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Special Counsel Mueller Announces Resignation In Justice Department Remarks

Robert Mueller, who hasn’t spoken publicly since the Russia investigation began, says he does not believe it is “appropriate” for him to testify before Congress as Democrats have requested.

Special counsel Robert Mueller makes a statement about the Russia investigation on Wednesday at the Justice Department.

Updated at 11:11 a.m. ET

Special counsel Robert Mueller, speaking publicly for the first time since the beginning of the investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 election, says he is resigning.

“We are formally closing the special counsel’s office,” Mueller told reporters at the Justice Department on Wednesday morning.

Mueller’s investigation ran from May 2017 to March 2019.

Mueller said he did “not believe it is appropriate” for him to testify before Congress, as House Democrats have asked. Mueller said he would not be taking questions from reporters Wednesday, either. “The work speaks for itself,” he said of his report.

House Democrats have also issued a subpoena for the full, unredacted text of his report and his supporting evidence — which the Justice Department won’t provide.

Attorney General William Barr says the grand jury material in Mueller’s report must remain secret under federal regulations and has recommended more broadly that the work is protected under executive privilege.

The White House was notified Tuesday night that Mueller might make a statement, an official told reporters there on Wednesday morning.

The statement also follows an account in a new book, Siege: Trump Under Fire by Michael Wolff, that described the special counsel’s office as having prepared an indictment for Trump in connection with alleged obstruction of justice — the focus of Volume II of Mueller’s report.

No such indictment was ever unsealed, and Mueller’s report described the decision by him and his office not to attempt to bring charges against the president as in keeping with the Justice Department’s policy prohibiting that.

A spokesman told NPR that the documents described in the new book don’t exist.

Copyright 2019 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

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