Mueller hearing might be delayed and lengthened so more members can question him
14 July, 2019, 13:14
As originally planned, each committee would have had only two hours to question Mueller, while more junior lawmakers on the Judiciary panel would have been shut out, the outlet reported.
Lawmakers began to consider a delay when Judiciary Committee members saw that numerous panel's less senior lawmakers would not get time to ask questions.
Under the previous agreement, Mueller would appear for two hours each before the Judiciary and Intelligence committees.
Mueller has expressed his reluctance to testify and said he won't go beyond what's in his report.
Judiciary Committee member Steve Cohen, D-Tenn., conceded to ABC News on Friday that the panel would not get to question Zebley and Quarles. Around 80 Democrats have said they think an impeachment inquiry should be launched to bolster their efforts, but House Speaker Nancy Pelosi has so far rebuffed those calls.
Mueller and House Judiciary Chairman Jerrold Nadler have been negotiating the framework of the hearing for weeks and announced yesterday that the special counsel's testimony, initially scheduled for next Wednesday, July 17, would last no more than two hours.
They want to extract information from the former special counsel and spotlight what they say are his most damaging findings against US President Donald Trump. After a brief break, the House Intelligence Committee will convene for additional public testimony beginning at 12:00 pm.
In a statement Saturday, Norton said she asked Chairman Elijah E. Cummings (D-Md.) for the delay, which he accepted.
Democrats want to highlight each of those 10 episodes in their hearing, well aware that most of the public has not read the report.
A Judiciary Committee spokesman emphasized that next week's hearing is still on the books. It made no closing suggestion on whether or not there was obstruction of justice by Trump.
Mr Mueller also said there was not enough evidence to establish a criminal conspiracy between Mr Trump's presidential campaign and the Kremlin.
Trump and Barr had opposed to Mueller testifying before the Congress. The issue arose after some members were concerned that they wouldn't have time to ask Mr. Mueller questions under the time constraints.
It's unclear whether Mueller's testimony will give Democratic investigations new momentum. And those on the Judiciary Committee who weren't in line to get questions were up in arms they might not get their shot to question Mueller with millions tuning in.