Trump says Mueller should not testify before Congress after date announced for public questioning

President complains as Democrat announces tentatively scheduled meeting with special counsel

Chris Riotta
New York
Sunday 05 May 2019 19:22
Kamala Harris asks William Barr if he personally reviewed evidence in Mueller report

Donald Trump has urged Special Counsel Robert Mueller not to testify to the US Congress about his report on Russian interference in the 2016 election.

The president’s latest comments arrived after he said he would not allow former White House counsel Don McGahn – a prominent figure in the special counsel’s nearly 400-page report – to testify to the House as it continues probing election interference and the Trump campaign’s interactions with Russian operatives.

“After spending more than $35,000,000 over a two year period, interviewing 500 people, using 18 Trump Hating Angry Democrats & 49 FBI Agents – all culminating in a more than 400 page Report showing NO COLLUSION – why would the Democrats in Congress now need Robert Mueller to testify,” Mr Trump said in a tweet.

“Are they looking for a redo because they hated seeing the strong NO COLLUSION conclusion?” he continued. “There was no crime, except on the other side (incredibly not covered in the Report), and NO OBSTRUCTION. Bob Mueller should not testify. No redos for the Dems!”

The special counsel’s report found numerous examples of potential obstruction of justice on the part of the president, including instances in which he asked Mr McGahn to fire Mr Mueller after his appointment in 2017.

Upon learning he would be investigated by the special counsel, the report says Mr Trump said “Oh my God. This is terrible. This is the end of my presidency. I’m f****d.”

The report also outlined Russia’s “sweeping and systemic” interference in the election, conducting a multi-pronged influence campaign that favoured Mr Trump over his former opponent, Hillary Clinton.

The president’s tweet also arrived after Representative David Cicilline said on Fox News Sunday a “tentative date has been set” for Mr Mueller to provide testimony to the House Judiciary Committee, of which he is a member.

The Democrat later clarified on Twitter: “Just to clarify: we are aiming to bring Mueller in on the 15th, but nothing has been agreed to yet.”

“That’s the date the Committee has proposed, and we hope the Special Counsel will agree to it,” he continued, adding, “Sorry for the confusion.”

Mr Trump’s attorney general William Barr testified before the Senate Judiciary Committee last week for one day, before failing to show for another day of testimony on Thursday. During his appearance, Mr Barr was grilled over his handling of the special counsel’s report and forced to defend his summary which sought to clear the president of any wrongdoing despite numerous examples of misconduct throughout the report.

“I wasn’t hiding the ball,” the attorney general said at one point.

Democrats have now accused him of lying to Congress about knowing whether members of the special counsel’s team were “frustrated” by his four-page summary.

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“When a president can end an investigation in which he is implicated simply because he thinks it unfair, it stands to reason he can end others on the same pretext. There is no limiting principle to this lawless idea,” Democrat Adam Schiff wrote in a recent opinion article.

He added, “That makes Bill Barr the second most dangerous man in the country. It also renders him grossly unfit for office.”

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