23:47 GMT +315 November 2019
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    Former FBI Director Robert Mueller, the special counsel probing Russian interference in the 2016 election, departs Capitol Hill following a closed door meeting in Washington. (File)

    Mueller Won't Testify Next Week, May Be Subpoenaed – Judiciary Committee Chief

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    Earlier, President Trump accused the Democrats of "looking for a redo" on the Russia-Trump investigation by using Robert Mueller after the special counsel's report found that was no basis to accuse his campaign of colluding with the Russian government to help Trump win the 2016 US presidential election.

    Robert Mueller will not testify before the House Judiciary Committee next week, but will make an appearance at some point, committee chairman Jerrold Nadler told reporters on Friday, according to The Hill.

    "It won't be next week. We're negotiating now. We're talking to him and the Justice Department," Nadler said.

     "He will come at some point. If it's necessary, we will subpoena him," he added, without specifying why Mueller would not appear at a hearing next Wednesday apart from saying that it "just hasn't developed."

    Mueller's absence from next week's hearing is a blow to Congressional Democrats, who had hoped that the special counsel would testify regarding the findings of his report on the Russiagate investigation in an attempt to build a case on whether there was cause to impeach the president.

    Last Sunday, President Trump urged Mueller not to testify before Congress, tweeting that the "angry Democrats" had already spent over $35 million and two years investigating alleged Trump-Russia ties and came up empty.

    Last week, Attorney General William Barr did not show up to a Judiciary Committee hearing on the Mueller report, with House Democrats responding by voting to hold him in contempt for failing to hand over the full, unredacted version of Mueller's report to lawmakers. Following the vote, Nadler announced that the US was "in a constitutional crisis."

    Senate Majority leader Mitch McConnell dismissed the Democrats' claims, saying the Mueller report closed the book on alleged collusion between Russia and Trump, and accusing the Democrats of suffering from "Trump derangement syndrome."

    On Wednesday, Trump invoked executive privilege over the unredacted Mueller report, with Nadler accusing the White House of "blanket defiance" of Congress's rightful demands. White House Press Secretary Sara Sanders responded to Nadler's claims by saying Trump's actions were a response to a "blatant abuse of power" by Nadler and his committee's "unlawful and reckless demands."

    Last month, the Department of Justice released a redacted version of the 448 page report on Mueller's 22 month long investigation into alleged collusion between the Trump campaign and Russia to influence the outcome of the 2016 presidential race. The report concluded that there were no signs of collusion between the Trump and Russia, but refused to fully exonerate Trump on possible obstruction of justice. Congressional Democrats have attempted to use the report's findings to determine whether there is case to launch impeachment proceedings against the president.

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    Tags:
    testimony, Mueller report, Nancy Pelosi, Mitch McConnell, William Barr, Jerrold Nadler, Donald Trump, Robert Mueller, United States
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