In the past, special counsel Robert Mueller testified before Congress numerous times. But Mueller kept a very low profile during the Russia investigation, carefully avoiding the media. And Politico’s Darren Samuelsohn, in a May 21 article, lets members of Congress know what they can expect if the 74-year-old Mueller testifies before Congress in 2019.
The House Intelligence Committee and the House Judiciary Committee have both asked Mueller to testify before Congress and discuss the Russia investigation. Samuelsohn, in Politico, notes that he has “watched more than 20 hours of footage” of Mueller testifying before Congress in the past — and that footage, Samuelsohn writes, can offer 2019’s Congress members some valuable insights on how he responds to questions.
“When you watch the clips” of Mueller in the past, Samuelsohn writes, “the images feel immediately familiar: cable news has been showing the same Mueller footage on a loop since his appointment in May 2017. But it’s always with the sound turned off. That’s a mistake. Listening to Mueller speak helps pierce some of the mythology that’s seemed to only grow in the absence of any news conferences or public speaking appearances while he’s been the special counsel.”
In the past, Samuelsohn explains, Mueller served as FBI director and testified before Congress about everything from post-9/11 counterterrorism efforts to the Boston Marathon bombing. And Samuelsohn observes that Mueller is “cautious when it comes to investigations, relying on his past experience as a federal prosecutor in Boston, Washington and San Francisco.”
Discuss Mueller’s interactions with members of Congress in the 2000s, Samuelsohn notes that the former FBI director is “quite polite, and typically makes direct eye contact with his questioners. He thanks staffers who bring him a glass of water. He can also be funny and, despite the seriousness of a job that required chasing down terrorists and all manner of bad guys, Mueller does crack a smile.”
Samuelsohn adds, however, that Mueller can also be “frank” and “brutally honest” and can “get testy, and clearly doesn’t like to be interrupted when he’s answering a question. And he won’t hesitate to correct members of Congress.”