Barr: Mueller's Hill testimony will be 'public spectacle'

Clay Curtis
July 10, 2019

While both former Mueller advisers are no longer in the special counsel's office - and the DOJ may not actually be able to block their testimony - Attorney General William Barr already threatened in an interview with the Associated Press earlier this week that he would step in to resist any subpoena aimed at Mueller's deputies.

The House Judiciary Committee intends to authorize subpoenas to 12 of former special counsel Robert Mueller's witnesses - including President Donald Trump's son-in-law Jared Kushner, former Attorney General Jeff Sessions, his former deputy Rod Rosenstein, former national security adviser Michael Flynn, former chief of staff John Kelly and former Trump campaign manager Corey Lewandowski according to Politico.

The barrage of subpoena authorizations marks a major expansion of the committee's investigation into obstruction of justice allegations against the president, which now includes alleged hush-money payments made on the president's behalf during the 2016 election.

"As always", Nadler continued, "I remain open to reaching a reasonable accommodation and will not issue subpoenas if the information we are seeking is voluntarily provided". In December 2018, prosecutors from the Southern District of NY said AMI admitted to "working in concert" with the Trump campaign to keep Karen McDougal, a former Playboy model, quiet about an alleged affair with Mr. Trump. Mueller pointedly said he would have exonerated Trump if he could have but did not.

Democrats have had little success so far in their attempts to investigate beyond what Mueller detailed in his 448-page report, as the White House has blocked several witnesses from answering questions.

"We're going to leave no stone unturned", said Representative Ted Lieu, a House Judiciary Democrat. National Enquirer publisher David Pecker, among others.

Her comments came a day after Barr suggested House Democrats were trying "to create some kind of public spectacle" by requiring former special counsel Robert S. Mueller III to testify next week about possible obstruction of justice by President Trump.

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Democrats believe a favorable ruling in such a case would significantly damage the White House's ability to insulate Trump from congressional investigations.

The subpoenas mark an escalation of an investigation that the Judiciary Committee launched in March, which is focusing on whether Trump obstructed justice with regard to Mueller's Russian Federation investigation, whether the president or other officials violated campaign and finance reporting laws, and potential other abuses.

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Barr enthusiastically embraced Trump's political agenda, cast Mueller's report as a vindication for the president and launched an investigation into the origins of the probe - something Trump has repeatedly said should happen. Nadler has pledged to take him to court to enforce the subpoena.

Mueller concluded there was no conspiracy on behalf of the Trump campaign to coordinate with Russian Federation to influence the outcome of the election.

Representative Doug Collins, the Republican on the House Judiciary Committee, dismissed the move on subpoenas as a partisan waste of time. "The report is my testimony".

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