A new report from The Hill indicates that former Special Counsel Robert Mueller might not be giving his testimony as soon as previously thought, at the request of Democrats.
“The House Judiciary Committee is negotiating for lawmakers to have more time to question Mueller about his investigation into Russian interference and potential obstruction of justice by President Trump, the sources said,” The Hill reported. “They cautioned that the situation is fluid and is pending a final agreement by the Democrats on his appearance.”
According to the Hill’s sources, the committee is attempting to negotiate an additional 30 minutes of questioning for both Democrats and Republicans, and a spokesperson for the committee emphasized that there is no deal, and the panel is still preparing for Mueller to appear as soon as next week.
“There is no deal. At this moment we still plan to have our hearing on the 17th,” said a Judiciary Committee spokesman.
Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerrold Nadler has repeatedly declined to speak on the issue of Mueller’s impending testimony when questioned by reporters on Friday.
This news came after Attorney General William Barr infuriated congressional Democrats when he announced on Monday that he believed they were attempting to make a “public spectacle” out of their subpoena and ensuing testimony of former Special Counsel Robert Mueller, according to The Associated Press.
The attorney general said that the Department of Justice would support Mueller if he decided that he “doesn’t want to subject himself” to the congressional testimony, seeming to say that they would protect him he decided to dodge the summons to testify.
“Barr also said the Justice Department would seek to block any attempt by Congress to subpoena members of the special counsel’s team,” the AP reported.
“There’s no indication that Mueller does not wish to appear before Congress on July 17,” the AP went on. “But he put lawmakers on notice that any testimony he gives will not go beyond his 448-page report that was released in April. At a news conference in May, Mueller said the team chose the words in the report carefully and that the work speaks for itself.”
“I’m not sure what purpose is served by dragging him up there and trying to grill him,” Barr said. “I don’t think Mueller should be treated that way or subject himself to that, if he doesn’t want to.”