DOJ Instructs Mueller Deputies Not To Appear For Testimony

Lawmaker Donaldson's notes akin to the Watergate tapes

DOJ Instructs Mueller Deputies Not To Appear For Testimony

The committee agreed to an amended resolution by a party-line vote of 21-12.

Judiciary Chairman Jerrold Nadler said the witnesses are government officials who worked in close proximity to President Donald Trump or those outside the government who have "critical information" related to allegations of obstruction of justice and public corruption detailed in former special counsel Robert S. Mueller III's report released in April.

The agreement for Mueller to testify for a limited period of time before the two committees was struck last month when the former special counsel agreed to appear if he was issued a subpoena.

Judiciary Chairman Jerrold Nadler of NY will make the final decision about issuing the subpoenas and has said they can be avoided if witnesses and the administration co-operate voluntarily. Democrats had a choice: Should they push for unlimited testimony with the risk that Mueller would continue to refuse to appear and potentially defy a subpoena? "They also want to interview the highly complicated and compromised Mueller again".

The department has asked Aaron Zebley, Mueller's former chief of staff and among his closest associates during the almost two-year Russian Federation investigation, and James Quarles, one of the investigation's most senior attorneys and a former Watergate prosecutor, not to appear before the House Judiciary and intelligence committees. Several Republicans accused Nadler, a Democrat from NY, of ceding to the House Intelligence Committee when agreeing to allow 22 lawmakers on the 40-plus member Judiciary Committee to question Mueller.

"Next week, a hearing under one of the largest, most-talked about investigations in two years, and this committee got rolled", said Georgia Rep. Doug Collins, the top Republican on the panel.

Collins, too, ripped the tentative hearing format.

"I have been very lenient in permitting people to discuss the procedures at the Mueller hearing at length, which is beyond the scope of this markup".

Also included was David Pecker, the head of American Media, publisher of the National Enquirer, indicating the committee may want to focus on hush-money payments made during the 2016 campaign to women campaign alleging affairs with Trump.

A House panel voted Thursday to subpoena 12 people with connections to President Trump, including his son-in-law and adviser Jared Kushner and former attorney general Jeff Sessions, as part of an ongoing investigation into whether Trump obstructed justice or otherwise abused his office.

Ahead of the vote Thursday, Trump took to Twitter to equate the Democrats Thursday's subpoena blitz to taking too many "bites at the apple".

"If we had confidence that the president clearly did not commit a crime, we would have said so", Mueller said. "We have been doing that through pursuing the unredacted Mueller reporter and key related witnesses and documents", Nadler said.

Republicans criticized the Democrats' for the latest subpoena authorizations, accusing them of trying to generate headlines. He has said he has nothing more to add beyond his report, and resisted testifying, forcing the committee chairmen into issuing subpoenas.

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