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 SchiffTop intelligence community lawyer leaving position Senate braces for fight over impeachment whistleblower testimony Democrats fear rule of law crumbling under Trump MORE (D-Calif.) said Tuesday that he hopes House Democrats will resolve the impasse around special counsel Robert MuellerRobert (Bob) Swan 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’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.

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“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 HimesHouse Republicans boycott public Intelligence panel hearing Democrats criticize Medal of Freedom for Limbaugh as 'slap in the face' Twitter users invoke Merrick Garland after McConnell, Graham comments on impeachment trial 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 adviser presses House investigators to make Bezos testify Nadler demands answers from Barr on 'new channel' for receiving Ukraine info from Giuliani Trump predicts Ocasio-Cortez will launch primary bid against Schumer 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.