On Monday, the US Justice Department told Mueller that he should limit his testimony before Congress and remain within the “boundaries” of his “public report.”
“Any testimony must remain within the boundaries of your public report because matters within the scope of your investigation were covered by executive privilege, including information protected by law enforcement, deliberative process, attorney work product, and presidential communications privileges,” Associate Deputy Attorney General Bradley Weinsheimer wrote in a letter to Mueller obtained by multiple news sources.
The letter suggests that Mueller is unlikely to testify on any matters not discussed in the redacted version of his nearly 500-page report on alleged Russian interference into the 2016 election, despite the likelihood of a push by Democrats to get Mueller to focus his testimony on US President Donald Trump’s potential obstruction of justice.
“[A]mong the MSNBC crowd … watching them the last couple of days, they’re starting to get anxious about this [the testimony],” Kavanagh told Loud and Clear hosts John Kiriakou and Brian Becker.
“Mueller has been very clear, and I think he's going to be very self-disciplined about this. He doesn't want to go beyond what he said in the report. And whatever they [Democrats] want to say about this, the report’s language is very clear about this conclusion: that there was no collusion or coordination, tacit or implicit between the Trump campaign and the Russian government or troll farm. He will try to reaffirm, and neither the Republicans nor the Democrats will challenge him on that, that the Russians had this systematic interference campaign, although the Trump campaign had nothing to do with it,” Kavanagh explained.
According to Mueller, Russian intelligence officers, who were part of Russia's Main Intelligence Directorate of the General Staff, or GRU, launched a “concerted attack” on the US “political system,” allegedly using “sophisticated cyber techniques” to hack into computers and networks used by then-Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton’s campaign. The emails retrieved during the hack were then published by WikiLeaks on July 22, 2016, just before the 2016 Democratic National Convention.
“It's ridiculous that [the Democrats are claiming there] was some kind of huge, coordinated, systematic campaign by the Russian government. The big indictment is about the GRU agents. WikiLeaks announced the existence of [the emails] and that they were going to put those emails out before the Mueller report says [hacker and supposed DNC email thief] Guccifer 2.0 met with and exchanged documents with WikiLeaks. So, even if they proved that the GRU stole something, they didn’t prove … that’s the way it got to WikiLeaks. So it’s a whole big mess. And if people question him [Mueller] on those things specifically, he’s going to start having to say, ‘Did you look at the servers? Did you determine that the GRU did this?’ These are questions that I bet people are going to ask him,” Kavanagh explained.
Kavanagh also told Sputnik he suspects that Mueller will claim his investigation was unrelated to the Steele Dossier.
In 2016, Christopher Steele, a former head of the Russia Desk for British Intelligence, compiled a series of 17 memos alleging conspiracy between the Trump campaign and the Russian government. Private investigative firm Fusion GPS hired Steele to compile the documents. The firm was also hired by attorneys for Clinton’s campaign and the DNC to investigate Trump, who was at the time running for president as a Republican.
“I suspect [Mueller will say]: ‘My report, my investigation started after all of that came into play, and I didn’t rely on that [the Steele Dossier] in any way, shape or form.’ He can legitimately say, ‘Talk to someone else about the Steele Dossier,’” Kavanagh told Sputnik.