By Jon Dougherty
Angry House Democrats who have been thwarted by POTUS Donald Trump’s claims of executive privilege as he pushes back against their attempts to force him to turn over years worth of financial records are now turning their ire on former special counsel Robert Mueller, who does not want to testify before Congress in public.
Late Tuesday, some Democrats were predicting that Mueller would be subpoenaed to appear before various House committees to testify, essentially, as to why he didn’t recommend the president of the United States be charged with a crime, despite the fact that he hasn’t committed one.
“I think he will have to be subpoenaed,” Rep. Jackie Speier (D-Calif.), a member of the House Intelligence Committee, told The Hill.
“He’s critical. He basically made the case for obstruction of justice and we need to hear from him,” she said.
And naturally, Democrats will want him to testify publicly because if they can’t broadcast the clown show to the American people, it’s not worth doing.
Meanwhile, Rep. Steve “Chicken Man” Cohen (D-Tenn.), who used a tub of Kentucky Fried Chicken as a prop to rail against Attorney General William Barr for refusing to testify in committee earlier this month, also claims that Mueller must — must — testify because, “It’s so important for the American public.”
Also, Rep. Hank Johnson (D-Ga.), a member of the House Judiciary Committee, would not say whether he supported subpoenaing Mueller. But he added that he’s open to hearing arguments for Mueller to testify privately.
This all comes as Judiciary chairman Jerrold Nadler (D-N.Y.) continues to threaten to subpoena Mueller, though he always couches that with, ‘But I don’t really want to.’
Except that he does, because putting on a clown show is all Democrats have; they don’t have a criminal president, they don’t have Russian collusion, and they don’t have an agenda.
POTUS Donald Trump weighed in on the madness early this morning, of course, on Twitter.
After spending 40 Million Dollars, reviewing 1.4 million pages of documents, & interviewing 500 people with the total support of the White House, the Mueller Report was a BIG DISAPPOINTMENT to the Democrats, so they want a DO OVER. It doesn’t work that way-so bad for our Country!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) May 22, 2019
The Democrats are on a fishing expedition, wanting to interview the same people, and see the same things, as we just went through for two years with Robert Mueller and the 18 Angry Dems. Never happened to a president before. Never even happened to President Obama!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) May 22, 2019
The Hill noted that the push to subpoena Mueller and just about everyone else who ever spoke to POTUS much less worked for him is bound to generate negative headlines that nobody in the party really wants (except the nut jobs).
Still, the subpoena frenzy continues, as the New York Post reports.
The House Judiciary Committee is now demanding former White House aide Hope Hicks and Annie Donaldson, an aide to former White House Counsel Don McCahn, appear for a congressional hokey-pokey dance:
The subpoenas direct Hicks to turn over documents by June 4 and testify on June 19.
Another subpoena requires Annie Donaldson, McGahn’s former chief of staff, to hand over the documents by June 4 and appear June 24.
The House Judiciary Committee voted to authorize the subpoenas for Hicks and Donaldson in April the same time it sought subpoenas for Attorney General William Barr to release to Congress a full, unredacted version of special counsel Robert Mueller’s 448-page report.
McGahn refused to show up to the clown show on Tuesday, per instructions from the White House, which is attempting to protect not just POTUS Trump but the office of the presidency itself and the authority under separation of powers of the Executive Branch.
Republicans on the Judiciary Committee have had enough. Ranking member Rep. Doug Collins (R-Ga.) had some words for Nadler at the hearing:
That move has eninsured the witness will not testify. This is becoming a pattern. The chairman knew this when he sent the subpoena last month but instead of inviting him to testify voluntarily the chairman rushed to maximize headlines by issuing a subpoena. That subpoena was the third in just four months. More subpoenas than the prior chairman issued in six years. The chairman has several ways out here. He took none of them. The chairman could have invited the witness to testify voluntarily. That was the practice in the ’90s when the White House’s counsel testified before Congress.
The chairman launched a subpoena at the witness without any consultation or follow-up with the witness’s lawyer. The chairman could have invited the witness to testify behind closed doors but that would have been politically expedient and you wouldn’t have been here and the show wouldn’t have been as exciting. Even gaveling in today’s hearing without a witness is theatrical. The cameras love the spectacle. I just am glad today to see that we don’t have chicken on the dais.
It’s going to be a long summer.
- Follow Jon Dougherty on Twitter at @JonDougherty10