Politics: Politics, policy and procedure of Mueller’s upcoming Congressional testimony - PressFrom - US

PoliticsPolitics, policy and procedure of Mueller’s upcoming Congressional testimony

11:30  12 july  2019
11:30  12 july  2019 Source:   foxnews.com

Mueller testimony delayed by one week

Mueller testimony delayed by one week It's unclear why Robert Mueller’s testimony was delayed until July 24.

The politics of Robert Mueller ' s upcoming congressional testimony .

Special counsel Robert Mueller could testify before the House Judiciary Committee as early as next week, in what could become the most consequential congressional hearing of the Trump administration.

Politics, policy and procedure of Mueller’s upcoming Congressional testimony© Al Drago/AP Photo Special counsel Robert Mueller departs dinner at Martin's Tavern in Georgetown, Monday, May 6, 2019, in Washington. (AP Photo/Al Drago)

Three omnipresent factors dominate everything on Capitol Hill. They’re known as “the three P’s.” Politics, policy and procedure.

Politicians may quibble as to whether the politics are right about an issue. Are members politically in step with their districts or states on a topic? Maybe so. Maybe not. They don’t have to be. And, if a lawmaker strays too far afield from his or her voters, they often pay the price.

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

Barr: Mueller's Hill testimony will be 'public spectacle' Attorney General William Barr says Democrats are trying to create a "public spectacle" by subpoenaing Special Counsel Robert Mueller to testify before Congress about the Russia investigation. 

WASHINGTON — Robert S . Mueller III, the former special counsel, has agreed to testify in public before Congress next month about his investigation into Russia’ s election interference and possible obstruction of justice by President Trump, House Democrats announced on Tuesday night.

Politics and Activism. Mueller ' s Congressional Testimony Could Be Trump's Worst Nightmare. Mueller believed that there was nothing in his testimony that could possibly move the needle; it maintained absolute fidelity to his report (which, he proclaimed, was his testimony ), and added no

Lawmakers wrestle constantly about policy. This is the right approach for defense. No, this is the right policy for defense. No, you’re both wrong. Pols may be at odds over how to handle issues at the border, immigration, health care or even the debt ceiling. Their disposition may be right or flawed. But it doesn’t matter. Lawmakers don’t have to be right on the policies they support or reject.

And then there is procedure.

The politics can be off-kilter. The policy can be iffy. But the procedure cannot be out of alignment. Congressional rules are the Congressional rules. The Constitution is the Constitution. House and Senate precedent is House and Senate precedent. The only one of the three P’s which must be on target is the procedure.

This brings us to next Wednesday’s hearings with Special Counsel Robert Mueller before the House Judiciary and Intelligence Committees. The committees are still negotiating with Mueller’s team about the structure of the hearing. First of all, Mueller was only willing to come under a subpoena. So, the House issued a subpoena. Now, Mueller’s agreed to only submit to two hours of questioning apiece for both panels. But two hours may not be sufficient.

Democrat confident majority of Democrat caucus will be in favor of impeachment after Mueller testimony

Democrat confident majority of Democrat caucus will be in favor of impeachment after Mueller testimony Robert Mueller's much-anticipated testimony may have been delayed for a week, but at least one Democrat has already made up his mind on what should happen after the former special counsel speaks on the Hill. require(["medianetNativeAdOnArticle"], function (medianetNativeAdOnArticle) { medianetNativeAdOnArticle.getMedianetNativeAds(true); }); House Budget Chairman John Yarmuth D-Ky., said he's confident at least half of the Democratic caucus will come out in favor of impeaching President Trump if Mueller's congressional testimony goes according to plan.

On the same day that Mueller will testify to two House committees, President Donald Trump will hold a 'Keep America Great!' rally in North Carolina. Trump has used his Twitter account to attack Mueller ’ s upcoming testimony . “Robert Mueller is being asked to testify yet again. He said he could only stick

WASHINGTON — The dramatic public testimony to Congress on Wednesday morning by President Trump’ s former lawyer, Michael D. Cohen, could intensify the legal issues facing the president in the criminal and civil investigations that are swirling around him, legal experts said.

There is a time problem. House Rule XI, Clause 2(J) says that “each committee shall apply the five-minute rule during the questioning of witnesses in a hearing until such time as each member of the committee who so desires has had an opportunity to question in each witness.”

In other words, everyone is required to get five minutes to pose questions.

The Judiciary Committee is comprised of 41 members: 24 Democrats and 17 Republicans. If the committee abides by the House rule, that’s 205 minutes of Q&A alone. Three hours and 25 minutes. And things on Capitol Hill always consume much more time than expected.

Things are a little better for the Intelligence Committee. That panel has 22 members: 13 Democrats and nine Republicans. That would entail 110 minutes or an hour and 50 minutes. Still, there’s not much wiggle room.

Consider this: There are almost always opening statements by the chair, ranking minority member and the witness. Housekeeping consumes a few minutes. At a hearing of this magnitude, there’s a high possibility for disruptions from the audience and “parliamentary inquiries” from members about how the panel is proceeding. Those issues could start to devour the allocations pretty fast.

House Democrats seeking testimony from two Mueller deputies: report

House Democrats seeking testimony from two Mueller deputies: report House Democrats reportedly want to hear from two of former special counsel Robert Mueller's deputies in closed-door testimony next week as Mueller himself prepares to testify before two House committees.The Wall Street Journal reported Tuesday that Democratic lawmakers on the Judiciary and Intelligence panels are hoping to secure testimony from James Quarles and Aaron Zebley, two prosecutors with the Justice Department who previously worked on Mueller's team. Their requests come as Attorney General William Barr has threatened to block any of Mueller's aides from testifying.

Remember, Mueller specifically said that his investigation did not exonerate Trump. Question: Would Mueller ’ s upcoming congressional testimony backfire against the Dems? Could Mueller obtain a gag order against Trump to prevent him from disparaging the validity of Mueller ' s future criminal cases?

The topic when Mueller appears before Congress next month will be an even more explosive one. The former special counsel is scheduled to testify on July 17 before the House Judiciary and Intelligence committees about his investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 election and possible

On the first day of confirmation hearings for Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh last September, senators wrangled for one hour and 17 minutes over procedure, documents, dilatory tactics and endured various crowd disruptions before Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley (R-IA) could finally read more than 12 words of his opening statement. All of that was even a couple of weeks before anyone heard anything about Kavanaugh’s accuser Christine Blasey Ford.

So what happens if lawmakers don’t get to engage Mueller in questions? Unclear. But the procedure would be off.

No one is quite sure where this is going.

House Judiciary Committee Democrats held a lengthy, closed-door session about the structure of the hearing on Wednesday night. Most lawmakers emerged with few answers. Nearly all replied that things were “in flux.” Reporters staking out the conclave even asked if “in flux” was a unified talking point Democrats agreed to. They denied it.

“These are ongoing discussions,” said Rep. Lou Correa (D-CA) as he headed down a corridor to avoid reporters.

Justice Dept. Tells Mueller Deputies Not to Testify, Scrambling an Agreement

Justice Dept. Tells Mueller Deputies Not to Testify, Scrambling an Agreement The Justice Department is seeking to discourage Robert S. Mueller III’s deputies from testifying before Congress, potentially jeopardizing an agreement for two of the former prosecutors to answer lawmakers’ questions in private next week, according to two government officials familiar with the matter. The department told the House Intelligence and Judiciary Committees last week that it was opposed to the testimony and had communicated its view to the two former members of Mr. Mueller’s team, Aaron Zebley and James L. Quarles III, according to a senior congressional official familiar with the discussions.

Mueller ' s report detailed extensive Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election but he did not find a criminal conspiracy between the Trump campaign and Moscow. He did not recommend charging any Trump associates as agents of the Russian government or with campaign finance violations.

Noting that Mueller is still an employee of the Justice Department, House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerry Nadler said Trump’s claim of executive privilege could succeed in delaying the House’s efforts to access Mueller ’ s report and hear his testimony .

“Is this going to be settled tonight?” asked yours truly.

“It’s ongoing discussions,” replied Correa. “It may not be settled until the day of the hearing.”

Rep. Debbie Mucarsel-Powell (D-FL) is a freshman member of the Judiciary Committee. She’d likely be one of the last members to question Mueller, due to her lack of seniority. Reporters asked if she’d be allowed to question Mueller.

“We are talking on the format. We haven’t decided yet,” replied Mucarsel-Powell. “We’re still negotiating with Mueller’s team on the timing and how much time we’re going to have.”

Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee (D-TX) is one of the most outspoken members on the Democratic side of the aisle. She rarely shies away from a reporter’s question in the hall or a TV camera. But not Wednesday night. Jackson Lee headed straight for the elevator.

“We are preparing for a full hearing with Mr. Mueller,” said Jackson Lee matter-of-factly as she slid into an elevator, the door closing on cue.

And it’s not just Democrats who are perturbed.

“I’m really irritated,” said Judiciary Committee member Rep. Debbie Lesko (R-AZ), who just joined the House 14 months ago. “I don’t even get to question him? This is just plain wrong. I’ve been elected just like anybody elsewhere and for the leadership in the committee to decide that only certain members and certain members even on (the Democratic side) of the aisle – that’s just plain wrong.”

Confusion hangs over Mueller testimony, as Dems plan marathon hearings

Confusion hangs over Mueller testimony, as Dems plan marathon hearings House Democrats are planning to turn former Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s highly anticipated congressional testimony next week into a marathon string of hearings, setting the stage for what could be hours of back-to-back questioning by dozens of lawmakers in public and closed-door settings. require(["medianetNativeAdOnArticle"], function (medianetNativeAdOnArticle) { medianetNativeAdOnArticle.getMedianetNativeAds(true); }); A number of details, though, are still being ironed out, with the scheduled hearing just a week away.

In a May statement, Mueller said any testimony would not reveal information that has not already been made public in the special counsel report. Meanwhile, Democrats openly backing impeachment proceedings for Trump are reportedly banking on Mueller ' s testimony to give their cause a boost.

Robert S . Mueller Special Counsel United States Department of Justice Washington, D.C. 20024. Re: Request for Testimony on Alleged Obstruction of Justice. Further, we all agree that your office and the Congressional Committees have received the full cooperation and testimony of both present

Rep. Martha Roby (R-AL) tried to engage Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerry Nadler (D-NY) on the issue during a meeting of the panel Thursday morning.

“Could you lay out for us what exactly, with respect to the Muller hearing next week, what exactly you agreed to and why you agreed to it?” asked Roby.

Nadler finally responded after a pregnant and awkward pause.

“I’m not going to comment on that at this hearing. It is beyond the scope of this hearing,” replied Nadler.

The consternation for this hearing anyway, exacerbated by the time constraints. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) said she wouldn’t infuse herself into the debate in an effort to preserve the institution’s rules or to broker an agreement.

“I wish we had more time. But I’m glad we have the time we have,” said Pelosi. “On distribution of timing in committees, I’ll leave that up to the chairmen.”

So, Mueller is coming next Wednesday. The politics of having Mueller come could be right or wrong. The policy stances of Democrats and Republicans on the Russia probe could be right or wrong.

And if they only stick to two hours for each committee – thwarting many members from asking questions under House rules, the procedure is wrong.

Trump to hold 2020 rally on day of Mueller's testimony.
President Donald Trump will be holding a campaign rally in North Carolina on July 17 — the day that former special counsel Robert Mueller is expected to testify before Congress. Trump's reelection campaign has announced he will host a "Keep America Great" rally at Williams Arena in Greenville that evening. Mueller is scheduled to publicly testify before the House Judiciary and Intelligence committees. Democrats are hoping to draw more attention to the report that Mueller gave to the Justice Department in March. It detailed Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election and reviewed several episodes in which Trump tried to influence Mueller's probe.

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