By Jon Dougherty
Senate Judiciary Committee chairman Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) has sent a letter to special counsel Robert Mueller inviting him to testify before his panel, and the condition he set was a masterstroke.
In the letter, Graham invited Mueller to provide testimony if he believes that anything Attorney General William Barr has said about the special counsel’s report is misleading or wrong in any way.
The letter notes:
Thank you and your team very much for the professional and thorough manner in which you conducted your investigation. Â I appreciate the service youâ€™ve provided the country now and throughout your entire life.
On the eve of Attorney General Barrâ€™s testimony before the Senate Judiciary Committee, several news outlets broke a story alleging that you believed Attorney General Barrâ€™s March 24, 2019, letter to this Committee â€œdid not fully capture the context, nature, and substanceâ€ of your investigation. Â Of course, Attorney General Barr has since released your report to the public, including your executive summaries, with redactions deemed necessary by both you and the Department of Justice, and testified before the Senate Judiciary Committee.
In response to questions by Senator Blumenthal, the Attorney General testified in essence that you told him in a phone call that you did not challenge the accuracy of the Attorney Generalâ€™s summary of your reportâ€™s principal conclusions, but rather you wanted more of the report, particularly the executive summaries concerning obstruction of justice, to be released promptly. Â In particular, Attorney General Barr testified that you believed media coverage of your investigation was unfair without the public release of those summaries.
Please inform the Committee if you would like to provide testimony regarding any misrepresentation by the Attorney General of the substance of that phone call.
Graham is not demanding that Mueller testify nor is he seeking the testimony of anyone else on Mueller’s former staff.
We’ll see if Democrats echo Graham’s call or if the wily long-serving Republican from South Carolina has just called their bluff.
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