President Donald Trump on Sunday said special counsel Robert Mueller “should not testify” before Congress after signaling last week that he would not stand in the way of such a hearing.
The president accused congressional Democrats of looking for “a redo,” falsely claiming once again that Mueller’s report had exonerated him of all possible wrongdoing.
Although Mueller’s team of investigators did not find evidence proving Trump’s 2016 campaign colluded with Russia, the report outlined 10 instances of potential obstruction by the president and did not make a conclusion on that issue.
“Bob Mueller should not testify,” Trump tweeted. “No redos for the Dems!”
Trump told reporters last week that he would let Attorney General William Barr decide whether Mueller should be allowed to testify. During his testimony Wednesday before the Senate Judiciary Committee, Barr said he has “no objection” to Mueller doing so.
Democrats have repeatedly called on Mueller to testify before Congress following the completion of his far-reaching investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 election and whether Trump tried to obstruct justice as the probe proceeded.
Their bid to have the special counsel answer questions under oath intensified after news broke last week that Mueller wrote a letter to Barr in March expressing concerns that the attorney general’s short summary of the special counsel’s report sent to Congress had resulted in a mischaracterization of it before the later release of a redacted version of the probe.
“There is now public confusion about critical aspects of the results of our investigation,” Mueller wrote in his March 27 letter. “This threatens to undermine a central purpose for which the Department appointed the Special Counsel: to assure full public confidence in the outcome of the investigations.”
Barr told the Senate Judiciary Committee on Wednesday that Mueller called him to complain about media coverage of his report and denied that the special counsel took issue with his own statements about the report.
Rep. David Cicilline (D-R.I.), a member of the House Judiciary Committee, said earlier Sunday that Mueller’s representatives had agreed he would testify before the panel on the “tentative date” of May 15. Cicilline walked back his statement hours later, saying May 15 was the date the committee proposed but that Mueller had not yet agreed to it.
Senate Judiciary Chairman Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) sent a letter to Mueller inviting him to testify before his committee should the special counsel object to the conclusions Barr drew from his report’s findings.
The Justice Department did not immediately respond to HuffPost’s request for comment.
This story has been updated with the details of Mueller’s March 27 letter to Barr.