Special counsel Robert Mueller never speaks in public. But he’s going to speak this morning. The Department of Justice has announced that Mueller will appear at 11 AM ET to “make a statement … on the investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 election.” Indications are that it will be a statement only, and that Mueller will not be taking any questions.
This statement comes as the House seemed close to negotiating an agreement for Mueller to provide testimony. The fact that this statement is being announced ahead of time by the William Barr-led Department of Justice does not make it seem as if Mueller’s statement is likely to be anything that’s going to be supportive of open testimony, or anything that contradicts Barr’s “summary” of the special counsel report, or anything that suggests that Mueller intended the decision on obstruction to be left up to Congress.
It seems much more likely that Mueller could announce that he is in agreement with Barr, or doesn’t feel it’s in the interest of the nation that he testify, or … just about anything that meets the standards of “Go home now, nothing to see here.” And also, Barr is definitely not holding Mueller’s wife hostage, and anyone who says so is a liar.
What will Mueller say? Stay tuned. We’ll do it live.
Naturally there’s a lot of speculation going on. White House staffers have claimed that Mueller’s statement is not a surprise, and they have advance knowledge.
The most likely statement by far is simply that Mueller is stepping down as special counsel, complete with a thanks to the members of his staff and the grand jury.