal spying on the Trump campaign, and Trump to tweet “completely exonerated “ Mueller could stand up for America and do the right thing, but he is apparently more worried about his reputation as a strict adherent to the rule of law amidst a group of con men and convicts who ignore and trash the rule of law with impunity.
manuscriptman (Florida)
It's about time .Granted, everyone SHOULD read the heavily redacted, difficult to read report. However, we all now that nowadays we live in a visually dominated society. This testimony will clarify to the overwhelming number of Americans what Mueller ACTUALLY found and meant to say and will not have to rely on spin doctors from both sides. In my opinion, this will not go well for the POTUS
Dr. M (New York, NY)
Let’s not get our hopes up that Mueller is going to save the day. Like the Democrats, Mueller follows one set of rules: the ones that dictate law and order, and principles upon which the U.S. was founded. The Republicans at this point are lawless and morally and ethically bankrupt. Last I heard, guns trump knives, particularly at street fights. Unless Mueller is very clear that Trump is guilty of obstruction (which the report makes clear he is), may likely be guilty of more (to which the report alludes), and doesn’t hide behind sentences that have to be explained and interpreted to the average citizen, nothing will change. And, let’s all be prepared for some calamity to occur on July 16th or 17th that will dominate the news cycle.
Scott B (St. Petersburg FL)
@Dr. M so right about the inevitable distraction.
Charlie (NJ)
Mueller has stated he will add nothing beyond what is in his 400 plus page report. This inquiry is designed to do one thing and that is to breathe more life into his two and a half year investigation. And if the shoe were on the other foot republicans would do the same. It’s what we are.
Scruples the Cat (Texas)
@Charlie If the shoe were eon the other foot, Republicans would have already impeached months ago.
Sequel (Boston)
Mueller has already declined to reveal his personal opinion as to whether obstruction of justice occurred, and bases that opinion upon a personal constitutional belief that cannot be validated by either those who agree or disagree. It doesn't seem likely that he would change his belief, or his willingness to violate his belief at this point. I assume that cable news and opinion journalists will nevertheless turn this event into a 3-ring circus of apocalyptic significance. But that doesn't make it so. At this altitude, Mueller's decision to appear before Congress looks more like a simple endorsement of the rule of law, and a separation between himself and the administration's unprecedented repeated refusals to do so, flimsily predicated upon executive privilege.
Ralph Averill (Litchfield County, Ct)
The big question isn't what will Mueller say, it's what will Congress, both parties, do in response to what he says. The other question is will the media keep treating this whole mess as a big political football game between Republicans and Democrats; who's scoring points, who's winning or losing. Therer is going to be only one winner or loser; the American experiment in democracy.
Scruples the Cat (Texas)
Should have taken three weeks, not three months. Meanwhile, the Republic burns.
RNS (Piedmont Quebec Canada)
While we're waiting for Muellar's testimony, perhaps the president could release his findings on his 'Obama was born in Kenya' investigation. I seem to recall his top notch investigator's were uncovering many, many, many interesting facts.
BTO (Somerset, MA)
This doesn't have to be a spectacle, all the committee has to do is keep the focus on Russia and the fact that they where using the internet to influence the 2016 election and continue to do so, then they should have him explain whether Trump's attempt to shut down the investigation was or was not obstruction.
MH2018 (Minnesota)
I have been trying to read the Mueller Report but the redactions make it very difficult. Also connections to the Russians are so numerous it all begins to blur after a while. I am also concerned that the majority of "The Base" are not going to tackle reading it at all. Short of putting it out in audio-book form, having Mueller testify in person is person may be the only way for many to understand the scope and seriousness of foreign influence on our country's elections.
McGloin (Brooklyn)
The Mueller Report details 10 Acts of Obstruction of Justice by Trump. Mueller went on TV, said he couldn't clear the President of theUSA of crimes and that "the Constitution has a process other than the criminal justice system to formally accuse a sitting president." Obstruction does not require an underlying crime because that would reward obstruction. Barr also obstructed justice when he lied to the public, saying the report exonerated the president and the media spent a month repeating that lie. If O.J was accused of 10 Acts of Obstruction everyone on the planet would know the details of every act, because the media would talk about it incessantly for weeks. But the President of the United States commits crimes in the Oval Office and corporate media yawns and calls any analysis of the details a "do-over" as instructed by Trump. It can't be a do-over of you never analyzed I it the first time. The reason we need Mueller to testify, even if he only quotes his own Report, and why we need an Impeachment Inquiry, is that corporate mass media is not doing their job. The media has essentially said that if you want to know what is in the Report, go read it yourself, because we are not going to talk about it. What about the 1,000 prosecutors that said they would indict? The media ignores the details, pretends its not important, and then justifies their dereliction of duty by quoting polls that says the public doesn't care. How can the public care if they don't know?
chambolle (Bainbridge Island)
Two words you will not hear during Mueller’s testimony: “No collusion!” Four more words you will not hear: “Complete and total exoneration!”
Anyone else worried that Trump is already planning a diversion for July 17 in order to redirect our attention?
K (I)
I pray he doesn’t just say “read the report.”
Florida's Dr. Bob (Vero Beach)
A common theme is Mueller found "No collusion." Therefore, these hearings are another wasted political ploy. Of course, once charged with finding collusion, Mueller would find none. Collusion, in legalize, means a conspiracy in business affairs, as "back in the Eighties" when Trump triumphed in court showing the NFL owners colluded against him...the jury awarded Trump $1.00 usd. I suspect that's where he came up with the word, ill-paced as it was. It, simply, is commercial law term of no applicability to campaign or criminal law. The ""No collusion" victory was certain once the collusion narrative was established. So much for the "Mueller Report and "No Collusion." This is an entirely different matter, one much more consequential for the White House and our nation. Mueller will be asked about Russian election interference and ties the Trump campaign had to Russians. Mueller will be asked about evidence of obstruction of justice by Trump and his affiliated cabal. This is to be asked of the person who saw it all, read it all, with his answers offered without the Justice Department's constraints of "look for collusion" or ""no indicting a sitting president." Ironically, Mueller's previous testimony was limited by the sludge of the "swamp" Trump so infamously refers to. Come the July "Interference and Obstruction Hearings," as I expect they will become to be known and written about, no such limitations exist. It's to be the end of this administration, as we know it.
"the two committees issued subpoenas compelling Mr. Mueller to speak, and he accepted" A subpoena is not a friendly invitation! "Relented" or "complied" would be more appropriate verbs.
deathless horsie (Boston)
I bet 45 and his enablers prevent Mueller's testimony and it goes to the courts. IMPEACH already! The Emperor isn't wearing any clothes.
The DOJ’s own ‘Touhy’ type regulations, which essentially permit the Agency’s head limit an employee’s testimony, equally applies to “former” employees. I hope the right questions are asked.
dave (san diego)
I get the fascination with the political theater, but Mr. Mueller already shared a detailed report on his findings. If he deviates from his report, his credibility will suffer. The loss to the country is more time away from solving some significant issues such as: immigration reform and addressing a serious crisis at the Southern border, infrastructure legislation, health care reform, etc. I think a huge amount of Americans want a congress focused on our national priorities and if a strong candidate runs against the President, he will leave office in 18 months.
Ellen F. Dobson (West Orange, N.J.)
@dave I disagree with your comment. The American people need to understand what exactly Mueller found out so they may confront the issues which can, I hope, lead to an understanding of what each presidential candidate views and how they plan to contend with governmental dysfunction. The Mueller report, which I attempted to read, is dense and difficult to understand. That's why we need Mueller himself to explain it in detail.
Rosie James (New York, N.Y.)
@Ellen F. Dobson You know Ellen, legally, Robert Mueller cannot say more than what is in his report. He cannot speak to what information is in the "redactions" especially if they contain Grand Jury information. Another thing many of the comments are missing is the Republicans. Do you think the Republicans on the two House committees are going to be silent? They will "muddy up the waters" with their "conspiracy theories" about James Comey and the "Dossier," and other matters about the Obama Administration and the Intelligence Agencies and what they knew and who they were speaking with. Mueller can certainly demur when asked about his opinion whether Trump should have been indicted and he happens to say anything this will turn into a circus. The Republicans can also ask about the FISA Warrant and the connection to the Dossier and why this was not included in his report. This whole thing can turn on a dime. So all of you who think that this hearing will be so revealing and FINALLY give the Democrats the ammunition to impeach may not get what they think they wil get. Me personally, I hope Mueller stays the course and says what he promised he would say: "My report speaks for itself." Time for the Media, Pundits and those with an "agenda" to be silent already. This has gone on long enough.
Ellen F. Dobson (West Orange, N.J.)
@Rosie James It can go on and on. The truth must be found and verbalized.
Ned (OSJL)
Oh boy. Another round of Mueller Cargo Cult. Ok. But can we move on after this one fails to deliver too?
Joe Yo (Brooklyn)
Ah, more witch hunt to captivate our attention. The media will love it. Yawn
Joe (Naples, NY)
When Mr Mueller, a lifelong Republican and war hero, was asked to serve, the Republicans were gushing with praise. He was honest. He was fair. He was non-partisan. Best man for the job. Now, Mr Mueller has transformed. He will be vilified as a Trump hater. He will be smeared. He will be called an "angry Democrat". A liar. A crook. Funny how a man can change so quickly after 50 years of honest service and integrity.
David Henry (Concord)
In case anyone thinks Mueller will say anything beyond the written report: Senator Graham told reporters Bill Barr and Robert Mueller have been ‘best friends’ for 20 years and that Barr has a ‘high opinion of Mueller.’ “I know that they worked together, that they were that close personally and that they worked together for years,” Graham said. Lindsey Graham explained that the two are so close that their wives attend the same Bible study and Mueller attended two of Barr’s daughters’ weddings, reported the Daily Mail. Wonderful!
Scott Guerin (Brooklyn)
I hope that questioners do not use the opportunity to merely grandstand.
Scruples the Cat (Texas)
@Scott Guerin Gym Jordan not grandstand? lol
Rosie James (New York, N.Y.)
@Scruples the Cat Jerrold Nadler grandstand? Perish the thought! Adam Schiff grandstand??? Double the "perish the thought."
Carl (Sweden)
I hope they do a better job than when they had Zuckerberg testifying..... As nobody reads the report the dems need somebody to tell the american public what the contents are.
citizennotconsumer (world)
"Setting up a political spectacle"... From Reagan's ascension to the Oval Office in 1980, to Trump's coronation in 2016, our political discourse has been nothing but a continuing, ever-exploding public spectacle. The shame of it! Quite soon we will be inhabiting a nation we shall be barely able to recognize.
Katie (Philadelphia)
I hope Mueller will not disappoint us. Or, more precisely, I hope Congress will not disappoint us. I hope the hearing will create an opportunity for people who were too busy or lazy to read the report to hear what is says. I hope our representatives will read the report (or get someone to explain it to them) and put their egos aside and ask questions that bring out the devastating information in the report instead of using the hearing to make speeches. I hope Mueller's public testimony will give Democrats the courage to move forward with impeachment. I remember someone asking why Mueller couldn't do what Ken Starr did, and I remember someone responding that it's because Mueller is ethical and not a political hack. Mueller did his job. Will Congress?
Charles Segal (Kingston Jamaica)
NYtimes readers once again, will be subject to the daily mouth watering and endless hopes and promises from the state controlled media that .... DJT is about to go down. Finally the smoking gun... GIVE UP! Game's over! No do over.
Scruples the Cat (Texas)
@Charles Segal No do-over. Just finishing up.
Alan J. Shaw (Bayside, NY)
@Charles Segal I guess by the "state controlled media," you mean Fox News. You seem willing to accept the word of state controlling AG Barr, McConnell and Lindsay Graham.
Joe From Boston (Massachusetts)
@Charles Segal Yeah, the game is over - we see each and every day that Donald Trump is running a "reality tv presidency" that is totally incompetent, that cannot bring any of the negotiations that he institutes to a conclusion (let along a successful conclusion), and that the "very best people" that he has hired are all unqualified and have no idea what they are doing. Game over indeed, as will become evident on November 3, 2020, when the American people express their exhausted patience with this Trump crime family potboiler of a "show."
srwdm (Boston)
Let's hope agency-man Mueller can find a spine— And not just repeat ad nauseam only the words of his report. Bob, if you happen to be reading these comments: Consider your country. Come out of your shell. Say what is true.
Lewis Sternberg (Ottawa, ON.)
“‘presidential harassment” tweets your president. Please explain to him that Mueller was appointed & paid by your Dept. of Justice and NOT by your president. When Trump get’s subpoenaed he can tweet to his hearts’ content.
s.whether (mont)
First question. Why didn't you follow the money?
james (Higgins Beach, ME)
Because of Americans' aliteracy problems, a written report is essentially meaningless to the electorate, and, perhaps such reports need to be reduced to an animated video summary. The real question perhaps is at what velocity FOX "News" will spin what Mueller says, what their bloviating talking heads will banter about instead of #45's obstructions of justice about his high crimes and misdemeanors.
99percent (downtown)
@james Funny you say that because I was just thinking "at what velocity" Rachel Maddow, Ari, Wolf, Anderson et al will "spin, bloviate and banter."
Alan J. Shaw (Bayside, NY)
@99percent Go back to watching and listening to Judge Jeanine, Sean Hannity , Huckabee Sanders, Limbaugh, et al. They must be your "lilies of the field" since they "toil not neither do they spin."
mary (connecticut)
'their report would best speak for itself.' Ya' in another place in time prior to 1-20-2017. I don't know nor do I give a rip what the battling factions of both parties remarks will be after Mr. Mueller's public testimony. I have been waiting for the opportunity to watch and hear from the man who lead this investigation void of all the subjective 'fluff'. I have no idea if this will hurt djt's reelection. I think he is doing a great job damaging his chance all on his own.
Demosthenes (Chicago)
Democrats only have little more than half a day to ensure Mueller accurately characterizes his report. (Republicans will spend their time lying about it or distracting attention). They need to be sharp, concise, and avoid stupid time wasting speeches. No grandstanding, please. Let Mueller talk as much as possible. This day isn’t about them. The American people need to learn the facts . Don’t blow it Democrats.
Cap (OHIO)
@Demosthenes "(Republicans will spend their time lying about it or distracting attention)." Muller doesn't seem the type who suffers fools - especially nefarious ones. Both sides should take their job seriously, leave politics at the door and seek objective truth. Ultimately, reality matters.
Midwest Josh (Four Days From Saginaw)
“Thank you for your service to this country Mr. Mueller, and thank you for your time today.. Allow me to bloviate for another 4 minutes before I get to my question..”
AACNY (New York)
@Midwest Josh "And, Mr. Mueller, please duck as I throw red meat to my constituents"
NYT, please don’t say: “They have the power to potentially reshape the political landscape around his re-election campaign and a possible impeachment inquiry by the Democrat-controlled House.” It’s just silly. Nothing will come of any of it. Why don’t you say that instead.
rab (Upstate NY)
Donald Trump has bragged about his sexual assaults. He has openly obstructed Mueller's investigation. He has failed repeatedly to uphold his constitutional duties He is a serial liar Trump has ravaged all presidential norms He has pushed every hot button in reach He has threatened nuclear attack Trump has a near 90% approval rating from Republicans Mueller's testimony will change nothing.
Nuffalready (upstate NY)
If he will be as typically tight-lipped on these two panels (as he justifiably was during the investigation), I fear it will be a waste of time for all. Or, it could be very very revealing, and damaging for Donald J. Trump.
Gary (United States)
I doubt the testimony won't mean much to those of us that have actually read the report but maybe some that haven't will learn something. It's time to bring all of the facts out.
Amanda Jones (Chicago)
Finally, this man will deliver in dry tones, the case , that in fact Trump obstructed justice. But equally frustrating, he will deliver in dry tones the rationale why he and his team did not indict the President.
Randy (Cleveland, OH)
What a terrible headline: "... Setting Up a Political Spectacle". No, Mueller will finally testify so that the American people can find out what he learned and why his investigation ended without indictments or a recommendation to impeach. You have already decided that this will be a "spectacle" instead of an investigation, so you have already decided that what the Democrats are doing is a political stunt, not them trying to get to the truth. Why are you so supportive of Donald Trump, who has lied over 10,000 times in the past two years? Why do you accept his version of the situation? Donald Trump constantly creates spectacles, but you don't call them that.
Kev (USA)
The problem is that there is so much disinformation out there, pushed out by the President himself, that no matter what Mueller says, no one, other than the Democrats, will believe or care about what he says. A colleague showed me some text messages he receives from Trumps campaign team (since he is a supporter) and each message stresses not to believe the 'fake and untrustworthy' news media. Considering Trump and his allies have been saying this is a witch Hunt all along, the report could never have been seen as valid by his supporters, let alone any testimony from Mueller. It seems so me that Trump's supporters are experiencing cognitive dissonance. Their beliefs that Trump is innocent is so strong, that they rationalize away any evidence that is unfavorable towards him, i.e,. "a group of angry Democrats are running the investigation." However, they always seem to conveniently forget that the investigation was run by a republican who was chosen by a republican. It's fine though, in today's America, facts mean nothing.
Two major questions for Mueller: In Volume I of the report dealing with Russia’s interference in our 2016 elections, did the president encourage members of his election team to to work with Russian intelligence assets to influence the outcome in his favor? In Volume II of the report dealing with obstruction of justice, did Donald Trump’s actions to obstruct a lawful investigation lead you to believe that he could be indicted on one or more counts except that DOJ guidelines prevented you from acting to indict the president?
K & S (Washington DC)
I would expect one of the parties to show up with each member of the panel holding a highlighted copy of the Report and the knowledge to show they've at least been briefed on it. Whichever party wants to show they're halfway competent and have at least minimal respect for Mueller and the rule of law will do this. Otherwise we can look forward to Mueller subtly mocking members of Congress that have made a big deal about the report and obviously haven't been bothered to even glance at it.
expat (Japan)
I'm afraid that the Democrats may be expecting him to produce a smoking gun, and I don't think that it's going to happen. Unless he does so, the GOP is going to claim to a man that Trump has been exonerated, and double down on denial.
Joe (Naples, NY)
@expat He already produced the smoking gun in the report. But few have read it.
RJM (Ann Arbor)
@expat Even if a "smoking gun" hits 'em right between their eyes, they will still insist they were never shot.
AACNY (New York)
@Joe They've read it but also listened to the testimony of Barr and read myriad legal opinions challenging Mueller's opinions.
Robert Rutherford (Philadelphia)
I have to agree that this is more political theater than investigation. I say that because Mueller is such a straight arrow that he will not be seduced into giving Democrats what they want: a GIF-worthy soundbite saying "Trump committed a crime". He won't do that because it would be a violation of the Justice Department policy, and because he deeply believes that it is unfair to utter a charge without the defendant having his day in court. He knows full well that the Justice Department under Barr will never, ever violate that policy by pursuing an indictment against Trump. This straight arrow approach cuts both ways: he won't be intimidated by the office of the President, but he won't be intimidated by Congress, either. Expect a lot answers like "it's in the report". So how to get more detailed information on what the team was thinking? I believe the answer to be "ask more team members". Ask every one of the high-powered attorneys that worked on Team Mueller, and start putting together the pieces, even if all 10 support Mueller's position. Each one of them may reveal a piece of the puzzle. Congress' job would be to put them together. Hard work, not only the collecting of this data, but the ironclad presentation it will take to convince more and more people.
manuscriptman (Florida)
@Robert Rutherford Perhaps you have not heard, but Mueller's chief assistants ARE going to testify on the same day as Mueller. They will not initially be questioned behind closed doors.
Objectivist (Mass.)
@Robert Rutherford ""ask more team members"" Be careful what you ask for. You might get it. If that comes to pass, the DNC's conspiracy will be revealed in full.
@Robert Rutherford I’m expecting a lot of answers like, “As we wrote in the report....”. Since very few Americans have read the report, they’ll learn details about this president’s appalling conduct. That’s a big part of what Democrats “want.”
Bohemian Sarah (Footloose In Eastern Europe)
Can’t we do this sooner? We are being slow-played to pieces. I yearn for rapid, aggressive action on the subpoena violations, contempt of Congress, child imprisonment and all the other crimes this administration flaunts. Trump can send bombers to Iran in the blink of a dilated eye and Congress takes five months to have a scant handful of hearings. This is like a 3-hour movie with 15 minutes of plot.
s.chubin (Geneva)
@Bohemian Sarah agree. and too many intermissions....
Cynical (Knoxville, TN)
@Bohemian Sarah The only way is to initiate impeachment hearings. That way there will be a single committee with a focus at determining if Trumpy should be impeached. It won't be as scattered as now. On the other hand, impeachment hearings will take up all the news reporting. The Democratic party candidates won't get much air time. And Trumpy will go on the fake news channel and state that the Democrats are doing little to manage and more to vilify him. And the craven Republicans in the Senate won't vote him out, even if he's caught on camera shooting someone on fifth avenue, raping someone 'not his type' in a department store, or passing national secrets to some anti-US organization. Let's just vote the rogue out first.
Scruples the Cat (Texas)
@Bohemian Sarah Or a four-year movie that never gets to the plot.
Andy (Salt Lake City, Utah)
I suspect Democrats and Republicans will both be disappointed. Mueller is doubtful to say anything that isn't already in the public record. His testimony really only serves to animate his report. Apparently most of America can't be bothered to figure out what's actually in the Mueller report. As John Oliver recently highlighted, one of Justin Amash's constituents wasn't even aware there was anything wrong. This at a town hall where Amash was explaining his support for impeachment. If nothing else, Mueller's testimony will hopefully serve to inform a generally ignorant American public. However, he's not going to take responsibility for impeaching Trump. That task belongs to Congress.
Larry M (Minnesota)
Mueller is scheduled to testify on July 17. Any bets on which day of that week Trump throws another distraction bomb?
TommyTuna (Milky Way)
@Larry M Trump declares war on Iran on July 16. I'd bet dollars to donuts. Oh, I take that back. Declaring war on Iran would anger Trump's puppet master, Vladimir Putin.
drcmd (sarasota, fl)
It's Mueller time !!! Trump is done !! We will now get the real story on all the Russian/Trump collusion before the 2016 election. And he will lay to rest permanently all those stories about irregularities in the investigation, and that he knew a year before he issued the report that there was no collusion. He will also show that Trump saying he was fighting back about illegal leaks of false information during the investigation was obstruction, because there was hardcore real collusion, the leaks were all true, and the leaking was not only legal, but patriotic as it was his duty to undermine the illegally elected president. Looking forward to it. Mueller time at last !!
George (NYC)
The Democrats are desperate to try and find some glimmer of hope in taking back the Whitehouse. Mueller's testimony will turn into a circus with the debutant Dems interrupting it at every turn to make a political pitch or to demonstrate their contempt for Trump on camera. They'll demand he disclose sealed testimony which Mueller will refuse to and cry when all is said and done that a coverup occurred. What will not be raised is the issue of the Democrats using the FBI to spy for them on the Trump Campaign or the DNC's backing of the Steele Dossier. Dirty liberal politics at its worst. They could not impeach Trump so their last option is to smear him publicly. One can only hope Mueller does not buy in to their gamesmanship and stays the course. What will be proven is how low the Democrats will go to try and win an election. It's disgraceful.
JL (NY State)
@George Do you think that Trump is a competent and stable genius with a morality to match? Liberal or Conservative, what is it actually that makes you side with him and the policies he has enacted? I'm really curious.
JulieB (NYC)
@George Not only will the Dems not interrupt, they will hang on every word. It's the Republicans who will obstruct, tear down his reputation, and use their time to praise trump. As a matter of fact, are we sure Trump can't block this hearing in the first place?
A. Stanton (Dallas, TX)
We already know that Trump is cloud cuckoo and a pathological liar; has a thing about dark people; cheats on his taxes; played a major role in bankrupting Atlantic City; manhandles women; specialized throughout his business career in reneging on bank loans; has been sued thousands of times; was not above evicting old people from his real estate developments in freezing cold weather; and is subjecting mothers and children along our Southern border to cruel and unusual punishment. Unless Mueller is finally able to come up with the missing Moscow hotel video tapes, Trump is probably home free and heading toward a solid victory in 2020. I personally have begun thinking seriously about Canada.
Joe From Boston (Massachusetts)
@A. Stanton I agree wholeheartedly with your first paragraph. I have to believe that there were some people who voted for Trump in 2016 who thought that they would "take a flier on a successful businessman," only to find out that he is a liar, is a terrible manager, and runs a chaotic "reality tv presidency." I also have to believe that many of those people will think better on November 3, 2020 and will not vote for him again, even though many members of the Cult of Trump will vote for him. I would hold off on moving to Canada until after November 3, 2020. That said, my wife and I recently sold our second home on Cape Cod, because we think moving into cash and cash equivalents is prudent given the possibility of Trump tanking the economy, and much of the demand for housing on the Cape is vacation homes, which would take a serious hit in a downturn.
Drspock (New York)
One of the questions Mueller should be asked is why didn't the FBI conduct its own forensics report after the DNC computer "hack"? In a recent filing by DOJ in the Roger Stone case the prosecution admitted that they do not have a final report on the DNC hacking. The "Russian hack" is the lynchpin that drove this entire Russia gate investigation. We know that FBI drew its conclusion from CloudStrike, not on their independent review of the evidence. CloudStrike is the consulting firm hired by the DNC to do the forensic investigation after the alleged hack. Now it turns out from these court submissions that not only did the FBI never see an un-redacted report from CloudStrike, but CloudStrike never wrote a final report and the FBI never asked for one. Most critical of all, the drafts that were written found “No redacted information concerned the attribution of the attack to Russian actors”. So much of what has become Russia gate has been based on a hacking report that doesn't exist. The FBI never did their own study of the evidence and the draft report from CloudStrike does not support the key assertion that the FBI presented to Congress and the public about Russian collusion to go after the Clinton emails. Shockingly these facts have not shown up in the NYTimes. The nice, neat case of a foreign effort to derail Sec. Clinton is beginning to unravel. So what really happened to those emails and how does this potentially impact on the Assange case?
Bigmamou (Port Townsend WA)
Even IF (a big IF) someone could accept t's twitter tantrums that this amounts to “Presidential Harassment!” such "harassment" pales in comparison to what the repubs subjected Obama to for 8 long years. And he rarely complained instead working hard to do the country's business and not dignify their racially based constant attempts at sabotage by commenting on it. And speaking of dignity comparing Obama to t on this score laughs t out of the building.
sophia (bangor, maine)
I read the report in full, unlike Mr. Trump. And I have questions. And I know those questions will not be answered so I'm prepared to continue to feel frustrated. It's clear that Trump obstructed justice. If there was any justice in this world, he would be charged with that crime. But I'm not holding my breath. What I really do not understand is how Trump Campaign internal polling data could be given to a 'former' Russian intelligence agent (are there ever any 'former' Russian intelligence agents?) and no charge of conspiracy be brought against, at least, Manafort and Gates. That I do not understand at all. And, I fear, Mueller will not clear any of that up. We have a criminal in the White House and most people are now divided into two strong camps: those in the Trump Cult who believe all of his lies that never stop and those who are now numb to all his lies that never stop. It feels like purgatory. And Mr. Mueller, for whatever his own reasons, is not a counterweight to his old friend, the attorney general, another criminal who deliberately lied to Congress and the people of the US to save, for some reason, this president's derriere. He will be a reluctant witness and I don't think it will move anybody to care any more than they care - or don't care - right now. I say that with great sadness and frustration because I want this criminal out of our White House. This man who never stops lying.
Susan Murray (Glenmoore, PA)
I predict that July 17th will also be the day that Trump bombs Iran, or does something else dramatic to draw attention away from Mueller's testimony.
b d'amico (brooklyn, nyc)
There's a common thread between this situation and what just happened in Oregon in their state house. It's all progressing towards a revolution between armed militias filled with trump cult members and our nation's existing laws and Constitution and those that are sworn to uphold it, as is. Hopefully Mr. Mueller is not too deep in the DC bubble to see this obvious fact facing the future of the country he has fought to protect. Trump and his AG will try to stop his testimony. He is a private citizen now and can/should interpret his report in a clear and concise manner for clear-minded Americans to assess. He had far too much faith in the intellect of the American people by assuming they would read his report. It's time to hammer it home. And the members asking questions need to stress that the DOJ OLC memo is NOT law and need to find out why this con man in our White House wasn't criminally prosecuted. He needs to state clearly that there wasn't enough evidence to prove conspiracy because there was criminal obstruction. But either way, it's going to come to a violent head, with the situation in Oregon being a microcosm of the future. Trump would not hesitate to call for armed violence against anyone trying to remove him from office and/or prosecute him and the Republican members of Congress will certainly go along and "hideout". The question is, will our armed forces, national guard, and regional police departments do the same?
DREU 💤 (Bestcity)
Mr. Mueller’s testimony is just going to be a longer version of his statement some weeks ago with not much to add. I can only hope i am wrong.
Cynical (Knoxville, TN)
We need to stop blaming the Russian spy network for 'meddling' in our elections. That's what nations do, adversarial or otherwise. Instead, we need to hold accountable those of us who conspired with Russian spies to defraud this country. One of these is the president. The others are his offspring. One realizes that blaming oneself is the fashionable term for 'victim bashing.' However, the less politically correct term is 'introspection.'
Keith Dow (Folsom Ca)
"Mueller to Testify to Congress" I bet Trump sends several lawyers to block his testimony.
Scruples the Cat (Texas)
@Keith Dow: He will even if he can't. And get away with it.
James Mignola (New Jersey)
Besides the ugliness of the intended comparison to 'sexual harassment' of which it appears likely that trump is guilty on many counts it seems to me that, in order for there to be 'presidential harassment', the person holding the office would have to be presidential.
Jay Orchard (Miami Beach)
“Mueller to Testify to Congress” I have nothing to say on this topic that hasn’t been said already. And neither will Mr. Mueller.
Truthbeknown (Texas)
The questioning of Mr. Mueller about the composition of this team, the bias of his team, the lack of inquiry into the Clinton campaign role in the dossier preparation, the lack of inquiry or even curiosity about the misdeeds within the FBI and Intelligence will be a delicious opportunity to have this swamp creature totally exposed, one way or another.
Peter (Greer SC)
@Truthbeknown Do you really think that is what will happen?
uga muga (miami fl)
I'm hoping the next iteration of Mueller's is more al dente.
Hank (Florida)
Turn on the Democrat Party base..turn off the rest of our country .. the result will be giving Gerald Nadler 5 more years to impeach President Trump.
Socrates (Downtown Verona. NJ)
I'm surprised that this awful Obstruction-of-Justice Administration hasn't yet instructed Mueller to refuse to testify. They have consistently instructed others to not testify to Congress. Why not go for the Emperor's Flush, Donnie ? Trump has made a mockery of the Presidency and the Constitution. Go Congress ! Go Democrats ! Expose the Naked Emperor.
Scruples the Cat (Texas)
@Socrates: This Administration will wait until the last second to instruct Mueller not to testify. Maximum delay.
Joe From Boston (Massachusetts)
@Scruples the Cat AG Barr has already said he has no problem with Mueller testifying. Mueller no longer works for the government. Nothing Mueller might say has any relevance as confidential advice to the Executive Branch, because the report was published. Mueller has been subpoenaed. No way the administration shuts Mueller down.
Ellwood Nonnemacher (Pennsylvania)
The problem with moving any further after what Mueller will say will be the GOP controlled Senate. The GOP members are so deathly afraid of doing anything against Herr Trump out of fear they will loose their precious seats in the Senate in 2020. In the end the only alternative is the 2020 election and whether the Democratic campaign can over come Herr Trump's propaganda machine and whether he will even vacate the office if he does lose and can get the military to back him (which he seems to be working very hard at).
D.j.j.k. (south Delaware)
This is great news and i hope the nineteen women Trump sexually assaulted get to testify also. This should lead to impeachment with his collusion asking Russia for help finding the emails , obstruction of justice firing FBI director Comey and most of all failure for paying taxes for decades. Lock him up quick and his family who don’t pay taxes either. Very sad time again for America thanks to the GOP.
Best news I’ve woken up to in quite some time.
Scruples the Cat (Texas)
@NYC: It would have been better news two months ago. I wish Dems weren't so dedicated to playing along with the delay tactics. And they sure better have a plan in place for when Trump blocks Mueller from testifying at the last second. No, instead they will act like they never saw it coming.
Sid Jagger (Brooklyn)
Simply stating the parts of his report that Barr and the administration have tried to gloss over should be enough in a PR campaign for an American public that doesn't "do" reading or self investigation.
KS (Stewartsville, NJ)
I wish I were better informed about the specifics of how this process works... but that said, a recommendation to Reps. Schiff and Nadler: let the Republicans all ask their questions first. The reckless assaults on Mueller's character and that of his team might just get his back up enough to provide Dems with useful and illuminating answers.
Paul (Brooklyn)
Bottom line here, interview this guy with a plan in mind, ie to clarify or add anything in his report to see if an impeachment trial is called for. It is almost certain with all the evidence that this is the case but document it in a clear, legal way to offer it to the public. Don't go on a witch hunt. However, after having said that, you must win the support of the people. If polls show the public is not in the majority re impeachment, don't do it. Censor Trump, warn him, but concentrate on getting him out of office in 2020 by addressing the issues he demagogued in a moderate progressive way, not with identity obsession or social engineering.
hawk (New England)
Very bad move by the House Dems, they already have their questions answered. Whereas the GOP does not, Mueller will be grilled publicly on the why, when, and how. Huge mistake
John Vance (Kentucky)
Given his laconic personality it’s unlikely he will say anything he hasn’t already expressed in the report. It’s also possible he’s going to say something that the Dems don’t want to hear. I believe Pres Trump is grossly incompetent and needs to be voted out of office next year. But for the present I’m tired of hearing about it all. The Senate will never convict and the majority of Americans have already made up their minds about him. Find a good candidate and elect him/her. Then indict the president or ignore him. For now enough is enough. Don’t give fence-riders a reason to finish sorry for him.
Eli Xenos (Megara)
Mr. Mueller seems to have an especially keen political sensitiveness; notably, he made calculations about the potential harm that Executive Capriciousness would inflict; i.e. terminations and program cuts to various 'justice' functions. In other words, he is aware that Trump is predictably cruel.
Joel Z. Silver (Bethesda, Md)
Edmund Burke said “The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing”. The Mueller Report is not “nothing”, but it is not enough by itself as a document to extinguish Trump’s tyranny. Trump has diminished the Report’s import by using his privileged pulpit to twist your words into an unsupported defense. Your message must reach the hustings to gain the support for it to serve its worthy purpose. A great book is good for book-readers, but does nothing for those non-book readers who need an oral presentation. Mr. Mueller. I believe in you. You are a public citizen. You are a bold, distinguished and proven leader. I pray that you embrace the task that needs to be done to help your Report to effectively reach all who need to know clearly what you said, free of the distortions from the presidential pulpit. Mr. Mueller, we have your words. But please lend your voice, fortify it with your courage and conviction. Use your voice to better inform and inspire good men and women to take the next step - to help the the entire body politic to fully understand the malignancy uncovered in your investigation. Then, when we are better informed, let us re-light the torch of liberty that will shine again around the globe. I’m confident that good men and women will stand up against the evil. They will then rid the body politic of the Trump malignancy that has infected our great nation and the world beyond our shores.
FritzTOF (ny)
Let's not waste a moment on preparing for this historic event! Mr. Mueller: You have become a SYMBOL of what TRUTH and WISDOM mean in our world. We want to know whether Trump should be removed from office or not. We want you to make it clear that it is more important to you that Barr and his Boss have tried to keep the truth from us. Failure is not an option -- if you believe that America has important work to do in the world. Every moment counts now. Hide behind the powers that be and you will doom us!
sbobolia (New York)
No matter what Mueller has to say, there are Americans who will still stand with Trump no matter what.
Eunice (DC)
@sbobolia And I contend that no matter what Mueller has to say, there are Americans who will stand against Trump no matter what. So what?
Michael (NYC)
Unfortunately, I'd wager that this will result in more of the same- nothing. No justice, no accountability, no reckoning for a president and administration that has brought the art of dishonesty and manipulation to all time highs. Id love to be wrong on this.
EW (Glen Cove, NY)
I bet half the questions will be about his disputed golf fees at Trump resorts. Those are the questions that will be covered extensively by some news outlets.
Ray Stark (North America)
"...the special counsel ultimately concluded that there was insufficient evidence to charge anyone with conspiring with the Russians to undermine the 2016 election." Thank you, thank you, a million thanks for not repeating the canard (as the Times has for months) that Mueller found no evidence of conspiracy. For Trump supporters: yes, that's called collusion.
WDG (Madison, Ct)
Trump has said he's willing to take "oppo research" from a foreign government if it helps him win reelection. This is practically an admission that there is already a Russian sleeper cell deeply embedded in the Republican Party. Trump's white supremacist base actually welcomes this interference by Russia, which is their notion of an ideal political/cultural template. After all, how many blacks are active in Russia's Politburo? So the Mueller hearing may help to uncover this treachery. It's far more important that "collusion," and not obstruction of justice, be exposed if Americans have any hope of preserving our democracy. Beating Trump at the polls in 2020 is a necessary but not sufficient condition for preserving our democratic institutions. If Trump wins, democracy dies--maybe forever. But if he loses, Trump won't leave. Expect a military coup or a bloody civil war. Trump won't allow himself to go to prison and his supporters see no point in living in a world that's not dominated by white men. Every Democrat in the coming debates should answer the question: "What's your plan if you win and Trump invalidates the 2020 results?"
ron shapley (New York, NY)
It is Mueller's duty to testify. His heretofore refusal is, itself, obstruction of justice..
Rich Murphy (Palm City)
More of Mueller! If he is as obfuscating as his last public appearance it will be meaningless. He has had his year in the spotlight, let’s get back to Hilary and the e-mails.
Josiah (Olean, NY)
Most Americans have already made up their minds about Trump. You can't change the mind of someone whose ego is invested in their position and has dug in their heels. However, there are some Americans who CAN be convinced--those who voted for Trump as the lesser of two evils, who held their noses and voted against Hillary Clinton. They might represent only 5% of the electorate, but that's all it will take to vote this joker out of office.
Rita (California)
Pages 9 and 10 of Vol. 1 lay it out: Mueller found evidence of a criminal conspiracy between Russians and the Trump Campaign but not sufficient to convince a jury beyond a reasonable doubt. Mueller was blocked from finding more evidence, perhaps sufficient to charge criminal conspiracy, because witnesses lied, had faulty recollection, destroyed evidence, etc. Trump was one of those witnesses. And he encouraged others to stick to the story. People are right to be suspicious when they see Putin and Trump hamming it up together.
Dan (Stowe, VT)
I’m sure there will be new information that will further indicate trump. But all that will matter is what news outlet Americans get there information from. Audience A listens to Fox News and sees nothing but but politics. Audience B listens to any of the dozen or so other news outlets and they’ll be further convinced of what is already self evident.
RMM (Norfolk, VA)
Wonderful news! Republicans on the two panels will get their chance to query Mueller about the dubious basis for the federal surveillance that prompted the FBI probe that preceded Mueller’s investigation. Those questions are currently under investigation by the inspector general and are not precluded. So Democrats will regret having called Mueller.
NorthStar (Minnesota)
Mueller was appointed by a Republican, Rod Rosenstein.
g (New York, NY)
The Dems' strategy has been to place all of their eggs in the basket of public testimony, for better or worse. They knew no one would actually read the Mueller report, and they've seen how Trump and his people have twisted its conclusions. If they want to pursue impeachment, they know they need to have public support, and the only way to do that is to hold televised public hearings that will fill the headlines with stories about Trump's crimes and misdemeanors. This is why Trump is fighting tooth and nail (and probably committing even more impeachable offenses) to prevent people from testifying. He knows that no one will have anything good to say about him under oath. The problem is, we live in a country where spin rules. Mueller will need to say, unequivocally, that Trump committed crimes and should be impeached. Short of that, the Fox News crowd is just going to claim vindication no matter what Mueller says. Do we really think Mueller, given his play-by-the-rules restraint so far, will say that he thinks Trump is guilty of crimes? I'm not going to hold my breath.
A.A.F. (New York)
Mueller will regurgitate what he has already written if anything at all. The redacted report was more than enough to raise further questions regarding Trump and his actions but not much has come out of it. The AG has failed us and the Republican establishment continues to fail the American people with impunity. Trump, Barr and the GOP have successfully spun a web of deception and dishonesty regarding the entire investigation, the report, investigation team and Mueller with many of Trump supporters falling for it. Sadly, Mueller’s appearance before congress will be another demonstration of how badly broken and corrupt the government really is. Additionally and perhaps more disturbing is the fact that it took a subpoena to get Mueller a “strait-laced former F.B.I. director” to testify.
Hjb (New York City)
Mueller won’t go beyond the four corners of the report. If anything he should in fact be asked at which point he realized that there was no collusion with Russia and why the investigation wasn’t halted at that point. I see another own goal by the Democrats here.
Joe From Boston (Massachusetts)
@Hjb If you ask that question, the answer you will get is that in the Russia interference part of the investigation, many of the American witnesses (Manafort, Kelly, others) either lied or destroyed evidence as part of a cover up of their conspiracy with the Russians, so that while there was plenty of evidence (140 contacts with Russians), there was not explicit evidence of a conspiracy agreement.
It's hard to fathom that he has something to say which is not in his report. That said, let's get it out there and finally put this to rest.
Joe From Boston (Massachusetts)
@MIKEinNYC This is a case of "the movie was much better than the book" mostly because so few people actually took the time to read the book.
Brian Barrett (New jersey)
There are moments in time when the air is ionized and fairly crackles with tension and importance. Mueller testimony will be one of those times. If his testimony put a fissure, a crack in the so far solid façade of American indifference, the rest will be downhill. If not...just saying.
99percent (downtown)
"Mr. Mueller and his team of prosecutors wanted to avoid a public spectacle." But a public spectacle is EXACTLY what Schiff and Nadler want, because it is their last chance to resurrect the Russia Collusion / Obstruction hoax. All Schiff and Nadler want is one single little news nugget that they can flip over to MSNBC and CNN to run ad nauseam until the 2020 election. It's going to backfire for two reasons, which is perhaps why Mueller did not want to be questioned in public: 1. republicans get to grill Mueller too. 2. unlike Nadler and Schiff's claims, the American public believes Mueller's conclusions that a) there was no collusion, and b) there was no evidence of obstruction - and the public wants Congress to move on and fix immigration.
Glenn Thomas (Edison, NJ)
Yes. What we the people deserve and want to know is, if Mr. Mueller "...believes he had enough evidence to charge Mr. Trump if he was not president." It is of paramount importance that we can confirm that we have been informed of the whole truth.
Frank J Haydn (Washington DC)
Given that Mr. Mueller will not go beyond what he penned in his report -- and if there is anyone who can conversationally spar with congresspeople seeking to get him to trip up, I suspect it is Mr. Mueller -- then the question must be asked: what is the ultimate objective of house democrats? It seems to me that, in the final analysis, this is an excellent way for the second-tier party leadership (Nadler, Schiff, etc.) to save face and at long last move beyond the calls for impeachment and to finally start to prepare for the 2020 election, as Nancy Pelosi has been urging. I believe that the American people are fair minded and recognize that Mr. Mueller had his opportunity to indict Mr. Trump, and that now its time to move on. House Democrats would be foolish indeed to pursue the issue as the 2020 elections draw closer, as Mr. Trump will string things along to an inconclusive ending -- something he is very good at.
Avatar (New York)
I believe Robert Mueller loves this country. At this point, having seen what Trump and Barr have done with his report, he needs to come forward and tell it like it is. No more tactful deference to DOJ “protocols.” The stakes are too high. If Trump hasn’t committed impeachable offenses including obstruction, then let him say so and explain. But, if as many of us believe, Trump has committed such offenses, the people need to know. If Trump’s behavior does not merit impeachment, then we have a right to ask what would. This isn’t about political calculations, as Pelosi believes. It’s about preserving the very structure of the American system of governance. If Republicans could move to impeach Clinton for much, much less, how can Democrats sit on their hands?
Frank J Haydn (Washington DC)
@Avatar What exactly have Trump and Barr "done with his report"? The report is in the public domain, anyone in the world is free to read it and come to their own conclusions.
Avatar (New York)
@Frank J Haydn Barr and Trump have openly and often declared that the report showed no obstruction. This is false. It stated that Mueller felt he was not empowered by the DOJ, for whom he worked, to pursue obstruction charges. And it cited multiple incidents that could potentially warrant charges. Trump and Barr tried to turn the report into a total exoneration.
Paul Wortman (Providence)
FINALLY! Let the public see and hear Robert Mueller address the issues of Russia 's interference in our election, Trump's eagerness to accept their aid,and his multiple attempts to obstruct justice. This will lay, or actually be, the foundation of an impeachment inquiry.
Thomas (Branford,Fl)
It is " Justice Department policy " to refrain from indicting a sitting president. The Constitution does not forbid it. I worked in a very large healthcare system which periodically reviewed its policies and jettisoned those that were no longer helpful or necessary.
Frank J Haydn (Washington DC)
@Thomas To compare the policies of your healthcare system with the pillar of US democracy is nonsensical.
Ichabod Aikem (Cape Cod)
Mueller’s authority, analysis, and directness will set the record straight for the American people and posterity that Donald Trump accepted with open arms help from our adversaries to steal the election and to then obstruct justice to cover up his actions. He has pandered to autocrats while wreaking havoc on our democracy and our alliances. All Americans should watch on the 17th to see what true democracy consists of: finding out the truth by admission of fact based evidence for us to be an educated electorate. Consequently, there will be an outcry for this criminal to be impeached for his multiple high crimes and misdemeanors.
JJ Gross (Jeruslem)
It was evident from the start that Mueller was looking to hang Trump. After all, surely he kew from day 1 that there was no collusion. He should have stopped right then and there. Instead he dragged his circus on for two long years at a cost to us of tens of millions in order to both give the impression that there was something wrong, and in order to find something, anything, with which to besmirch Trump. Anything he has to say at this point - good, bad or indifferent - is tainted and should be pointedly ignored.
tom harrison (seattle)
@JJ Gross - Actually, he made the treasury money. And Trump is still openly colluding with the Russians.
Chris R (Ryegate Vermont)
@JJ Gross So far, from what we know, you might be correct about collusion. What are your "thoughts" on obstruction?? To say that Mueller and his team had all the answers on day one is, at best, a stretch.
Rita (California)
@JJ Gross The Mueller Team was able to recover enough back taxes and penalties from Manafort’s tax evasion and money laundering charges to essentially pay for the investigation. Moreover, it doesn’t appear that you have read the Mueller Report which pointed out, first and foremost, the activities the Russians engaged in to interfere in our election. And the willingness of Trump and his Campaign to accept this interference.
Marie (Boston)
Remembering Mueller's last minute take down of Hillary Clinton, while leaving unmentioned the existing investigation into Trump, I have no expectations of Mueller's testimony having any additional information that could be used in any proceedings against Donald Trump.
Marie (Boston)
@Marie. Mea Culpa. I was thinking of Comey. However I still have no expectations of Mueller's testimony having any additional information that could be used in any proceedings against Donald Trump.
AKL (Tucson AZ)
@Marie That was James Comey who did that, not Robert Mueller.
R Figueras (East Rochester, NY)
@Marie I think you're thinking of James Comey. Two different people, two different jobs.
Tom (United States)
Let this be thorough. In public. Let there be no doubts, no ambiguity regarding the results of this investigation (not that any of this will matter to a certain segment, whose minds won’t be changed). Explain why the findings weren’t presented more clearly at the outset. Don't allow scoundrels get away unscathed. For the good of the country.
Len Safhay (NJ)
I can think of the key question immediately: if the reason, as Mueller has said, that he would not state that Trump was guilty of obstruction is that a sitting president cannot not be indicted, would he have concluded that Trump committed a crime had he done and said all the same things but was *not* president? As much as Trump richly deserves to be impeached and convicted, it will never happen, i.e. the conviction part, and I find myself increasingly leaning toward simply defeating him in November and then beginning the process of throwing him in jail in January.
Mitch4949 (Westchester)
@Len Safhay If we follow your suggestion and do nothing, and then Trump wins reelection...where do we stand then?
Frank J Haydn (Washington DC)
@Len Safhay "Simply defeating" Trump? The longer the democrats obsess about humiliating Mr. Trump, the greater their chances of losing in 2020.
Len Safhay (NJ)
@Mitch4949 Doomed, of course, but I think impeachment and (inevitably) failing to convict makes his reëlection more likely, not less. Nothing would make me happier than to be wrong, though, and if he's impeached and *then* defeated and imprisoned so much the better.
Diana Ferriero (NJ)
I implore the Democrats on the committee to have EXPERIENCED LITIGATORS question Mr. Mueller because they know how to ASK a question. Politicians pose and though many have law degrees they are incapable of asking a coherent question or of following up.
tom harrison (seattle)
@Diana Ferriero - I am wondering how many will run to Kinkos to make posters or eat a bucket of chicken in front of the camera.
P Wilkinson (Guadalajara, MX)
@Diana Ferriero Precisely because of the extraordinary abilities of many of our new Congresspeople I have hope. They have so far showed a great ability to question pointedly and in simple language. We need stiletto sharp questioning in terms even the less educated masses can understand. In their shoes I´d avoid however the overthink for quotable soundbites, just as in Watergate assume that people have a modicum of sense.
Bob (Minn.)
That is exactly what I wanted to comment. If they are getting 2 committees in one day, they better ask the right questions and get to the point. It shouldn’t be done by the lawmakers by rather by experienced attorneys.
freeasabird (Montgomery, Texas)
The Democrats are seeking the public support for the constitutional move to impeach the 45th POTUS. Mueller’s testimony, they hope, would achieve such a goal. I don’t believe Mueller will be of much hope, but I do believe he will bring life to his 448 page report. 45 is running out the clock, not mentioning the possibility of war for a major distraction.
RS (Baden)
I wish this time Robert Muller stops acting like a Sphinx and let Congress and consequently the People clearly know, whether there was a Collusion by the Trump Gang (what about the Trump Tower Meeting?) or not and whether Donald Trump obstructed the Law or not. His Investigation and the subsequent Report, which were not carried out under time pressure, leaves too much room for speculation - not good. If Muller does not change to plain AND CLEAR Language, there may be a creepy Suspicion that deep inside he wants to avoid a Scandal and protect the Presidency. This is not the idea of an Investigation by an independant Council. Dont beat around the Bush Robert Müller, you also have a Reputation to lose.
MIMA (heartsny)
It’s going to be interesting for the American people to see a man of maturity and intellect, a man who truly served this country in a number of ways, military, law, honor, respect, Robert Mueller, vs, what we see on a daily basis, a childlike actor who is embarrassing, Donald Trump. We may not see or hear answers to questions looming in our brains, but just watching him speak, I believe, may restore some faith in our country again. And that may be powerful.
Guy Walker (New York City)
Armed and obviously organized militias closed the government in Oregon while republicans united in delinquency of duty there. At the border, a militia member impersonated what CNN called a border patrol agent. This would be a government paid armed employee. An underground of organized people within the United States are talking online and they obviously are organizing to confront what they see as bad government or jobs government should do but are not. They have their own hierarchy and they meeting on local levels. This has been inspired by an administration run by appointed advisers such as Steve Bannon and Wilbur Ross and Rudy Giuliani. This has got to stop. With one email these vigilantes gather under the 1st Amendment and then the 2nd. They have questioned the validity of our Constitution and believe in changing it to uphold their own selfish interests. This administration has made it their business to encourage this. Unregulated and unchecked business in the White House started with closing Oval Office guest books, removing White House press briefings holding helicopter sound bites and tweets instead and encouraging corruption through the privatization of our own military, our own services and educational institutions where contractors and sub-contractors are free to affect our means of communication, public utilities and surveillance either by negligence of devious infiltration. It is deflating, bewildering what Wm.Barr has done.
DREU 💤 (Bestcity)
The biggest mistake we can make in the XXI century is to believe the US is inmune of an authoritarian ruler. The majority of this country wants to believe we are not “them”, that we are not those countries out there like Venezuela, or Chile or pretty much most Latin America in the 70s and 80s. But it is exactly the naïvety and our lack of history that put the majority of us at risk of a dictator.
Guy Walker (New York City)
@DREU 💤 What I fear most is that this is just FBI housecleaning and they don't care about the extenuating circumstances of what privatization without regulation resulting in authoritarian negligence to The Constitution has in store for us.
Michael (Ecuador)
Assuming the WH does not try to block testimony (a very big if), I have just one request to the D's on the two committees: Leave the grandstanding and posturing for the cameras to the R's and focus on the devastating details of the report itself. This is not a time to play to the base, it is time to uphold the constitution.
Horseshoe Crab (South Orleans, MA)
Will this provide anything new about the official investigation in relation to the obstruction of justice issue, and if so to what end? It shall hopefully give the American people some sense of closure. In the midst of a very serious international situation this will occupy Trump and he will unleash his usual stream of accusations and denials continuing to proclaim his innocence in relation to any interference or obstruction on his part. In short, another distraction and opportunity for Trump to rant and rave at a time when he and his advisors should be concerned about not plunging the country into another unnecessary military engagement in the Middle East. And Congress should be mindful of this very real possibility as well.
Joe B. (Center City)
For those concerned about Mueller not providing useful testimony beyond the report, the first questions to Mueller should be whether he knows and respects the judgment of the 1000 former prosecutors who agreed that, were Trump not President, his conduct outlined in the report would have yielded a multiple count criminal indictment.
Sendero Caribe (Stateline)
@Joe B. The opinions of 1000 former prosecutors are irrelevant to these hearings. Guess what that makes your statement?
Joe B. (Center City)
Au contraire, my friend. And even though the testimony will not be in court, the expert opinion of 1000 prosecutors is powerfully relevant evidence in any forum. I have no doubt, however, that Republicans on the Committees will amply demonstrate the concept of total irrelevance.
Greek Goddess (Merritt Island, FL)
Mueller's testimony has the potential to fundamentally shift public perception of Trump and his presidency. Question is, which part of the public? Few in Trump's "base" will watch, just as they almost certainly did not read the Mueller Report. They will instead get what satisfies them as "reporting" on it from Fox. They will then go to work the next day parroting the very fake news talking points Trump pretends to rail against. Those of us not so entranced will find ways to listen or watch, our stomachs churning, and even if Mueller does nothing more than read his report aloud, it will be a moment of historical significance for America. See you there.
Diana Ferriero (NJ)
Prior to Watergate hearings, Nixon had good poll numbers. That changed as the hearings progressed. The hope is that Mueller ‘s testimony flips the white suburban women that hated Clinton and the ‘women haters’ and energize the undecided voters.
Neil (Texas)
I know it is common for a Representative always to say "the American public demands......etc etc..." since he was elected by his American public aka constituents. But Mr. Nadler - I am not one of that public clamoring for Mueller to testify. What next ? A fight over his staff to testify in public after they have testified in private. There are bound to be differences in utterances between these two. You would think Congress has its plate full with real issues like border security, budgets etc. But no, not this Congress. I am expecting that after headlines on July 17 and 18 - the whole issue will die as Mueller will have stuck to what he said publicly in May. Other than attention grabbing "over ruled" by Chairman and Republicans screaming "a point of order" - hard to believe what Congress can educate the public on. And will this public be satisfied or even care?
Luckyleejones (Brooklyn)
“House Democrats haven’t been squandering time. In addition to their investigations, they’ve been passing legislation at a rapid clip. In all, the House has taken up 51 bills, resolutions, and suspensions since January — 49 of which they’ve passed.” Vox
Aurace Rengifo (Miami Beach, Fl.)
The problem is not Mueller. He did a great job. The problem is that Congress is hesitant to impeach. The report points to obstruction. Trump and his Tweets look and feel like obstruction. So after Mueller Mueller's testimony, will Congress go forward or will need to "investigate" further until Trump is re-elected?
Howard Clark (Taylors Falls MN)
Robert Mueller made one gigantic error: he thought Americans were interested in their country and would read the report. Instead, they are huddled over their phones nearly all of their waking hours, or, if trump supporters, going to tractor pulls and the local McDonalds.
chickenlover (Massachusetts)
After what he authored the report in which he was extra cautious and measured, I am not holding my breath to hear him testify. I expect him to be circumspect in his testimony. His report, he says elsewhere, speaks for itself. All I expect him to do in his testimony is to repeat the carefully crafted written words in oral form. My expectations are low but I hope to be surprised.
Brendan (Durham, NC)
"The stakes could scarcely be higher for Mr. Trump, who is facing re-election next year, or for Congress, which is battling to weaken him." Such a disappointing way to frame Congress' attempts to investigate the administration. Weakening the President may be an outcome, but uncovering wrongdoing is the real battle.
Frank J Haydn (Washington DC)
@Brendan But there is no wrongdoing, according to Mr. Mueller. So ultimately the NYT characterization of what Congress ius up to is correct.
Bosox rule (Canada)
@Frank J Haydn Mueller found plenty of wrongdoing. You need to read his report!
Charlie B (USA)
@Brendan That’s an important point. The story is pitched in exactly the way Trump has tried to define it: Angry Democrats trying to weaken our poor beleaguered president. We all, and especially the fact-oriented press, need to hold true to the core American principles that Trump and Putin are working to undermine. If we yield to the cynicism of putting everything in partisan terms, they win by default.
Expat Annie (Germany)
I think the reporter is framing this, right in line with the Trump camp, as a Republican vs. Democrats battle. For example, he writes: "The stakes could scarcely be higher for Mr. Trump, who is facing re-election next year, or for Congress, which is battling to weaken him." In my view, this is not about wanting to "weaken" Trump. This is about a president who has absolutely no regard for the law, no regard for the Constitution, no regard for the American people. The Congress's job is to protect the Constitution -- and Congress should start doing its job, regardless of whether it weakens Trump's or their own chances for reelection.
Michael Banks (Massachusetts)
@Expat Annie "Congress should start doing its job, regardless of whether it weakens Trump's or their own chances for reelection." You would be right if the Republican Party were not simply sycophants for Trump, and were not only ignoring his lack of regard for the law, but actively abetting it. Since the Republicans are in the Majority, the Democrats ("Congress") are not able to successfully impeach and oust the President. Their only hope is that, through public testimony from Mr. Muellar, the voting public learns the details of Trump's violations of law, and his battle to obstruct the many investigations. The Democrats hope that Muellar's public testimony will illuminate those violations related to the Russia Investigation and Trump's attempts to obstruct it, since most voters have not read the Muellar Report.
ERT (New York)
What do you think Congress is doing? I’d like Mr. Trump out of the Oval Office as quickly as possible, but Congress needs to build a strong case against him. Remember that it took two years before there was enough evidence against Richard Nixon to ensure he’d be removed from office: let’s make sure we don’t end up giving the Trump re-election committee ammunition to portray him as a martyr.
Potter (Boylston, MA)
@ERT and Banks... Republicans will portray Trump as a victim, Democrats trying to undo a duly elected president regardless. And his followers will echo that. Regardless. The Democrats in Congress and others who agree on the Republican side, however few, never the less cannot let up on their duty to pursue impeachment in the light of what we already know, see, feel, hear everyday of this presidency. Even Nixon was not so completely destructive.
From Ohio (Massachusetts)
Thank you, NYT, for your coverage. But PLEASE! Why do you insist (STILL!) on calling it "Russia’s election meddling"? Hasn't it been established beyond reasonable doubt that this flippant nomenclature absolutely does not apply? Here is Brian Klaas, of the London School of Economics, explaining the difference to NPR's Michel Martin, almost a full year ago: "The word meddling conjures up images of a man in a mask at the end of 'Scooby-Doo.' It's something that seems like a nuisance to us. And the Russians think about this in much more military terms. And the reason why I think we need to use the word information warfare to describe this is because it's what Russian military theorists think about and say when they discuss these tactics." "Russia's election meddling" sounds a lot like op-ed. "Russia's information warfare" seems much more apt for headline news.
William Burgess Leavenworth (Searsmont, Maine)
@From Ohio You are correct, except that it is not the Russian people who are responsible. It is Putin and his co-conspirators, masking their oligarchic aspirations behind a nostalgia for the great Russia that once held Europe's southeastern borders against the Turks and other Muslim adversaries.
Scientist (Wash DC)
@From Ohio Thanks you, I have been saying the same thing. hanged the words... Republicans would definitely do this... that is their main way of painting their enemy. In 2016, it was an “deliberate attack by Putin using his intelligence apparatus to undermine American democracy”
BJW (Olympia, WA)
@From Ohio I think the correct terms are conspiracy and treason. Meddling just sounds like a minor nuisance without any determination of whether it had any effect on the election outcome. We know that it DID. It clearly had the intended outcome.
Radicalnormal (Los Angeles)
So, the great hero finally deigns to grace us mere peons with a few precious moments of his time. All it took was a subpoena. On second thought, maybe he's not such a hero after all. That said, if I were Schiff or Nadler, I would simply have him read the juicy bits of his report and then get on with the impeachment. It's all there, in black and white. And now, for two whole hours on July 17, it will all be there in color too.
Michael Banks (Massachusetts)
@Radicalnormal The Democrats are making progress on other matters. Annie Donaldson, Aide to Don McGann, will testify before the House. A Judge has ordered release of Trump financial documents in an emoluments investigation. Other subpoenas ignored by McGann and others on orders from Trump are being challenged in the courts. Muellar's testimony is another building block in the case for impeachment. When they proceed with impeachment proceedings, their case will be so much stronger for having been patient and gathered much more evidence. Even if they don't impeach, given the limited time left (granted, every day Trump is in office is a danger to the country), the additional evidence of wrongdoing and law breaking behavior will help Democrats to win the Presidency and, possibly, the Senate in 2020, (though the Senate is a longshot).
Red Sox, ‘04, ‘07, ‘13, ‘18 (Boston)
After the first delicious shock of the long hoped-for prospect of Robert Mueller standing before a House subcommittee and telling us of his two-year foray into Russian interference in our election in 2016, my heady excitement evaporated almost immediately. What if the former Special Counsel merely repeats what he told us in his brief press conference last month? We need for him to tell us what and how he really feels. We need for him to be straight with us. We need for him to tell us if Donald Trump—as candidate and then as president—broke the law by asking Russia’s in sabotaging our elections via cyber technology. We need for him to tell us if the candidate-now-president ordered his family or others in his 2016 campaign (or now on his staff) to lie to investigators when questioned. We need for him to tell us about Paul Manafort and Michael Flynn and Rick Gates. We need to hear him clear Donald McGahn and other Trump White House officials or tell us that they broke the law and helped the president obstruct justice. We need to hear tell us if he thought James Comey told the truth—that the president tried to corrupt him. We need to hear him tell us how he reacted to William Barr’s whitewashing of his almost-two year investigation. We need to hear him tell us if the attorney general misled us when General Barr issued his four-page “summary” and if it was an accurate assessment of his work of two years. All of the above. And that’s just for starters.
silver vibes (Virginia)
@Red Sox, ‘04, ‘07, ‘13, ‘18 -- what the American people need they are not going to get at these two hearings. Mueller's now retired but appears to have no stomach for the vicious political infighting his testimony will create. If his rather tepid and disappointing press conference is any preview, this main event will be unsatisfactory. He won't want to say publicly that the president/AG Barr deliberately misrepresented his findings. Don't be deluded by the president and his AG having no objections to Mueller's willingness to testify. They may not want him to appear but they can't afford to block Mueller from coming forward. If they do, they'll admit that they whitewashed Mueller's conclusions and do indeed have something to hide.
expat_phil (Montreal)
Agreed. Mueller still has a chance to come to the aid of his country when it so desperately needs a hero. He whiffed badly with the written report, letting himself get played by the very nefarious individuals that he was charged with investigating. What has been made painfully clear is that following the rules to the letter is insufficient when dealing with a powerful group that breaks the rules with glee. The American system is simply too fragile to withstand the deliberate malfeasance of both a president and an entire major political party, especially when backed by a well-funded propaganda machine. Mr. Mueller stands at an inflection point in U.S. history. Will he recognize the clear and present danger that his country is facing and answer the call, or will he remain an asterisk in a losing battle for America's soul?
99percent (downtown)
@Red Sox, ‘04, ‘07, ‘13, ‘18 "We need for him to tell us what and how he really feels. " This touchy-feely nonsense is as absurd as getting John Dean to testify.
Tournachonadar (Illiana)
A very important development that most so-called adults I know will pay no attention to. Instead they'll be occupied with their social media posts, gurgling and drooling over the latest mindless wonder we have Trump as our president.
George (NYC)
Take a hard unbiased look at HRC's past acts and you'll understand why Trump was elected. The DNC backed an unacceptable candidate plan and simple.
Lex (DC)
@George, But a man who is accused by 16 women of sexual assault, who cheated people out their hard earned money with his fake university, who cheated contractors for decades was perfectly acceptable to you.
SR (Bronx, NY)
So unacceptable that she won the presidency fair and square. It took the ultimate example of a Deep State—hundreds of s'Electors and Joe "It is over" Biden—to finally get in her way and obstruct justice for the United States. The occupant's regime, of course, obstructed justice some more along the way to make it happen.
By (Los Angeles)
I continue to be hopeful that this is heading somewhere, but I don’t think it is. Worst era of my life. Great job, “leaders.”
David G. (Monroe NY)
Does anyone seriously think that Mueller’s testimony is going to change the trajectory of this saga? Every time there’s a new scandal nipping at Trump’s heels, the chorus chimes in, “This is the one that will bring him down.” Trump isn’t going down. Mueller is going to testify that he’s already revealed in his report everything there is to say. In the meantime, the Democratic candidates are providing the real show biz — clobbering each other to see who’s more ideologically pure and who can offer more free stuff.
Michael Banks (Massachusetts)
@David G. I also hope that Muellar's testimony is strong, and will push the case for impeachment, or, at the very least, voting out Trump and the Republicans in 2020. However, having lived through and participated in demonstrations for civil rights, and against the Vietnam War, I believe that we should not just be sitting back and criticizing, expecting leaders to do what is right. The American people need to get organized and active to hold government accountable. Look at what happened in Hong Cong, where millions took to the streets, protesting the intended extradition of Hong Cong residents to China. It looks like we have become passive sheep as a people. The right wing is not passive, and will do whatever is necessary to get what it wants, which is everything. We had better fight back, starting yesterday, if we are to have any chance of saving our democracy.
DR (New England)
@David G. - Why do right wingers have trouble supporting the idea of our taxes going towards the things we all use and need (education, health care, infrastructure etc.) but they're perfectly fine with giving free stuff to millionaires and billionaires?
Pam (New Hampshire)
@DR Yes, socialism for the 1% seems totally acceptable.
ChristineMcM (Massachusetts)
"The president and his attorney general, William P. Barr, have said that they have no issue with Mr. Mueller testifying, but they could theoretically try to block him from appearing, as they have other former government officials." When I first heard the news last night, all I could think of was, well, sounds good but will it take place at all? Since Bill Barr and Donald Trump have virtually gagged anyone remotely connected to this administration, why on earth wouldn't they try to prevent Mueller from coming? Mr. Mueller may believe such a hearing is futile, because all he will do is reference the written evidence. But Mueller seems out of touch with modern America, where people don't read and political battles for the soul of America are waged on television. If it comes off--a big "if"--it will be riveting and may prompt some to actually read the report. I think the closer the date comes, the more likely there will be another attempt to obstruct his testimony. In which case would that finally propel Pelosi to get up off the floor metaphorically speaking and launch an impeachment inquiry?
Miriam (NYC)
@ChristineMcM No at this point I think that absolutely nothing will propel Pelosi to start an impeachment hearing. Even if Trump did actually”shoot someone on Fifth ave”, it wouldn’t just be his base that wouldn't care. Pelosi and her fellow Democrats wouldn’t also just sit there. At this point the Democrats look increasingly spineless, so afraid of possible political repercussions that the choose to ignore Trump's blatant disregard for the Constitution. I think sheks gambling on a certain Trump defeatThis will most certainly backfire, when some voters will just say why bother voting, and we end of with 4 more years of this nightmare
ChristineMcM (Massachusetts)
@Miriam: I actually agree, which is why I posed it as a sort of improbable question. With all the ammunition at their disposal, I've been appalled at how fearful Dems seem to be about using their political power. Were the tables turned, you'd see no holds barred from the Republicans, even in a minority, blasting the other side every way they can. I don't know where their energy has gone, it's extremely despiriting. I've been reading a lot about the declines of democracy, and one of the main symptoms is a sort of weakness in the opposition party of an authoritarian leader. If the Dems keep fearing outcomes, they soon won't have any more choices at all. We are racing towards one-party rule, despite polls saying that the Republicans don't stand for what the majority of people in this country say they want.
Crane (NV)
@ChristineMcM I, too, wonder if we are seeing the limits of democracy. The two parties are engaged in a power struggle that neither of them can really win, but also neither will give up on. Meanwhile, no one is taking care of the country's business. It reminds of a dysfunctional family. The parents fight over who is right, while the kids go unfed and the house burns down.
Jack (East Coast)
Democrats may dilute the impact of Mueller's time before Congress by individual showboating and running two separate hearings. They need to keep it focused. Nadler might consider ceding his time to Schiff who seems the more effective.
Matt Cook (Bisbee)
Regardless of the specific outcome of these hearings, they could be the initiating event to logically lead to Mr. Trump’s impeachment hearings. And, regardless of the outcome of Mr. Trump’s impeachment hearings, they could justify and satisfy the essence, the footing and the foundation of the Constitution itself. Our Constitution’s balance of powers is what allows our democratic republic to guide our Nation on its journey into the future. What Mr. Trump did or does is only incidental. What made and makes the United States of America what we are is our Constitution, and that’s what is really at stake.
Don P. (New Hampshire)
While I’m please that Mr. Mueller has agreed to testify before the House, I still firmly believe that his testimony should be given as part of Trump’s impeachment proceedings. Speaker Pelosi is mistaken in her course not to begin impeachment proceedings against Trump. As a part of an impeachment hearing Mr. Mueller’s testimony and that of others would have greater significance and all Americans would be watching. The drip, drip, drip of the current disjointed House hearings have had little impact. Let’s remember that it was the televised impeachment hearings of Nixon that galvanized his fate and lead him to resign in disgrace. And, even though Trump would never have the good sense to resign for the good of our nation, at least the House could vote for his impeachment and give voters the power to vote him out of office.
downeast60 (Ellsworth, ME)
@Don P. Absolutely correct. I remember vividly how the Watergate hearings & the testimonies of people like John Dean & Alexander Butterfield changed my mind & convinced me of guilt of Richard Nixon.
Jordan (Royal Oak)
The Watergate hearings were not impeachment hearing!
Fullonfog (San Francisco)
Mr. Mueller, thank you for agreeing to speak to the American people, even if it must be limited in scope. As Simon & Garfunkel sang decades ago about Joie DiMaggio, “a nation turns its lonely eyes to you.” You can help is turn back this darkness by being who you’ve always been: a straight shooting American hero who has many times over taken the oath to uphold our constitution against “enemies both foreign and domestic”.
sophia (bangor, maine)
@Fullonfog: He agreed because there was a subpoena. If he had voluntarily consented, I would be a lot happier. And Trump/Barr will try to stop it somehow, I'm sure of it, and if they can't stop it, will continue to slander him. He could have been a hero. He chose 'just to do the work' but he doesn't understand that Americans don't read. Our president doesn't read and, indeed, says he hasn't read the entire report. They need to hear the words said out loud but Mueller will probably stonewall and say, "It's in the report". I really have no hope that this will do anything to help us oust the lying criminal squatting, with the help of Mr. Putin, in our White House. And Mr. Trump has already told us he plans on again using dirt from a foreign country/government. He knows he'll need that help to steal it again. And the Dems? Useless.
Gil (New Jersey)
Since Republican members of Congress have often used the tactic of trying to demonize rather than seek truth committee chairmen Schiff and Nadler should encourage Mr. Mueller to bring a few aides with supporting documentation to the hearings.
Shim (Midwest)
@Gil I hope Mr. Andrew Weisseman, one of Mr. Mueller's prosecutors will accompany him. Mr. Weissman is the one that Trump fears most.
Boo Radley (Florida)
@Shim Exactly! Mr. Mueller's prosecutors, based on news reports a few months ago, are the ones champing at the bit. This way, Mr. Mueller, and the report and investigation, can remain above the fray -- while his prosecutors can deliver us the much-needed details. Great point. Thanks.
Mike Tucker (Portugal)
@Gil Amen! Sir, rest assured, Mueller will bring plenty of ammo and aides with supporting documentation. And this ain't no sea story, ain't no fairy tale, as we say in the Marine infantry. My Master Gunnery Sergeants in 1987 in 3rd Marine Regiment---1st Marine Expeditionary Brigade, Bravo 1/3, our tasked missions were counterterrorism, deep reconnaissance, search and rescue, covert raids and Ambassador rescue--served with Robert Mueller III in Vietnam. The Master Gunnys were the cats we learned the most from, in terms of jungle warfare, jungle tradecraft and survival, close quarter combat, raiding, and all covert skills. They were in different units throughout our entire brigade at Kaneohe. Everything they taught us was first learned by Marine infantry in WWII, moreover. The most cogent thoughts on Mueller, from Master Gunnery Sergeant McGinnis, who was from Nevada: "Tough as nails and sharp as a tack---exactly the commander you need in combat. Everything I'm teaching you on how to set an ambush comes from Lieutenant Mueller. Nobody could ambush like him. Bait and trap, bait and trap. He always carried more grenades than the other platoon commanders. True warrior, Mueller--grenades and fighting knives, grenades and fighting knives. Remember, if you can get your hand on some Molotov cocktails, carry them, too." There'll be more grenades and a few Molotov cocktails in Congress on July 17. Mueller is throwing down. Schiff and Nadler: Right on.
Paul McGlasson (Athens, GA)
We have not yet heard from Mueller directly, which given the gravity of the situation is patently unacceptable. We have only heard from Mueller through AG Barr. In the ordinary course of things, that would be due process, and therefore the end of the matter. We are not living through ordinary times. Barr quickly showed himself, not an honest broker of truth, but a defender of Trump, a partisan, an equivocator and even a provocateur. We clearly need to hear from Mueller himself, unedited and unfiltered by Trumpist spin and control. All credit to Congressional Representatives Schiff and Nadler for doggedly pursuing the people's business against the brash and brazen verbal and procedural assaults of the Executive. Mueller is not the final answer to the assault on truth that is Donald Trump. That responsibility lies with Congress and ultimately the American people. But it does NOT lie with James Barr and Donald Trump. Trump cannot decide his own guilt or innocence. That is not even a monarchy. That is a tyranny. In a democracy, from ancient Athens to modern America, truth is superior to power. Thus may it always prove to be.
Sarah (Arlington, VA)
@Paul McGlasson Great comment, Paul. But I bet my homestead and my car without a gun rack that neither Trump nor the vast majority of his base know that Athens was birthplace of democracy.
furnmtz (Oregon)
@Paul McGlasson William Barr.
FF (Amsterdam)
We cannot be sure that Mueller will provide too much information other than taking portions of the report in his answers. If we think that he will simply say "Yes, President Trump committed a crime" then I think we're in for disappointment. However, I like to think that Mueller, after having seen the events that have unfolded in the last few weeks (Trump openly saying he would welcome more dirt on opponents in 2020, close calls and impertinent diplomacy with Iran, overall childish outburst Tweets by Trump just to name a few) have prompted Mueller's long-standing respect for the law to intervene. I do think that Mueller understands that he might as well be the only hope in changing this dreadful situation. I suspect that his love for his country has led him to take this step for public hearings.
On the coast (California)
Thank you, Mr. Mueller. You continue to be my hero.
sophia (bangor, maine)
@On the coast: Why does he continue to be your hero? We absolutely need a hero right now and many of us thought he would be. But he is not. Our country is in peril, deep peril, from this criminal, lawless administration and yet he wimps out and says, 'Read the report'. Does he think Americans read? Even a lot of Congress members have not read the report. Even the president, who reads nothing but ratings, says he hasn't read the whole thing. We need a forceful presence and we're going to get a mouse and nobody will be moved from either cult fan or 'don't care, have better things to do, it's summer'. I guess, at this point, I'm hopeless that any American who can do something will do something to turn this ship and steer a corrected course.
GWB (San Antonio)
The real entertainment will come with dueling commentary between MSNBC and Fox News. I might suffer whiplash switching back and forth between networks. For most of us nothing will change. Democrats are taking a big gamble displaying their rancorous pursuit of vaporous witches. A public show piece just might backfire.
William Burgess Leavenworth (Searsmont, Maine)
@GWB "Vaporous witches?" Your address gives you away. Texas is an illegal state, stolen from Mexico in an illegal war of aggression to expand slave territory and increase slave-state power in Congress. We should solve the immigration problem by returning Texas to its rightful owner: Mexico.
Olnpvx (Chevy Chase)
@GWB You take the most serious Congressional responsibly to American people as entertainment, shame on you.
Shim (Midwest)
As Mr. Schiff said "one more public service". Thank you Mr. Mueller and his competent team of prosecutors.
See also