Despite objections from the Trump administration that Special Counsel Robert Mueller not be allowed to testify before Congress, California Rep. Adam Schiff, the House Intelligence Chairman, told MSNBC’s Chris Hayes Monday night that he’s “convinced that’s going to happen … the American people have every right to hear what the man who did the investigation has to say.”
While appearing on MSNBC’s “All In,” Schiff said, “We now know we can’t rely on the Attorney General who misrepresented (Mueller’s) conclusions, so he will testify.”
#BREAKING – Adam Schiff, 'Mueller will testify'. All In With #chrishayes pic.twitter.com/7sCX8c5rO1
— Elaine Ina Hindin (@heddatalespin) May 14, 2019
Schiff told Hayes the House Intelligence Committee was in dialogue with the special counsel’s office, although no date for a Mueller appearance had been set.
“But this is going to happen, it has to, um, and…you have to start, I think, with the man who did the investigation,” Schiff said, adding he believes both the Republicans and Attorney General William Barr understand obstructing Mueller’s testimony is “a bridge too far even for them.”
Schiff said he believed Americans would hear Mueller’s testimony on Capitol Hill in a completely open session before the Judiciary Committee, while Intelligence Committee hearings may be part open and part closed.
“We’re predominantly interested in the counter-intelligence aspects of the investigation, again not as a criminal probe but as an investigation into whether people around Trump and then ultimately Trump were compromised in some way,” Schiff said. “It might involve criminal activity or might just involve Moscow Trump Tower, trying to get money from Russia, trying to get Kremlin help … we want Mueller to come in and answer those questions.”
Schiff also told Hayes his committee has not received counter-intelligence briefings on the Russia-Trump matter since former FBI Director James Comey was fired after receiving a termination letter from Trump in May 2017.
@realdonaldtrump This should have been done first – before Mueller was appointed. Apparently none of those sob’s on capitol hill pay taxes.
William Barr appoints US attorney to examine origins of Russia probe https://t.co/91pUL9k1kf via @nypost
— blue dog republican (@bluedogrepublic) May 14, 2019
“There’s a statutory requirement that we be kept fully informed of significant intelligence or counter-intelligence activities, and we were informed of other counter-intelligence issues,” but information regarding Russia-Trump dealings have not been forthcoming, Schiff said.
“It went into a black hole and has stayed there ever since,” he added.
Hayes pressed Schiff on next steps. Schiff said his committee had met with Justice Department officials after Democrats took over a majority in the House,” and (Justice) “played rope-a-dope with us,” referring to a defensive style of boxing so named by former four-time heavyweight boxing champion Muhammad Ali.
Schiff seemed to play down comments by other legislators that the stonewalling efforts by the Trump administration and Department of Justice had created a constitutional crisis.
“I think we’re on the threshold of that,” Schiff said. “Where we would be in a full-blown crisis is if we get to court, the court rules against Trump, and Trump says ‘I don’t care, I’m not going to comply.’”
Schiff went on to say he didn’t believe the country has ever had its democracy “so stressed” as it has been by “what we see; the president has no respect for the separation of powers, no respect for the truth, and no moral character, and that is a crisis of a different kind.”