Read: Robert Mueller's opening statements before Congress

Former special counsel Robert Mueller gave the following prepared opening statements before Congress on Wednesday. Read both sets of remarks below....

Posted: Jul 24, 2019 8:47 AM
Updated: Jul 24, 2019 4:15 PM

Former special counsel Robert Mueller gave the following prepared opening statements before Congress on Wednesday. Read both sets of remarks below.

Mueller's opening remarks before the House Judiciary Committee

Good morning Chairman Nadler, Ranking Member Collins, and members of the Committee.

As you know, in May 2017, the Acting Attorney General asked me to serve as Special Counsel. I undertook that role because I believed that it was of paramount interest to the nation to determine whether a foreign adversary had interfered in the presidential election.

As the Acting Attorney General said at the time, the appointment was 'necessary in order for the American people to have full confidence in the outcome.'

My staff and I carried out this assignment with that critical objective in mind: to work quietly, thoroughly, and with integrity so that the public would have full confidence in the outcome.

The order appointing me as Special Counsel directed our Office to investigate Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election. This included investigating any links or coordination between the Russian government and individuals associated with the Trump campaign. It also included investigating efforts to interfere with, or obstruct, the investigation.

Throughout the investigation, I continually stressed two things to the team that we had assembled.

First, we needed to do our work as thoroughly as possible and as expeditiously as possible. It was in the public interest for our investigation to be complete, but not to last a day longer than necessary.

Second, the investigation needed to be conducted fairly and with absolute integrity. Our team would not leak or take other actions that could compromise the integrity of our work. All decisions were made based on the facts and the law.

During the course of our investigation, we charged more than 30 defendants with committing federal crimes, including 12 officers of the Russian military. Seven defendants have been convicted or pled guilty.

Certain of the charges we brought remain pending today. For those matters, I stress that the indictments contain allegations, and every defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.

In addition to the criminal charges we brought, as required by Justice Department regulations, we submitted a confidential report to the Attorney General at the conclusion of the investigation. The report set forth the results of our work and the reasons for our charging and declination decisions. The Attorney General later made the report largely public.

As you know, I made a few limited remarks about our report when we closed the Special Counsel's Office in May of this year. There are certain points that bear emphasis.

First, our investigation found that the Russian government interfered in our election in sweeping and systematic fashion.

Second, the investigation did not establish that members of the Trump campaign conspired with the Russian government in its election interference activities. We did not address 'collusion,' which is not a legal term. Rather, we focused on whether the evidence was sufficient to charge any member of the campaign with taking part in a criminal conspiracy. It was not.

Third, our investigation of efforts to obstruct the investigation and lie to investigators was of critical importance. Obstruction of justice strikes at the core of the government's effort to find the truth and to hold wrongdoers accountable.

Finally, as described in Volume 2 of our report, we investigated a series of actions by the President towards the investigation. Based on Justice Department policy and principles of fairness, we decided we would not make a determination as to whether the President committed a crime. That was our decision then and it remains our decision today.

Let me say a further word about my appearance today.

It is unusual for a prosecutor to testify about a criminal investigation, and given my role as a prosecutor, there are reasons why my testimony will necessarily be limited.

First, public testimony could affect several ongoing matters. In some of these matters, court rules or judicial orders limit the disclosure of information to protect the fairness of the proceedings. And consistent with longstanding Justice Department policy, it would be inappropriate for me to comment in any way that could affect an ongoing matter.

Second, the Justice Department has asserted privileges concerning investigative information and decisions, ongoing matters within the Justice Department, and deliberations within our office. These are Justice Department privileges that I will respect. The Department has released the letter discussing the restrictions on my testimony.

I therefore will not be able to answer questions about certain areas that I know are of public interest. For example, I am unable to address questions about the opening of the FBI's Russia investigation, which occurred months before my appointment, or matters related to the so-called 'Steele Dossier.' These matters are the subject of ongoing review by the Department. Any questions on these topics should therefore be directed to the FBI or the Justice Department.

As I explained when we closed the Special Counsel's Office in May, our report contains our findings and analysis and the reasons for the decisions we made. We conducted an extensive investigation over two years. In writing the report, we stated the results of our investigation with precision. We scrutinized every word.

I do not intend to summarize or describe the results of our work in a different way in the course of my testimony today. As I said on May 29: the report is my testimony. And I will stay within that text.

And as I stated in May, I also will not comment on the actions of the Attorney General or of Congress. I was appointed as a prosecutor, and I intend to adhere to that role and to the Department's standards that govern it.

I will be joined today by the Deputy Special Counsel, Aaron Zebley. Mr. Zebley has extensive experience as a federal prosecutor and at the FBI, where he served as Chief of Staff. Mr. Zebley was responsible for the day-to-day oversight of the investigations conducted by our Office.

I also want to again say thank you to the attorneys, the FBI agents, the analysts, and the professional staff who helped us conduct this investigation in a fair and independent manner. These individuals, who spent nearly two years working on this matter, were of the highest integrity.

And let me say one more thing. Over the course of my career, I've seen a number of challenges to our democracy. The Russian government's effort to interfere in our election is among the most serious. As I said on May 29, this deserves the attention of every American.

Opening remarks before the House Intelligence Committee

Good afternoon, Chairman Schiff, Ranking Member Nunes, and members of the Committee.

I testified this morning before the House Judiciary Committee. I ask that the opening statement I made before that Committee be incorporated into the record here.

I understand that this Committee has a unique jurisdiction, and that you are interested in further understanding the counter-intelligence implications of our investigation.

So let me say a word about how we handled the potential impact of our investigation on counter-intelligence matters.

As we explain in our report, the Special Counsel regulations effectively gave me the role of a U.S. Attorney. As a result, we structured our investigation around evidence for possible use in prosecution of federal crimes. We did not reach what you would call 'counter-intelligence conclusions.'

We did, however, set up processes in the office to identify and pass counter-intelligence information onto the FBI.

Members of our office periodically briefed the FBI about counter-intelligence information. In addition, there were agents and analysts from the FBI who were not on our team, but whose job it was to identify counter-intelligence information in our files and disseminate that information to the FBI.

For these reasons, questions about what the FBI has done with the counter-intelligence information obtained from our investigation should be directed to the FBI.

I also want to reiterate a few points that I made this morning. I am not making any judgments or offering opinions about the guilt or innocence in any pending case.

It is unusual for a prosecutor to testify about a criminal investigation, and given my role as a prosecutor, there are reasons why my testimony will necessarily be limited.

First, public testimony could affect several ongoing matters. In some of these matters, court rules or judicial orders limit the disclosure of information to protect the fairness of the proceedings. And consistent with longstanding Justice Department policy, it would be inappropriate for me to comment in any way that could affect an ongoing matter.

Second, the Justice Department has asserted privileges concerning investigative information and decisions, ongoing matters within the Justice Department, and deliberations within our office. These are Justice Department privileges that I will respect. The Department has released the letter discussing the restrictions on my testimony.

I therefore will not be able to answer questions about certain areas that I know are of public interest. For example, I am unable to address questions about the opening of the FBI's Russia investigation, which occurred months before my appointment, or matters related to the so-called 'Steele Dossier.' These matters are the subject of ongoing review by the Department. Any questions on these topics should therefore be directed to the FBI or the Justice Department.

Third, as I explained this morning, it is important for me to adhere to what we wrote in our report. The report contains our findings and analysis and the reasons for the decisions we made. We stated the results of our investigation with precision.

I do not intend to summarize or describe the results of our work in a different way in the course of my testimony today.

And as I stated in May, I also will not comment on the actions of the Attorney General or of Congress. I was appointed as a prosecutor, and I intend to adhere to that role and to the Department's standards that govern it.

Finally, as I said this morning, over the course of my career, I have seen a number of challenges to our democracy. The Russian government's effort to interfere in our election is among the most serious. I am sure that this Committee agrees.

This story has been updated to include Mueller's remarks before the House Intelligence Committee.

Mississippi Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Confirmed Cases: 30674

Reported Deaths: 1107
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Hinds248039
DeSoto157216
Madison129634
Jones112049
Neshoba98571
Rankin91612
Lauderdale90879
Harrison88610
Forrest86042
Scott77015
Jackson61616
Copiah60216
Washington5789
Leake57519
Holmes55141
Lee54718
Wayne54213
Oktibbeha54126
Warren51118
Yazoo5056
Leflore48651
Lowndes48312
Grenada4795
Lamar4567
Lincoln45434
Pike43112
Monroe39930
Lafayette3894
Sunflower3737
Attala35923
Covington3475
Panola3456
Newton3399
Bolivar33414
Adams31018
Simpson3103
Pontotoc2836
Tate27810
Chickasaw27618
Marion27511
Claiborne27010
Jasper2616
Noxubee2618
Winston2596
Pearl River25432
Clay24910
Marshall2263
Smith22011
Union2079
Clarke20624
Walthall2004
Coahoma1996
Kemper17814
Lawrence1741
Yalobusha1717
Carroll16411
Humphreys1479
Tallahatchie1364
Itawamba1358
Montgomery1312
Tippah13011
Calhoun1294
Hancock12613
Webster12510
Jefferson Davis1114
Prentiss1083
Jefferson1073
Greene1058
Tunica1003
Wilkinson949
Amite892
George863
Tishomingo781
Quitman760
Choctaw744
Alcorn682
Perry664
Stone641
Franklin452
Sharkey350
Benton340
Issaquena91
Unassigned00

Alabama Coronavirus Cases

Confirmed Cases: 41362

Reported Deaths: 983
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Jefferson4944152
Montgomery4021103
Mobile4005134
Tuscaloosa222642
Marshall170210
Lee135937
Madison13597
Shelby122723
Morgan10715
Walker91424
Elmore90314
Franklin88914
Dallas8799
Baldwin8469
Etowah72713
DeKalb7075
Butler62428
Chambers62427
Tallapoosa58869
Autauga58312
Russell5450
Unassigned50323
Lauderdale4896
Limestone4810
Houston4794
Lowndes46721
Cullman4394
Pike4205
Colbert3916
Coffee3732
Bullock36810
St. Clair3662
Covington3547
Barbour3472
Escambia3376
Calhoun3325
Hale31021
Talladega3037
Marengo30211
Wilcox2908
Sumter28412
Dale2820
Clarke2736
Jackson2682
Winston2543
Chilton2392
Monroe2342
Blount2301
Pickens2276
Marion21913
Conecuh2047
Randolph2009
Choctaw19512
Bibb1871
Macon1859
Greene1838
Perry1701
Henry1323
Crenshaw1253
Lawrence1070
Washington1057
Cherokee857
Geneva790
Lamar751
Fayette681
Clay642
Coosa581
Cleburne361
Out of AL00
Tupelo
Few Clouds
76° wxIcon
Hi: 90° Lo: 72°
Feels Like: 76°
Columbus
Clear
72° wxIcon
Hi: 90° Lo: 72°
Feels Like: 72°
Oxford
Clear
72° wxIcon
Hi: 88° Lo: 69°
Feels Like: 72°
Starkville
Scattered Clouds
72° wxIcon
Hi: 89° Lo: 68°
Feels Like: 72°
WTVA Radar
WTVA Temperatures
WTVA Severe Weather