MUELLER BREAKS SILENCE – SPECIAL COUNSEL SURPRISE ADDRESS TO THE NATION

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By Joshua Caplan

The Department of Justice announced special counsel Robert Mueller will issue a statement on Wednesday morning regarding the “investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 Presidential election.”

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Mueller will speak at the Justice Department at 11 a.m. EST and will not take any questions.

It was not clear what he intended to say, but the statement comes amid demands for Mueller to testify on Capitol Hill about his findings and tension with Attorney General William Barr over the handling of his report.

Mueller’s report into Russia meddling in the 2016 election did not find that Russia and the Trump campaign coordinated to sway the presidential election. It did not reach a conclusion on whether the president had obstructed justice. Barr has said he was surprised that Mueller did not reach a conclusion, and decided with Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein that the evidence did not support an obstruction of justice allegation.

The attorney general is currently in Alaska for work.

According to CNBC’s Eamon Javers, the White House was told Tuesday evening that Mueller was planning on issuing a statement Wednesday.

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The development comes after negotiations about Mueller’s tentative testimony before the House Judiciary Committee on May 15th fell through.

The House panel’s chairman Jerrold Nadler (D-NY) said earlier this month that talks will continue with Mueller and the Justice Department about the testimony. The New York Democrat wouldn’t characterize those talks, though he said he expects Mueller to eventually appear, and if he won’t agree the committee will attempt to compel him.

“If necessary we’ll subpoena him and he’ll come,” Nadler said.

The negotiations over Mueller’s appearance come as Democrats are clashing with the Justice Department over access to Mueller’s full report on the Trump-Russia investigation. The Judiciary panel on recently voted to hold Barr in contempt of Congress after he defied the committee’s subpoena for an unredacted version of the report.

The Associated Press contributed to this report. 

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