If former Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s testimony will have any value tomorrow, it should be to guide Congress to satisfy its constitutionally distinct role. Mueller, a former FBI director, has always displayed a “just the facts approach.” He already has contradicted Attorney General William Barr’s sycophantic characterization of the results of the investigation by firmly stating that if his staff had concluded that the president was vindicated, he would have said so; he didn’t. But that stance leaves some important questions unasked, and some potentially valuable answers unknown. It’s time for Congress to ask, and for Mueller to answer, those questions.
These questions are not abstract to me. I’m a former federal line prosecutor, and from 1989 to 1993, I served in the administration of President George H. W. Bush as assistant attorney general for the Civil Division of the Department of Justice. Thereafter, I was the acting attorney general during the early months of the Clinton administration. Representing the United States at all levels of the federal courts, I have, at various times over 50 years, litigated a range of cases involving important public issues, and have more than a little knowledge about what it takes to support an indictment against corrupt public officials and more typical federal criminal defendants. So when I read the Mueller report, I bring a prosecutor’s eye to the work, and as a former colleague of Robert Mueller, I have confidence in his integrity and judgment.