Democrats have been less than satisfied with the conclusions in the final report from Special Counsel Robert Mueller, that there was no real evidence of collusion, conspiracy or coordination between then-candidate Donald Trump and the Russian government, and that there was insufficient evidence to support obstruction of justice charges.
With the false Russian collusion narrative debunked, Democrats have been reduced to attacking Attorney General William Barr over minor quibbles with his summary of the report’s principle conclusions, and many are now demanding to hear directly from special counsel Mueller himself, including Democrat California Sen. Dianne Feinstein.
Mueller’s presence requested
As the ranking member of the Senate Judiciary Committee, Feinstein was among those who called for Mueller to deliver testimony before her committee in the near future, making her wishes known during Barr’s Wednesday appearance on Capitol Hill.
Feinstein’s demand came near the end of her opening statement, in which she cited several quotes from the Mueller report and took issue with how Barr and the White House had characterized the report’s conclusions in a manner differing from that of Democrats.
“Congress has both the constitutional duty and the authority to investigate the serious findings contained in the Mueller report,” Feinstein said. “I strongly believe that this committee needs to hear directly from special counsel Mueller about his views on the report and his March letter (to Barr).”
“I also believe senators should have the opportunity to ask him about these subjects in questions directly. I have requested this to our chairman, to authorize a hearing with special counsel Mueller, and I hope that will happen soon,” she added.
Watch Feinstein’s comments below:
Graham: “Enough already. It’s over.”
Unfortunately for Feinstein, her request for a hearing with Mueller may have fallen on deaf ears, as the committee chair, Republican South Carolina Sen. Lindsey Graham, made it clear that he views the whole Mueller saga as a done deal on which no further time should be wasted.
The Hill reported that Graham said in his opening statement, “I appreciate very much what Mr. Mueller did for the country. I have read most of the report. For me, it is over.”
Asked by reporters after the hearing with Barr why he wouldn’t be calling for another hearing with Mueller, Graham replied, “I’m not going to do any more. Enough already. It’s over.”
To be sure, there are plenty of Republicans who have expressed an openness to having Mueller testify before the committee, and there is always the chance that Graham could reconsider Feinstein’s request and call for such a hearing.
That said, Graham and plenty of others have accurately noted that doing so would largely be a waste of time, as Mueller’s extensive report speaks for itself, and there would be little of any substance to be gained from questioning him further over conclusions he has already released..