Judiciary chairman says he's 'confident' Mueller will testify

Judiciary chairman says he's 'confident' Mueller will testify
© Greg Nash

House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerrold NadlerJerrold (Jerry) Lewis NadlerMaloney wins vote for Oversight chairwoman House to hold markup Wednesday on marijuana decriminalization bill House to vote on bill to ensure citizenship for children of overseas service members MORE (D-N.Y.) said Wednesday that he is “confident” 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 will testify before his panel “soon.”

Nadler also reiterated that the committee would subpoena Mueller for testimony “if we have to,” and underscored Democrats’ demand that his appearance be public and not behind closed doors.  

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“Let’s just say that I’m confident he’ll come in soon,” Nadler told reporters in the U.S. Capitol. 

When asked whether he would subpoena Mueller, Nadler replied, “We will if we have to.” 

Nadler’s remarks come one week after Mueller delivered his first public statement on his investigation into Russian interference, during which he signaled he did not want to appear publicly before Congress and emphasized any public testimony would not go beyond his report.

“Beyond what I have said here today and what is contained in our written work, I do not believe it is appropriate for me to speak further about the investigation or to comment on the actions of the Justice Department or Congress,” Mueller said. 

Nadler reiterated Wednesday that Mueller has expressed willingness to answer questions behind closed doors, but he described such an arrangement as unacceptable. 

“He has said he is willing to come and testify and make an opening statement and then testify behind closed doors,” Nadler said. “We’re not willing to do that. We want him to testify openly. I think the American people need that. I think, frankly, it’s his duty to the American people, and we’ll make that happen.”

Lawmakers left Washington early this week, many of them traveling to Normandy to participate in the D-Day celebrations.

The House Judiciary Committee has scheduled a hearing for next Monday featuring testimony from John Dean, the former White House counsel during Richard Nixon’s administration who was a key figure in the Watergate scandal. 

It remains unclear when the committee would subpoena Mueller if such a move was needed. Nadler on Wednesday wouldn’t comment on timing but said he wouldn’t wait “too much.”