Mueller says he didn't subpoena Trump in order to expedite the investigation

Slides part of Mueller's testimony.
(Image credit: JIM WATSON/AFP/Getty Images)

After hours of non-answers and referrals back to the report, Rep. Sean Patrick Maloney (D-N.Y.) managed to get a compelling answer out of former Special Counsel Robert Mueller with a very direct question: "Why didn't you subpoena the president?"

Mueller in response to Maloney's question about the lack of a subpoena during this House Intelligence Committee hearing explained that his team spent a year attempting to secure an interview with Trump to no avail.

"We decided that we did not want to exercise the subpoena powers because of the necessity of expediting the end of the investigation," Mueller said. "The expectation was if we did subpoena the president, he would fight the subpoena, and we would be in the midst of the investigation for a substantial period of time."

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Trump ultimately answered some questions for Mueller in writing, but the former special counsel admitted during his testimony that these written responses were "certainly not as useful as the interview would be."

Maloney seemed critical of this decision by Mueller, suggesting either that he "flinched" or that he "didn't think you needed it" because there was already a "substantial body of evidence" against Trump without an interview. But Mueller, clearly, would directly not comment on this, only saying they had to balance "how much evidence" they had with "how much time" they were "willing to spend in the courts."

Later, when asked by Val Demings (D-Fla.) if it's "fair to say that the president's written answers ... showed that he wasn't always being truthful," Mueller said that it "generally" is. Brendan Morrow

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