U.S. House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerrold Nadler made news last night by revealing that special counsel Robert Mueller wants to talk to the committee, but in private, behind closed doors, no media, no cameras, no members of the public.
My first reaction was to say, “Hold on! You need to talk to us, Mr. Special Counsel, about how you concluded that the president of the United States didn’t conspire to collude with Russians who attacked our electoral system and how you couldn’t ‘exonerate’ him of obstruction of justice.”
Then I thought about it.
Mueller, a former FBI director and a man known to be a serious lawyer of the highest integrity, said he doesn’t want to star in a media spectacle. He wants to be able to talk candidly with the House panel, which will release a full — and I presume unredacted — transcript of his testimony.
In my version of worldly perfection, I want Mueller to sit before the nation and talk to us directly. I also know I cannot dictate how these things should be handled.
I barely can remember what Mueller’s voice sounds like, it’s been so long since he’s been heard in public. During the 22 months he probed the issue of collusion with the Russian election hackers, he remained steadfast in his silence. Meanwhile, Donald Trump was all over the place, proclaiming the investigation to be nothing but a “witch hunt” led by “18 angry Democrats.” Trump has continued to make a total ass of himself, but Mueller has kept his silence — mostly.
He did write that letter complaining about the way Attorney General William Barr described the nature of Mueller’s findings.
I want to respect Mueller’s intention to stay out of the political spotlight. Lord knows committee members from both parties would do their share of posturing and pontificating once the TV cameras clicked on. Mueller sounds as if he wants no part of that charade.
If the Judiciary chairman is correct and Mueller agrees to talk to the committee in private, then my sincere hope is that we’ll be able to see the complete transcript immediately.
That is, unless Mueller changes his mind and decides to talk openly in front of the nation that has paid a hefty price for a serious investigation into whether the president is a crook.