House Democrats, Aiming to Reinvigorate Inquiries, Set Hearings and Contempt Votes

Representative Jerrold Nadler of New York, the Judiciary Committee’s chairman, said his committee’s first hearing, “Lessons From the Mueller Report: Presidential Obstruction and Other Crimes,” would zero in on “the most overt acts of obstruction” documented by Mr. Mueller. The special counsel’s 448-page report detailed at least 10 cases of possible obstruction by Mr. Trump as he sought to thwart the inquiry into his campaign’s ties to Russia and its efforts to influence the 2016 election.

“While the White House continues to cover up and stonewall, and to prevent the American people from knowing the truth, we will continue to move forward with our investigation,” Mr. Nadler said. “These hearings will allow us to examine the findings laid out in Mueller’s report so that we can work to protect the rule of law and protect future elections through consideration of legislative and other remedies.”

In addition to Mr. Dean — who has frequently appeared on cable television to warn that Mr. Trump’s behavior is worse than President Richard M. Nixon’s — witnesses will include former United States attorneys and other legal experts. Mr. Nadler said hearings on related topics would follow in the coming weeks, but he did not offer dates.

The committee already has outstanding subpoenas for testimony from two more key witnesses this month. But neither witness — Hope Hicks, a former White House communications director, or Annie Donaldson, the chief of staff to Mr. McGahn — is likely to show.

And despite weeks of behind-the-scenes negotiations, Mr. Mueller himself has yet to agree to appear on Capitol Hill despite delivering a rare public statement last week. Democrats, so far, have been reluctant to issue a subpoena demanding that he appear.

Nearly all Democratic lawmakers agree that has to change, but they are at odds over how to bring Mr. Mueller before the television cameras. Supporters of impeachment, including more than 50 House members, believe an open inquiry of that sort will force Mr. Mueller’s hand. But Speaker Nancy Pelosi and her leadership team remain staunchly opposed to impeachment proceedings unless Democrats can make a persuasive case to the broader American public.

Republicans, who oppose any additional investigation, were happy to highlight Democrats’ predicament. Representative Andy Biggs of Arizona, a member of the Judiciary Committee, accused Democrats of seeking to stage “make believe” reasons to impeach Mr. Trump.

“Instead of hearing from the architect of the flawed Mueller report,” Mr. Biggs said, “Democrats are now calling a biased witness, who was convicted of criminal charges for his role in the Watergate scandal and who has called President Trump a ‘nitwit,’ to help frame a narrative for the impeachment of President Donald Trump.”

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