House Judiciary Chairman Jerry Nadler called the Justice Department “incredibly arrogant” Tuesday for directing former special counsel Robert Mueller to adhere to the 448-page report he issued earlier this year during his upcoming testimony before the committee.
On Monday, the Justice Department, in a letter signed by Associate Deputy Attorney General Bradley Weinsheimer and sent to Mueller, said that the former special counsel “must remain within the boundaries of your public report because matters within the scope of your investigation were covered by executive privilege” during his hearing before the House committee on Wednesday morning. The letter was sent in response to Mueller’s request for guidance about his testimony.
“I don’t think it’s much of an impediment simply because Bob Mueller had indicated repeatedly that he was going to do exactly that. I think it’s incredibly arrogant of the department to try to instruct him as to what to say. It’s a part of the ongoing cover-up by the administration to keep information away from the American people,” Nadler told CNN’s Alisyn Camerota on “New Day.”
Nadler, a New York Democrat, added that he doesn’t think the department’s letter will “have a real impact” on Mueller’s testimony.
“He does not have to comply with that letter — 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.
Nadler told Camerota that by having Mueller testify before the committee, the panel’s “goal is to break the lies of the President and the attorney general in saying that the report found no collusion, found that there was no collusion, that there was no obstruction and exonerated the President.”
“As I said, it found 10 instances of the President obstructing justice. It found instances of the President instructing people to lie to investigators and to lie to the American people. And the American people need to hear this from Mueller,” he said.
Nadler and other Democrats have argued that Attorney General William Barr misrepresented Mueller’s findings through a four-page summary that Democrats say glossed over the 10 episodes of obstruction of justice Mueller documented and the numerous contacts between Russians and President Donald Trump’s 2016 campaign.
Nadler also weighed in on growing demands within his party to begin an impeachment inquiry into Trump, saying that he thinks there needs to be overwhelming evidence against the President to impeach him.
“In order to impeach a president I think there are really three tests. One, do you conclude that there’s real proof that the President has committed impeachable offenses … number two, are these impeachable offenses serious offenses? And number three, is there enough evidence public so that impeaching the President would not tear the country apart?” he said.