Robert Mueller's congressional testimony delayed by a week

Congressional Democrats are anxious to hear from the former special counsel.

July 12, 2019, 9:39 PM

Former special counsel Robert Mueller's highly anticipated congressional testimony about his investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 election has been delayed by one week, according to a press release issued Friday evening.

Mueller will now appear before the House Judiciary Committee and House Intelligence Committee on July 24 for two separate hearings.

The testimony before the committees was originally scheduled for July 17, but when the Judiciary Committee asked for more time to question Mueller, he asked for more time to prepare. The two sides agreed to allow the additional time and move the hearing back.

Mueller is scheduled to spend three hours testifying before the Judiciary Committee.

"We are pleased to announce that Special Counsel Mueller will provide additional public testimony when he appears before our committees," Congressmen Jerrold Nadler, D-N.Y., and Adam Schiff, D-Calif., said in a statement Friday. Nadler heads the House Judiciary Committee and Schiff heads the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence.

"At his request, we have agreed to postpone the hearing for one week, until July 24, at which time Mr. Mueller will appear in public before the House Judiciary Committee followed by the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence,” the statement read.

Chairman Adam Schiff speaks to the media at the Capitol in Washington D.C., March 6, 2019.
Mark Wilson/Getty Images, FILE

"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 statement continues. "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.”

The Judiciary Committee made its request for more time after some members expressed frustration that only roughly half of its members would be allowed time to ask questions in a two-hour period, sources told ABC News.

Chairman of the House Judiciary Committee Rep. Jerry Nadler arrives at a hearing in which former White House Counsel Don McGahn was subpoenaed to testify, May 21, 2019 on Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C.
Alex Wong/Getty Images, FILE

Committee Democrats also wanted the extra time after learning the Justice Department would attempt to block their additional request for closed door questioning with two of Mueller's top deputies: James Quarles and Aaron Zebley. The deputies will not be testifying behind closed doors when Mueller appears.

Judiciary Committee member Steve Cohen, D-Tenn., conceded to ABC News on Friday that the panel would not get to question Zebley and Quarles.

The ranking Republican on the House Judiciary Committee released a statement after Democrats announced the format for the Mueller hearing.

"I appreciate news the chairman has taken seriously the concerns Judiciary Republicans raised this week. The new format will allow all Judiciary Republicans to question the special counsel on July 24,” Congressman Doug Collins, R-Ga., said in his statement.

Special Counsel Robert Mueller walks past the White House after attending services at St. John's Episcopal Church, in Washington, March 24, 2019.
Cliff Owen/AP, FILE

Mueller broke a nearly two-year silence when he made a brief public statement at the Department of Justice in late May.

During his comments, Mueller said he had no further plans to speak publicly on matters that were addressed in his more than 400-page report.

"The report is my testimony," Mueller said.

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