President Donald Trump has continued to oppose the testimony of key witnesses like former White House Counsel Don McGahn. He has now added his opposition to the testimony of Robert Mueller himself. It is a position that signals a certain defensive, if not fearful, posture with regard to the report. Congress clearly has a legitimate interest in hearing from these witnesses and will prevail in forcing their appearance. More importantly, it is not in the public’s interest for the White House to seek to silence such witnesses with lingering questions over the allegations against the President. I have long expressed my skepticism over the chances of a collusion or obstruction charge against Trump. However, Congress should move quickly to challenge any such block on key witnesses.
After declaring that McGahn would not testify a couple days ago, Trump tweeted that, while leaving the decision to Attorney General Bill Barr, he is opposed to Mueller testifying.
“After spending more than $35,000,000 over a two year period, interviewing 500 people, using 18 Trump Hating Angry Democrats & 49 FBI Agents – all culminating in a more than 400 page Report showing NO COLLUSION – why would the Democrats in Congress now need Robert Mueller….to testify. Are they looking for a redo because they hated seeing the strong NO COLLUSION conclusion? There was no crime, except on the other side (incredibly not covered in the Report), and NO OBSTRUCTION. Bob Mueller should not testify. No redos for the Dems!”48.6K2:03 PM – May 5, 2019Twitter
Trump undermines his own point on collusion by steadfastly opposing any testimony from key witnesses. I fail to see the merits of such an objection. Congress has a core obligation to address such allegations, including suggestions that Mueller was not allowed or somehow inhibited in reaching a conclusion on obstruction.
What is also curious about this opposition is that the Mueller report is first and foremost a 400-page waiver of executive privilege.
I previously praised Trump for waiving executive privilege on the report. He is rapidly bulldozing that high ground in trying to silence witnesses before Congress.