Democratic Rep. Raja Krishnamoorthi Discusses End Of Special Counsel Investigation
NPR’s Scott Simon speaks with Rep. Raja Krishnamoorthi, D-Ill., about the end of the special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation.
SCOTT SIMON, HOST:
Robert Mueller has submitted his report to Attorney General William Barr, and Mr. Barr could send the main conclusions to Congress as soon as this weekend. Many lawmakers would like to see that report made public, including Democrat Raja Krishnamoorthi – congressman from Illinois’s 8th District. He sits on the House Intelligence Committee and joins us now.
Congressman, thanks so much for being with us.
RAJA KRISHNAMOORTHI: Absolutely, Scott. Thank you.
SIMON: All of the report?
KRISHNAMOORTHI: Every single word and the underlying documents, Scott. You know, 420 members of the U.S. House voted unanimously to release the report to the public. Even the president said he wouldn’t mind if it was released to the public. The public paid for it. They should see it.
SIMON: They’re – presumably because it, after all, is inquiring into a number of national security concerns. There might be information in there that, for reasons of national security, some people wouldn’t feel comfortable about releasing.
KRISHNAMOORTHI: Absolutely. And we want to make sure to redact portions that may be classified or that might give away sources and methods of intelligence collection. But other than that, the rest of it should be released to the public. Maybe there might be an exception or two here with regard to a passage or two here or there, but otherwise, it should be released to the public.
SIMON: And would you like Robert Mueller to testify before your committee and perhaps others?
KRISHNAMOORTHI: Possibly, yes. I think that, increasingly, there are questions being raised about the report. And, of course, we haven’t even seen the conclusions yet. But I think that – Chairman Schiff yesterday said he thinks that Bob Mueller might be brought before the Intelligence Committee. And if he wanted to go that route, I and I’m sure everyone else would be fully supportive.
SIMON: Has a lot of the attention to what might be President Trump’s involvement or not come at the cost of sometimes maybe overlooking the story of Russian interference in the 2016 campaign?
KRISHNAMOORTHI: Well, that’s a good point, Scott. You know, I think that when the president says that it’s all a witch hunt and a hoax, I think that he’s, in part, dismissing the conclusion, the unanimous conclusion of the entire intelligence community that the Russians did interfere in the 2016 election. And they continue to interfere in the current political landscape leading up to the 2020 election. So we obviously have to focus on that threat and prevent it from materializing again in 2020. And that’s, in part, why we’re going to the pains of doing this investigation certainly from Bob Mueller’s perspective but also from the perspective of Congress and the committees that are investigating other aspects of what happened in 2016.
SIMON: Now, NPR has reported there will be no additional indictments stemming from the Mueller investigation. And Rudy Giuliani the president’s attorney said today, quote, “They can’t have any further evidence of collusion.” Do you agree?
KRISHNAMOORTHI: Not necessarily, and that’s why we need to see the report. We need to see what he farmed out to other investigative agencies, including other U.S. attorney’s offices. We need to know the scope of his investigation, what he thought might be beyond the scope of his investigation. But for instance, you know, we know that there’s going to be a trial of Roger Stone likely in the Eastern District of Virginia. He was indicted in the District of Columbia by the special counsel, but other matters have been referred to other districts. And so we need to find out – what are the parameters of his investigation? – and what he felt other districts should pursue.
SIMON: Congressman, have both Republicans and Democrats staked out positions on the Mueller report before they even know it?
KRISHNAMOORTHI: (Laughter) I personally don’t think it’s worth engaging in that speculation at this point. I think that we just have to wait and see the report for ourselves, as well as the underlying documents.
SIMON: Congressman Raja Krishnamoorthi, Democrat from Illinois, thanks so much for being with us.
KRISHNAMOORTHI: Absolutely, Scott. Thank you.