Republicans are hopping mad after Mueller makes last-minute request to have his former chief of staff testify WITH him tomorrow so someone can answer questions he can’t touch
- Mueller sought to have former aide Aaron Zebley sworn in
- Former chief of staff helped former special counsel prepare for hearings
- Mueller has vowed to stick to within the parameters of his public report
- Top panel Republican said majority allowing business ‘to devolve into chaos’
- Called it an ‘apparent stunt’ and said Zebley could both advise Mueller and testify
- Served in FBI counterterrorism division, followed Mueller to private practice and joined his probe
Republicans on the House Judiciary Committee are already crying foul about Wednesday’s Mueller hearing, blasting the apparent move to have Mueller’s longtime top aide Aaron Zebley be sworn in to possibly testify alongside him.
Top committee Republican Doug Collins of Georgia fired off an angry statement Tuesday, just hours before former Special Counsel Robert Mueller was to testify, about the issue.
‘Less than 24 hours before Robert Mueller arrives, the chairman is again allowing the committee’s business to devolve into chaos. If true, the chairman’s unprecedented decision to allow a witness’s counsel to both advise him privately and simultaneously testify alongside him shows the lengths Democrats will go to protect a one-sided narrative from a thorough examination by committee Republicans,’ fumed Collins.
I SWEAR: Republicans are fuming that former Special Counsel Robert Mueller sought to have former aide Aaron Zebley sworn in
Republicans were already girding to try to blast Democratic efforts to get Mueller to dramatize or speak beyond the conclusions of his 448-page report, and President Trump has blasted an attempt he compared to getting another bite at the apple.
CNN reported that Zebley had been sworn in in case needed to answer any questions Mueller wasn’t able to answer.
He served as Mueller’s top aide in the special counsel’s office. A former FBI counterterrorism division, Zebley worked with Mueller at the FBI, followed him to private practice, then joined the Russia probe
He also left when Mueller retired and had been helping him prepare his blockbuster testimony.
Collins complained the issue ‘would now jeopardize whether tomorrow’s hearing complies with the rules of the House,’ and called it an ‘apparent stunt.’
Former Special Counsel Robert Mueller testifies Wednesday
Top committee Republican Doug Collins of Georgia (R) accused Judiciary Chairman Jerrold Nadler, D-N.Y., of pulling a ‘stunt’
A Nadler spokesman said the only scheduled witness for now is Mueller.
The move follows a letter by the Justice Department Monday warning Mueller in a letter that his testimony ‘must remain within the boundaries’ the public report. ‘Should you testify, the department understands that testimony regarding the work of the special counsel’s office will be governed by the terms you outlined on May 29,’ it said, in a reference to a comment that the report ‘is my testimony.’
A top Justice Department officials said redacted portions ‘may not be disclosed,’ and advised him not to discuss ‘uncharged third parties.’ It also cites executive privilege for matters outside the public report.
It wasn’t immediately clear whether having Zebley speak to certain matter would be a way around the admonition.
Panel chairman Rep. Jerry Nadler told CNN Tuesday that the letting wasn’t binding and he hopes Mueller won’t be guided by it.