On Friday we learned that Special Counsel Robert Mueller, who was supposed to testify next Wednesday, July 17, in front of the House Judiciary and Intelligence committees, would instead appear before the two committees a week later, on July 24, and he’ll be spending three hours before each House panel instead of two as had originally been planned.
The Hill reports that this will be the schedule for Mueller’s testimony:
“The Judiciary panel will convene at 8:30 a.m. on July 24 to hear Mueller’s testimony on his two-year investigation into Russian interference and potential obstruction of justice by President Trump, the chairmen said. After a brief break, Mueller will testify at noon before the Intelligence panel.”
On the face of it, a week’s delay for two extra hours of testimony may not seem like a very big deal, but it is, and here’s why: That extra hour will allow every member of both committees to question Mueller, and that could well lead to some interesting revelations.
Additionally, giving committee members an extra week to craft their questions while studying the full Russia investigation report means that the queries presented to the special counsel will be more focused and could wind up leading more damaging information being heard by the millions of Americans who will watch Mueller testify.
There’s also the chance that the seven day delay will allow for continued negotiations with other members of Mueller’s investigative team, some of whom are said to be uncertain if they should also tell what they found during the course of the 22-month look at the 2016 election and possible collusion with Russia. It may also provide an added incentive for those reluctant witnesses to come forward after they see what Mueller has to say when he testifies.
And there’s also this added benefit of the delay: Donald Trump has one of his rallies planned for July 17 in an attempt to overshadow Mueller. But he just got outfoxed by Mueller and the two committees. If he postpones his rally until the 24th, his desperation will be obvious.
Donald Trump is terrified of what Robert Mueller has to say. And based on the evidence we already have from the report, he damn well should be.