Justice Department looking to put kibosh on Mueller team testimony

One week from today, the American public will likely be glued to their television sets as Robert Mueller takes the stand in front of Congress and We The People.

Mueller’s testimony, although a testy time for the President, is certainly necessary for the good of the nation.

First, we have to consider that Mueller can and will speak to the systematic and widespread attempts by Russian ne’er do wells to interfere in our 2016 election. ¬†We would be naive to think that the Kremlin wouldn’t be vying for a repeat performance in 2020, so Mueller’s testimony in this regard could help spread public awareness of the issue before polling begins.

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Secondly, Mueller’s time on the stand will be an opportunity for lawmakers to dig into the impetus of the RussiaGate conspiracy theory, and to get answers to burning questions regarding FISA warrants, the Steele Dossier, and James Comey.

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But still, the administration seems resistant, with the DOJ working overtime to prevent two additional members of the Mueller team from testifying in separate hearings.

The department said last week it opposed testimony by Aaron Zebley and James Quarles before the Democratic-led House of Representatives’ Intelligence and Judiciary Committees, a senior congressional official told the newspaper. A Justice Department official confirmed the account and had instructed the men not to appear, the paper said.

A person familiar with the matter told Reuters the former Mueller team members were in negotiations to testify before the two panels behind closed doors. The person could not confirm the Justice Department had instructed them not to testify.

Mueller is to testify in open session before the House Judiciary and Intelligence committees on July 17. Testimony from his two aides could provide lawmakers with new information on the report and the two-year investigation.

Robert Mueller has long indicated his reticence to testify, preferring to allow his written report to speak for itself.

The former Special Counsel has indicated that he will answer questions during his hearing only with information available from the 440+ pages of the Mueller report itself.

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