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Thanks, Special Counsel! It was mighty nice of you to remind Congress that they have a job to do, and they should get to doing it! Indeed, that seems to be bearing immediate fruit, so thanks for lighting a fire under their asses.

But what's all this about you declining to testify to Congress like a common Don McGahn? Has Maggie Haberman convinced you that it would be more fun to hit up Glamour Shots at the mall instead of answering questions to the House Intelligence Committee?


Now, I hope and expect this to be the only time that I will speak to you in this manner. I am making that decision myself. No one has told me whether I can or should testify or speak further about this matter.

There has been discussion about an appearance before Congress. Any testimony from this office would not go beyond our report. It contains our findings and analysis and the reasons for the decisions we made. 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.

Because, a congressional subpoena isn't like an invitation to the junior prom. You're not getting a corsage, and you don't get to say you're too busy washing your hair. Don McGahn may be willing to risk a criminal contempt citation to run out the clock, but Mueller is not a partisan hack -- he may not want to testify voluntarily, but surely he's not going to assert some bullshit executive privilege defense and nope out if legally summoned to appear.

And, of course he should appear, if only to rebut the false impression of his work that Bill Barr let hang out there for three weeks before releasing the redacted version. Even if Mueller confines his testimony to the four corners of his own report, it would still be news to most Americans. Because NEWSFLASH, no one earth has the time to sift through 438 pages of legalese. (Shit, I haven't read the entire thing! Shhhh, don't tell Evan.) It would be lovely to live in a country of people who went to primary sources and didn't need the live spectacle of television to convince them that something is real. But here on Planet America, it doesn't count until it's on network teevee.

Mueller might well refuse to answer hypotheticals about whether he would have charged Trump with obstruction were he not the sitting president. Fine. And Bill Barr may be willing to burn down the entire CIA by selectively declassifying all their sources and methods, but Adam Schiff isn't going to play the Nunes when Mueller refuses to reveal classified info. Fair enough. But the Special Counsel has no grounds to stonewall about the president's refusal to be interviewed and his insistence on limiting the scope of written interrogatories. And if congressional Democrats want to ask him one or one hundred times to say into the microphone, "This report does not exonerate the president of obstruction of justice," then he needs to start warming up his pipes for as many encores as it takes.

Oh, hai Steny Hoyer, second ranking Democrat in the House of Representatives right behind Speaker Pelosi.

It's a goddamn shame that Robert Mueller would prefer not to be dragged into an inherently political process. But, as he himself pointed out, the solution to the political problem of a president who has committed crimes is the political solution of congressional impeachment. So sorry for your bad luck, Mr. Special Counsel, but your re-entry into private life is going to have to wait a bit longer.

[Mueller Transcript]

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FINALLY. Of course, we say "finally," because we haven't been behind the scenes in the House Judiciary and Intelligence committees to witness the negotiating and wrangling firsthand, so we don't know what it's taken to make this happen, but clear your calendars for July 17, because Bobby Mueller is goin' to Congress!

Committee chairs Adam Schiff and Jerry Nadler sent the letter late yesterday, accompanied by a subpoena, for Mueller to testify at 9 a.m. Eastern on July 17, which is a Wednesday, so you will presumably not be busy with brunch. The hearings for each committee will be back to back, after which members of Mueller's staff will meet with committee staff behind closed doors.

Schiff told Rachel Maddow last night that it should not be viewed as a friendly subpoena, because as we all know, Mueller has been very reluctant to become the star of the political circus this will surely create. However, he's gonna have to suck it up, because as we all saw after what happened when Mueller addressed the nation for 10 whole minutes, there is great value in actually having Mueller breathe life into his own work, for an American audience that hasn't read his 448-page report. (And we don't blame them/you! We probably wouldn't have read it all if it wasn't our job. It would probably be on our "list," like "someday I am going to watch 'The Sopranos' start to finish finally. And then I will read the Mueller Report!")

Point is, it needs to happen on live TV, where people can gather around at work and on the train and in the Fantastic Sams while they gets their hair did, and let this highly respected public servant tell the story of how America's most hostile enemy attacked the 2016 election in order to help Donald Trump, how the Trump campaign was positively orgasmic over that reacharound, and how Trump criminally obstructed the investigation into that hostile foreign attack at every turn.

And because Robert Mueller is a patriotic American who respects the rule of law and our institutions, he will be complying with the subpoena, because of fucking course he will.

Right off the bat, we have a couple of questions:

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Beds at the 'temporary' shelter in Homestead, Florida. US HHS photo.

The House of Representatives passed a $4.5 billion emergency bill to fund detention of undocumented immigrants and asylum seekers yesterday, but the bill's demands that government meet minimal standards of humane treatment led Donald Trump to threaten a veto, because no one puts cruelty in a corner. The bill passed largely along party lines, 230-195, with four progressive Democratic first-term representatives opposing it because they believed the machinery of the New Cruelty shouldn't get a single dollar more. Trump prefers a bill already passed by the Senate, which would provide a similar level of funding $4.6 billion), but lacks the House bill's crazy radical requirements that migrants be held in less horrifying conditions than have been reported in the last week.

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