Mueller’s opening statement to the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence
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 US 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.
Meanwhile, the same day in the “Bernie Sanders is going to Win, President 2020” Facebook group:
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