Earlier today, Rhode Island Democrat David Cicilline announced that special counsel Robert Mueller would testify before the House Judiciary Committee on May 15. (Note, there has been some walk back from this firm date, see below:)

This, as surely as night follows day, caught the attention of President Trump.

And it drew the predictable reaction

(It’s always amusing when people try to use something Trump has said in the past as evidence of something other than Trump said it in the past.)

This is how the New York Times sees it:

That puts the president at odds with the Democrats, and with his own attorney general, William P. Barr.

Actually, Barr’s comment doesn’t “put him a odds” with Trump. Barr never says Mueller will testify, only that he has no objections to it. That does not imply that he feels so strongly on the subject that he cares enough to fight about it.

Whether or not the House has the legal authority to subpoena a temp employee and have them testify on the deliberative process in a particular situation, such as the Mueller report, rather than as part of an impeachment hearing is far from settled. If the administration decided to litigate the issue, it would be some number of months, if not years, before the process played itself out and the House would always run the risk of damaging its authority if the Supreme Court decided that this was a political squabble and not a legal issue or that the House had overreached in demanding testimony on a deliberative and pre-decisional process.

In reality, if Mueller wants to testify on May 15, it is unlikely that anyone is going to care. Trump’s tweet seems like more of his trademark trolling designed to stir the pot and provoke a spittle-flinging rage. And it looks like it will work.

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