House Judiciary Committee Ranking Member Rep. Doug Collins (R-GA) on Monday sent a letter to Chairman Jerry Nadler (D-NY) letting Nadler know he agrees with having Special Counsel Robert Mueller testify in front of the committee.
"Today, I write encouraging you to invite Special Counsel Robert S. Mueller, III to testify before our Committee without delay," Collins wrote. "If you seek both transparency and for the American public to learn the full contours of the Special Counsel's investigation, public testimony from Special Counsel Mueller himself is undoubtedly the best way to accomplish this goal."
Collins slammed Nadler's political postering and comparing the Watergate and Lewinsky scandals to Russiagate. The Ranking Member reminded Nadler of one important tidbit: the Watergate and Lewinsky investigations were different because Independent Counsel Ken Starr operated under different guidelines than Special Counsel Robert Mueller. Starr was required to brief Congress but Mueller was required to brief Attorney General William Barr. That difference is because Mueller acted under the Department of Justice.
Collins speculated Nadler's motives, saying it was likely the Chairman wanted to begin impeachment proceedings even though the facts do not fit his narrative.
"Your decision to make groundless claims and repeatedly threaten to go to court not only distracts from other Committee business but, based on legal precedent, will also end – after months, if not years, of litigation – without the Committee receiving the material you say it requires to complete its work," Collins wrote. "If you decline to launch an impeachment inquiry, which is your clear legal path to the 6(c) grand jury information, I suggest instead inviting Special Counsel Mueller in to testify before the Committee as soon as possible."
Although Barr gave an outline of the information to Congress, Collins believes it's best for Mueller to relay information to the Committee because Barr took no part in the investigation.
"For nearly two years, Special Counsel Mueller oversaw an investigation that issued more than 2,800 subpoenas, executed nearly 500 search warrants, and interviewed approximately 500 witnesses. Attorney General Barr was never part of this investigation, and instead simply reviewed the Special Counsel's final report and has provided Congress, so far, with the Special Counsel's principle conclusions," Collins wrote. "While he can testify surrounding his decision to provide the Committee with principal conclusions, it is Special Counsel Mueller who is best-positioned to testify regarding the underlying facts and material in which you are so interested."
Collins urged Nadler to call for Mueller to testify the week of April 22, despite Congress going on recess.
Democrats can cite no precedent for their demands for grand jury information from the #MuellerReport, but there’s a solution we should all be able to agree on: The Judiciary Committee should invite the Special Counsel to testify immediately. pic.twitter.com/TgofQhAb9D— Rep. Doug Collins (@RepDougCollins) April 8, 2019
Chairman Nadler agreed with Collins on one point: Mueller should testify. But Nadler also wants to hear from Barr.
Today, Ranking Member Collins called for Special Counsel Mueller to appear before @HouseJudiciary. I fully agree. Special Counsel Mueller should come before the Committee to answer questions in public about his 22 month investigation into President Trump and his associates. 1/2— (((Rep. Nadler))) (@RepJerryNadler) April 8, 2019
In order to ask Special Counsel Mueller the right questions, the Committee must receive the Special Counsel’s full report and hear from Attorney General Barr about that report on May 2. We look forward to hearing from Mr. Mueller at the appropriate time. 2/2— (((Rep. Nadler))) (@RepJerryNadler) April 8, 2019