The American taxpayers waited nearly two years to hear what Robert Mueller found during an exhaustive examination of Russia’s attack on our country in 2016. When Mueller had completed his report on Russia’s offensive and Donald Trump’s potential complicity, Attorney General William Barr withheld the gravity of Mueller’s findings for weeks so he could mislead the American public about Trump’s corruption and abuses of power. Now Mueller is balking at the idea of testifying publicly about his probe, according to CNN, worried that doing so will cast him in too much of a political light.
This is quite simply a bogus and misguided abdication of responsibility. Barr is the one who politicized Mueller’s report in a way that Mueller clearly disliked, based on his own missives to Barr. If Mueller believes Barr misrepresented the nature of his report and spirit of his findings, he owes it to the American people to set the record the straight. In fact, at this point, not testifying publicly is as much a political statement as agreeing to testify would be. Mueller doesn’t have to go off-script, and he doesn’t need to expand on the information he included in the report: Simply regurgitating the findings of his report and explaining the rationale behind his legal conclusion not to prosecute Trump will do.
Robert Mueller has been portrayed in the press and by people who have worked with him and for him as the perpetual boy scout—the guy who does things by the book, rigorously, and devoid of personal bias. He can surely bring all those qualities to the witness table and lay them out for the American people to judge one way or the other. If Mueller is the patriot that his long record of distinguished public service suggests, then for god’s sake, step up to the plate now and play it down the line. America needs an arbiter of fairness now more than ever, and the country is knocking on your door one more time. Open it.