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.”
While Mueller is no longer employed by the Department of Justice, his former employer could make a legal attempt to limit his testimony about actions and information gathered while he worked as their special counsel.
While the attorney general has himself been before congress more than once, many Democrats have criticized him, saying that he appears to be acting solely in the interest of President Donald Trump, versus the interest of the country.
On such frustrated Democrat is House Intelligence Committee Chairman Rep. Adam Schiff of California, who tweeted on Monday that Barr’s comments were “no surprise.”
“Barr misled the public about Mueller’s report, and wants his own deception to stand,” Schiff wrote. “The public has a right to hear the truth, from Mueller himself, about Trump’s misconduct and ongoing national security risks.”
It’s no surprise Barr doesn’t welcome Mueller’s testimony:
Barr misled the public about Mueller’s report, and wants his own deception to stand.
The public has a right to hear the truth, from Mueller himself, about Trump’s misconduct and ongoing national security risks. https://t.co/aoDG7BWrcg
— Adam Schiff (@RepAdamSchiff) July 8, 2019