Robert Mueller's hearing could be delayed

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Sen. John Kennedy said the Mueller report is "as dead as fried chicken" amid reports that the former special counsel's testimony to two House committees could be delayed by a week.

Mueller's testimony is seen as essential among Democrats who are advocating for the House to begin an impeachment inquiry into the President, especially because the Trump officials who are cited in the Mueller report have so far either refused to testify or answer most questions posed by the Judiciary Committee, under direction from the White House.

The uncertainty posed an unwelcome distraction for Democrats, who have billed Mueller's testimony as a potential watershed moment that could focus attention on segments of his 448-page report that raise troubling questions about Republican President Donald Trump's efforts to impede the federal investigation.

"They want to hurt the president for the election, because I see what I'm running against", Mr. Trump said before the hearing was rescheduled. But Representative Steve Cohen, a Democrat, told reporters the two men would not appear, after the Justice Department directed them not to testify.

Two back-to-back hearings are scheduled to run just a few hours, with additional time for testimony behind closed doors.

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Mueller said because of longstanding Justice Department regulations that a sitting president can not be indicted, his team of investigators didn't consider trying to indict Trump.

House Intelligence has 22 members, about equal to the number of Judiciary members who were initially expected to question Mueller.

Kennedy said Mueller may be "exercising more wisdom than zeal" and trying to avoid the "political trap".

Under a tentative agreement, the 41-member Judiciary Committee would be granted an extra hour to question Mueller, lawmakers briefed on the discussions told Politico. "I am speaking out today because our investigation is complete....we are formally closing the special counsel's office, '" said Mueller at the DOJ. Mueller said that if his office "had confidence that the president clearly did not commit a crime, we would have said so", and he noted that the Constitution "requires a process other than the criminal justice system to formally accuse a sitting president of wrongdoing".

Special Counsel Robert Mueller officially concluded the two-year long investigation into allegations of Russian collusion in the 2016 election Wednesday; closing his office and retiring from the Department of Justice. "Obviously, we want to make sure that there's a full hearing".