U.S. Justice Department Trying to Quash Mueller Team Testimony: Report

Jim Bourg/File Photo/Reuters

The Justice Department is trying to prevent two former members of Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s team from testifying behind closed doors as Mueller prepares for a public appearance before lawmakers next week, the New York Times reported on Wednesday.

The department said last week it opposed testimony by Aaron Zebley and James Quarles before the Democratic-led House of Representatives’ Intelligence and Judiciary Committees, a senior congressional official told the newspaper. A Justice Department official confirmed the account and had instructed the men not to appear, the paper said.

A person familiar with the matter told Reuters the former Mueller team members were in negotiations to testify before the two panels behind closed doors. The person could not confirm the Justice Department had instructed them not to testify.

Mueller is to testify in open session before the House Judiciary and Intelligence committees on July 17. Testimony from his two aides could provide lawmakers with new information on the report and the two-year investigation.

Justice Department representatives were not immediately available for comment on the Times’ report.

The Judiciary Committee will meet privately later on Wednesday to discuss details of conducting the Mueller hearing and his aides’ testimony, Democrats on the panel said.

U.S. Representative Adam Schiff, who leads the intelligence panel, said he expected the special counsel’s office to live up to the agreements for Mueller and his aides to testify.

Mueller issued a report in April that found Russia had interfered in the 2016 U.S. presidential election and that Republican President Donald Trump’s campaign team had multiple contacts with Russian officials.

But the report found insufficient evidence to establish a criminal conspiracy between the Trump campaign and Moscow.

Mueller, in his first public comments since starting the two-year investigation, said on May 29 his probe was never going to end with criminal charges against Trump, and indicated it was up to Congress to decide whether he should be impeached.

“If we had confidence that the president clearly did not commit a crime, we would have said so,” Mueller said.

The Judiciary and Intelligence panels led by U.S. Representatives Jerrold Nadler and Schiff are conducting their own investigations into Russian interference and possible obstruction.

Trump has regularly denounced the Mueller investigation and related probes as politically motivated and did so again in a Twitter post on Wednesday by saying, “The Dems Witch Hunt continues!”

(Reporting by David Morgan, Richard Cowan and Doina Chiacu; Editing by Bernadette Baum and Bill Trott)

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Brad
Member

2 year and $30 M plus investigation into Russian meddling and NOT ONE single comment about HRC and the DNC paying for an UNVERIFIED dossier which started the ball rolling…..all the dirty shit with the upper officials of the CIA (for which most know the names of several) and NOT one indictment? Anyone with any common sense can see the at any expense the GET TRUMP ONLY PLOY! And now there is going to be additional testimonies which they are hoping and will likely create an “A-HA” moment to keep the same disgusting PLOY in motion allowing for a desired… Read more »

Cherl
Member

Screwtape. My posts and votes are still hit or miss as far as posting. And like you I am getting spam messages on email.

Screwtape
Member

To Phyllis: as usual you miss the point. What’s important is Schitt’s definition of “swamp”. He works there, revels in it, and thinks celebrating our nation’s independence is part of it.

Funny. IJR cannot make either “replies” or “load more posts” work. Now I’m getting private spam messages.

James
Member

>Phyllis Softa< Reply because IJR can't fix its' reply problem. Isn't it ironic that "DemocRATs" like Muslim Barry Soetoro, Hillary Rotten Clinton, John Kerry, AOC, Tlaib, Omar, Bozo O'Rourke and a host of others on the Left can deliberately break the Law and NOT be charged or even investigated? HRC has been a criminal since Arkansas and is still walking around (now with help) free among the decent people. I am referring to her ILLEGAL email server and Anthony Weiner's laptop on which an FBI member ("Bill Preistap") found some 49,000 of her emails. Previously the FBI had found "Top… Read more »

Phyllis Softa
Member

If you are afraid to read the Mueller report and you do not wish to know what the findings actually are, I suggest you hide from the news outlets on Wednesday. FOX will have tape of Gaetz’s questions concerning his assertion that if you publicly break the law, it doesn’t count.

Screwtape
Member

For any who might wonder about Rep. Schitt’s high-regard for America remember this:

He called the latest 4th of July celebration in DC “Celebrating the Swamp Day”.
1. He ought to know all about the DC “swamp” since he’s been a denizen for three terms.
2. Outside of running his mouth he’s done exactly zero to drain that swamp. One supposes this is his idea of taking action.

Willie Horton
Member

How can the word schiff and intelligence be used in the same sentence? Schiff is a POS.

Jacqueline Walker
Guest
Jacqueline Walker

Dems just need to accept that there was no conspiracy by the Trump Campaign. The conspiracy was by the Clinton campaign and the DNC. The right candidate won the 2016 Presidency election, the one who hadn’t sold U.S. uranium to Russia, who hadn’t let an Ambassador and three great U.S. service men die in Libya, who hadn’t used a private email server sending classified government documents and as the song says and the list goes on.

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