Robert Mueller testimony: All the latest updates

US Special Counsel Robert Mueller is testifying on Wednesday before two congressional committees about his investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election and possible obstruction of justice by President Donald Trump

Mueller’s appearance before two House panels promises to be the TV event of the year in the US House, where politicians will question him for roughly five hours about the book-length report he released in April.

Democrats hope that by putting Mueller on television and highlighting the parts of the report that they believe describe Trump’s most egregious behaviour, they will be able to ignite new outrage and renew public interest in their investigations into the president. 

But Republicans are there too, and expected to defend Trump, who has condemned the probe as a “witch-hunt.” 

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Mueller’s testimony before the House Judiciary Committee began at 8:30am (12:30 GMT) and will last for three hours. After a short break, he will appear before the House Intelligence Committee at 12:00pm (16:00 GMT). 

Here are all the latest updates as of Wednesday, July 24: 

Mueller dismisses Trump’s claims of ‘total exoneration’

In answering questions from House Judiciary Chairman Jerrold Nadler, Mueller said his report did not conclude Trump did not commit obstruction of justice. 

Mueller: Russian interference ‘among most serious’ challenges

As he wrapped up his opening statement, Mueller said that Russian interference in the 2016 election is “among the most serious” challenges to American democracy. 

“This deserves the attention of every American,” he added. 

A name card for Former Special Prosecutor Robert Mueller is placed at a table before he testifies in Congress on July 24, 2019, in Washington, DC. Mueller is expected to testify about his two-year rep

A name card for Former Special Prosecutor Robert Mueller is placed at a table before he testifies [Saul Loeb/AFP] 

Mueller: Won’t comment on actions taken by Barr 

In his opening statement, Mueller said he would not comment on any actions taken by Attorney General William Barr or Congress. 

He stayed in line with what his office laid out in its report. “As I said on May 29, the report is my testimony,” he said. 

Mueller sworn in

Mueller has been sworn in. The former special counsel will now give his opening statement. 

Nadler: We have a responsibility 

In his opening remarks, House Judiciary Chairman Jerrold Nadler, a Democrat, said that Congress has a “responsibility to address the evidence” that Mueller uncovered. 

“We will follow your example, Director Mueller,” Nadler said. “We will act with integrity.  We will follow the facts where they lead.  We will consider all appropriate remedies.  We will make our recommendation to the House when our work concludes.”

House Judiciary Committee hearing begins

The first of two back-to-back hearings has started. The hearing will start with committee chairman Jerrold Nadler giving his opening statement. 

Former Special Prosecutor Robert Mueller arrives to testify before Congress on July 24, 2019, in Washington, DC. Mueller is expected to testify about his two-year report on his investigation of Russia

Former Special Prosecutor Robert Mueller arrives to testify before Congress [Saul Loeb/AFP]

Mueller testimony: What to expect

As Mueller gets ready for his day of testimony, here are six things to know before the highly-anticipated hearings

Also get a refresher on some of the key findings of the Mueller report

And a reminder of all the key players.  

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Tuesday, July 23

McConnell won’t watch Mueller testimony

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said he doesn’t intend to watch former Special Counsel Robert Mueller give evidence before Congress on Russia’s interference in the 2016 election.

The Republican told reporters on Tuesday the public already has a “pretty full picture” of Mueller’s report.

McConnell said he doesn’t know “how many times we want to see this movie again.” He said the public has “moved on past” it.

Mueller wants aide with him

Mueller has requested that a longtime associate appear alongside him when he testifies to Congress on Wednesday.

Mueller has asked that Aaron Zebley, his former chief of staff and his top aide on the Russia investigation, accompany him at the witness table during Wednesday’s hearing. That’s according to a person familiar with the negotiations who requested anonymity to discuss the matter. 

Robert Mueller set to testify before Congress on the Russia probe

Republicans are opposed to the request.

Representative Doug Collins, the Judiciary panel’s top Republican, called the move an “apparent stunt” by Democrats. He said it “shows the lengths Democrats will go to protect a one-sided narrative from a thorough examination by committee Republicans.” Trump also criticised the move. 

DOJ tells Mueller keep to report

The Justice Department has told former Special Counsel Robert Mueller not to stray beyond his report on Russian election interference when he testifies to Congress on Wednesday.

The department said in a letter that Mueller should not speak about redacted material from his report – including material pertaining to pending criminal prosecutions, “uncharged third-parties” and “executive privilege,” such as “presidential communications privileges.”

The letter is entirely in line with what Mueller has already said – which is that he doesn’t intend to speak beyond his report’s findings during Wednesday’s congressional hearings. But Democrats are preparing questions to highlight the report’s most damning details.

The department provided the letter on Monday in response to what it said was a request from Mueller about limitations or potential privilege issues affecting his testimony.

Read the full article at: aljazeera.com