Special counsel Robert Mueller’s hearing could be delayed

NEW YORK NY- MAY 29 Committee Chairman of U.S. House Judiciary Committee Rep. Jerry Nadler speaks to members of the press

Special counsel Robert Mueller’s hearing could be delayed

Although it's unclear why Mueller's testimony was delayed until July 24, lawmakers familiar with the matter said one reason was an ongoing negotiation about how long lawmakers would have to question the former special counsel.

Republican members of the committee objected to the Democratic-led panel allowing Mueller to dictate the terms and timing of the committee's questioning, according to the source, because the same leniency was not allowed for Attorney General William Barr when the panel sought his testimony.

The uncertainty posed an unwelcome distraction for Democrats, who have billed Mueller's testimony as a potential watershed moment that could focus attention on segments of his 448-page report that raise troubling questions about Republican President Donald Trump's efforts to impede the federal investigation. "Sources said Friday morning the hearings will be pushed back to July 24".

Mueller is scheduled to testify before the two committees in open session. He had expressed his reluctance to testify, and has said he won't go beyond his Russian Federation probe report.

House Intelligence has 22 members, about equal to the number of Judiciary members who were initially expected to question Mueller.

Judiciary Committee ranking member Rep. Doug Collins, R-Ga., complained on Wednesday that the panel had been divided into "haves and have-nots". "I am speaking out today because our investigation is complete....we are formally closing the special counsel's office, '" said Mueller at the DOJ. Mueller's team wrote that it was bound by Justice Department policy that forbids the indictment of a sitting president from deciding or alleging - even privately - that Trump had committed a crime.

Trump, speaking to reporters outside the White House Friday, disparaged Congress's push to get Mueller to testify.

"We are formally closing the special counsel's office and as well I am resigning from the Department of Justice to return to private life", Mueller added. "They want to go it again and again and again because they want to hurt the president before the election".

Mueller's long-awaited testimony will come as more than 80 House Democrats have called for opening impeachment proceedings against Trump, arguing that he has ignored the Constitution that he took an oath to defend while repeatedly refusing to cooperate with congressional investigations.

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