Hoyer calls for Mueller to testify

Hoyer calls for Mueller to testify
© Stefani Reynolds

House Majority Leader Steny HoyerSteny Hamilton HoyerHoyer on Trump election challenges: 'I think this borders on treason' Capitol's COVID-19 spike could be bad Thanksgiving preview Nominated for another Speaker term, Pelosi says it's her last MORE (D-Md.) is calling on Robert MuellerRobert (Bob) MuellerCNN's Toobin warns McCabe is in 'perilous condition' with emboldened Trump CNN anchor rips Trump over Stone while evoking Clinton-Lynch tarmac meeting The Hill's 12:30 Report: New Hampshire fallout 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.


“In his remarks, Special Counsel Mueller made it clear that charges were not brought against President TrumpDonald John TrumpBiden to nominate Linda Thomas-Greenfield for UN ambassador: reports Scranton dedicates 'Joe Biden Way' to honor president-elect Kasich: Republicans 'either in complete lockstep' or 'afraid' of Trump 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 BarrBill BarrMerrick Garland on list to be Biden's attorney general: report DOJ dropping charges against ex-Mexican defense minister DOJ watchdog finds Louisiana inmates with coronavirus were not isolated for a week 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 NadlerBarr sparks DOJ firestorm with election probes memo Marijuana stocks see boost after Harris debate comments Jewish lawmakers targeted by anti-Semitic tweets ahead of election: ADL 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.