The Department of Justice has told former Special Counsel Robert Mueller that the administration expects him to limit his testimony to the House Judiciary and Intelligence Committees to material covered in his previous report and that all other topics are still covered by presidential privilege.

According to a former United States official familiar with the matter, the DOJ is “taking the position that anything outside the written pages of the report are things about which presidential privilege hasn’t been waived.”

The Trump administration has made it clear that it does not want Mueller to discuss matters outside of what he already wrote in his official report, preventing House Democrats from asking questions such as whether Mueller would have charged Donald Trump with obstruction of justice were he not the president.

The White House will not be placing lawyers in the hearing room to object to any questions they deem unsuitable, instead relying on Mueller to self-police his remarks. During the testimony of previous White House officials, such as Hope Hicks, the DOJ sent attorneys to accompany Trump aides and to object to hundreds of questions posed by the Democratic panels questioning these aides. The lack of lawyers during Mueller’s testimony shows that the administration trusts him not to go off script and discuss matters that they don’t approve of.

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In a statement made in May, Mueller asserted that if he were called to testify on his investigation, he would not provide any new evidence to prosecutors. The report “contains our findings and analysis, and the reasons for the decisions we made,” Mueller said on May 29. “We chose those words carefully, and the work speaks for itself. The report is my testimony.”

As an increasing number of Democrats clamor for impeachment, Mueller’s testimony could be the evidence needed to convince party leaders that the president is impeachable. So far top House Democrats such as Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi have refused to begin the proceedings, believing that putting the president on trial would provide political suicide for the liberals.

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