House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerrold Nadler suggested Wednesday that he may not need to demand special counsel Robert Mueller testify before Congress, saying Democrats already have most of what they need from him.
The New York Democrat’s comments came hours after Mr. Mueller delivered a brief summation of his conclusions and — as far as Democrats are concerned — invited them to pursue impeachment, if they feel it’s warranted.
“Mr Mueller told us a lot of what we need to hear today,” Mr. Nadler said, adding that impeachment remains a valid option for House Democrats.
He didn’t explicitly rule out calling the special counsel to appear, however, and one important voice, House Majority Leader Steny H. Hoyer, said he still wants Mr. Mueller to testify.
“After his press conference this morning, I believe that special counsel Mueller needs to testify before Congress,” Mr. Hoyer said.
Mr. Mueller said he will resist calls to talk publicly, either in congressional testimony or other forums, saying the 448-page report his office produced speaks for itself.
That report concluded there wasn’t evidence of a conspiracy between Mr. Trump and Russian operatives to subvert the 2016 election. The report did lay out nearly a dozen instances of behavior that could be seen as the president attempting to obstruct probes into Russian interference, but Mr. Mueller did not reach a conclusion.
He said he couldn’t exonerate Mr. Trump, but also, confusingly, said his office never reached a determination on criminal wrong-doing because Justice Department guidelines prohibited him from bringing charges anyway.
“If Mueller wanted to exonerate the president from having committed a crime he would have said so,” Mr. Nadler said in his own brief press conference in New York.