Former judge: Expect more 'theater' in Mueller testimony

A former federal judge on Friday downplayed special counsel Robert MuellerRobert (Bob) Swan MuellerFox's Cavuto roasts Trump over criticism of network Mueller report fades from political conversation Trump calls for probe of Obama book deal MORE’s pending public testimony before Congress, saying it's unlikely to have much legal significance.

“It’s got a lot more theater to it than it does any kind of legal significance,” Walter Kelley, a former U.S. District judge for the Eastern District of Virginia, told Hill.TV.

Kelley, who was appointed by former President George W. Bush and served on the court from 2004 to 2008, predicted that Mueller will stick to the information that’s in his report.

Mueller signaled during a press conference earlier this year that his testimony wouldn't go beyond details already included in his sprawling 448-page public report released in April.

“I don’t know him — he appears to me to be a consummate professional and I think you’ll get a little more than name, rank and serial number,” Kelley said.

The former federal judge also said that the testimony will be more like “deposing an expert in a civil case.”

“You ask him a question and he’ll go to the section of the report that deals with it and read it to you,” he told Hill.TV.

President TrumpDonald John TrumpTed Cruz knocks New York Times for 'stunning' correction on Kavanaugh report US service member killed in Afghanistan Pro-Trump website edited British reality star's picture to show him wearing Trump hat MORE made similar remarks earlier this month, tweeting that Mueller “must” stick to his findings in the report.

"Robert Mueller is being asked to testify yet again. He said he could only stick to the Report, & that is what he would and must do,” he tweeted.

Kelley weighed in Friday amid reports that Mueller’s public hearing originally set for next week will likely be delayed by a week.

Multiple sources familiar with the matter told The Hill that his testimony will likely take place on July 24 instead of July 17 as originally planned.

The sources said the House Judiciary Committee is negotiating for a new deal that would allow for lawmakers to have more time to question Mueller about his investigation into Russia and the Trump campaign.

However, a committee spokesman maintained that the hearing will still take place next week. 

“There is no deal. At this moment we still plan to have our hearing on the 17th,” said a Judiciary Committee spokesman.

—Tess Bonn