“I’m speculating, really,” Rep. Jerrold Nadler tells Rachel Maddow last night after declaring that the reason Robert Mueller won’t testify in public is Republican questioning. Ironically, the House Judiciary chair demonstrated in that moment why the special counsel has rightly decided not to join the circus. Mueller seems to be sticking to his guns, and Nadler sounds as though he’s realized he can’t do much to budge him:

Note the lacuna in NBC News’ quote of Nadler:

Nadler, D-N.Y., has made repeated efforts for Mueller to speak in front of Congress. If Mueller did proceed with private testimony on his report, the public would get a transcript, Nadler said.

“We think it’s important for the American people to hear from him and to hear his answers to questions about the report,” Nadler said.

“He envisions himself correctly as a man of great rectitude and apolitical and he doesn’t want to participate in anything that he might regard as a political spectacle,” Nadler said about Mueller not wanting to testify in public. But he added, “I’m speculating really.”

In between those two quote marks was this remark: ” … especially if the Republicans on the committee start asking him questions about the beginning of the — about this stuff, the beginning of the investigation.” Why did NBC News leave out that remark? Why, it’s almost as if they wanted to shape the news report to make Nadler sound more reasonable … and less like a partisan hack.

It’s a strange comment anyway. Why would Robert Mueller take offense to questions about the start of Operation Crossfire Hurricane? He had nothing to do with it until Rod Rosenstein appointed him special counsel more than a year after it began. Questions from Republicans about it wouldn’t constitute an attack, partisan or otherwise, on Mueller. It would in fact be a fairly normal line of questioning for an independent prosecutor about an investigation that ended up going nowhere. Mueller might not be inclined to provide broad answers to those questions while other Department of Justice reviews of that same question remain active, but it’s highly doubtful that such questions would cause Mueller to scurry away from the cameras.

Nadler knows very well why Mueller doesn’t want to take part in the House Judiciary circus. It’s because Nadler and other Democrats have turned it into a kangaroo court, a ridiculous spectacle over a report that has been entirely available to Congress minus grand-jury testimony for several weeks now. It’s all the speculating that Nadler and his cohort have indulged over the last several weeks, and last two years, on platforms like MSNBC to spin up hysteria and misinformation. Mueller would have to be insane to make participation in that his last public service.

Addendum: Of course, we wish Rep. Nadler a speedy recovery from a scary episode earlier today. Nadler apparently got dehydrated and nearly passed out:

Nadler’s office issued a statement later saying that he was doing better at the hospital, and that they believe it’s just dehydration. His electrolyte balance may have been off as a result, and those of us who have experienced similar episodes know it’s no joke.