The Department of Justice directed former special counsel Robert Mueller to limit his testimony before Congress Wednesday to the public 448-page report he issued earlier this year.
Associate Deputy Attorney General Bradley Wensheimer sent a letter to Mueller on Monday, outlining the limits of his testimony in response to a July 10 letter Mueller sent to the agency requesting guidance concerning “privilege of other legal bars applicable to potential testimony” in connection to the subpoenas issued by two House committees.
“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,” Weinsheimer wrote.
Weinsheimer added that Justice Department witnesses should decline to address any “potentially privileged matters” to allow the agency time to consider the questions and provide the committees with information while “protecting Executive Branch confidentiality interests.”
Mueller is also set to deliver a prepared opening statement that was not required to be cleared through the Justice Department and his spokesman Jim Popkin said no department officials, including Attorney General William Barr, have seen it.
Mueller is a private citizen after stepping down as special counsel following the completion of the report and is appearing to testify after being subpoenaed by the House judiciary and intelligence committees.
Weinsheimer reiterated that it is Mueller’s decision to testify, “but the department agrees with your stated position that your testimony should be unnecessary under the circumstances.”
In a public statement in May after releasing the report, Mueller declared that the report “is my testimony.”
“If you listen to that statement, he made it clear you can basically expect him to stick to the report,” Popkin said.
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