Graham says he plans to call on Mueller to testify before Senate after Roger Stone op-ed

Democrats had previously requested that Robert Mueller be called before the Judiciary Committee, but Chairman Lindsey Graham had shot down the request.
Impeachment
Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., during a news conference on Capitol Hill on Oct. 24, 2019.Melina Mara / The Washington Post via Getty Images file

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By Allan Smith

Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., said Sunday that he will grant a longtime Democratic request to have former special counsel Robert Mueller testify before the committee.

Graham's comments followed Mueller's Washington Post op-ed about President Donald Trump's commutation of Roger Stone's prison sentence.

"Apparently Mr. Mueller is willing - and also capable - of defending the Mueller investigation through an oped in the Washington Post," Graham tweeted. "Democrats on the Senate Judiciary Committee have previously requested Mr. Mueller appear before the Senate Judiciary Committee to testify about his investigation. That request will be granted."

Asked whether Mueller had formally been invited to testify, a spokeswoman for Graham said, "A formal invitation to Mr. Mueller is in the works."

Senate Judiciary Democrats last year called on Graham to request Mueller's testimony to discuss his report at the conclusion of the investigation into Russian electoral interference, but Graham denied the request. Mueller would testify before the House Intelligence Committee later in the year.

"I'm all good. I'm done with the Mueller report," Graham told CNN in April 2019. "We will have [Attorney General William] Barr come in and tell us about what he found. I made sure that Mueller was able to do his job without interference. The Mueller report is over for me. Done."

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In his op-ed, Mueller wrote that he felt "compelled to respond both to broad claims that our investigation was illegitimate and our motives were improper, and to specific claims that Roger Stone was a victim of our office."

"The Russia investigation was of paramount importance," he said. "Stone was prosecuted and convicted because he committed federal crimes. He remains a convicted felon, and rightly so."

Trump commuted Stone's prison sentence Friday night — a decision that sparked backlash from Democrats and a small number of Republicans.

"It shouldn't matter whether you're a Democrat or Republican," said House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff, D-Calif., who led the House's case against Trump during his impeachment trial this year. "This should be offensive to you if you care about the rule of law and you care about justice."

Graham was not one of the few Republicans critical of the Stone commutation.

"In my view it would be justified if President @realDonaldTrump decided to commute Roger Stone's prison sentence," Graham tweeted before Trump's action. "Mr. Stone is in his 70s and this was a non-violent, first-time offense."

Stone is 67.

Frank Thorp V contributed.