Special counsel Robert Mueller, who led an investigation into Russia meddling and alleged coordination between the Kremlin and the 2016 campaign of President Donald Trump, will tentatively testify before the House Judiciary Committee later this month.
The committee set a “tentative date” to meet with Mueller on May 15, Rep. David Cicilline announced on Sunday, per reporting from Axios.
Several questions abound regarding Mueller’s eponymous report, and lawmakers will likely dedicate quite a bit of time toward questioning the special counsel’s principal findings. But recent developments regarding the actions of Attorney General William Barr are also expected to be brought up during Mueller’s testimony.
NEW: A representative for Robert Mueller has agreed to a "tentative date" of May 15 for the special counsel to testify before the House Judiciary Committee. https://t.co/iTyheIZSSh
— Axios (@axios) May 5, 2019
After the Mueller report was submitted to the Justice Department late in March, Barr sent a letter to Congress discussing its contents. Barr’s four-page summary, however, was deemed insufficient for many lawmakers and observers, and the later public release of the redacted Mueller report demonstrated Barr’s assertions within that letter did not match up entirely with Mueller’s findings.
Last week, it was further reported that Mueller himself voiced concern to Barr directly, in a phone call and in a letter of his own, that he was displeased with Barr’s characterizations of his report.
“The summary letter the Department [of Justice] sent to Congress and released to the public late in the afternoon of March 24 did not fully capture the context, nature, and substance of this Office’s work and conclusions,” Mueller wrote to Barr, according to Lawfare Blog.
In addition to criticisms surrounding Barr’s letter to Congress, the attorney general received sharp criticisms last week from Democrats for his inconsistent testimony shortly after the report was submitted to him. In April, Barr testified under oath that Mueller had not objected to his findings within the letter written to Congress, going against what we now know Mueller had told Barr during that time.
Barr is also facing scrutiny for seemingly coming to the defense of Trump rather than acting as an impartial attorney general. Barr “is acting as the defense counsel for the president of the United States, when really, he’s supposed to be our lawyer — the people’s lawyer,” Rep. Elijah Cummings (D-South Carolina) said on Face the Nation after the Mueller report was released.