The House Judiciary Committee and Special Counsel Robert Mueller have reportedly been unable to come to an agreement on how much of Mueller’s requested testimony will take place in public and how much of it is to stay behind closed doors.
The Washington Post reported on Tuesday that Mueller wants his public testimony to only cover subjects that come from his publicly issued Russia report. Democrats want to question Mueller about whether he thinks Donald Trump obstructed justice and to determine what the special counsel thought of Attorney General William Barr‘s handling of Mueller’s report.
Last month, it was revealed that Mueller sent a letter to Barr outlining that he thought Barr’s letter summarizing the report could undermine the public’s confidence in the investigation.
“The summary letter the Department sent to Congress and released to the public late in the afternoon of March 24 did not fully capture the context, nature, and substance of this office’s work and conclusions,” Mueller said in his letter. “There is now public confusion about critical aspects of the results of our investigation. This threatens to undermine a central purpose for which the Department appointed the Special Counsel: to assure full public confidence in the outcome of the investigations.”
DOJ spokeswoman Kerri Kupec responded to the letter by saying that Barr called Mueller.
“In a cordial and professional conversation, the Special Counsel emphasized that nothing in the Attorney General’s March 24 letter was inaccurate or misleading,” Kupec said. “But, he expressed frustration over the lack of context and the resulting media coverage regarding the Special Counsel’s obstruction analysis. They then discussed whether additional context from the report would be helpful and could be quickly released.”
“However, the Attorney General ultimately determined that it would not be productive to release the report in piecemeal fashion … the Attorney General and the Special Counsel agreed to get the full report out with necessary redactions as expeditiously as possible,” Kupec added. “The next day, the Attorney General sent a letter to Congress reiterating that his March 24 letter was not intended to be a summary of the report, but instead only stated the Special Counsel’s principal conclusions, and volunteered to testify before both Senate and House Judiciary Committees on May 1 and 2.”
In recent days, AG Barr was held in contempt for refusing to comply with a demand for the full Mueller Report and underlying evidence. Meanwhile, former White House counsel Don McGahn has agreed to side with a White House directive not to testify.
[Image via Alex Wong/Getty Images]