Robert Mueller, the special counsel who investigated Russia’s role in the 2016 US presidential election, has agreed to testify before Congress on July 17 in response to a subpoena, House Democrats said on Tuesday evening.
The appearance by Mr Mueller before two congressional committees will mark only the second time that he has spoken publicly about his investigation into links between Donald Trump’s campaign and Russia, and possible obstruction by the US president.
Last month Mr Mueller discussed his findings at a brief press conference and said he hoped it would be the last time he would speak about the investigation. Democrats have been keen to secure his public testimony in the belief that his televised comments will have greater political impact than the lengthy written report he submitted in March at the end of his almost two-year-long investigation.
Jerrold Nadler, chairman of the House of Representatives judiciary committee, and Adam Schiff, who chairs the House intelligence committee, acknowledged Mr Mueller’s reluctance to testify in a letter to the former FBI director on Tuesday.
“The American public deserves to hear directly from you about your investigation and conclusions. We will work with you to address legitimate concerns about preserving the integrity of your work, but we expect that you will appear before our committees as scheduled,” the Democrats said.
Mr Mueller said in his report that he had not found sufficient evidence to establish a conspiracy between Russia and the Trump campaign. He did not decide one way or the other on whether Mr Trump attempted to obstruct justice, pointing to a Department of Justice policy that prohibits the indictment of a sitting president.