The Spin: What U.S. Rep. Raja Krishnamoorthi wants from Wednesday’s Robert Mueller hearing
Two Illinois Democratic congressmen will be among those asking former special counsel Robert Mueller questions at Wednesday’s House hearings: U.S. Reps. Raja Krishnamoorthi, of Schaumburg; and Mike Quigley, of Chicago.
Krishnamoorthi tells The Spin he’s preparing like it’s college finals week. Mueller is set to testify about his examination of Russian interference in the 2016 election — including contacts between Russian officials and members of the Trump campaign.
The aim in general is to get Mueller, in his own words, to explain what Trump did or didn’t do wrong. But, Krishnamoorthi says he wants to get a sense of what angles Mueller hasn’t pursued.
The hearing could help determine whether there’s fuel for congressional Democrats to muddy Trump’s reelection chances. However, if Mueller gives some sort of all-clear for the president, that could give Trump and Republicans in general a boost heading into the 2020 election.
Krishnamoorthi on Mueller’s testimony
The House Judiciary and the House Intelligence committees are expected to question Mueller at separate hearings tomorrow — for five hours total. Krishnamoorthi, 8th, and Quigley, 5th, sit on the intelligence panel.
For days, Republicans and Democrats have been saying they expect Mueller’s testimony to shine a brighter, more favorable light on their arguments. For the GOP, it’s that the Mueller probe either was biased against the president or exonerated him. For the Democrats, the line has been that it will become crystal clear the president committed some kind of offense that will put him on the road to impeachment.
I asked Krishnamoorthi what he hopes to suss out in the hearings. The following has been edited for clarity and brevity.
What do you want to know? I know the general public, including many of us who don’t hold law degrees, would like some clarification. I think we want to know what are the things (Mueller) did not investigate and what are the areas for inquiry we need to pursue in Congress. You’re right, the report is in the style of a legal memorandum. Because of that, I think he’s going to get questions to clarify.
How does this not look like a political show aimed at greasing the wheels for the 2020 election? Allowing a foreign entity to interfere with an election — in our Democracy — is something neither Democrats nor any Republicans I know want. I personally think that the reason why it’s not political is that the vast majority of Americans don’t want to see this kind of behavior. I can’t see a lot of Republicans saying ‘it’s OK to take these meetings with Russians’ … or invite meddling from a foreign power.
Where do you stand on the issue of impeachment? I need to wait for Bob Mueller to testify, I don’t want to start on an impeachment proceeding without having a strong case that will deliver the desired result.
Author: Lisa Donovan, Chicago Tribune
PC: Dennis Cook, Associated Press