- The Washington Times - Tuesday, July 23, 2019

Rep. Jim Himes said Tuesday a Justice Department letter telling former special counsel Robert Mueller to stay within the confines of his report during his House testimony is “meaningless.”

“This is a long tradition of this particular White House making up privileges out of whole cloth. The notion that somehow an investigation of the president and the president’s people is subject to executive privilege or any other privilege is absurd,” the Connecticut Democrat said.

“By the way, Mueller is talking to Congress, Congress doesn’t need to recognize any privileges other than the Fifth Amendment privileges. The letter is meaningless,” he added.

Mr. Mueller, a former Justice Department employee, retired after the conclusion and release of his report.

Mr. Himes said the letter doesn’t change anything for tomorrow.

“The letter is not rooted in any law, it’s not rooted in anything. Mueller can pretty much say anything he wants other than disclosing classified information. So I don’t think the letter means a lot,” he said.

Mr. Himes added that what matters is “Mueller has said he would stay within the four corners of the report.”

“One of the challenges here has been, if you’ve watched Mueller’s testimony to Congress historically, he is a man of very very few words. So one of the challenges that we have is to give him the questions that bring the report to life,” the congressman said.

Mr. Mueller will testify before the House Judiciary and Intelligence committees Wednesday.

If Mr. Mueller follows the Justice Department’s advice, House Democrats will be unable to ask questions outside of the report, including whether President Trump would have been indicted if he wasn’t president.

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