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Washington, DC - 24 July 2019
1. Wide shot of House Judiciary Committee as Mueller prepares to testify
2. Head-on shot of Robert Mueller taking the oath and being sworn in
3. Cutaway of House Judiciary Committee Jerry Nadler speaking
4. SOUNDBITE (English) Robert Mueller, Former Special Counsel:
"As you know, I made a few limited remarks about our report when we closed the Special Counsel's Office in May of this year. There are certain points that bear emphasis. First, our investigation found that the Russian government interfered in our election in sweeping and systematic fashion. Second, the investigation did not establish that members of the Trump campaign conspired with the Russian government in its election interference activities. We did not address "collusion," which is not a legal term. Rather, we focused on whether the evidence was sufficient to charge any member of the campaign with taking part in a criminal conspiracy. It was not. Third, our investigation of efforts to obstruct the investigation and lie to investigators was of critical importance. Obstruction of justice strikes at the core of the government's effort to find the truth and to hold wrongdoers accountable. Finally, as described in Volume 2 of our report, we investigated a series of actions by the President towards the investigation. Based on Justice Department policy and principles of fairness, we decided we would not make a determination as to whether the President committed a crime. That was our decision then and it remains our decision today. Let me say a further word about my appearance today. 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."
5. Wide side shot of Mueller testifying
6. SOUNDBITE (English) Robert Mueller, Special Counsel:
"I also want to again say thank you to the attorneys, the FBI agents, the analysts, and the professional staff who helped us conduct this investigation in a fair and independent manner. These individuals, who spent nearly two years working on this matter, were of the highest integrity. And let me say one more thing. Over the course of my career, I've seen a number of challenges to our democracy. The Russian government's effort to interfere in our election is among the most serious. As I said on May 29, this deserves the attention of every American."
7. Wide side shot of Mueller wrapping up his opening remarks
In his long-awaited testimony before Congress, former special counsel Robert Mueller says Russia's efforts to interfere in U.S. elections is "among the most serious" challenges to American democracy.
Mueller made the statement in his opening remarks before the House Judiciary Committee. He'll appear before the intelligence committee later in the day.
Mueller has expressed his reluctance to testify and said he won't go beyond what's in his 448-page report released in April.
Mueller's report said the investigation did not find sufficient evidence to establish charges of a criminal conspiracy between the Trump presidential campaign and Russia. But it said investigators did not clear President Donald Trump of trying to obstruct the probe.
Mueller also said he will be unable to answer questions he knows are of public interest.
That includes details of the origins of the FBI's Russia investigation. Republicans have suggested that it was a political vendetta started by law enforcement officers who did not like President Donald Trump.
Mueller is testifying before Congress Wednesday for the first time on his Trump-Russia investigation.
Mueller said he would not be able to discuss matters related to the so-called "Steele Dossier," a once-confidential campaign memo written by a former British spy that had a detailed narrative of how the Russian government supposedly collaborated with the Trump campaign.
Mueller's investigation did not establish that members of the Trump campaign conspired with the Russian government in its election interference efforts.