Jul 9, 2019

White House blocks former aide from answering 212 Judiciary panel questions

House Judiciary chair Jerry Nadler. Photo: Lev Radin/Pacific Press/LightRocket via Getty Images

White House lawyers blocked former deputy counsel Annie Donaldson from answering the House Judiciary Committee's questions about the Russia investigation 212 times, according to a transcript of her written testimony the panel released Monday.

Why it matters: Donaldson was former White House counsel Don McGahn's chief of staff. Her notes feature prominently in the obstruction section of former special counsel Robert Mueller's report.

The big picture: The White House previously instructed Donaldson and former communications director Hope Hicks not to testify or turn over documents related to their time in the administration.

  • Hicks became the first witness to at least partially comply with a subpoena in the committee's obstruction of justice investigation. A White House counsel sitting in on the interview blocked her from answering any questions.
  • House Judiciary Chair Jerry Nadler (D-N.Y.) announced last month he'd reached an agreement to receive written testimony from Donaldson. Though she did address some aspects of her tenure, Donaldson did not reveal any new revelations concerning the Mueller investigation.

Go deeper: Read what the Mueller report says about Hicks and Donaldson

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Schiff to Mueller: DOJ instructions have no bearing on testimony

House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff, Photo: Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff wrote to former Special Counsel Robert Mueller Tuesday to say a Justice Department letter stating he must "not go beyond" his Russia report during testimony should have "no bearing" on his congressional appearance.

The big picture: The Department of Justice wrote directions to Mueller ahead of his testimony before the House Judiciary and Intelligence Committees Wednesday. House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerry Nadler said earlier that Mueller doesn't have to comply with the DOJ's instructions, which he called "incredibly arrogant."

Go deeper: What to expect out of Robert Mueller’s day on the Hill

Keep ReadingArrowJul 24, 2019

Nadler says Mueller doesn't have to comply with DOJ letter in testimony

House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerry Nadler. Photo: Stephanie Keith/Getty Images

House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerry Nadler told CNN Tuesday that former special counsel Robert Mueller doesn't have to comply with a Justice Department letter stating he "must remain within the boundaries" of his Russia report during congressional testimony.

The big picture: The letter directed Mueller to "not go beyond" his report during testimony before the House Judiciary and Intelligence committees Wednesday. Nadler told CNN the letter was "incredibly arrogant." "He doesn’t work for them, and that letter asks things that are beyond the power of the agency to ask even if he still worked for them," he said.

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Keep ReadingArrowJul 24, 2019

Mueller's testimony delayed another week

Robert Mueller testifies in 2013. Photo: Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

The House Judiciary and House Intelligence committees delayed Robert Mueller's testimony for another week on Friday, giving lawmakers additional time for questioning, NBC's Alex Moe reports.

The big picture: Mueller is now expected to testify Wednesday, July 24. His public testimony has long been the white whale for Democratic leaders who have staved off calls to impeach President Trump until they can further "educate the public" on the contents of the special counsel's report.

Go deeperArrowJul 13, 2019