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Lawmakers make deal to delay Mueller hearing one week

Lawmakers make deal to delay Mueller hearing one week

The House Judiciary and Intelligence committees have been negotiating to give lawmakers more time to question the former special counsel.

Mueller's limited availability meant restrictions on the amount of time for some members to ask questions and also made it appear that some members wouldn't be able to speak at all.

In this March 24, 2019 photo, then-special counsel Robert Mueller walks past the White House, after attending St. John's Episcopal Church for morning services, in Washington.

Two back-to-back hearings are scheduled to run just a few hours, with additional time for testimony behind closed doors.

Many members of the Judiciary Committee were concerned that two hours is insufficient time to discuss even half of the 10 areas of potential obstruction of justice by Trump identified in the Mueller report.

However, the source said that the final plans and format for Mueller's testimony are still not set in stone and could change. However, congressional Democrats made it clear that they wanted to hear from him regarding the investigation and report. Mueller will testify publicly before House panels on July 17 after being subpoenaed. He did not say whether Trump obstructed justice during his probe, citing a Justice Department policy saying a sitting president can not be charged with a crime.

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Mueller's investigation was not able to establish evidence of collusion between Russian Federation and the Trump 2016 presidential campaign.

A Judiciary Committee spokesman emphasized that next week's hearing is still on the books.

But Mueller refrained from recommending criminal charges against the president, saying he had no power to do so.

The one-week delay scrambles preparations across Washington for what's one of the most high-profile hearings in years.

Mr Mueller said there was not enough evidence to establish a conspiracy between the Trump campaign and Russian Federation, but he said he could not exonerate Mr Trump on obstruction. Many people have chalked this up to Mueller's by-the-book personality and his obvious desire not to get caught up in the partisan whirlwind that has developed around the report and the ongoing question of whether or not to begin impeachment proceedings against the President. This will be especially true of Republicans on both committees, who will seek to use their time to undermine Mueller and his investigation and to advance the ridiculous conspiracy theories that have been advanced by the President, his sycophants in Congress, and his propagandists at Fox News and elsewhere in the conservative media.