Former special counsel Robert Mueller signaled Wednesday that he would refuse to answer a wide swath of questions from lawmakers and would limit his congressional testimony to the four corners of his report.
In opening remarks Wednesday, Mueller said explicitly he would not answer questions about the so-called Steele dossier containing unverified allegations of Trump’s ties to Russia — a matter of interest among Republicans — nor would he describe the results of his work “in a different way” than he did on May 29.
Mueller said he would abide by the Justice Department’s instructions that he limit his testimony to the report and also reiterated his statement from late May that “the report is my testimony.”
“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,” Mueller said, pointing to a letter from the Justice Department released Monday.
“I therefore will not be able to answer questions about certain areas that I know are of public interest,” Mueller said. “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.”
Mueller told lawmakers to direct those inquiries at the Justice Department.
Mueller delivered his opening statement to a captivated audience Wednesday morning. He began speaking around roughly 8:45 a.m. after being introduced and sworn in by Judiciary Chairman Jerrold Nadler (D-N.Y.).
In his opening statement, Mueller emphasized the seriousness of Russia’s attempts to interfere in the 2016 presidential election.
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