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Barr: Mueller's Hill testimony will be 'public spectacle'

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Updated: July 08, 2019 03:23 PM

Attorney General William Barr on Monday accused Democrats of trying to create a "public spectacle" by subpoenaing Special Counsel Robert Mueller to testify before Congress about the Russia investigation.

In an interview with The Associated Press, Barr said the Justice Department would support Mueller if he decides he "doesn't want to subject himself" to congressional testimony. Barr also said the Justice Department would seek to block any attempt by Congress to subpoena members of the special counsel's team.

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There's no indication that Mueller does not wish to appear before Congress. But he put lawmakers on notice that any testimony he gives will not go beyond his 448-page report that was released in April. At a news conference in May, Mueller said the team chose the words in the report carefully and that the work speaks for itself.


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Special counsel Robert Mueller to testify before House panels


"I'm not sure what purpose is served by dragging him up there and trying to grill him," Barr said. "I don't think Mueller should be treated that way or subject himself to that, if he doesn't want to."

Mueller no longer works for the Justice Department, but the department could attempt to limit his testimony about decisions he made as special counsel.

Mueller will appear before lawmakers in both public and private sessions on July 17. Despite the limitations Mueller placed on his own testimony, Democrats insisted the American public be allowed to watch him respond to questions for the first time since he was appointed special counsel in May 2017.

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