Hoyer calls for Mueller to testify

Hoyer calls for Mueller to testify
© Stefani Reynolds

House Majority Leader Steny HoyerSteny Hamilton HoyerDemocrat accuses GOP of opposing DC statehood because of 'race and partisanship' News outlets choose their darlings, ignore others' voices Overnight Health Care — Presented by Partnership for America's Health Care Future — Pelosi set to unveil drug price plan | Abortion rate in US hits lowest level since Roe v. Wade | Dems threaten to subpoena Juul MORE (D-Md.) is calling on Robert MuellerRobert (Bob) Swan MuellerLewandowski says Mueller report was 'very clear' in proving 'there was no obstruction,' despite having 'never' read it Fox's Cavuto roasts Trump over criticism of network Mueller report fades from political conversation MORE to testify before Congress, putting pressure on the special counsel to appear on Capitol Hill after he said he did not want to testify.

Hoyer weighed in hours after Mueller said during a press conference Wednesday morning that he could not consider charges of obstruction of justice against Trump based on current Justice Department guidelines.

The special counsel reiterated that while his team could not recommend charges against the president, his report also did not exonerate Trump. He also said that any testimony he would give would be limited to the contents of the report.

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“In his remarks, Special Counsel Mueller made it clear that charges were not brought against President TrumpDonald John TrumpMarine unit in Florida reportedly pushing to hold annual ball at Trump property Giuliani clashes with CNN's Cuomo, calls him a 'sellout' and the 'enemy' Giuliani says 'of course' he asked Ukraine to look into Biden seconds after denying it MORE because of a Justice Department policy that a sitting president cannot be charged with a crime,” Hoyer said in a statement.

“Given that the President has not been cleared of wrongdoing, and given the seriousness of Russia’s interference in our democracy, I believe that the American people deserve to hear testimony from the Special Counsel about his report and the report's conclusions.”

Hoyer also called for Attorney General William BarrWilliam Pelham BarrDemocrats to seek ways to compel release of Trump whistleblower complaint Democrats press Nadler to hold Lewandowski in contempt The Hill's 12:30 Report: Questions swirl around Trump whistleblower complaint MORE to release an unredacted version of the special counsel's report to Congress, something Democrats have demanded for weeks. Barr released a partially redacted version of the 448-page report last month.

The Democratic leader said the House would continue its oversight probes in order to “fulfill our constitutional obligation to hold the Administration accountable.” His statement did not include a direct mention of pursuing impeachment proceedings.

Democrats in both chambers of Congress have been clamoring for Mueller’s testimony since he filed his report in late March, though the special counsel indicated Wednesday he would like to avoid any further public appearances. 

“I hope and expect this to be the only time that I will speak about this matter,” he said at his press briefing. “The report is my testimony.”

Hoyer called last month for Mueller to appear before lawmakers to talk about his probe's findings, but the Democratic leader's statement Wednesday carries new weight as Democrats mull whether to seek a subpoena to compel the special counsel's testimony.

Rep. Jerrold NadlerJerrold (Jerry) Lewis NadlerPelosi: Lewandowski should have been held in contempt 'right then and there' Nadler's House committee holds a faux hearing in search of a false crime Lewandowski says he's under no obligation to speak truthfully to the media MORE (D-N.Y.), the chairman of the House Judiciary Committee, sidestepped a question Wednesday over whether he would subpoena Mueller for testimony, telling reporters “Mr. Mueller told us a lot of what we need to hear today.”

Mueller reported in April that there was insufficient evidence that Trump conspired with Russia to meddle in the 2016 election but declined to make a prosecutorial judgement over whether he obstructed subsequent probes. He outlined 10 “episodes” of possibly obstructive behavior, but declined to bring any charges, pointing to the Justice Department regulations. 

“If we had confidence that the president clearly did not commit a crime, we would have said that,” the special counsel said Wednesday.