Nadler on Mueller Hearing: 'We Hope It Won't End Up Being a Dud'

By Susan Jones | July 22, 2019 | 6:10am EDT
House Judiciary Committee Chairman Rep. Jerrold Nadler (D-N.Y.) (Photo by Drew Angerer/Getty Images)

( - At the height of summer vacation time, House Democrats are holding two back-to-back hearings on Wednesday starring former Special Counsel Robert Mueller.

Their goal is to bring renewed public attention to Mueller's report, almost two years in the making.





The hearings "should be interesting," Rep. Jerrold Nadler (D-N.Y.), the chairman of the House Judiciary Committee, told "Fox News Sunday." He said he hopes they "won't end up being a dud."

"We want the American people to hear directly from Special Counsel Mueller what his investigation found," Nadler said:

The president and the attorney general and others have spent the last few months systematically lying to the American people about what the investigation found. They've said that it found no collusion, that it found no obstruction, that it exonerated a president. All three of those statements are absolute lies.

It found a great deal of collusion, it found a great deal of -- of obstruction of justice by the president, and it found -- and it pointedly refused to exonerate the president.

We think it's very important for the American people to hear directly what the facts are, because this is a president who has violated the law six ways from Sunday. If anyone else had been accused of what the report finds the president had done, they would have been indicted.

It's important that we not have a lawless administration and a lawless president, it's important that the people see where we're at and what we're doing, what we're dealing with.

According to the Mueller report, the special counsel and his team found that although there were numerous contacts between the Trump campaign and Russia, the investigation "did not establish that members of the Trump Campaign conspired or coordinated with the Russian government in its election interference activities."

Volume II of the Mueller report lays out in great detail those occasions that raise questions about whether the president obstructed justice. However, the report says Mueller's team "did not draw ultimate conclusions about the President's conduct." The report neither prosecutes him nor exonerates him, leaving those decisions -- and many pages of detailed evidence -- to Congress.

Nadler said he believes the Mueller report "presents very substantial evidence that the president is guilty of high crimes and misdemeanors." He said Mueller must "present those facts" in person to the American public, "and then see where we go from there."

Democrats, concerned that Americans have not read the report, believe that having Mueller tell the story on television may galvanize opposition to the president.

"But what if this whole thing ends up being a dud?" host Chris Wallace asked Nadler:

"Well, we hope it won't end up being a dud, and we're going to ask specific questions about look at page 344, paragraph two -- please read it; does that describe obstruction of justice and did you -- did you find that the president did that, for example."

Republicans plan to question Mueller about the allegedly flimsy basis for beginning the Trump-Russia investigation in the first place. They say the Steele dossier, paid for by the Clinton campaign and Democrat Party, was not verified when it was used as the basis for obtained a FISA warrant on Trump campaign volunteer Carter Page.

But Nadler dismissed that line of questioning, saying, "If they want to debate, or discuss, I should say, this irrelevancy, let them waste the time. But...what's before the American people now is the conduct of this president and what Mueller found about the conduct of this president and where we go from here."

Wallace asked Nadler if the American public has "moved on" from the Trump-Russia matter:

"No, the country has not moved on," Nadler said. "People don't read a 448 page report. I believe that when people hear what was in the Mueller Report, then we'll be able -- we'll be in a position to begin holding the president accountable and to make this less of a lawless administration.

"And the fact of the matter is that the president has also been lawless in telling all witnesses not to obey Congressional subpoenas, not to testify at all, and that is beyond the pale of the Constitution."

Nadler noted that article 3 of the Nixon impeachment involved "stonewalling" congressional subpoenas.

Nadler is among the House Democrats gunning for impeachment of the president, once the various committees have concluded their investigations.

Wednesday's Mueller hearing is a key element of galvanizing public opinion behind that impeachment drive.

"It should be interesting," Nadler said of Wednesday's hearing, as his inteview with Chris Wallace ended.

"Yes. Let's hope it's not a dud," Wallace told him.

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