With Mueller on Justice staff, Barr has sway over testimony
WASHINGTON (AP) — Special counsel Robert Mueller was expected to step down days after concluding his investigation in March, but he remains a Justice Department employee and the department won’t say why.
Whatever role Mueller now has, keeping him on the Justice Department payroll offers one clear advantage to the Trump administration: It makes it easier for Attorney General William Barr to block Mueller from testifying before Congress.
Democrats, who control the House, have been eager to hear from Mueller.
Barr has said repeatedly he doesn’t object to Mueller testifying. But he may defer to the wishes of President Donald Trump. Trump tweeted Sunday that Mueller “should not testify.”
While he’s a Justice Department employee, Barr could delay or block Mueller from voluntarily appearing.
Congress could issue a subpoena to compel Mueller’s appearance.