HaHa Thanks, Mueller! Now Get Your Ass Down To HPSCI And Testify!
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.
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Liz Dye lives in Baltimore with her wonderful husband and a houseful of teenagers. When she isn't being mad about a thing on the internet, she's hiding in plain sight in the carpool line. She's the one wearing yoga pants glaring at her phone.