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Rep. Nadler: Robert Mueller wants to testify to Congress — but in private

Mueller is willing to give a public opening statement but closed-door testimony, House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerrold Nadler said.
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Special counsel Robert Mueller has expressed interest in giving private testimony to Congress about his two-year investigation into Russian interference with the 2016 presidential election.

Mueller has told House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerrold Nadler that he is willing to make a public opening statement, but leave his testimony behind closed doors, Nadler said on "The Rachel Maddow Show" Thursday night.

Nadler, D-N.Y., has made repeated efforts for Mueller to speak in front of Congress. If Mueller did proceed with private testimony on his report, the public would get a transcript, Nadler said.

"We think it's important for the American people to hear from him and to hear his answers to questions about the report," Nadler said.

"He envisions himself correctly as a man of great rectitude and apolitical and he doesn't want to participate in anything that he might regard as a political spectacle," Nadler said about Mueller not wanting to testify in public. But he added, "I'm speculating really."

Nadler's comments come amid growing calls from Democrats to begin impeachment proceedings against President Donald Trump after Trump instructed former White House counsel Don McGahn to defy a congressional subpoena and not testify.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., said Thursday that Trump “wants to be impeached” so that he can be vindicated by the Republican-dominated Senate.

"Let me be very clear: the president's behavior, as far as his obstruction of justice, the things that he is doing, it's in plain sight, it cannot be denied — ignoring subpoenas, obstruction of justice," Pelosi told reporters at her weekly press conference Thursday following the closed-door meeting.

Pelosi's comments came just a day after she accused Trump of being involved in a cover-up.