DOJ has not seen Robert Mueller’s opening statement for Wednesday’s hearing

Posted at 1:58 PM, Jul 22, 2019
and last updated 2019-07-22 16:14:13-04

Robert Mueller will have a prepared opening statement for his much-anticipated congressional hearing on Wednesday that has not been seen by the Justice Department, according to a spokesman for the former special counsel.

The statement, which will likely not be released until Mueller starts his testimony, did not have to be cleared through the Department of Justice and no officials from the department, including Attorney General William Barr, have seen the document, the spokesman said.

While the spokesman won’t comment on how much or how long Mueller has been preparing, but would confirm that Wilmer Hale — a Washington, DC law firm — has allowed Mueller and “a small group of folks who worked with him at the special counsel’s office” to use some unoccupied office space for the purposes of preparation.

“If you look at him and his career, he is someone who comes to the table fully prepared and he’s going to be ready on Wednesday,” the spokesman said.

All of the people preparing Mueller have spent the last two years working with him at the special counsel’s office investigating Russian interference in the 2016 election. The individuals helping Mueller prepare are some of the top people from that office, though their names haven’t yet been released.

Mueller’s testimony will be in line with the public statement he made on May 29, the spokesman said.

“If you listen to that statement, he made it clear that you can basically expect him to stick to the report,” the spokesman said.

Mueller will also submit a statement for the record to the committee, but that will be the redacted report and nothing else.

“He was subpoenaed obviously and he’s made it clear that’s why he will be there,” the spokesman said when asked about Mueller’s frame of mind ahead of the hearing.

“Other than that, any information on his demeanor and tone will have to wait until Wednesday,” the spokesman said.