Monday, 14 October, 2019

Robert Mueller testimony on Russia meddling investigation postponed

Mueller hearing might be delayed and lengthened so more members can question him Congress Delays Robert Mueller Hearings Amid Dispute Over Time For Questions
Patty Aguilar | 14 July, 2019, 13:10

Judiciary Committee members balked at the unofficial, earlier arrangement for Mueller, because numerous panel's less senior lawmakers would not get time to ask questions. All members - Democrats and Republicans - of both committees will have a meaningful opportunity to question the Special Counsel in public, and the American people will finally have an opportunity to hear directly from Mr. Mueller about what his investigation uncovered. House Democrats hope that he will be able to provide details during the private session that Mueller would not be able to share during his scheduled public hearing.

Representative Pramila Jayapal, a Democratic member of the committee, said she agreed with a potential move to allow all members time to question Mueller. "After a brief break, the House Intelligence Committee will convene for additional public testimony beginning at 12:00 p.m".

Mueller's report - the culmination of a almost two-year investigation into alleged Russian meddling into the 2016 presidential election and potential coordination with the Trump campaign, and subsequently obstruction of justice - found that while there was Russian interference in the election, there was not enough evidence to point to criminal conspiracy or coordination between the Trump team and the Russians. Their desire set off months of negotiations that ultimately led to Mueller agreeing to appear, under subpoena, for a limited time period.

Mueller's investigation did not find evidence of collusion between Russian Federation and the Trump 2016 presidential campaign.

"The report is my testimony", Mueller said.

The Judiciary Committee also sought to interview former Mueller aides Aaron Zebley and James Quarles behind closed doors on Wednesday.

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One thing Judiciary members want to focus on in questioning Mueller is whether Trump would have been charged with a crime were he not president.

But Mueller refrained from recommending criminal charges against the president, saying he had no power to do so.

The former Federal Bureau of Investigation director is perhaps the one person lawmakers and the nation have been wanting to hear from most. "A senior source said there was a "breakdown in negotiations" to have Mueller appear".

But under the tentative agreement, the Judiciary Committee would be given an extra hour.

It's unclear whether Mueller's testimony will give Democratic investigations new momentum. Around 80 Democrats have said they think an impeachment inquiry should be launched to bolster their efforts, but House Speaker Nancy Pelosi has so far rebuffed those calls.

"This committee got rolled", he said.

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