By Sarah S. Goodman and Avi Shlaim in Jerusalem, March 3, 2020 13:07:00US prosecutors will ask Judge Neil Gorsuch to allow them to interview witnesses in a probe into possible collusion between President Donald Trump’s campaign and Russian agents.
The Trump administration’s move to allow Mueller to interview a key witness in a Russia-linked probe into Trump’s former campaign and former national security adviser Michael Flynn has angered some members of Congress, including Republican Senator Bob Corker, who has said he will oppose the request.
On Friday, Mueller will hold a closed-door hearing before the Senate Intelligence Committee.
He is expected to deliver testimony in front of an audience that includes several former Trump administration officials, including former CIA Director Michael Morell, former Director of National Intelligence James Clapper and former Deputy Attorney General Sally Yates.
During the hearing, Mueller’s team plans to ask questions about whether the former Trump officials should be allowed to speak publicly about their conversations with the Russians.
The White House said that during the presidential campaign, Trump and his aides discussed Russian sanctions on Russia and Flynn’s calls with the Russian ambassador to the US.
It is unclear if the Trump administration plans to make the hearing public.
The hearing will be open to the public, but will be closed to the press.
In a statement on Friday, the White House acknowledged that it was a mistake to fire Mueller and said he was fired because he failed to follow proper procedures.
But the statement said Mueller would be allowed by the administration to speak about his testimony in private.
On Thursday, Trump said Mueller should not be allowed testify before the House Intelligence Committee as he has been blocked from doing so by Senate rules.
“The rule is to keep it as far away from the cameras as possible, because if it gets out, it could hurt him,” Trump said in a televised interview with Fox News.
Mueller, a former federal prosecutor, is conducting a wide-ranging investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election.
He will reportedly look into whether there was collusion between Trump’s team and Russian operatives.
Mateusz Miciak, a professor of constitutional law at Georgetown University, told The Associated Press on Friday that the president should not allow Mueller’s testimony.
“It’s just a terrible decision for the president,” Miciak said.
“I think Mueller is a good person, he is an expert, he’s very thorough.
I just don’t think that he can come before the committee and give testimony on a broad range of issues, including the Russian interference, which the president seems to be obsessed with, and then not have the ability to go to his lawyer and say, ‘I’m sorry I can’t answer these questions.'””
The Trump White House seems to believe that they have the right to fire an investigator, but that’s not the way it works in the United States Constitution,” Micak added.
Miciak also said that the public is unlikely to see Mueller’s public testimony, which will take place in the first week of March, until a week before the March 25 congressional recess.
The Washington Post reported that Trump is considering having Flynn testify before Congress on Monday in a closed session, the same day as the committee hearing.
A statement from the House Judiciary Committee said that it had asked for a briefing with counsel to determine if Mueller’s staff has any further objections to the witness’ participation in the hearing.
The Judiciary Committee’s statement did not say whether Mueller will be allowed access to any documents related to the Russia investigation, but said that any documents that are not relevant to the inquiry should be withheld.
Meyiak said he thinks the committee will find it hard to get the testimony before Congress.
“There are many reasons why the committee would want to question Mueller, but it’s hard to imagine that they’d be able to get him,” he said.
“This would be a huge mistake for the Trump White Houses because this testimony would be so incriminating, the administration could have very strong leverage to get it to the committee,” Micik added.
“Trump’s allies would have a lot of leverage in the coming days and weeks to try to push Mueller out of the room.”
The Judiciary committee, which has jurisdiction over matters of the executive branch, said it plans to issue subpoenas for records related to Mueller’s investigation.