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Old 07-23-2019, 10:37 AM
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Can the Justice Department limit Mueller's testimony?


As reported here(and a hundred or so other places), the Justice Department has written a letter to Mueller stating that his testimony
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"...must remain within the boundaries of your public report because matters within the scope of your investigation were covered by executive privilege."
Do they have the legal authority to restrict his testimony this much?
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Old 07-23-2019, 10:50 AM
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Is Mr Mueller a patriot, or a functionary? Is he loyal to the country, or to legalistic protocol? Justice, or the ironically named Department? Does he owe some sort of deference to the potential scandal, the outrage? Of the furor?
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Old 07-23-2019, 10:53 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by elucidator View Post
Is Mr Mueller a patriot, or a functionary? Is he loyal to the country, or to legalistic protocol? Justice, or the ironically named Department? Does he owe some sort of deference to the potential scandal, the outrage? Of the furor?
Does your post have anything to do with the question I asked about their legal authority to limit his testimony?

Last edited by Czarcasm; 07-23-2019 at 10:53 AM.
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Old 07-23-2019, 10:55 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Czarcasm View Post

Do they have the legal authority to restrict his testimony this much?
Agencies have pretty broad authority to authorize (or not) testimony of employees or former employees about their official duties under the so-called "Touhy regulations", although I don't know if DOJ's regulations extend to testimony before Congress (or whether they could).

But, instructing a witness not to answer something because it is privileged is fairly routine. Whether it is privileged is a somewhat different question.

Last edited by Falchion; 07-23-2019 at 10:55 AM.
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Old 07-23-2019, 03:14 PM
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Pretty funny that the Justice Department, whose head has been held in criminal contempt of Congress and civil contempt for ignoring subpeonas to testify, now wants to tell Mueller how he should and shouldn't testify.

What are they going to do if he defies them?
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Old 07-23-2019, 03:16 PM
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The Justice Department cannot prevent Robert Mueller from saying whatever he wants to say, unless they are prepared to lock him away forever or cut out his tongue or sew his mouth shut. Only Robert Mueller controls what he says or does not say.
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Old 07-23-2019, 07:17 PM
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Mr. Mueller has already stated that won't go "beyond the four corners" of the report. The DOJ "instruction" is just stupid grandstanding.

Can they prevent him for saying what he wants to say? No. But his dedication to a strict and rigid conservative interpretation of the law does constrain him, and he apparently had already concluded that his proper role is to stay within those boundaries.

To him being very true to legalistic protocol is being loyal to his country because that is the system he is patriotic about. He is a law man and to him this is above all else a nation of those laws, and he at least, is not above or outside their authority.

That said there is much he can say that stays within those boundaries, those four corners, that also clarifies much to the public at large, and that disputes the flagrant misrepresentation that Barr, Trump, and their proxies have engaged in.

Will he do that? Will he be asked the right questions in the right way that facilitate him doing that? I am pessimistic myself but it is still very possible.
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Old 07-23-2019, 09:53 PM
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Isn't this one of those situations? Where solid and learned experts can point to the clear and obvious truth, while another set of legal eagles puts forth an entirely opposite set of obvious truths? Clearly, the sun rises in the East except when it rises in the very far West.

Or executive privilege refers to a very precise and confined set of circumstances!

Balderdash, sir! Tommyrot! Executive privilege means whatever the President says it does! IIRC, where there not some learned scholars who tried to support Nixon's famous drivel that when the President does something, it is therefore legal?
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Old 07-24-2019, 07:19 AM
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Jeez-o-petes, I haven't heard "four corners" so much since Dean Smith coached UNC. I think the most intriguing thing is that Mueller asked DOJ for guidance about what he couldn't testify. It's like he was handing duct tape to Barr and saying "gag me, please." If he thinks Donald is a criminal and should be impeached, convicted, and then indicted, tried, and convicted (or executed), then he should grow a pair and say so rather than begging Barr to gag him.
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Old 07-24-2019, 07:30 AM
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He's made that pretty clear already - along with telling Congress that it's up to them to act on his findings, since the AG (not the law or the Constitution) forbade him to charge Individual-1 while in office. IOW, he's going to tell them what he already has: "Impeach the bastard!"
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Old 07-24-2019, 07:50 AM
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But we're talking about the masses here who get their news in sound bites. If he truly thinks the Don should be impeached, it seems odd strategy to ask Barr to gag him so he can't say it aloud.

Last edited by BobLibDem; 07-24-2019 at 07:53 AM.
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Old 07-24-2019, 07:56 AM
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Mueller already stated that pretty clearly in the report. If he's asked to go outside the report, the constant drumbeat of "Individual-1's lawyer has instructed me not to answer" can only (one hopes) come off as revealing the cover-up that it is.
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