Political theater at its best and worst comes to Washington on Wednesday when former special counsel Robert Mueller testifies before Congress on his probe into Russian meddling in the 2016 election. The best advice we can give you is:
The hearings before the House Judiciary and Intelligence committees will star a man with a well-earned reputation as perhaps the nation’s most apolitical player. He’ll be questioned by partisan lawmakers, some of whom, if history is a guide, will be more interested in pumping up themselves, or beating up Mueller or President Donald Trump than eliciting actual details about Russia’s actions or whether Trump tried to obstruct the investigation.
But these hearings are more important than a platform for preening. Most Americans have seen headlines but still have not read the exhaustive and troubling report Mueller delivered four months ago. For some, Trump’s behavior toward Mueller’s probe and his 2016 campaign’s ties to Russia will be a factor in the upcoming election. You owe it to yourself and your fellow citizens to get the facts, firsthand, from the main source.
Many judgments have been based on other people’s accounts of the report. And we know, for example, that Attorney General William Barr’s presentation was faulty. Nothing beats examining the evidence yourself and drawing your own conclusion. Don’t let someone else dictate whether the report equals impeachment or exoneration.
Mueller has testified nearly 90 times before Congress. He cannot be goaded into saying more than he wants, and he said he will stick to the facts in the report. His account could be riveting. Or it could be a bust.
Either way, you should be the judge. — The editorial board