House Democrats are considering a delay of special counsel Robert Mueller's high-profile hearing next week, a development that comes amid concerns over the short length of the scheduled hearings before two committees.
While the Judiciary panel is investigating obstruction of justice, the intelligence panel is looking at Russian interference in the 2016 election.
Mueller and House Judiciary Chairman Jerrold Nadler have been negotiating the framework of the hearing for weeks and announced yesterday that the special counsel's testimony, initially scheduled for next Wednesday, July 17, would last no more than two hours.
Lawmakers made conflicting statements about the hearing on Friday afternoon. July 17 was the date penciled in, but it could be delayed a week to accommodate time for more questions from both Democrats and Republicans.
Democrats who favor impeachment efforts against President Trump have hoped that testimony by Mueller about his report's findings would further fuel their effort.
A Judiciary Committee spokesman emphasized that next week's hearing is still on the books.
The committees began to consider a delay when Judiciary Committee members balked at the unofficial arrangement for Mueller, because numerous panel's less senior lawmakers would not get time to ask questions. "We have been arguing for as much time as we can get". Under the original plan, after the open hearing with Mueller, House Democrats had proposed to question Mueller and his top lieutenants in private for an hour. But due to five-minute questioning rules, only the most senior dozen or so Democrats and Republicans on Judiciary would get to ask questions, upsetting more junior members.
In April, Mueller submitted the findings of his almost two-year investigation to the Department of Justice.