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

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)

Responses

  1. 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 desperation impeachment!! And still not ONE of those in the CIA or DNC or HRC are an object of concern?????

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

  3. 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.

  4. >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 Secret" information on that email server which – by the way – is a Federal offense violating 18 USC 793 of the ESPIONAGE Act. WHY hasn't HRC and #44 been charged with felonies (treason) and put in PRISON (I'd opt for a firing squad)?

    What about HRC and Barry repeatedly IGNORING requests/DEMANDS for more security in the Benghazi embassy in which 4 good Americans were subsequently killed because of THEIR combined ineptitude? As an anti-American and illegitimate POTUS, I can understand Barry Soetoro's "could not care less" attitude and deliberate lack of action or adhering to his Oath of Office.

    No need in going on. Those who support the demise of America will believe what they're being told by their leaders. Laws only matter is you're a Republican or an Independent. DemocRATs are exempt from abiding by any of the Laws, as we've seen.

    1. “Two-tier” justice system James. One set of rules for thee, few or none for me. Either means this: there are those who ARE above the law.

  5. 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.

    1. Russia, Russia, Russia!!!!!

      Let’s break this down.
      1 I didn’t rob the bank
      2 I want the police to stop investigating me so I do whatever I can to get them off my back

      Neither 1 or 2 is a crime.

      As simple as it gets but when you are still mad that Hillary Clinton was such a terrible candidate that SHE LOST the election and want to blame (lack of personal responsibility AGAIN) anything/anybody else- this is the normal course of business. When the Dems claim someone is doing something wrong it is because they are doing it and want to – oh I get it – obstruct!!

  6. 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.

    1. What is your definition of “swamp?” Recognizing you & Cherl’s aversion to questions, I am going to guess it is corruption. What is it that you consider Rep Schiff’s ability is to control the current level of corruption? The voters of Duncan Hunter and Chris Collins’ districts were aware the candidate they cast their vote were INDICTED, by a R controlled DOJ, on multiple counts of federal offenses. They were sent back to Congress. Schiff has zero power to control John Kelley or Scott Pruitt from taking lobbying or board positions in businesses that have government contracts. Trump issued an EO, but it has not stopped anyone from his administration that wants to make a buck. U.S. House members have NO SAY in confirmation of POTUS Cabinet nominees. Zero of Trump’s WH advisers required Congressional approval. ALL attempts at Oversight of Trump giving out security clearances over the objection of the FBI & CIA have been obstructed by Trump and are awaiting legal process.

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

  8. 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.

    1. Oh, Jacqueline. you missed the Pizzagate conspiracy, Vince Foster’s death, Whitewater, Travelgate, and the Seth Rich hacking conspiracy and murder. Those conspiracies were disproved as well BUT you forgot to mention them with all the others.

  9. If it looks like an obsession and sounds like an obsession then it originated with the Democrats. Nothing is going to deter them from investigation or spending more millions. Mueller should have had a spine but needless to say he doesn’t.

    1. How much of the Mueller report have you read? Even if you only read the executive summaries of each volume, substitute any other POTUS name for Trump. WHAT would be your reaction? Bury it and pretend future generations won’t be seeing it? WHY not read the report and tell us how THAT is how you want ALL future POTUS campaigns and POTUS to act? 140 contacts with Russians and 10 instances of obstruction of justice. The new standards for all POTUS?

  10. Schiff and Nadler are a couple of first degres scumbags. Let these people testify in public or why should anything you say they said. Schiff and Nadler want the Pres to be transparent, but they don’t want to be transparent. They are just a couple of scumbag liars not worth believing.

  11. What can they possibly do? Invalidate the report by contradicting what’s in it? That’s grounds for perjury.

    1. Obviously they don’t believe the final report of this hoax AND didn’t get the results they needed to impeach Trump. A few more do-overs and they still won’t be satisfied. But, wasting time will keep them out of the bars, get them a paycheck and be a guarantee nothing will be done for the American people.

    2. “Testimony from his two aides could provide lawmakers with new information on the report and the two-year investigation.” Just what “new” information are they talking about? I’m with you, screw, if they contradict the report, that means somebody is lying and it sure ain’t Trump.

    3. LOL…So you STILL have not read it? The report does not say no collusion, no obstruction.

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