Arizona Republican Rep. Andy Biggs does not believe Democrats truly want former special counsel Robert Mueller to testify before Congress, calling it a “shell game” the Democrats are playing.
Biggs, a member of the House Judiciary Committee, notes that Republicans would like to question Mueller as well, but their focus will be different than the Democrats.
Additionally, there are others who worked on Mueller’s team that Republicans want to question, but Republicans’ current minority status in Congress make that task difficult.
“It’s a shell game…”
“So, when we ask, for instance, to speak with Mueller because there are questions we’d really like to ask Mueller, the Democrats say they want to but they won’t issue the subpoena, and that’s really kind of where we are now,” Biggs said on Thursday.
According to Biggs, Republican lawmakers asked Democrats to call on some of the Mueller team lawyers to come to capitol hill so lawmakers can interview them as well but Democrats apparently ignored their requests.
“The one I would like to talk to is Andrew Weissmann–just to find out and get at his biases that have been so widely reported. There are others as well, but right now the big thing for us first is to see if we can get them to finally bring in Mr. Mueller,” he said. “We’re trying to let them handle it in the way that they claim that they’re doing that. They say they want Mueller but we haven’t seen any action.”
Biggs noted Democrats targeted Attorney General Bill Bar for contempt almost immediately when the Justice Department did not provide documents pertaining to the Mueller report right away.
“And here with Mr. Mueller, there’s no subpoena. They’re not going to hold him in contempt. We’re not going to have a private interview with Mr. Mueller and Mr. Mueller basically said ‘I’m not coming in,’” Biggs said. “So, we’re trying to let our counterpart on the other side actually try to run the committee and, at the same time, we’re trying to leverage and put pressure on chairman Nadler to bring these people in. So far it’s not working.”
Mueller himself publicly announced last month at the Justice Department he would not appear before Congress, stating that his report was his testimony.
On June 6, Politico reported House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerry Nadler told Democratic leaders at a closed-door meeting that week that he could issue a subpoena to Mueller within two weeks.
By last Tuesday, Nadler claimed that a subpoena for Mueller to testify would happen before the summer ended. The original date for Mueller testify, before it was canceled, was May 15.
“It’s a shell game, I mean why would they want to bring in Mr. Mueller? Mr. Mueller said he has nothing new to add to it other than it was in his report? So, what do we want to ask? I want to ask about the origins of the Russian investigation which, surely, must have come forward. We want to ask about the bias of his team, which, surely, he must have understood,” Biggs explained.
He added, “He doesn’t want to come to testify, because we have those questions. Democrats don’t want him to answer those questions, and he’s said he’s not going to add anything to what’s already written. So, I don’t believe they really want him to come in.”