Robert Mueller To Make Unexpected Statement On Russia Probe At 11am
For the first time since he was appointed in May 2017 to lead the investigation into whether the Trump campaign colluded with Russia to sway the 2016 election, Special Counsel will make a public statement about the investigation that infamously ended earlier this year without finding evidence of collusion while declining to make a finding on obstruction.
The redacted 448-page Mueller report was released last month, prompting the Trump Administration to proclaim that it had been vindicated by the special counsel. Democrats in Congress are now toying with the idea of trying to impeach Trump based on some of Mueller’s findings.
The statement is set for 11 am ET at the DoJ, and won’t be followed by a Q&A.
Notably, the statement comes one day after the Guardian published excerpts from Michael Wolff’s upcoming book claiming that Mueller had written up a three-count indictment of Trump on obstruction charges, but ultimately decided not to pursue it.
The statement also comes as Congressional Democrats have tried and – so far, at least – failed to entice Mueller to testify publicly before a House Committee about the investigation. The House Judiciary Committee has been trying to obtain the unredacted Mueller report and the underlying documents, again, with little success.
There have also been reports of tension between Mueller and AG William Barr: Mueller and his team reportedly sent Barr a letter after the latter released a summary of the Mueller report’s findings claiming that the summary risked undermining public confidence in the probe, in addition to being misleading.
Mueller has been infamously tight-lipped since the investigation began: In fact, the closest he has come to making a public statement was telling MSNBC to piss off after reporters ambushed Mueller and his wife after an Easter Mass, which occurred a few days after the Mueller report’s release disappointed Russiagate conspiracy theorists.
A spokesman for the special counsel insisted that such an indictment never existed, even as Wolff and the Guardian claimed to have seen the document.
Notably, the Washington Post reports that Mueller’s statement will be ‘lengthy and substantial’, and won’t focus on Wolff’s claims.
A person familiar with the matter said Mueller will deliver a “substantial” statement, but declined to provide more details. The person said the statement is not a response to reporting about Michael Wolff’s soon-to-be-released book on the Trump administration, “Siege.”
Both the Dems and President Trump must be on edge here, since nobody knows what Mueller is going to say. Though CNBC’s Eamon Javers reports that the White House knew the statement was coming: “We were advised he may make a statement,” a senior official said. It’s unclear whether the Judiciary Committee was alerted to the statement ahead of time.
Notably, AG Barr is in Alaska right now, the AP reports.
Watch Mueller’s statement live below: