The much-anticipated congressional testimony of Special Counsel Robert Mueller has been pushed back a week to July 24, lawmakers said on Friday.
The delay reportedly was due to negotiations over how much time Mueller will spend testifying before the House Judiciary and Intelligence committees. Mueller now will testify before the Judiciary Committee at 8:30 a.m. on July 24, and before the Intelligence Committee at 12 p.m., NPR reported.
The upside of this is that both Republican and Democratic lawmakers will be given more time to question Mueller about his investigation into Russian attacks on the 2016 presidential election in the U.S., possible involvement by the Trump campaign, and obstruction of justice by Trump and others in his inner circle. Mueller’s 400-plus-page report on the findings of his investigation was released in April.
Mueller was subpoenaed by lawmakers last month, but he has said he likely would offer little beyond what’s in his report.
The bad news about the delay is that July 24 is exactly one day before lawmakers take off for a month of summer recess. So, don’t expect Mueller’s testimony to result in any immediate action in the House in terms of impeachment efforts.
“Democrats who favor impeachment proceedings against President Donald Trump have hoped that Mueller speaking directly to Americans about the findings in his report — including evidence that Trump attempted to obstruct his investigation — would reinvigorate their effort, but the timing leaves impeachment advocates little room to seize on any momentum before lawmakers scatter to their districts,” Politico reported.
In related news, the slow-moving train that is the Democrats’ half-assed inquiries into whether the sitting president committed various felonies continued to chug along this week with the issuance by the House Judiciary Committee of a dozen new subpoenas to witnesses described in Mueller’s report.
Per The New York Times:
Among the prominent figures to be subpoenaed by the Democrats are Jeff Sessions, the former attorney general; Rod J. Rosenstein, his deputy who appointed Mr. Mueller, the special counsel; John F. Kelly, the former White House chief of staff; Jared Kushner, the president’s son-in-law and senior adviser; and Corey Lewandowski, a former Trump campaign manager. Democrats also authorized a subpoena for David J. Pecker, who as head of American Media helped Mr. Trump during the 2016 presidential campaign buy the silence of a pornographic film actress and a former Playboy model, both of whom claimed to have had sexual relationships with him.
And the full House will vote on Tuesday to hold Attorney General William Barr and Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross in contempt of Congress for ignoring subpoenas related to the inquiry into the administration’s attempt to add a citizenship question to the 2020 Census.
Faced with numerous adverse court rulings, Trump said on Thursday he would not add the question to the census, but would instead order various government agencies to provide the Commerce Department with citizenship-related data.