Nadler: Mueller hear­ing to air ev­i­dence of Trump wrong­do­ing

The Saline Courier - - COMICS -

WASH­ING­TON — The House Ju­di­ciary Com­mit­tee chair­man said Sun­day that this week’s hear­ing with Robert Mueller will air “very sub­stan­tial ev­i­dence” of wrong­do­ing by Pres­i­dent Don­ald Trump and make a pub­lic case for im­peach­ment. Repub­li­cans pledged sharp ques­tion­ing of the spe­cial coun­sel about what they see as a “one-sided” Rus­sia in­ves­ti­ga­tion.

Days be­fore back-to-back hear­ings Wed­nes­day, both sides seemed to agree that Mueller’s tes­ti­mony could be piv­otal in shift­ing pub­lic opin­ion on the ques­tion of “hold­ing the pres­i­dent ac­count­able.”

“This is a pres­i­dent who has vi­o­lated the law 6 ways from Sun­day,” said the com­mit­tee’s chair­man, Rep. Jer­rold Nadler, D-N.Y. He ar­gued that Mueller’s re­port lays out “very sub­stan­tial ev­i­dence” that Trump is guilty of “high crimes and mis­de­meanors,” the con­sti­tu­tional stan­dard for im­peach­ment.

“We have to present — or let Mueller present — those facts to the Amer­i­can people ... be­cause the ad­min­is­tra­tion must be held ac­count­able and no pres­i­dent can be above the law,” Nadler said.

The House Ju­di­ciary Com­mit­tee and the House In­tel­li­gence Com­mit­tee will ques­tion Mueller in sep­a­rate hear­ings on his 448-page re­port re­leased in April. While the re­port did not find suf­fi­cient ev­i­dence to es­tab­lish charges of crim­i­nal con­spir­acy be­tween the Trump cam­paign and Rus­sia to swing the elec­tion, it said Trump could not be cleared of try­ing to ob­struct the in­ves­ti­ga­tion . But Mueller be­lieved Trump couldn’t be in­dicted in part be­cause of a Jus­tice Depart­ment opin­ion against pros­e­cut­ing a sit­ting pres­i­dent.

Mueller has said he doesn’t in­tend to speak beyond the find­ings of the re­port in con­gres­sional hear­ings.

Still, Democrats on the Ju­di­ciary Com­mit­tee plan to fo­cus on a nar­row set of episodes laid out in the re­port to direct Amer­i­cans’ at­ten­tion to what they see as the most egre­gious ex­am­ples of Trump’s con­duct, which point to ob­struc­tion of jus­tice.

The ex­am­ples in­clude Trump’s direc­tions to then-white House coun­sel Don­ald Mc­gahn to have Mueller re­moved and, later, orders from Trump to Mc­gahn to deny that hap­pened. Democrats also will fo­cus ques­tion­ing on a se­ries of meet­ings Trump had with for­mer cam­paign man­ager Corey Le­wandowski in which the Repub­li­can pres­i­dent di­rected Le­wandowski to per­suade then-at­tor­ney Gen­eral Jeff Ses­sions to limit Mueller’s in­ves­ti­ga­tion.

Ge­or­gia Rep. Doug Collins, the top Repub­li­can on the com­mit­tee, ar­gued that “any thought of im­peach­ment is wan­ing” and that the Amer­i­can pub­lic has moved on. He said Repub­li­cans will be fo­cused in their ques­tion­ing on mak­ing clear that the Mueller re­port rep­re­sents a “fi­nal episode” in the Rus­sia probe, which he de­scribed as flawed.

“Re­mem­ber, the Mueller re­port is a one-sided re­port. It has not been ques­tioned from the other side. This is our chance to do that,” Collins said.

Mueller’s ap­pear­ance comes more than two years since the start of the Rus­sia in­ves­ti­ga­tion, an ex­traor­di­nary mo­ment in Trump’s pres­i­dency when, af­ter Trump had fired FBI Di­rec­tor James Comey, his Jus­tice Depart­ment ap­pointed Mueller to take over the in­quiry into elec­tion in­ter­fer­ence and the po­ten­tial role that Trump and his win­ning 2016 cam­paign may have played.

While Mueller’s tes­ti­mony was once en­vi­sioned as a crys­tal­iz­ing event, a Water­gate-style mo­ment to un­cover truths, pub­lic at­ten­tion has drifted in the months since the re­port was re­leased.

“We want Bob Mueller to bring it to life, to talk about what’s in that re­port,” said Rep. Adam Schiff, D-calif., chair­man of the House In­tel­li­gence Com­mit­tee.

“It’s a pretty damn­ing set of facts that in­volve a pres­i­den­tial cam­paign in a close race wel­com­ing help from a hos­tile for­eign power, not re­port­ing it but ea­gerly em­brac­ing it, building it into their cam­paign strat­egy, ly­ing about it to cover up, then ob­struct­ing an in­ves­ti­ga­tion into for­eign in­ter­fer­ence again to try to cover up.”

In­tel­li­gence com­mit­tee aides have said they be­lieve the pub­lic has re­ceived a slanted view of what Mueller found on the ques­tion of crim­i­nal con­spir­acy be­cause of Trump’s re­peated claims of “no col­lu­sion,” and that the de­tails of Rus­sia’s in­ter­fer­ence in the elec­tion — and the out­reach to the Trump cam­paign — haven’t got­ten enough at­ten­tion.

“Who bet­ter to bring them to life than the man who did the in­ves­ti­ga­tion him­self?” Schiff asked.

Nadler said he’s not wor­ried that Repub­li­cans might seek to at­tack the cred­i­bil­ity of the Rus­sia in­ves­ti­ga­tion and says he hopes to take cues from the pub­lic af­ter the hear­ing about “where we go from here.”

“We hope it won’t end up be­ing a dud,” he said.

Nadler spoke on “Fox News Sun­day,” Schiff ap­peared on CBS’ “Face the Na­tion” and Collins was on Fox News Chan­nel’s “Sun­day Morn­ing Fu­tures.”

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