Wednesday, July 10, 2019

Briefly Noted: DoJ Opposes Congressional Testimony By Mueller Aides

WASHINGTON, July 10 (Reuters) - The Justice Department is trying to prevent two former members of Special Counsel Robert Mueller's team from testifying behind closed doors as Mueller prepares for a public appearance before lawmakers next week, the New York Times reported on Wednesday. 
The department said last week it opposed testimony by Aaron Zebley and James Quarles before the Democratic-led House of Representatives' Intelligence and Judiciary Committees, a senior congressional official told the newspaper. A Justice Department official confirmed the account and had instructed the men not to appear, the paper said. 
A person familiar with the matter told Reuters the former Mueller team members were in negotiations to testify before the two panels behind closed doors. The person could not confirm the Justice Department had instructed them not to testify. 
Mueller is to testify in open session before the House Judiciary and Intelligence committees on July 17. Testimony from his two aides could provide lawmakers with new information on the report and the two-year investigation. 
Justice Department representatives were not immediately available for comment on the Times' report.

I guess we'll see. My off the cuff opinion--subject to correction--is that DoJ can instruct former employees not to answer questions regarding matters that they worked on.

In context, "DoJ" obviously means "Bill Barr."


  1. Isn't part of this DOJ maintaining its prerogatives regarding the Special counsel and the governing law and regulations regarding same. I.e., the Mueller report speaks for itself, and any staff is not in a position, nor authorized, to talk, comment, answer interrogatory questions.

    This looks like legislative branch making inquiries into executive branch responsibilities--an investigatory process that only speaks by its final decisions, to indict and prosecute, or not.

    1. Absolutely. Barr's whole career in government legal matters has been about protecting and maintaining executive branch prerogatives.