Intelligence Committee chair Rep. Adam Schiff (D-CA) joined with Judiciary Chair Jerry Nadler (D-NY) in subpoenaing former special counsel Robert Mueller. But according to Schiff, this wasn't exactly an agreement the committees came to with Mueller or the special counsel's investigators.
"We consistently communicated our committees' intentions to issue these subpoenas if necessary and we now understand it is necessary to do so. Should we see this as a friendly subpoena that Robert Mueller believed had to be issued before he could accept an invitation to testify?" asked MSNBC host Rachel Maddow.
"I don't think the special counsel's office would characterize it as a friendly subpoena," Schiff admitted. "He did not want to testify. He made that very clear. Nonetheless, they will respect the subpoena. He will appear. He'll be testifying before our committee in open session. Each of our members will have an opportunity to ask questions of the special counsel. And the American people get a chance to hear directly from him and have their questions answered. So I think it's a good result."
Maddow went on to ask if the committee would be willing to call additional investigators and if those requests would be voluntary.
"I don't think either he or he staff are eager to come before the Congress," Schiff said. "I think they are doing so because they're going to honor the subpoena that we've issued. In terms of whether there is a separately required subpoena, I can't comment on that in terms of his staff, but, you know, clearly this is something I think from his perspective as a prosecutor, he's reluctant to come, as a prosecutor ordinarily would be."
Schiff cited the Mueller report saying that he didn't make a traditional prosecutorial judgment in this case and it's one of the reasons this hearing is important.
"We have taken it up in our referral and it's important we have an opportunity to flesh out what the Russians did, how they did it, what the roles of the Trump campaign personnel campaign were, where are the findings, all of these questions and a great many more the American people should have the opportunity to pose through their representatives to Mueller himself," Schiff went on. "We never felt it was sufficient to rely simply on a written report or a ten-minute statement without the ability to follow up with questions."
Watch his full comments below: