Attorney General William Barr will have the final say on whether Special Counsel Robert Mueller will testify before Congress about his report on the Russia investigation, President Trump said Thursday.
“I’m going to leave that up to our very great attorney general,” Trump told reporters, according to Roll Call. “He’ll make a decision on that.”
Barr -- who has said he doesn't object to Mueller testifying -- has authority to block Mueller from appearing before Congress because the special counsel is a Justice Department employee.
Congressional Democrats have pushed for Barr to release the unredacted version of Mueller's 400-page report, to no avail. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., and House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerrold Nadler, D-N.Y., have said the actions of Trump and Barr amount to a "constitutional crisis."
“President Trump has taken a series of actions over his two years as president where he has genuinely pushed the boundaries, across a whole range of things: criticizing sitting federal court judges, the way he talks about the media, and now the way that he is challenging the power of Congress,” Senate Judiciary Committee Chris Coons, D-Del., said Wednesday.
Also Wednesday, the House Intelligence Committee subpoenaed the Justice Department for Mueller's full report and any underlying evidence. The action came hours after the House Judiciary Committee voted to hold Barr in contempt of Congress for not providing those materials. Barr has until next Wednesday to comply.
Trump has repeatedly claimed the Mueller report exonerates him from allegations that his campaign colluded with Russian agents in a bid to influence the 2016 presidential election. The report noted that no evidence was found of the Trump campaign colluding with Russia, but it doesn’t formally exonerate him.
Mueller was also unable to clear Trump of obstruction of justice.
“There was no crime,” Trump said. “It was a witch hunt.”
Rep. David Cicilline, D-R.I., said Sunday that a tentative date of May 15 was set for Mueller to appear before the House Judiciary Committee. Cicilline said that while Mueller can't be forced to appear, he's received no indication that Mueller would not testify, during an appearance on “Fox News Sunday.”
“Obviously, until the date comes, we never have an absolute guarantee,” he said. “The White House has so far indicated they would not interfere with Mr. Mueller's attempt to testify; we hope that won't change.”
That same day, Trump reiterated his innocence of collusion accusations on Twitter and criticized Democrats for wasting resources investigating him.
"No redos for the Dems!" he tweeted.