Jul 23, 2019

Pelosi's guide to the Mueller hearings

Cover of House Dems' message document.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi's office will blast out a six-page memo to all members of the Democratic caucus Tuesday on how party leadership wants members to frame tomorrow's hearings for former special counsel Robert Mueller.

Why it matters: The document, which reads like an election ad, is Democrats' version of the short summary Attorney General Bill Barr released days after Mueller's report was submitted to the Justice Department.

  • A Democratic leadership aide said Pelosi wants members to drive home the message that the chaos consuming President Trump "did not begin, nor does it end, with Mueller."
  • "This is back to the basics," the aide added. "We want to show that what took place was an unprecedented sweeping assault on American democracy. We think that context is lost."

The breakdown: The first four pages are a collection of what Pelosi's office sees as the most important and damaging quotes from Mueller's report.

  • Pages five and six speak to how the caucus will try to continue this fight in the fall, using the same tactics Congress implemented post-Watergate — a mixture of more aggressive oversight and passing sweeping reforms to combat money in politics and promote government ethics and transparency.

The Dem leadership aide said that they will also launch a social media campaign to coincide with Mueller's testimony, in which they are asking celebrities and outside supporters to retweet passages from the report.

  • They'll also prepare a "war room" to deal with rapid response messaging.

Go deeper: What to expect from the Mueller hearings

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The big picture: Mueller — who refused to read directly from the report during his appearances, denied Democrats some of the cinematic wins they'd hoped for — was generally concise with his responses, often asking members to repeat their questions and directing them to refer to the wording in his report.

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DOJ to Mueller: Testimony should stay within boundaries of Russia report

Special Counsel Robert Mueller. Photo: Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

A senior Justice Department official wrote to former Special Counsel Robert Mueller Monday, telling him that his upcoming congressional testimony should "not go beyond" his report on the Russia investigation, Fox News first reported.

The big picture: Mueller is due to testify before the House Judiciary and Intelligence Committees from 8:30 a.m. Wednesday. The letter, signed by Associate Deputy Attorney General Bradley Weinsheimer, states that Mueller "must remain within the boundaries of your public report because matters within the scope of your investigation were covered by executive privilege."

Go deeperArrowJul 23, 2019