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How to Watch Robert Mueller’s Testimony—and What to Expect

By July 23, 2019 No Comments
How to Watch Robert Mueller's Testimony—and What to Expect

Brian Barrett

On Wednesday, former special counsel Robert Mueller will testify before Congress. More specifically, he’ll field questions from the House Judiciary and Intelligence Committees in two separate sessions. If you haven’t gotten around to reading the Mueller report yet—but seriously, read the Mueller report—now’s your chance to hear it straight from the source. We’ll be live-streaming it right here, bright and early.

Mueller will start his day at 8:30 am ET with a three-hour House Judiciary Committee session focused on obstruction of justice. Despite President Donald Trump’s repeated insistence that the report found none, Volume II of the document details 10 incidents in which Trump appears to have crossed the line. And while attorney general William Barr opted not to pursue charges against Trump, Mueller’s report says that “if we had confidence after a thorough investigation of the facts that the President clearly did not commit obstruction of justice, we would so state. Based on the facts and the applicable legal standards, we are unable to reach that judgment.” Expect plenty of questions about the gap between what the report says and how Barr framed it—and declined to act on it—especially given that Mueller has already directly complained to Barr about that very thing.

The House Intelligence Committee will follow up after a short break; expect that portion to kick off at around noon, and to last two hours. Its focus will ostensibly be Russian interference, which Mueller has documented in painstaking detail through a pair of indictments focused on misinformation and hacking. Expect Democrats to zero in on the many points of contact between Russia and people in the Trump campaign’s orbit. And again, while Trump has repeatedly crowed “no collusion,” Mueller explicitly states that collusion was not what his team investigated. The report focuses instead on criminal conspiracy, which it was unable to prove.

We’ll embed a livestream above so that you can watch Mueller testify right here. You can also catch it on all the major networks, including ABC, NBC, CBS, Fox News, CNN, and MSNBC. And don’t forget C-SPAN, which will carry it on TV, online, and over the radio. Basically, you’d have to actively try to find a news organization that’s not showing the Mueller hearings in some capacity. To keep it simple, stick with WIRED!

In the meantime, you can find no shortage of questions Congress should ask Mueller. But the most important preparation you can do for tomorrow’s historic moment is to manage your expectations. Mueller will almost certainly stick to what’s in the report itself, and not just because the Justice Department has explicitly told him to. That means there won’t be any 11th hour reveal, or stunning disclosure that forces impeachment proceedings to start immediately. He won’t discuss ongoing investigations into Roger Stone, or throw his own report’s redactions to the wind. Nor will Mueller’s testimony lend credence to Deep State conspiracy theories, however much time House Intelligence Committee ranking member and bad faith aficionado Devin Nunes gets at the dais.

Robert Mueller has already told you everything he’s going to say. It’s all in his 448-page report, the culmination of years of work. It already outlines, with absolute clarity, manifold abuses of power, obstruction of justice, and unsavory relations with a hostile foreign power. It practically implores Congress to impeach Donald Trump. Here, see for yourself.

But Mueller’s testimony will still have value, even if all he does is read directly from the report. (Or especially if.) The vast majority of Americans haven’t read it. Many in Congress haven’t even read it. And the loudest voices to weigh in on it so far—Barr and Trump—have flagrantly misrepresented its conclusions. Most people will be hearing about what Mueller actually found for the first time on Wednesday—including some of the people asking the questions.

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