U.S. House panel again postpones Trump business associate, to focus on Mueller report

(Reuters) – The House of Representatives intelligence committee said on Monday it was postponing the testimony of a former business associate of President Donald Trump so that it can focus on questioning officials related to Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s Russia probe.

The announcement comes a day after Attorney General William Barr disclosed a summary of the probe that said Mueller had found no evidence of collusion between Trump’s campaign and Russia in the 2016 election.

A spokesman for the House Intelligence Committee said in an emailed statement that testimony by Felix Sater, a Russian-born property developer who worked on a plan to build a Trump-branded skyscraper in Moscow, which had been scheduled for Wednesday, would be postponed. He did not provide a future date.

The statement said Barr’s “cursory” letter prompted a shift in focus to bringing in senior officials from the Justice Department, the FBI and the special counsel for questioning on Mueller’s “areas of inquiry and evidence his office uncovered.”

Barr’s summary left unresolved the question of whether Trump had tried to obstruct justice. Mueller asserted that while his report did not conclude the president had committed a crime it also did not exonerate him.

The statement said the committee needed to be fully informed about Mueller’s probe “including all counterintelligence information.”

This is the second time that Sater’s appearance before the committee was postponed.

Sater worked with Trump’s former lawyer Michael Cohen on the Moscow project while Trump was running for president. He was expected to testify about his work on the Moscow project, which came under renewed scrutiny after Cohen pleaded guilty in November to lying to Congress about when negotiations on the deal ended in order to minimize Trump’s links to Russia.

Reporting by Nathan Layne in New York; Editing by Leslie Adler

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source: reuters.com