A new report indicates that Donald Trump’s protectors in the Justice Department are trying to control what special counsel Robert Mueller says in his public testimony this week.
According to The Hill, “The Justice Department on Monday told former special counsel Robert Mueller that he should limit his Wednesday testimony before Congress to the four corners of his public report on Russian interference.”
In a letter to Mueller, Associate Deputy Attorney General Bradley Weinsheimer wrote, “Any testimony must remain within the boundaries of your public report because matters within the scope of your investigation were covered by executive privilege, including information protected by law enforcement, deliberative process, attorney work product, and presidential communications privileges.”
More from the letter obtained by The Hill:
“These privileges would include discussion about investigative steps or decisions made during your investigation not otherwise described in the public version of your report,” Weinsheimer wrote.
“Consistent with standard practice, Department witnesses should decline to address potentially privileged matters, thus affording the Department the full opportunity at a later date to consider particular questions and possible accommodations that may fulfill the committees’ legitimate need for information while protecting Executive Branch confidentiality interests,” he added.
Rachel Maddow pointed out a wrinkle in Weinsheimer’s involvement in anything related to special counsel Mueller, noting that when then-AG Jeff Sessions appointed Weinsheimer to his DOJ post, Sessions said that Weinsheimer would have no role in Mueller’s investigation.
Now, as the MSNBC host pointed out, he is trying to tell Mueller what he can and cannot say in his public testimony.
Rachel Maddow says that a DOJ official who is supposed to have no role in overseeing the special counsel is now telling Mueller what he can and cannot say in his public testimony. #ctl #p2 #maddow pic.twitter.com/dDDaKHyLTl
— PoliticusUSA (@politicususa) July 23, 2019
Mueller is free to expand on his answers
Despite what Donald Trump’s lapdog Justice Department is telling Robert Mueller, the special counsel is free to expand on his answers and go beyond the letter of his report.
While it’s true that Mueller is likely to go by the book and not drift too far from the contents of his report, that doesn’t mean he can’t go into detail.
As PoliticusUSA’s Jason Easley wrote earlier on Monday, “Robert Mueller isn’t going to appear before the House committees and freelance, but nothing is stopping him from expanding on answers, which has to be considered a win for Democrats.”
At the end of the day, Trump and his protectors in the Justice Department may be afraid of Mueller going beyond the conclusions he laid out in his report, but the report itself is a damning enough indictment of this corrupt president.
Sean Colarossi currently resides in Cleveland, Ohio. He earned his Bachelor of Arts degree in Journalism from the University of Massachusetts Amherst and was an organizing fellow for both of President Obama’s presidential campaigns. He also worked with Planned Parenthood as an Affordable Care Act Outreach Organizer in 2014, helping northeast Ohio residents obtain health insurance coverage.