Democrats trying to keep the public’s attention on special counsel Robert S. Mueller III’s findings will hold a hearing Wednesday in which two former FBI spy-hunters plan to testify about Russian intelligence efforts against the United States.
Robert Anderson and Stephanie Douglas, two former senior FBI officials who specialized in espionage cases, are set to testify about Mueller’s findings before the House Intelligence Committee, which is conducting a separate probe into Russia’s interference in the 2016 election. Its chairman, Rep. Adam B. Schiff (D-Calif.), has been one of President Trump’s most outspoken critics on matters related to the Russia investigation, and Trump has repeatedly attacked him and called him names.
Anderson and Douglas left the FBI well before it launched the investigation into Russia’s actions — the case that was taken over by Mueller in May 2017 — but lawmakers consider their experience to be relevant.
Earlier in her FBI career, Douglas helped convict Harold Nicholson, a CIA official who sold sensitive information about CIA personnel to Russian intelligence officials. Nicholson is the rare spy who was caught twice — in 2008 he was charged with conspiring from his prison cell to recruit his son to act as a go-between to sell more secrets to Russia.
[ House Democrats gain little traction on impeachment ]
Committee Republicans invited a third witness, Andrew McCarthy, a former federal prosecutor who has been critical at times of Mueller’s approach to the Russia investigation.
Rep. Adam Schiff (D-Calif.), chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, at a hearing last week. (Andrew Harnik/AP) Since Mueller’s report was released in April, Democrats have struggled to get key witnesses to appear before Congress and discuss the president’s conduct on live television.
Mueller has proclaimed his strong desire not to testify. Former aides to Trump have been instructed not to do so, and House Democrats are preparing for potential court battles over subpoenas.
Earlier this week, Democrats held a hearing featuring a star witness from the Watergate era — former Nixon White House counsel John Dean. Four decades ago, Dean’s testimony was riveting and crucial to the congressional debate about President Richard M. Nixon’s actions; his appearance Monday, though, underscored the Democrats’ difficulty in finding a compelling witness against the current president.
Comment s Subscriber sign in We noticed you’re blocking ads! Keep supporting great journalism by turning off your ad blocker. Or purchase a subscription for unlimited access to real news you can count on. Try 1 month for $1 Unblock ads Questions about why you are seeing this? Contact us