House Democrat: Mueller testimony will help people 'understand the gravity' of Trump's conduct

Rep. David CicillineDavid Nicola CicillineHillicon Valley: Federal inquiry opened into Google health data deal | Facebook reports millions of post takedowns | Microsoft shakes up privacy debate | Disney plus tops 10M sign-ups in first day Top antitrust Dem presses DOJ, FTC on Google's Fitbit acquisition Hillicon Valley: California AG reveals Facebook investigation | McConnell criticizes Twitter's political ad ban | Lawmakers raise concerns over Google takeover of Fitbit | Dem pushes FCC to secure 5G networks MORE (D-R.I.) said Friday that former special counsel Robert MuellerRobert (Bob) Swan MuellerSpeier says impeachment inquiry shows 'very strong case of bribery' by Trump Gowdy: I '100 percent' still believe public congressional hearings are 'a circus' Comey: Mueller 'didn't succeed in his mission because there was inadequate transparency' MORE’s testimony before Congress next week will help Americans better understand the “gravity” of President TrumpDonald John TrumpButtigieg surges ahead of Iowa caucuses Biden leads among Latino Democrats in Texas, California Kavanaugh hailed by conservative gathering in first public speech since confirmation MORE’s conduct in the White House.

“It’s going to be a very sobering hearing,” Cicilline, who sits on the House Judiciary Committee, told Hill.TV during an interview on “Rising.”

“I think it will really begin to help people understand the gravity of the president’s conduct,” he continued, emphasizing that most Americans have not fully read the report. 

House lawmakers are preparing for Mueller’s highly anticipated public hearing next Wednesday.

The hearing was initially scheduled for July 17, but was subsequently moved to July 24 after members on the House Judiciary and Intelligence committees said that the initial deal wouldn’t give them enough time to question the former FBI director.

The House Judiciary Committee will now have three hours to question Mueller, and the Intelligence Committee will have two hours in the two back-to-back hearings.

While Intelligence lawmakers are expected to focus on contact between Russia and the Trump campaign, the Judiciary’s hearing is expected to center around whether Trump committed obstruction of justice. Though Mueller did not reach a conclusion on the issue, his report contains 10 instances of possible obstruction.

However, Cicilline insisted that the report shows clear evidence that Trump sought to obstruction justice, pointing to “five specific instances,” though he did not list them by name.

“Absolutely,” he told Hill.TV when asked whether Trump committed impeachable offenses. “There are five specific instances of obstruction of justice, where all of the elements are met.”

“This will be the time for Mr. Mueller to kind of lay that out to the American people,” he added.

However, lawmakers remain uncertain over whether the testimony will shed new light on the special counsel’s investigation. Mueller previously signaled in a press conference this year that if he was called on to testify, he wouldn’t go beyond the details already included in his 448-page report.

—Tess Bonn