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2 Congresswomen, Elected in Pennsylvania's Historic Wave of Women, Will Play Big Roles in Mueller Hearing

U.S. Reps. Mary Gay Scanlon and Madeleine Dean were elected to office in 2018 during Pennsylvania's historic Wave of Women. They are set to be part of history again when they question Robert Mueller

What to Know

  • Mary Gay Scanlon is a longtime public interest lawyer with a Philadelphia law firm. Madeleine Dean served as a state representative.
  • Both were elected in 2018 in a women's wave that changed the dynamics of Pennsylvania politics.
  • They will each get five minutes to directly question Robert Mueller about his time as Special Counsel and the March 22 report he authored.

When former Special Counsel Robert Mueller takes his seat Wednesday before the House Judiciary Committee, two new congresswomen from the Philadelphia suburbs will be front and center.

U.S. Reps. Madeleine Dean, who represents Montgomery County, and Mary Gay Scanlon, who represents Delaware County, will each get five minutes to ask Mueller about his work investigating Russian election interference and criminal activity by members of President Trump's administration.

In his 22 months as head of the Office of Special Counsel, Mueller charged 34 people, including the president's former campaign chairman, Paul Manafort and his first national security adviser, Michael Flynn. 

Both Dean and Scanlon are Democrats serving in their first full terms in Congress. They were part of a Wave of Women elected as part of the Democrats' takeover of the House majority in 2018.

In all, four women Democrats from southeastern Pennsylvania won first terms in Congress last year in an historic victory.

They were given seats on the Judiciary Committee by Democratic House leaders in January, and will take their turns questioning Mueller toward the end of the three-hour hearing, which begins at 8:30 a.m.

All 41 committee members — 24 Democrats and 17 Republicans — will get five minutes each. Scanlon, who serves as the committee's vice chairwoman, will be first among all first-term congressmembers. Dean is expected to be the third to last to question Mueller.

"I'm so pleased to be serving on this important committee," Dean said Tuesday in an interview with NBC10. "We are being very meticulous, very careful because of the importance of the subject. I've been crafting my questions with the people in my office and with the able staff members of the Judiciary Committee."

"All along, I've looked at this as what's important are Mueller's words, not mine," she said.

Scanlon's role — as the first lawmaker elected last year to get a chance to ask Mueller questions about his investigation — is not lost on her, the congresswoman's spokeswoman said.

"A lot of why this freshman class ran last year and why the district put their faith in the representative has to do with the fact that something wrong is happening with this government," Scanlon's spokeswoman Gabby Richards said Tuesday.

"My boss has not only read the (Mueller) report front to back multiple times, she is definitely prepared for the intensity of tomorrow," she added.

Both women said during their election campaigns last year that they were running to bring fresh voices to Washington D.C., and to challenge the Trump White House's priorities of border walls, environmental deregulation and abolishing the Affordable Care Act, and to increase women's representation in Washington D.C.

Dean has been a leading voice in demands by the Democrat-controlled House to begin an impeachment inquiry for President Trump.

"I'm on the frontline," she said of her seat on the Judiciary Committee. "And seeing how the administration is obstructing our duty of oversight, like when former White House Counsel Donald McGahn was told not to testify under some crazy blanket immunity by the Trump administration, I will continue to make that argument."

What to Expect: Mueller's Testimony Before the House Judiciary Committee

When: 8:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m., July 24

How to Watch: Livestreaming on NBCPhiladelphia.com; Special Coverage on NBC10

Where: House Judiciary Committee on Capitol Hill

Who's Involved: The committee is made up of 20 Democrats and 19 Republicans, who will alternately ask questions of Robert Mueller in five-minute allotments about his 22 months as head of the Office of Special Counsel.

Chief Topic: The March 22 report issued by the Office of Special Counsel, one of the most-anticipated documents in modern American politics

Why It's Important: Mueller has only spoken once publicly since releasing his 448-page report. This will be his first time facing questions about his time as chief investigator into Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election and claims of collusion and obstruction by the Trump campaign and White House.

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