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Mueller to testify publicly before House committees on July 17

Special Counsel Robert Mueller will testify publicly before Congress on July 17 about his investigation into the alleged Russian meddling in the 2016 US presidential election.

Mueller agreed to testify before the House Judiciary and Intelligence committees after they had subpoenaed him, said the committees’ Chairmen, Reps. Jerry Nadler, D-N.Y., and Adam Schiff, D-Calif.

“Pursuant to subpoenas issued by the House Judiciary and House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence tonight, Special Counsel Robert S. Mueller III has agreed to testify before both Committees on July 17 in open session,” Nadler and Schiff said in a joint statement late on Tuesday.

“Americans have demanded to hear directly from the Special Counsel so they can understand what he and his team examined, uncovered, and determined about Russia’s attack on our democracy, the Trump campaign’s acceptance and use of that help, and President (Donald) Trump and his associates’ obstruction of the investigation into that attack,” they added.

Mueller, a former FBI director, had been examining since May 2017 whether Trump’s campaign colluded with Moscow to try to influence the election and whether the Republican president later unlawfully tried to obstruct his investigation.

US intelligence agencies claim Moscow meddled in the election with a campaign of email hacking and online propaganda aimed at sowing discord in the United States, hurting Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton and helping Trump.

Both Trump and Russia have repeatedly denied the accusations. Trump has sought to discredit the investigation, calling it a “witch hunt” and accusing Mueller of conflicts of interest.

On March 22, Mueller submitted his confidential report to US Attorney General William Barr, triggering calls from lawmakers in Congress for the document’s quick release.

Two days later, a summary of his report was released which later prompted Mueller to complain over “the lack of context and the resulting media coverage,” particularly about his conclusions on Trump’s obstruction of justice.

The four-page summary was released more than three weeks before a redacted version of Mueller’s 448-page report was released to the public on April 18.

Democratic Party members of Congress have accused Barr of trying to spin the report’s conclusions to protect the Republican president.

Mueller had been reluctant to testify publicly before Congress. He had also said that even if he decided to give a public testimony, it would not go beyond the four corners of his report.

On Tuesday, Nadler and Schiff issued separate subpoenas for his public appearances, writing in a letter to the special counsel, “We have consistently communicated our Committees’ intention to issue these subpoenas, if necessary, and we now understand it necessary to do so.”

“We will work with you to address legitimate concerns about preserving the integrity of your work, but we expect that you will appear before our Committees as scheduled,” they wrote.