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Robert Mueller public hearing may be delayed one week

Robert Mueller public hearing may be delayed one week

Congress is delaying testimony by former special counsel Robert Mueller, Democratic congressional sources said Friday.

Mueller had been scheduled to appear on the morning of July 17 before the House Judiciary Committee and then that afternoon before the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence.

As his hearing approached, junior members have been grousing about their apparent inability to get the chance to ask questions in the tight format.

Under a tentative agreement, the 41-member Judiciary Committee would be granted an extra hour to question Mueller, lawmakers briefed on the discussions told Politico.

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.

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The Russia-born business executive worked with Trump's former personal lawyer, Michael Cohen, on a deal to build a Trump Tower in Moscow before the 2016 election.

Neither Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerry Nadler, D-N.Y., nor intelligence committee Chairman Adam Schiff, D-Calif., had addressed the timing directly as of Friday morning.

Democrats who favor impeachment efforts against President Trump have hoped that testimony by Mueller about his report's findings would further fuel their effort.

"Everyone on the committee wants an opportunity to examine Mr. Mueller", said Representative David Cicilline, a senior House Judiciary Democrat. Under the original plan, after the open hearing with Mueller, House Democrats had proposed to question Mueller and his top lieutenants in private for an hour.

Trump has claimed Mueller's report exonerated the president of collusion and obstruction.