Schiff hopes to resolve impasse around Mueller testimony this week

Schiff hopes to resolve impasse around Mueller testimony this week
© House Intelligence Committee

House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam SchiffAdam Bennett SchiffCourt filings show Trump, Cohen contacts amid hush money payments House passes annual intelligence bill Judge finds Stone violated gag order, blocks him from using social media MORE (D-Calif.) said Tuesday that he hopes House Democrats will resolve the impasse around special counsel Robert MuellerRobert (Bob) Swan MuellerTop Republican considered Mueller subpoena to box in Democrats Kamala Harris says her Justice Dept would have 'no choice' but to prosecute Trump for obstruction Dem committees win new powers to investigate Trump MORE’s testimony by the end of this week.

Schiff told reporters that Mueller needs to testify “one way or another” before the August recess, whether voluntarily or under subpoena. He also said Mueller could face two subpoenas — one from the Intelligence Committee and another from the Judiciary Committee — for his appearance.

ADVERTISEMENT

“We need to resolve this this week, and I hope we will. One way or another, he needs to come in and testify, and time is running out. We want him before the August recess, so we hope to reach a decision this week,” Schiff said when emerging from the Democrats weekly caucus meeting, which was held off-site at the Democratic National Committee headquarters.

Asked if it would be Schiff's Intelligence Committee, or the Judiciary Committee, to issue a subpoena, Schiff said, "Both."

"I don't know that we'd do it jointly. I think we'd probably do two separate subpoenas,” Schiff said.

Schiff floated the possibility that Mueller, who's been clear he doesn't want to appear before Congress, might prefer to be subpoenaed, if only to give him some political cover from accusations that he'd be siding with the Democrats in agreeing to testify voluntarily.

The options, Schiff said, are that Mueller agrees to appear voluntarily or Democrats will issue a subpoena — "unless he would like a subpoena either way."

"But one way or another we expect him to testify," Schiff added.

Rep. Jim HimesJames (Jim) Andres HimesThe Hill's 12:30 Report: Trump creates new firestorm with 'go back' remarks Foreign-born lawmaker: Trump's not going to tell me to 'go back to my country' Battle lines drawn for Mueller testimony MORE (D-Conn.), a member of the Intelligence Committee, said Democrats still insist that Mueller testify publicly.

"It’s important that we get Mueller to speak, and to speak publicly," Himes said. "So whether it's Intel, or Judiciary, or Oversight, I do think we should get Mueller here, and if a subpoena's required we should do it." 

Both Schiff and House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerrold NadlerJerrold (Jerry) Lewis NadlerTrump knocks Mueller after deal struck for him to testify House Democrats request briefing on Epstein, Acosta Nadler apologized after repeatedly calling Hope Hicks 'Ms. Lewandowski' at hearing MORE (D-N.Y.) have been negotiating separately for the special counsel to testify before their respective committees for several weeks but have been unable to reach an agreement.

At least part of Mueller’s testimony before the Intelligence Committee would deal with sensitive information and take place in private as a result. Nadler has insisted he wants Mueller's testimony to be public.

Last month, Mueller delivered his first public remarks on his investigation into Russia's election interference, during which he indicated his resistance to testifying publicly before Congress about the two-year probe.

Mueller also said that any public testimony he gave would not go beyond the four corners of his 448-page report, a redacted version of which was released by the Justice Department in April.