Ahead of Wednesday's scheduled testimony by Special Counsel Robert Mueller, the Trump Regime is warning that anything not in the unredacted text of the Mueller Report is either classified or protected by executive privilege, and that Mueller cannot speak a word of it.
In extensive discussions since the former special counsel was subpoenaed to testify on June 25, department officials have emphasized that they consider any evidence he gathered throughout the course of his investigation to be “presumptively privileged” and shielded from public disclosure.
The Justice Department is “taking the position that anything outside the written pages of the report are things about which presidential privilege hasn’t been waived,” the former U.S. official said.
The White House and the Justice Department, meanwhile, have signaled they don’t intend to place lawyers in the room during Mueller’s highly-anticipated testimony before the House Judiciary and Intelligence committees on Wednesday.
Without a presence at the hearing, administration officials would have little recourse to prevent Mueller from going off-script and revealing details of his investigation that the White House considers off-limits. They are poised instead to rely on Mueller to self-police his remarks, indicating that they are confident the former special counsel will stick to carefully planned comments that mirror the public results of his investigation.
Their stance cuts against President Donald Trump’s own protestation that Mueller shouldn’t be allowed to testify, which he reiterated on Monday. “Highly conflicted Robert Mueller should not be given another bite at the apple,” Trump said in a Monday morning tweet.
The president has accused Democrats of trying to conduct a “do-over” of Mueller’s investigation into Russia’s interference in the 2016 election — a probe that he has falsely claimed “exonerates” him.
Mueller’s posture will likely deprive Democrats of an opportunity to get a clear answer from Mueller about whether he would have charged Trump with obstruction of justice if he were not the president — a reference to Mueller’s adherence to a Justice Department policy prohibiting the indictment of a sitting president — and other burning questions.
But some Democrats have said that even if Mueller simply reads from his report word-for-word, it would help educate the American public about Trump’s attempts to thwart the Russia probe.
Jim Popkin, a spokesman for Mueller, said he was unsure whether Mueller was in contact with the Justice Department about aspects of his investigation that the administration believes would be off-limits during his testimony.
“In terms of DOJ and the Hill, there have been discussions for purposes of scheduling and clearly … to understand what the expectations are,” Popkin told POLITICO. “But they have not seen the [opening] statement. They’ve not provided the statement to either DOJ or anyone in the House.”
Popkin emphasized that Mueller’s opening statement “will stick to the four walls of the report as much as that is possible.”
Mueller himself has stated that his congressional testimony would not go beyond what is contained within his report.
Considering 90% of America has no idea whatsoever what's actually in the text of the Mueller Report, it's not a bad idea to read the best parts to America live on TV. But the second Mueller does that, House Republicans are going to scream bloody murder and try to interrupt or even end the hearings outright, and if House Republicans can't end the hearings, I fully expect Trump Regime lawyers will show up with US Marshals in tow to escort Mr. Mueller out of the building.
In other words, I don't expect much Wednesday other than a comic mess of House Republicans acting badly on TV, and we know for a fact that Americans simply don't care about that.
Finally, it was Mueller himself who asked for clarification from Attorney General Barr and the DoJ, and they gave it to him. He never planned on going outside the "four walls" of the unredacted Mueller probe, but most likely the GOP will act like he did anyway, especially when he refuses to answer GOP questions about Peter Strzok texts or Carter Page.
We'll see what goes down, but I would keep expectations low. America has made up its mind that Trump isn't worth getting rid of.