Senior U.S. Lawmaker Rejects Justice Department Limits on Mueller Testimony

A day before Robert Mueller’s eagerly anticipated congressional testimony, a senior Democratic U.S. lawmaker on Tuesday accused President Donald Trump’s Justice Department of arrogance in instructing the former special counsel to limit the scope of his remarks and said it lacked the authority for such a directive.

On Wednesday, Mueller is scheduled to appear at back-to-back hearings before the Democratic-led House of Representatives Judiciary Committee and Intelligence Committee to discuss his inquiry into Russia’s role in the 2016 U.S. election, contacts between the Trump campaign and Moscow, and the Republican president’s efforts to impede the investigation.

Associate Deputy Attorney General Bradley Weinsheimer wrote in a letter to Mueller on Monday that the former FBI director’s testimony must remain within the boundaries of the 448-page special counsel investigative report the department released in redacted form on April 18.

Weinsheimer wrote that some matters covered by the inquiry were covered by “executive privilege,” a legal principle rarely invoked by U.S. presidents to keep other branches of government from getting access to certain internal executive branch information. It generally is used to keep private internal discussions between the president and his advisers.

House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerrold Nadler said Mueller did not need to follow the instructions contained in the letter.

“He does not have to comply with that letter. He doesn’t work for them. And that letter asks things that are beyond the power of the agency to ask even if he still worked for them,” Nadler said in a CNN interview.

Nadler said he does not think the letter posed any impediment to members of his committee.

“I think it’s incredibly arrogant of the department to try to instruct him in what to say,” Nadler added. “It’s part of the ongoing cover-up by the administration to keep information away from the American people.”

A spokesman for Mueller, Jim Popkin, said the letter had been received but declined further comment.

The Trump administration has instructed other former officials not to cooperate with some other congressional investigations.

Democratic lawmakers are expected to try to get Mueller to focus on specific examples of Trump’s conduct that they consider improper. Democrats are deeply divided over whether to pursue the impeachment process set out in the U.S. Constitution for removing a president from office.

Mueller’s report outlined Russia’s actions to interfere in the election with a campaign of hacking and propaganda aimed at boosting Trump’s candidacy and detailed the Trump campaign’s willingness to benefit from Moscow’s actions.

The report said the inquiry found insufficient evidence to conclude that Trump and his 2016 campaign engaged in a criminal conspiracy with Russia despite the numerous contacts. The report did not reach a conclusion on whether Trump committed the crime of obstruction of justice but did not exonerate him.

Attorney General William Barr, a Trump appointee, subsequently said the president had not committed obstruction of justice. Longstanding Justice Department policy bars criminal charges against a sitting president.

(Reporting by Makini Brice; Editing by Will Dunham)

Responses

  1. WHY are personal attacks of Nadler considered an acceptable substitute for your point of view on the topic at hand? What does Nadler’s weight or length of service or if you consider Chairmanship of the Judicial Committee a leadership position have anything to do with the content of Mueller’s testimony? If you perceive Mueller should not say anything that is not in the written report, you are basing that on SOMETHING–post what that is. Mueller states in the written report and in the departure remarks that he did not believe he could make a decision on CHARGING a POTUS AFTER he leaves office. AG Barr has publicly stated that Mueller COULD make that decision. So WHY can he not say NOW? If Mueller’s answer is NO, WHY did Mueller not exonerate Trump of Obstruction of Justice charges? If you don’t ask Mueller, WHO is it that you want to pose that question? AG Barr stated under oath that he did not know if Mueller disagreed with his commentary on the findings—Mueller’s signature was on the released letter–Why can Mueller not be asked if that is indeed his signature? If it was forged, WHO forged it? Barr claims Mueller did not write the letter. WHO is it that you perceive CAN answer the questions?

  2. Jerry Nadler is is at best a whining little boy who always wants to have his way, well the real world doesn’t work that way and two words, Term Limits!!!!!

  3. Humpty Dumpty Nadler is a perfect example of what we don’t need in this country.

  4. To Marilyn Costello,

    Lou was obviously the smarter one.

    Mueller IS a private citizen. His report was NOT prepared as a private citizen, but as an employee of the DoJ. What you are saying is that a soldier under government command is NOT responsible if he committed atrocities BECAUSE he is no longer employed by the government. q.v. the Nuremburg trials.

    You are literally arguing that former Nazis need no longer take responsibility for their actions while working for the government.

    1. You are arguing that Mueller can not answer allegations AG Barr made under oath and in press briefings. Did Mueller compose and sign the letter Barr stated he did not believe Mueller sent? One could argue that YOU are the one arguing that those who COMMITTED crimes can not be held responsible simply because you support them. Would you hold the same position if everywhere in the Mueller report you substitute Trump’s name for Obama or Clinton? Can you answer WHY Trump is held to a different standard?

  5. Nadless is literally a moron. The DoJ commissioned Mueller. They gave him power, not you, you Jabba cosplayer.

    Here’s a thought. Instead of beating a dead horse (they are delicious enough without tenderizing)(enjoyed it in Canada before Justie Trudeau.) maybe you should do something meaningful like dealing with the border crisis.

  6. “Senior lawmaker”? Lie. Nadless has been a seat-warmer and appartchik for his betters his entire career. Name ONE piece of legislation that bears his name.

  7. Let’s all remember this whole mess originally started with hacking of Hillary’s and the DNC’s computers and making it public about Gazelle giving out debate questions in advance and the conspiracy within the Democratic Party to take down poor “Burny” (as if he ever really had a chance to begin with). We hear or see nothing of the conspiracies surrounding Clinton and the DNC working with a foreign agent to obtain an unverified dossier, or in even selling our Uranium to RUSSIANS, just prior to their emails being hacked? Hmmmmm gotta wonder????

    1. I DO wish Bernie had been able to compete fairly. It would have split the vote and we would not be hearing this idiot’s argument about the “popular vote” from those who know nothing about the electoral college (which they are trying to defeat).

      1. WHAT is it that you see as unfair treatment of Bernie? He wanted the DNC to open all primaries that state lawmakers had declared CLOSED decades ago. The DNC does not have the power to override state laws. Bernie did not want the Democrat primary delegates in RED state to count— Bernie wanted ALL the delegates to go to him if he won the state caucus/primary BUT wanted the apportionment if he lost. Bernie wanted to take DNC funds and fund raise off of DNC lists of contributors, but did not wish to donate ANY portion of the donations back to the DNC. Bernie is not as much a socialist as a he leads you to believe.—at least not when it comes to HIS money.

  8. No more Nadler. The bloated toadie is now beyond redemption and most people know it. Time for him to hibernate.

    1. Except that he has no dick (thanks Ghostbusters) it would be wonderful if he were caught in some career-ending scandal. But he’s literally a bureaucrat with power who cannot reproduce without a government job.

  9. “I think it’s incredibly arrogant of the department to try to instruct him in what to say,” Nadler added. So… yeah. This is what’s called “The pot calling the kettle black.”

  10. to marilynn #2- We are already doomed. It’s the left that has told us we only have 12 years to live if we don’t adopt the green turd deal today.

  11. To marilynn- thanks for the insult That’s ALL the prog/left lib/dims have is name calling, NOTHING else. what a wonderful party platform to run on.

  12. Those of you following this who believe TRUMP IS NOT A MONSTER are selling this country down the river & are no better then millions of Germans who looked the other way at what Hitler was doing. YOU ARE EXACTLY THE SAME!

    1. Heil National Socialism which the Dim candidates are promising.

  13. Nadler is right. The most important & simple point is that Mueller is a private citizen NOW & he NEEDS to realize that, if he complies AT ALL with William Barr we are doomed.

    1. Since he has already said that he would NOT be commenting on anything that is not in his report, you are telling him it’s just fine with you that he lies, as long as the lies are what you want to here. The man has, on numerous occasions, said that it’s ALL in his report. If he adds anything, he is a liar.

  14. Ol’ Haystacks Nads needs to keep one thing in mind…….B2 will be standing there with a perjury indictment if the crooked counsel tries to “add” to the report.

  15. Such a pointless exercise and a waste of our money. They’ll spend 90% of the time pontificating, 8% of the time being outraged and 2% of the time asking questions they will answer for him. We should turn Congress into a Reality Show just so we can vote one of them out each week.

    1. You’re describing the likely Republican game plan. Democrats on the committees are going to be a LOT more focused.

      1. Focused on what, sid? How to try to get him to lie by adding to his report? His report has been out for how long now? He has said EVERYTHING is contained in his report. What are the dims really gonna be focused on?

  16. Well, if that’s Nadler’s game plan, Mueller should refuse to testify altogether and avoid being set up for entrapment in Nadler’s sneaky perjury trap. Take it or leave it, Nadler.

  17. Jerry, you are lucky that Pres Trump didn’t claim Executive Privilidge and shut you out all together. Try acting descent for a change. Quit being such a twit. Your not winning any respect from anyone. There is plenty for Congress to do, too bad you are not smart enough to get it done.

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