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Congress Delays Robert Mueller Hearings One Week Amid Dispute Over Questions

Special counsel Robert Mueller spoke at the Department of Justice on May 29 about the Russia investigation.
Carolyn Kaster
Special counsel Robert Mueller spoke at the Department of Justice on May 29 about the Russia investigation.

Updated at 9:20 p.m. ET

Congress has delayed testimony by former special counsel Robert Mueller one week to permit lawmakers to get more time to question him, committee leaders said on Friday.

Mueller had been scheduled to appear on the morning of July 17 before the House Judiciary Committee and then that afternoon before the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence.

That was put on hold after grumbling by some members of Congress over the rules of procedure for the sessions.

Mueller's limited availability meant restrictions on the amount of time for some members to ask questions and also made it appear that some members wouldn't be able to speak at all.

Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerry Nadler, D-N.Y., and intelligence Chairman Adam Schiff, D-Calif., said late on Friday that moving Mueller's appearance to July 24 would give members of Congress more time with him.

"The House Judiciary Committee will convene on July 24 at 8:30 a.m. with special counsel Mueller testifying in public for three hours," the leaders said.

They continued: "After a brief break, the House intelligence committee will convene for additional public testimony beginning at 12:00 p.m. All members—Democrats and Republicans—of both committees will have a meaningful opportunity to question the special counsel in public, and the American people will finally have an opportunity to hear directly from Mr. Mueller about what his investigation uncovered."

It wasn't immediately clear why the new date made a difference or whether Nadler specifically might be able to relax some of the potential restrictions he'd been contemplating before.

The Judiciary Committee has more members than the intelligence committee. Ranking Member Doug Collins, R-Ga., had complained earlier this week that the Democratic majority was dividing the panel into "haves and have-nots."

Copyright 2021 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

Kelsey Snell is a Congressional correspondent for NPR. She has covered Congress since 2010 for outlets including The Washington Post, Politico and National Journal. She has covered elections and Congress with a reporting specialty in budget, tax and economic policy. She has a graduate degree in journalism from the Medill School of Journalism at Northwestern University in Evanston, Ill. and an undergraduate degree in political science from DePaul University in Chicago.
Tim Mak is NPR's Washington Investigative Correspondent, focused on political enterprise journalism.
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