'It's tedious': Members of Congress admit they haven't even read the Mueller report ahead of special counsel's testimony
One of the most important news days of the Summer of 2019 will be Wednesday, July 17, when former special counsel Robert Mueller is set to publicly testify before two Democrat-led committees in the U.S. House of Representatives: the House Intelligence Committee and the House Judiciary Committee. But many members of Congress, both senators and representatives, admit they still haven’t read Mueller’s final report for the Russia investigation.
Sen. Tim Scott of South Carolina, a Republican, doesn’t see the point of reading Mueller’s report, which Attorney General William Barr released in redacted form on April 18.
“What’s the point?,” Politico quoted Scott as saying.
Another Republican, Sen. Lisa Murkowski of Alaska, told Politico she has read part of the report but hasn’t finished reading it. Murkowski asserted, “It’s tedious” and went on to say, “In fairness, I haven’t picked it up in at least two weeks.”
Rep. Fred Upton of Michigan told Politico he hasn’t gotten to it because “I’ve got a lot on my reading list.”
Republicans, however, aren’t the only ones in the House or Senate who say they haven’t read as much of the report as they should. Rep. David Price, a North Carolina Democrat, told Politico, “I’d be pretty reckless to say I have a full comprehension. I need to spend some more time with it.”
Sen. Tim Kaine, the Virginia Democrat who was Hillary Clinton’s running mate in 2016, told Politico although he hasn’t read the entire report, he has first-hand experience with the things it addresses.
“I didn’t have to read it — I lived it,” Kaine told Politico. “I intended to read cover to cover, but there was nothing in it that was a surprise to me.”
Rep. Collin Peterson, a Minnesota Democrat, told Politico he has read some of the report but not all of it — commenting, “It is what it is.”
However, Sen. Elizabeth Warren — who has recently been climbing in polls in the 2020 Democratic presidential primary — has read the redacted version of the report in its entirety. In fact, Warren has said she went “cover to cover, every page” within 24 hours of its release and decided that Trump deserves impeachment based on what she read.
But Rep. Jerry Nadler, the New York Democrat who chairs the House Judiciary Committee, isn’t critical of either Republicans or Democrats in Congress who haven’t read all of Mueller’s report — after all, the document is 448 pages long.
“You can’t expect people to read lengthy documents in large numbers,” Nadler acknowledged. “They have their own lives to lead.”