The Latest: McConnell won’t be watching Mueller testimony


WASHINGTON (AP) – The Latest on congressional testimony by former special counsel Robert Mueller (all times local):

2:55 p.m.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell says he doesn’t intend to watch former special counsel Robert Mueller testify before Congress on Russia’s interference in the 2016 election.

The Republican told reporters Tuesday the public already has a “pretty full picture” of Mueller’s report.

McConnell said he doesn’t know “how many times we want to see this movie again.” He said the public has “moved on past” it.

The former special counsel is set to appear Wednesday in his first extended public remarks since being appointed more than two years ago to lead the probe.

Mueller’s 448-page report released in April did not establish that Trump’s campaign conspired or coordinated with Russia. But the special counsel did not exonerate President Donald Trump of wrongdoing in obstructing the investigation.


2:05 p.m.

Former special counsel Robert Mueller has requested that a longtime associate appear alongside him when he testifies to Congress on Wednesday.

Mueller has asked that Aaron Zebley, his former chief of staff and his top aide on the Russia investigation, accompany him at the witness table during Wednesday’s hearing. That’s according to a person familiar with the negotiations who requested anonymity to discuss the matter.

Republicans are opposed to the request.

Georgia Rep. Doug Collins, the Judiciary panel’s top Republican, called the move an “apparent stunt” by Democrats. He said it “shows the lengths Democrats will go to protect a one-sided narrative from a thorough examination by committee Republicans.”

Mueller is scheduled to testify before the House Judiciary and intelligence committees.

-By Mary Clare Jalonick


9:09 a.m.

The Justice Department has told former special counsel Robert Mueller not to stray beyond his report on Russian election interference when he testifies to Congress on Wednesday.

The department says in a letter that Mueller should not speak about redacted material from his report – including material pertaining to pending criminal prosecutions, “uncharged third-parties” and “executive privilege,” such as “presidential communications privileges.”

The letter is entirely in line with what Mueller has already said – which is that he doesn’t intend to speak beyond his report’s findings during Wednesday’s congressional hearings. But Democrats are preparing questions to highlight the report’s most damning details.

The department provided the letter Monday in response to what it said was a request from Mueller about limitations or potential privilege issues affecting his testimony.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell of Ky., right, next to Sen. John Barrasso, R-Wyo., speaks to the media after a weekly policy luncheon, Tuesday, July 16, 2019, in Washington. “Everybody ought to tone down their rhetoric,” said McConnell. (AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin)