Democratic lawmakers on Wednesday will finally have their chance to speak with Special Counsel Robert Mueller, when the former FBI director testifies on Capitol Hill about his report on President Donald Trump and Russia's meddling in the 2016 U.S. election.
(SOUNDBITE) (English) U.S. SPECIAL COUNSEL ROBERT MUELLER, SAYING: "We are formally closing the special counsel's office." Nearly four months after ending his probe of President Donald Trump and Russia's role in the 2016 election, on Wednesday Special Counsel Robert Mueller will finally - and reluctantly - testify on Capitol Hill.
It's the moment Democrats have been waiting for as they weigh whether to impeach Trump for his attempts to derail Mueller's probe.
(SOUNDBITE) (English) REP.
JERRY NADLER, (D) NEW YORK, SAYING: "I think just the fact, just if he says what was in the report, and says it to the American people so they hear it, that will be very important." One question important to Democrats: whether Mueller was instructed to END his probe by Attorney General William Barr when he took over the Justice Department.
Also of prime interest, whether Mueller will want to correct the record about his report's findings after Barr issued a 4-page summary of his report.
Mueller had said Barr's summary "did not fully capture the context, nature and substance" of his nearly two-year investigation.
The probe did not establish the Trump campaign colluded with Russia but left unanswered whether Mueller was convinced there was no conspiracy, or if he was simply unable to collect enough evidence to make that call.
And finally, Mueller is sure to be asked whether he agrees with this: SOUNDBITE) (English) ATTORNEY GENERAL WILLIAM BARR, SAYING: "Nonetheless, the White House fully cooperated with the Special Counsel's investigation." (SOUNDBITE) (English) U.S. PRESIDENT DONALD TRUMP, SAYING: "There's no nothing.
They're wasting their time." Mueller's report failed to clear Trump of obstruction of justice and in fact cited 10 instances in which Trump sought to impede the probe.
(SOUNDBITE) (English) U.S. SPECIAL COUNSEL ROBERT MUELLER, SAYING: "If we had had confidence that the president clearly did not commit a crime, we would have said so." Despite Democrats' enthusiasm for questioning Mueller, the Justice Department in a letter on Monday told Mueller to limit his testimony to the public report, saying matters within the scope of his probe were covered by executive privilege.
Former special counsel Robert Mueller is defending his office's prosecution of Roger Stone. As part of Mueller's Russia investigation, Stone was convicted of lying to Congress, witness tampering and obstructing Congress. In an op-ed for the Washington Post, Mueller said Stone is still a convicted felon, despite President Donald Trump's commutation of Stone's sentence. Because his sentence has been commuted, he will not go to prison. But his conviction stands.
The U.S. Supreme Court on Thursday agreed to hear a bid by President Donald Trump's administration to avoid disclosing to the House Judiciary Committee grand jury materials related to former Special Counsel Robert Mueller's report documenting Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election, but justices likely won't rule on the case until after the Nov. 3 election. Colette Luke has more.
Justice Department prosecutor Aaron Zelinksy will testify to Congress this week about the sentencing of former GOP strategist Roger Stone. According to Business Insider, Zelinsky will say that senior leadership improperly interfered in Stone's sentencing recommendation for political reasons. Zelinsky worked on the former special counsel Robert Mueller's team during the FBI's Russia probe. Stone's conviction was one of the most high profile victories they secured.
Donald Trump, for the first time, has confirmed the US conducted a covert cyberattack in 2018. The attack was against Russia's Internet Research Agency, according to reports at CNN. The Internet Research Agency is a troll farm blamed for interference in the 2016 presidential election. Trump gave confirmation during an interview with reporters.
[NFA] President Donald Trump on Monday took a swipe at health experts in his government leading the U.S. response to the coronavirus, and one of them, Dr. Anthony Fauci, answered with an appeal for states to stick to guidelines to snuff out a surge in cases. Chris Dignam has more.
[NFA] Geoffrey Berman, the top federal prosecutor in Manhattan who was ousted last month as his office led a probe into President Donald Trump's personal attorney Rudolph Giuliani, told lawmakers on Thursday that U.S. Attorney General William Barr had pressured him to resign. Colette Luke has more.
[NFA] Attorney General William Barr on Friday ordered the establishment of a task force to counter what he called "anti-government extremists" committing violence as protests against police brutality convulse the United States. This report produced by Jillian Kitchener.
The FBI is investigating a hate-crime report lodged by a Black civil rights activist in Indiana who said he was assaulted by several white men threatening to lynch him before a group of bystanders and friends intervened to stop the attack. This report produced by Yahaira Jacquez.
Joe Biden is against the legalization of marijuana. However, Se. Ed Markey says Biden may not be able to prevent it. Markey said if Democrats reclaim the senate and White House they would “move very quickly” to legalize marijuana. Markey said Democrats are positioned to advance marijuana reform as soon as they have a majority in both chambers of Congress. Biden remains opposed to adult-use legalization. “From my perspective, this is another issue that’s just right there on the ballot in November.”
California’s governor on Monday clamped new restrictions on businesses, reports HuffPost. The rules also include the state’s two largest school districts, Los Angeles and San Diego. He stated children would not return to class as coronavirus cases and hospitalizations soared. Governor Gavin Newsom, a Democrat, ordered another round of shutdowns. “It’s incumbent upon all of us to recognize soberly that COVID-19 is not going away anytime soon, until there is a vaccine and/or an effective therapy.
[NFA] State election officials face budget cuts after tax revenues plunged in the virus-stricken economy, with consequences that could undermine voters’ faith in the polls. This report produced by Zachary Goelman.
Novartis agreed to pay more than $729 million to settle U.S. government charges it paid illegal kickbacks to doctors and patients to boost drug sales, the U.S. Department of Justice said this week. Ciara Lee reports
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said the House of Representative won’t impeach AAttorney General Bill Barr. According to Business Insider, Barr is set to testify before the House in July. Two Department of Justice whistleblowers testified before the House Judiciary Committee. They said Barr has been involved in improper political interference. Pelosi said: "Anyone who saw that testimony will know that Barr is a mess and a disgrace to the Department of Justice."