"Special Counsel Robert Mueller, in his first public appearance since being appointed to lead the Russian Federation investigation, said it was "not an option" to charge President Trump with a crime, per Department of Justice policy, but maintained that if they had "confidence" that the president did not commit a crime, they 'would have said so, '" reports Fox News.
Mueller had been scheduled to appear on the morning of July 17 before the House Judiciary Committee and then that afternoon before the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence. The committees appeared on track to restrict the amount of time that members could speak or which members in attendance might be able to question Mueller.
Kennedy said Mueller may be "exercising more wisdom than zeal" and trying to avoid the "political trap". Judiciary has 41 members. As initially planned, each committee would have had just two hours to question Mueller, and more junior lawmakers on the Judiciary panel would have been shut out.
"We are formally closing the special counsel's office and as well I am resigning from the Department of Justice to return to private life", Mueller added.
Democrats want to highlight each of those 10 episodes in their hearing, well aware that most of the public has not read the report.
The issue of time has been a major bone of contention, according to the Democratic aide.
Trump has claimed Mueller's report exonerated the president of collusion and obstruction.
U.S. Special Counsel Robert Mueller makes a statement on his investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 U.S. presidential election at the Justice Department in Washington, U.S., May 29, 2019.
Mueller's long-awaited testimony will come as more than 80 House Democrats have called for opening impeachment proceedings against Trump, arguing that he has ignored the Constitution that he took an oath to defend while repeatedly refusing to cooperate with congressional investigations. The investigation concluded in March, and the following month the Justice Department released the office's report documenting its work.
However, the source said that the final plans and format for Mueller's testimony are still not set in stone and could change.
Under a new plan, sources said the House Judiciary panel would get an additional hour for questions.