Where is Special Counsel Robert Mueller? America's 'most wanted' man's silence is deafening
Considering Mueller has not made any public statement on his investigation yet, Congress is keen to hear it all from the Special Counsel himself.
Over half the United States is talking about Special Counsel Robert Mueller's recently-released report on the Trump campaign and Russia collusion but the man of the hour appears to be missing from the conversation. His report, which did not establish collusion, has revealed some damning information about the United States President Donald Trump, making the Special Counsel the second-most talked about person in Washington right after the president.
Considering Mueller has not made any public statement on his investigation yet, the Congress is keen to hear it all from the Special Counsel himself, in the hopes that he would be able to shed some light on the redacted content of his report.
The Democratic leadership, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, in a joint statement on Thursday, said that they were disappointed in Trump-appointed Attorney General William Barr's "partisan handling" of the Mueller report and wanted to hear details of the report from the prime investigator on the case — Robert Swan Mueller III.
“We believe the only way to begin restoring public trust in the handling of the Special Counsel’s investigation is for Special Counsel Mueller himself to provide public testimony in the House and Senate as soon as possible,” Pelosi and Schumer wrote.
“The American people deserve to hear the truth.”
Hours after the Pelosi and Schumer's letter, AG Barr said that he had no objections to Mueller testifying before Congress, considering the special counsel is still a Department of Justice employee.
House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerry Nadler (D-NY), shortly after, also issued a formal request for Mueller to appear in front of Congress “as soon as possible." Nadler, however, added that it should be "no later than May 23."
“It is clear Congress and the American people must hear from Special Counsel Robert Mueller in person to better understand his findings,” Nadler tweeted.
The question remains whether the special counsel will agree to public testimony on his investigation and the conclusive report, but considering the numerous precedents of his principle of shunning public attention, it appears unlikely we will hear anything beyond from what he's already stated in his report.
However, there are other measures the Congress to take to enforce his testimony.
Mueller, a long-time civil servant and a former head of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, is known for his reticence and dedication to the work at hand. The Republican's trademark silence has made him an elusive but a pivotal and powerful figure, particularly in the Trump era.
Mueller remains a man of mystery considering he has not made a single public statement on the probe except for the one he made on May 17, 2017, when he was appointed as Special Counsel: “I accept this responsibility and will discharge it to the best of my ability.”
The Republican left a private law firm to conduct the special investigation after President Trump abruptly fired former FBI chief James Comey.
Mueller, born into a wealthy family in Manhattan in 1944, was raised in Princeton, New Jersey. He studied in an exclusive St Paul's boarding school in New Hampshire and grew up with strong moral values. "He was an exceptionally serious young man," recalled a classmate of his for five years at St Paul's, Maxwell King. "He was straight down the line - very purposeful and very dedicated."
The Special Counsel's de facto biographer, Garrett Graff, told the Washington Post last year: "I always joke that Bob Mueller has turned down more interview requests in his career than most people in Washington ever get in the first place. Contrary to every single thing that the president tweets today, Mueller is and always has been probably the most apolitical nonpartisan person in the city. He does everything that he can to avoid the public spotlight and anything even slightly resembling politicking.”
It has been over a day since the release of the report and we haven't heard a word from the Special Counsel on whether he will agree to testify. Mueller’s spokesman, Peter Carr, declined to comment on whether the special counsel would agree to appear voluntarily, the Atlantic reported.
Mueller has not been ordered to testify by the AG, and it remains to be seen if, amidst the Special Counsel's unwillingness to draw the spotlight, the Congress will move to subpoena Mueller to give a testimony.
Sources close to Mueller have confirmed that if Congress takes that step, the Special Counsel will comply with the subpoena.