An agreement between Robert Mueller and Democrats in Congress may have been reached, which will delay the former special counsel’s planned testimony by a week.
Politico reported on Friday that the House Judiciary and Intelligence committees, which had originally intended to meet with Mueller to speak with him for two hours each on July 17, will instead meet with him on July 24.
Lawmakers told the publication that the delay is being made to allow more preparation so that members on the Judiciary Committee can have an extra hour to speak with Mueller.
But other reports detail that members of the committees are still planning to hold the hearings next week, in spite of the reporting from Politico and other news outlets. A committee aide emailed the Reuters news agency, saying, “At this moment we still plan to have our hearing on the 17th and we will let you know if that changes.”
“At this moment we still plan to have our hearing on the 17th and we will let you know if that changes.”#RobertMueller’s scheduled testimony is still expected to go ahead on July 17, despite reports that the hearing was possibly delayed by one week. https://t.co/ROrPTH83Jz
— The Epoch Times (@EpochTimes) July 12, 2019
The initial plan to have Mueller speak for only two hours would have resulted in freshmen members of the committee being unable to have their turn to ask the former special counsel questions, a move that many Republican lawmakers on the committee had spoken out against. By adding a third hour, Mueller can be questioned by these freshmen lawmakers as well.
Mueller had been reluctant to speak before any congressional committees about the report that bears his name, which details connections between the Trump campaign in 2016 and Russians during the election year.
Although the report found that there wasn’t any substantial evidence linking the two, in terms of unlawful coordination, the Mueller report did suggest that Trump may have committed acts of obstruction of justice, with Mueller detailing at least 10 instances of that possibly occurring during the course of the investigation, Vox reported.
“If we had confidence that the president clearly did not commit a crime, we would have said so,” Mueller said in May, quoting a specific passage within his report, per previous reporting from HillReporter.com.
In that same press conference, Mueller announced he was stepping down from the position as special counsel. He implied at that time that he preferred not to testify before Congress about his findings. “The report is my testimony,” he said at the time.
Mueller later agreed to testify after he was subpoenaed by both House committees in June.
The one-week delay in the Mueller hearing is bad news. Slippage toward the summer recess, building up unrealistic expectations, creating more opportunities for Trump and his henchman Barr to engage in witness tampering. Watch out!
— Laurence Tribe (@tribelaw) July 12, 2019
Harvard Law school’s Laurence Tribe described the delay as “bad news” in a tweet he authored shortly after it was announced.
There will be “slippage toward the summer recess, building up unrealistic expectations, creating more opportunities for Trump and his henchman Barr to engage in witness tampering,” Tribe explained.