Justice Department says it expects Robert Mueller to stay in his lane at this week's blockbuster hearing

Robert MuellerRobert Mueller is sworn in during a hearing before the House Judiciary Committee in June 2013.Alex Wong/Getty Images

  • The Justice Department sent a letter on Monday to former special counsel Robert Mueller, emphasizing that it expects him to "not go beyond" the public version of his report during a highly anticipated public hearing on Capitol Hill on Wednesday.
  • Mueller, a private citizen after resigning from the Justice Department, is scheduled to publicly testify on the Russia investigation after receiving a subpoena from House lawmakers.
  • Mueller's testimony is highly sought-after by Democratic lawmakers, and there has been speculation about whether new information on the Russia investigation would be revealed.
  • However, Mueller stated he would limit any potential testimony to the 448-pages of the report.
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The Justice Department sent a letter on Monday to former special counsel Robert Mueller, emphasizing that it expects him to "not go beyond" the public version of his report during a highly anticipated public hearing on Capitol Hill on Wednesday.

Mueller, a private citizen after resigning from the Justice Department in late May, is scheduled to publicly testify on the Russia investigation after receiving a subpoena from House lawmakers.

"The decision to testify before Congress is yours to make in this case, but the Department agrees with your stated position that your testimony should be unnecessary under the circumstances," Associate Deputy Attorney General Bradley Weinsheimer said in the letter.

"The Department generally does not permit prosecutors such as you to appear and testify before Congress regarding their investigative and prosecutorial activity," he added.

Mueller's testimony is highly sought-after by Democratic lawmakers. However, in May, Mueller stated he would limit any potential testimony to the 448-pages of the report.

"The report is my testimony," Mueller said during a press conference in May. "I would not provide information beyond that which is already public in any appearance before Congress."

"So beyond what I have said here today and what is contained in our written work, I do not believe it is appropriate for me to speak further about the investigation or to comment on the actions of the Justice Department or Congress," he added.

Read more: Democrats want Robert Mueller's blockbuster congressional testimony to make the public aware of what's in his report, which most people still haven't read

Associate Deputy Attorney General Weinsheimer noted that the Justice Department understood Mueller's testimony to be "governed by the terms you outlined."

"Please note that there should be no testimony concerning the redacted portions of the public version of your report, which may not be disclosed because of applicable laws, court rules and orders," the letter said.

Weinsheimer added that any information beyond the scope of the public report was "covered by executive privilege" and included "presidential communications privileges."

Democratic Rep. Adam Schiff of California, the chairman of the Intelligence Committee, previously said to INSIDER that Attorney General William Barr "doesn't want him testifying at all."

Democratic lawmakers have criticized Barr and accused him of misleading the public with his four-page summery of Mueller's report released several weeks before the 448-page redacted version was made public.

"This will be the first opportunity for the public to hear in detail Bob Mueller speak in his own words about his investigation, about the systemic interference by the Russians, about the degree to which the Trump campaign welcomed and encouraged and made use of their help," Schiff said. "And as most people have not had a chance to read his lengthy report, this may be the first time they hear directly from the source."

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