Mueller's Testimony Marked by Refusals to Answer, Requests to Repeat Questions

'Can't get into it'

July 25, 2019

Former Special Counsel Robert Mueller's testimony on Capitol Hill Wednesday was marked by two things: a need to hear questions repeated and a refusal to answer the ones outside the bounds of his report.

Mueller testified in front of the House Judiciary and Intelligence Committees, and his answers revealed little that wasn't already known to the public through his 448-page report on the Russia investigation, which lasted nearly two years.

That didn't stop Democrats and Republicans from trying to attain politically useful answers from him, but Mueller for the most part didn't take the bait.

"Can't go into that," Mueller said numerous times. At one point, Rep. Jim Jordan (R., Ohio), an ally of President Donald Trump, quipped, "Lot of things you can't get into."

Mueller had stated he did not wish to testify publicly following a short statement in May about the results of his investigation, but he was ultimately prevailed upon.

He upset some media observers with his "performance," seeming at times unaware of key information from the investigation and needing questions to be asked twice to understand them. The hearing, which received wall-to-wall coverage on cable and network news channels, was not the blockbuster moment impeachment-happy Democrats wanted.

The White House was euphoric over Mueller's showing at the hearing, and Trump called it a "good day" for the Republican Party. Trump repeatedly dismissed the investigation as a "witch hunt" as it hung over his administration, but it swept up several members of his orbit into prison sentences, including Michael Cohen and Paul Manafort.