With all eyes turning towards the House in anticipation of former Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s testimony which is to begin on Wednesday, the Department of Justice (DOJ) has said that Mueller’s testimony must not stray from what was written in his report.
According to Fox News, a Justice Department official has told Mueller that his upcoming testimony to House lawmakers “must remain within the boundaries” of the public, redacted version of his report.
Mueller was given the edict in a letter obtained by Fox News on Monday evening.
The letter, which was signed by Associate Deputy Attorney General Bradley Weinsheimer, states: “Dear Mr. Mueller: I write in response to your July 10, 2019 letter concerning the testimonial subpoenas you received from the House Judiciary Committee (HJC) and House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence (HPSCI).
Your letter requests that the Department provide you with guidance concerning privilege or other legal bars applicable to potential testimony in connection with those subpoenas.”
After stating the decision to testify is Mueller’s to make, the letter continues: “But the Department agrees with your stated position that your testimony should be unnecessary under the circumstances. The Department generally does not permit prosecutors such as you to appear and testify before Congress regarding their investigative and prosecutorial activity.
In addition, the Department already has taken the extraordinary steps to make almost your entire report, as well as a substantial volume of your underlying investigative material, available to the committees.
“Should you testify, the Department understands that testimony regarding the work of the Special Counsel’s Office will be governed by the terms you outlined on May 29 — specifically, that the information you discuss during your testimony appears in, and does “not go beyond,” the public version of your March 22, 2019 report to the Attorney General or your May 29 public statement.”
The letter concludes, “Finally, any testimony must remain within the boundaries of your public report because matters within the scope of your investigation were covered by the executive privilege, including information protected by law enforcement, deliberative process, attorney work product, and presidential communications privileges.”
Mueller Will Testify
As we all know now, Mueller will testify tomorrow, but we assume he will be bound the conditions outlined in the DOJ letter, which came to him after a deal was struck earlier this month for Mueller to give extended testimony as part of an agreement for him to appear before congressional lawmakers later this month, Democratic Party officials said at the time.
Mueller had been scheduled to testify on July 17 about the findings of his two-year Russia probe after he was subpoenaed by the panels last month. His highly anticipated appearance was pushed back at his request, Judiciary Chairman Jerrold Nadler, D-N.Y., and Intelligence Chairman Adam Schiff, D-Calif., said in a joint statement.
You can read the entire letter from the DOJ to Mueller here.