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Mueller begins high stakes testimony

Credit: Reuters - Politics
Published on July 24, 2019 - Duration: 01:39s

Mueller begins high stakes testimony

Former U.S. Special Counsel Robert Mueller arrived on Capitol Hill on Wednesday to testify at a pair of televised hearings that carry high stakes for President Donald Trump and Democrats who are split between impeaching him or moving on to the 2020 election.

Nathan Frandino reports.

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Mueller begins high stakes testimony

With the nation watching, former Special Counsel Robert Mueller on Wednesday strode into a Capitol Hill hearing room to testify for the first time - reluctantly - about his report on President Donald Trump and Russia's role in the 2016 election.

Democrats have been waiting for his testimony for months, seeking answers about his nearly 2-year probe as they consider whether to impeach Trump for his attempts to impede the investigation..

(SOUNDBITE) (English) REP.

JERRY NADLER, (D) NEW YORK, SAYING: "Director Mueller, we have a responsibility to address the evidence you have uncovered." In a last minute surprise Mueller's former deputy, Aaron Zebley, joined the hearing at Mueller's request, though the Justice Department and Republicans objected to his presence.

House Judiciary members have a lot on their mind, including what Mueller thought about Attorney General William Barr's 4-page summary of his report.

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.

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.

Democrats are also expected to push Mueller on whether the hoard of evidence his team collected could be used in future investigations of the president.

Trump took to Twitter earlier in the day to set the tone for the hearings,repeating what has become his signature claim,"No collusion.

No obstruction." Mueller's testimony is expected to be somewhat limited after the Justice Department told him to stick with the public report, saying matters within the scope of his probe were covered by executive privilege.

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