Trump's Department of Justice continues their attempted cover-up, pushing two top Mueller aides to not testify before Congress.
The Justice Department told two of special counsel Robert Mueller's top deputies to refuse to testify before Congress, the New York Times reported on Tuesday.
The House Judiciary and Intelligence Committees were negotiating closed-door testimony from Aaron Zebley and James L. Quarles III, two of Mueller's top staffers who worked on the Mueller report. But last week, the Justice Department barged in and asked that the two men not appear before Congress, even though neither currently works at the department.
Because neither man is currently employed by the department, Trump's cronies cannot legally bar them from appearing before the committees. But the request "could have a chilling effect" and "give them cover to avoid testifying" if they don't want to, the Times said.
According to the Wall Street Journal, the deputies could shed more light on Mueller's investigation into both the Trump campaign's numerous contacts with Russian operatives as well as Trump's repeated attempts to obstruct justice.
The reports of the DOJ's attempt to muzzle Mueller's deputies follow Attorney General William Barr's flip-flop on whether or not Mueller himself should testify.
When the Mueller report was released, Barr said he had no problem with Mueller's public testimony. But earlier this week, Barr had a change of heart, whining that Mueller speaking the truth about the report would be nothing more than a "public spectacle."
Barr may be worried because of all the misinformation he disseminated after the Mueller's report was finished. Initially, Barr insisted that the report completely vindicated Trump of all crimes, which was an obvious lie. In fact, Mueller went out of his way to write that the report does not exonerate Trump, and evidence in the report lays out Trump's criminal behavior.
Barr knows that Mueller and his deputies will give Congress and the American people an honest assessment of the situation rather than political spin meant to provide cover for Trump.
Rather than encourage members of Mueller's team to speak the truth, the Department of Justice is looking to silence them.
Published with permission of The American Independent Foundation.