The Roundup: July 4 – 10
In one week’s time, Robert Mueller will testify before the House Judiciary and Intelligence Committees.
This is an important moment and couldn’t come at a better time. The majority of Americans, including numerous members of Congress, haven’t read the Mueller report or fully understand what it contains.
And Trump and his allies are determined to keep it that way. Attorney General Barr and the Justice Department are scrambling to discourage Mueller as well as some of his former team members from testifying. This is more obstructionist behavior, plain and simple. Barr gave a misleading summary of the report before its release and is continuing to cover up the facts.
The fact is that the Mueller report details an enormous amount of criminal activity. Trump’s team had more than 100 secret meetings and communications with Russia and Kremlin-linked individuals, then lied to investigators to cover it up. Mueller stated in his report that we will never know the full extent of their contacts because Trump’s team also destroyed evidence. Then, Trump personally sought to obstruct or interfere with the investigation at least 10 times, including ordering his White House counsel to lie and helping his son conceal a secret meeting with Russian operatives at their campaign headquarters.
If any other person committed these crimes, they would be headed to prison. And a few people are already on their way. Based on the evidence he found, Mueller obtained 37 criminal indictments and secured guilty pleas or convictions from seven people, including Trump’s national security adviser, personal lawyer, and campaign chairman.
Every American deserves to know the details of the Mueller report. This nationally televised hearing is an invaluable way to get the facts of the investigation out to the public. It will provide the necessary platform for the former special counsel to explain, in his own words, the evidence that he found and to cut through the noise of “no obstruction, no collusion.”
Don’t miss Mueller testifying on Wednesday, July 17. Catch up on the story so far:
The New York Times: Justice Dept. Tells Mueller Deputies Not to Testify, Scrambling an Agreement
The Justice 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 Mueller’s team, Aaron Zebley and James L. Quarles III, instructing both men not to appear. It is unclear what effect the Justice Department’s intervention will have, but it raises the prospect that a deal lawmakers thought they had struck last month for testimony from Mueller and the two prosecutors could still unravel.
Bloomberg: Schiff Says Barr’s Trying to Discourage Mueller From Testifying
A top House Democrat accused Attorney General Barr of trying to “discourage” Mueller from testifying to Congress next week, or otherwise cooperating. “He is nothing if not transparent. And he is transparently [Trump’s] agent and doing [Trump’s] bidding — which is trying to discourage Mueller from cooperating,” Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff told reporters.
The Washington Post: Attorney General Barr would rather not have Mueller explaining what his report actually says
Televised hearings have power and reach that’s missing from static news conferences or lengthy reports. One point of asking Mueller to testify is to amplify his work so that more people are familiar with it. Barr is opposed to this because it undermines his efforts to protect Trump from the report’s damaging conclusions, including 37 indictments, seven guilty pleas or convictions, and 10 instances of possible obstruction of justice.
Politico: House Dems set to subpoena Jared Kushner, Jeff Sessions and 10 other Mueller witnesses
The House Judiciary Committee will vote on Thursday to authorize subpoenas for 12 of Mueller’s witnesses — including Trump’s son-in-law Jared Kushner, former Attorney General Jeff Sessions, his former deputy Rod Rosenstein, former national security adviser Michael Flynn, former chief of staff John Kelly, and former Trump campaign manager Corey Lewandowski.
The Hill: Here are the key figures subpoenaed by Democrats in Trump probes
Here are the key individuals, entities and documents subpoenaed by House committees as part of their multi-pronged investigations into Trump, his administration, and his businesses.
Talking Points Memo: WH Blocked Key Mueller Witness From Testifying More Than 200 Times
Annie Donaldson, the former chief of staff to White House counsel Don McGahn and a crucial witness in Mueller’s investigation, was blocked from replying to questions from a House panel more than 200 times because of White House objections.
Politico: Schiff: Gates, Flynn negotiating with committee about testifying, won’t meet subpoena deadline
Former Trump campaign deputy chairman Rick Gates — one of Mueller’s crucial cooperators — is sharing documents with the House Intel Committee, and the panel is talking to lawyer for former national security adviser Michael Flynn to set up testimony. The Committee had subpoenaed both Gates and Flynn to provide documents and appear for testimony by Wednesday, but Chairman Schiff acknowledged that neither man would meet that deadline.
AP News: Federal grand jury probing GOP fundraiser Elliott Broidy
A federal grand jury in New York is investigating top Republican fundraiser Elliott Broidy, examining whether he used his position as vice chair of Trump’s inaugural committee to drum up business deals with foreign leaders.