Published: Fri, July 12, 2019

Special counsel Robert Mueller’s hearing could be delayed

Special counsel Robert Mueller’s hearing could be delayed

House Democrats are considering a delay of special counsel Robert Mueller's high-profile hearing next week because of concerns over the short length of the scheduled hearings before two committees.

Lawmakers familiar with the matter told the news outlet that one reason for the delay was a negotiation about how much time they would have to question Mueller.

The hearing was originally scheduled for July 17.

Lawmakers have been eager to grill the special counsel about his 22-month investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 elections and subsequent probe into whether President Donald Trump tried to obstruct that investigation.

Mueller, the Democrats know, will be tough to crack.

Combined with the five-minute limit for each questioner, a two-hour window to ask questions means only about 11 Judiciary Committee members from each party would have had an opportunity. Under the tentative agreement, which was described to POLITICO by lawmakers briefed on the talks, the Judiciary Committee would be granted an extra hour to question Mueller. But Representative Steve Cohen, a Democrat, told reporters they will not appear after the Justice Department directed them not to.

The committees began to consider a delay when Judiciary Committee members balked at the unofficial arrangement for Mueller, because numerous panel's less senior lawmakers would not get time to ask questions.

Judiciary Committee ranking member Rep. Doug Collins, R-Ga., complained on Wednesday that the panel had been divided into "haves and have-nots". But some of the committee's 24 Democrats and 17 Republicans could still be left out.

Mueller's investigation did not find evidence of collusion between Russian Federation and the Trump 2016 presidential campaign.

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