Russia investigation special counsel Robert Mueller will not testify to Congress on July 17, as had been scheduled, the House Judiciary Committee announced on Friday. Instead, Mueller’s testimony will be delayed by one week to July 24. As part of the agreement to delay his testimony, Mueller agreed to sit for an extra hour of questioning by the House Judiciary Committee, according to a Politico report.
The hearing will get underway at 8:30 a.m. ET on Wednesday, July 24, and will run for three hours, ending at 11:30, according to a statement by committee chair Jerrold Nadler posted via Twitter.
Mueller’s testimony had been cast into doubt earlier this week, as The Inquisitr had reported, when Attorney General William Barr instructed two of Mueller’s top aides to refuse to testify. The two aides, who were expected to provide additional details and context for Mueller’s findings, are private citizens and not bound to obey Barr’s order. As of Friday, whether or not they would testify remained unclear.
Also unclear, according to Politico, was whether the House Intelligence Committee would also be granted an extra hour of Mueller’s time. The 74-year-old former special counsel — who previously spent 12 years as director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation — is scheduled to begin his testimony before the Intelligence Committee at 12 p.m ET on July 24.
On Monday, Barr cut an interview with the Associated Press where he appeared as if he were attempting to discourage Mueller from testifying, decrying Mueller’s upcoming testimony as a “public spectacle,” and saying that if Mueller chose to defy the congressional subpoena and back out of his date with Congress, he would support his decision to do so.
On Friday, President Donald Trump also griped about Mueller’s appearance before the two House committees, saying “How many bites of the apple do you get?” and adding that, in his view, there is nothing Mueller “can say” to the committees, as quoted by The Washington Post.
President Trump: "There's nothing he can say. He's written a report. The report said no collusion and it it said effectively no obstruction because there's no obstruction." pic.twitter.com/ZQZzAb3Nqw— The Hill (@thehill) July 13, 2019
“He’s written a report. It said no collusion, and it said, effectively, no obstruction,” Trump said, as quoted by The Washington Post. “They want to go it again and again and again because they want to hurt the president before the election.”
In fact, in his report — available for reading online via The New York Times — Mueller said that Trump was not cleared of obstruction of justice, and detailed 10 incidents in which Trump appeared to obstruct — or attempt to obstruct — the investigation into his 2016 campaign’s ties to Russia.
Mueller’s report also failed to declare that there was “no collusion” between Trump and Russia — only that the investigators found “insufficient evidence” to charge anyone in the campaign with striking an agreement with the Russian government to surreptitiously influence the election. But as The Inquisitr reported, Mueller appears to have committed a serious legal error in reaching that decision, because federal election law specifically states that no “agreement or formal collaboration” is required to establish illegal election cooperation.