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tv   KPIX 5 News at 5AM  CBS  July 24, 2019 5:00am-5:59am PDT

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and democrats want answered. shutting down to shape up. why dmv offices across the bay area are closed. months after an employee shot and killed, new heartbreak for his family. the state law that forced police to let the suspect go. good morning it is wednesday july 24 i michelle griego. >> i'm anne makovec. and he has the morning off and it sound like a lovely morning to have off. darren peck has the weather forecast. it is a nice one and it is just warmer for some of us. and some of us will notice this a lot. let me start off by showing you what it looks like the top of the sales force camera if you're looking at the screen, there are just a few clouds showing up along the coast. the cameras looking west from the city all past the tower and out over the ocean beach. this is the only place you will find low clouds. may be a few over the city but everyone else is waking up to
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clear skies. when we get the clear skies with a little marine layer, those are usually the days in july when we will see numbers. san francisco is going to 70. it is a gift for most locations. look at the numbers across the rest of the bay. ninety six for inland spot today. and that is going to turn in two 100 for the weekend. and that is what i wanted to talk to you about coming up in the complete forecast. so far the drive looks good. we do not have very many problems spot. if you need to text take the extra time, do it. i will allow it. in the meantime, the san mateo bridge looks less busy than it did 15 minutes ago. you are good to go in the westbound direction. you have some company but the roadway is not too crowded. east bay is not two to. off to the richmond san rafael bridge there are a few flashing lights or construction is still in place until about now. they should be in the process of clearing up at the lanes. most of the east and westbound direction. it is early for the commute and
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so far everything looks good at the toll plaza. the same thing at the bay bridge with the metering lights here shortly. the former special counsel robert mueller will be in the hot seat and just about half an hour. for the highly anticipated testimony congress. taking a live look at capitol hill. robert mueller just arrived moments ago and right now he is getting ready to answer questions from lawmakers and russian interference in the last presidential election. reporter is live in washington dc with a look ahead. >> reporter: we know that robert mueller is expected to testify before the house judiciary committee and intelligence committee for the first time today, happening in a few minutes, here is what else we want to know. you want to pass on to the viewers. the special counsel program made the finders did not identified evidence of a conspiracy between the trump campaign and russia. however, it cited 10 instances
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of potential obstruction of justice issues involving the president. the department of justice sent robert mueller a letter asking him to keep the testimony within the boundaries of the report. democrat are hoping to get more than that. he owes the american people answers on important questions like why he chose not to interview the president.>> republicans and the president say the robert mueller report is old news. democrats have agreed to the request to have longtime deputy with him. aaron will only be sworn in during the entire hundreds committee hearing meaning he will not be questions by the judiciary. back to you. >> how to democrats prepare for today and what kind of answers can we expect from robert mueller?>> with the delay, more than a week, we know that they have spent weeks prepping and got the extra time. also, the democrats in the house judiciary committee held a mock hearing. robert mueller has been
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prepping expecting the specific questions. he has been working with the formal officials in his preparation. we also know as far as the answers when it comes to robert mueller that his nature historically has been one that has been typed left giving the answers of yes, no, and he was subpoenaed to be here today. it is likely that he will try to stay within the corners of the report.>> we will hear from them shortly. thank you. >> cbs news will carry a special report for the mueller testimony starting around 5:15 and you can watch online on throughout california department of motor vehicles offices will be closed. da lin is joining us life from daly city . >> reporter: instead of opening at 9:00, all dmv offices in the state will open it 1:00 this afternoon.
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the agency is retraining the entire workforce. we are talking about more than 5000 people. the governor says about 28 million californians will may have to apply before the october forced deadline. that is the deadline to have a real id to fight to board a plane. state officials believe the dmv offices will see more people in the next 14 months. they believe the training will speed up wait times and hopefully improve customer service.>> we want to accommodate that type of volume. we want to be prepared. i know, this time last year, august of last year, we reached a real breaking of breaking point. >> the governor admitted it was embarrassing and bad. people were waiting up he appointed a new director to
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oversee the agency. they say that it will take time, perhaps a couple of ye ov the changes. they are asking for patients but the thing to remember, there heading to it dmv office opening at 1:00 today. live daly city, trenton da lin kpix 5. >> a measure to ease congestion headed to the ballot. they just got the thumbs-up from city leaders that would add attacks major transportation including companies >> tom: and uber. that would fund street safety projects aimed at encouraging more people to walk and use public transit. that will be on the ballot this november and will need a two thirds majority for approval. dashcam video helped san francisco police with the investigation into a deadly crash. take a look at tesla speeds past traffic and runs a red light. then slams into a mini cooper runs over a couple at taylor
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and o'farrell street. demanded not survive. studies crash marked several vesicles 14th pedestrian death this year. there is a $10,000 reward out this morning to help catch a killer. 56-year-old miguel ramirez worked for years as a contract employer at the building. in may he returned home to richmond and was getting the mail and he was killed by a straight bullet. richmond police say it was the result of a gun battle to chancellor street and a multiple instances. only if you have come forward. video from a neighborhood surveillance camera shows two instances taking cover as gunfire interrupts police he was involved the shooter. the gunfire happened to people in the car and someone standing in the street. >> at least we get that person and get the peace of mind that justice was hurt.>> police say the investigation has turned up some leads. they say that it week after the shooting, they arrested the man who was driving the car, but
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they had to let him go because of a state law.>> we know this person is involved in and we cannot press charges against the person because we are still looking for more evidence. >> richmond police sergeant said bill 1437 makes it difficult to charge get away drivers and encompasses all of the person with the actual killer. the bill was co-authored by two state senators. cleat democrat nancy skinner and republican joel anderson of san diego county. was signed by governor jerry brown. new video of a violent lover squirrel on a flight to california. >> this happened on sunday at american airlines flight before he took off from miami to los
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angeles. some say incidents are not at all surprising. >> times are changing and people feel free to act out whatever they feel like doing. >> the flight was delayed but finally took off. the man was books and it is not clear if the woman was arrested. a wildfire and napa county getting closer to containment. the so-called canyon fire began on monday. it burned about 64 acres but calfire said no buildings have been damaged or destroyed and there are no injuries of the fires. it is 85 contained. the structure is now reopened and the cause of the fire is still unclear. as the fire season heats up, the u.s. is facing a firefighters shortage. the department of interior says it is short hundreds of firefighters for the la times reports that the reason met his recruitment problems as we well as there is a government shutdown. the time says 1359 seasonal firefighters have been hired another sort of the 1600 mentioned in the january memo.
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>> a battle between big tech and the department of justice is bring. the federal agency announced it is opening a sweeping antitrust investigation into major silicon valley companies. at issue is whether tech giant that would reportedly include apple, google, facebook and amazon owning too many people pieces of the market and are humming competition or stifling innovation by buying small startups and killing off potential rivals. the prop comes as lawmakers and candidates for stricter regulations and threatened to keep big tech. >> you believe this is political?>> it is that tech is being demonized by democrats including presidential candidates. swiped at the white house by the current president and conservative forces and the republican party. it feels like it is stifling free speech in a way spot google was the only company
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pointing out the staff members. three said house terry that the google operations benefit the customers. all eyes on the nations capital this morning. robert mueller is about to answer questions about the russia investigation. hear what he has to say, had in a cbs special report. noticeably warmer today for many of us. some of us as much as 7 degrees. i will point out the differences across the bay but it is really the weekend. that is the story when it comes to heat. so far as far as the bay area is concerned, we have one issue to talk about. we have a wind advisory for the san mateo bridge and a couple of small hiccups here or there. for the most part you are good to go. we have the travel times, just ahead. introducing togo's new hot chicken sandwiches.
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the brewpub chicken with grilled chicken, crispy smokehouse bacon, and fresh avocado. the new buffalo chicken with frank's redhot wings sauce. the new hot chicken trio at togo's. how far would you go for a togo? 5:14 and alive look at washington dc this morning. and about 15 minutes, robert mueller will be appearing to answer question about the russia investigation for the first time before two house committees. >> we are looking live inside were you can see a lot of media is ready for the meeting. the former special counsel will sit next to his top aide during the hearings, but the itteese dt e r of the intelligence
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committee has urged robert mueller to speak his mind after the department of justice asked him to only speak about what is and is for hundred 48 page report. back live inside of the congressional hearing room. cbs has a special report. >> reporter: monumental findings.>> there were multiple systematic efforts to interfere in our election. and that's allegations deserves the attention of every american. >> reporter: 22 to a great netting 37 indictments on 229 charges and several guilty pleas. and further confusion. sought there is no obstruction or collusion.>> if we are confident the president clearly did not commit a crime. >> it was a complete and total examination. >> reporter: conclusion said only widened political divisions. >> the whole thing is a scam.
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is that it it is a giant harassment. >> now an opportunity for america to hear from the man who wanted to stay silent.>> we chose the words carefully and it speaks for itself. the report is my testimony. >> reporter: this is a cbs news special report. high-stakes and history. robert mueller testifying on capitol hill. the sun is up over the capital and it could get pretty hot under the dome. we are live in washington. good morning i'm norah o'donnell alongside major garrett. is a robert mueller doubleheader. the former special counsel is about to make back-to-back appearances before the house judiciary committee and intelligence committees it is about the last place on earth that he wants to be a delisting of the role that he wants to do. the former marine who volunteered to serve his
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country during vietnam had to be subpoenaed to testify. robert mueller arrived on capitol hill just a few minutes ago. you see the picture of his arrival. this is the first time he will answer questions about his investigation of russian interference in the 2016 u.s. election. whether anyone in the trump campaign was involved, and whether the president obstructed justice. robert mueller has had his report speaks for itself it doesn't intended to go on with the report says. it has robert mueller cannot determine whether mr. trump did or did not commit a crime, but the report did not exonerate him and the president has claimed. suck no collusion and no obstruction. we had nothing. a total no collusion finding. democrats were devastated. trucking obstruction finding came not from robert mueller but from william barr he said it was not enough justice
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department has restricted robert mueller can say today that would include the president if robert mueller does not go down with the report says, what is the point. intelligence chairman adam schiff told cbs news he will get his chance at the bottom of the hour before the judiciary committee headed by during other. robert mueller will appear before the intelligence committee. 20 me and he coverage, the chief major correspondence correspondent major garrett. chief justice and homeland security correspondent jeff and white house correspondent paula reid. let's get right to it. you have been covering the investigation from the very beginning. the report details 10 instances of possible obstructioste. are other exhaustive oste. insights throughout this entire report. tell us what are sort of the five top
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in this report, they lay out specific instances of obstruction of justice but ultimately they could not clear the president on that question, because they point to how he, for example, directed fbi director james comey to end his investigation, former national security adviser mike flynn, also how he ordered don mcgahn to fire mueller. how he attacked jeff sessions in the press and dangled pardons. all of this, norah, paints a damning picture. one point that they could not clear the president on this, nor could they charge him. the justice department said you cannot charge a sitting president. mueller felt while he couldn't clear him, he couldn't charge him either because if he couldn't go through a trial, he had no way to clear his name. we cannot lose sight of, this did not start out as an investigation into candidate trump or president trump, but russian interference into the 2016 campaign.
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and mueller's report found that, in fact, russia interfered in a fashion. the first volume of his report lays out how they did that. trying to sow misinformation and sow discord between people on controversial issues like guns and race and disseminating emails they believed would hurt candidate clinton but ultimately, ultimately, mueller said there was no coordination or collusion between the trump campaign and russia. he did find many contacts, he said they did not work together in a way thin which he can actually prove a crime. >> that deserves our attention, what russia was actually engaged in. nancy cordes is outside that hearing room where i understand hundreds of people were gathered all night long in order to get a glimpse or seat inside. nancy, describe the scene there. >> reporter: well, the halls, as you can see behind me, norah,
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are packed. groups of capitol police officers trying to keep these hallways clear, but the line to get into the judiciary hearing room behind me stretches down this hall, around the corner, down another hall, around another corner and these office buildings are not small. so that gives you a sense of the anticipation for this hearing. we spoke to people who lined up at early as 8:00 p.m. last night. and this hearing room holds a maximum of about 100 members of the public. so if you got here after 4:00 a.m., you're probably going to be disappointed. robert mueller himself, as he arrives, stepped out of his suv. i asked him whether he is looking forward to today's hearing. he didn't respond, which probably gives you the answer right there. he is viewed by democrats as a reluctant witness, someone who is going to look to say less rather than more. and so in their mock hearings, in theirp y've they can try to draw him out. they know this is going to be
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their one opportunity to get all of their questions answered by him on the record in public. >> they attempt to try to bring this nearly 450-page report to life. that's the goal of the democrats today. major garret is with me here in the studio and will be with me all morning, of course. and you have covered president trump. there's this one part -- if you read the mueller report -- >> yep. >> -- it is exhaustive in its scope. parts of it do read like a novel for a political junkie like me. >> sure. there's a legal espionage sort of component to it, what the russians did, how they did it. that's fascinating and there are parts that read like a very tense drama playing out inside the white house, inside the oval office, wherehe president is the central character, flailing, aggravated and some of the things he says and does do not read well for a sitting president. it's not the kind of behavior we're used to.
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is that criminally chargeable? >> we made a graphic of it. i think it illustrates the president's state of mind. and the president said when he learned of the special counsel being appointed nearly two years ago he said, quote, oh, my god, this is terrible. this is the end of my preside presidency. i'm f'd. what was the president and to this day the most afraid of? >> losing control. the president loves control. and he wanted to have some way to control this investigation. that's clear from the mueller report. whether you believe that constitutes obstruction of justice or not, it's clear the president wanted control. with this, he thought he would lose all control. he wanted a cplns aorney jeff wasn doing tspres tho hneeder ,
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undercut his election from the very beginning, which he felt was fundamentally unfair. he also believed if there was something illegitimate about its origins, something biased in its continuation. those two things enraged the president and drove a lot of this behavior that looks, at times, unhinged, even those who worked closely with him and admire him, but may not be obstructive. >> the multiple instances in which the president directs his white house counsel to fire the special counsel. he directs corey lewandowski to fire -- >> the president's state of mind. was that obstructive behavior? in some cases it was not. not because theresidentn't expeet to happen but it did not happen. why didn't it happen? people didn't follow his orders. >> critical point, indeed. the people did not follow outle
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out his orders. these are going to be historic hearings. mark them in the history books, in terms of the big hearings we have seen on capitol hill. robert mueller, who has served this country for nearly half a century, first as a vietnam war hero who has a bronze star, two navy commendation medals and purple heart, volunteered for the vietnam war and, of course, served as fbi director for more than 12 years during the 9/11 period. jeff begues, set the scene about robert mueller, his background and what type of witness will he be today? >> even t hd as f dior for 12 you noted, and assistant attorney general, no one in washington will describe him as someone wh being reluctant to do so in a
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nearly 50-year career in government service. before being named special counsel as fbi director he ransom of the most consequential investigations this country's law enforcement has ever undertaken. he was sworn in a week before 9/11 and led the search for answers in that investigation after the attacks. prior to that in the 1990s, he led the justice department's criminal division as it prosecuted panamanian leader ortega and mob boss john gotti. he is also, as you noted, vietnam war veteran who was wounded and earned a bronze star as well as a purple heart. he did not discuss the russian investigation publicly until the end, in may. those who know that is typical of mueller who, throughout his career, has been known to let his actions speak louder thangoack to paula reid, who is at the white house.
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we heard jeff detail, of course, robert mueller. he is not the only one who will be sitting at that main table today. robert mueller's long-time right-hand man, his chief of staff when he was fbi director and the number two at the special counsel's office, name by aaron zebley, will also join him at the table. why was that last-minute request made? >> reporter: it appears that the special counsel would like someone to help him go through these two massive volumes of information and not go outside the four corners of his report. the justice department sent him a letter that appeared somewhat threatening if he did, in any way, veer away from the specific details outlined in his report. zebley is a long-time aid, as you said. he knows mueller. he will know if he needs a break, a specific page number. he has had extensive experience in nationalllnde is well equipped to help shepherd him through this marathon hearing.
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>> all right. paula reid. let's go back to nancy cordes as people are starting to fill in that hearing room. i know you spent the last couple of weeks speaking to both the democrats and the republicans on this committee. beyond bringing this report to life, what are democrats hoping to achieve? >> reporter: well, they really want to drill down, norah, on those ten incidents of potential obstruction of justice that the mueller report laid out in pretty great detail. and they want to get mueller on the record, explaining those incidents and explaining to them why he never concluded at the end of the day whether the president committed a crime. he even went so far, norah, as to divvy up different instances to different lawmakers because they don't want to overlap. congressman from rhode island said he will be focusing on one of those incidents when the president asked his former aide,
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corey lewandowski to limit the scope of the investigation. he will focus on that issue. more broadly, growing number of congressional democrats who believe that the incidents contained in this report constitute high crimes and misdemeanors, but public polling shows the number of americans who believe the president should be impeached is actually falling. so democrats view this hearing as one of their best, most high-profile chances to try to grab the public's attention and change some minds. now, when it comes to republicans, they are going to focus on the origins of the mueller investigation. they believe that all of this started with a politically motivated dossier commissioned by the clinton campaign and they are going to press mueller to explain that at the end of the day, his report found that there was no evidence of conspiracy between the trump campaign and russia. they say that's the whole shebang.
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you've got the president, then, watching on, egging republicans on to press this point. he has been pressing it himself in tweets all morning. and then as we look to the senate side -- this is the house. the senate, run by republicans, not democrats, they're watching all this and saying, we don't feel the need to talk to mueller on the senate side. they believe that everything has already been asked and answered by the report. in fact, as one of them colorfully put it yesterday, john kennedy of louisiana, he said that all of this is as dead as fried chicken. norah? >> there you go. and that's the chairman, jerry nadler, of new york, of the judiciary committee, who has been like a bulldog going after the president in terms of laying out these different instances of potential obstruction of justice. and so he will play a key role in this hearing this morning. and, major, i want to turn to you on that point because while this report by the special counsel did not say that the
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president committed obstruction of justice, he does say that essentiall rf not a legal system, but of a political system. >> right. >> whias in some ways mueller setting up this very moment, that it is the job of congress to adjudicate the president's behavior? this as we see the special counsel walking in right now? >> yes. he said there's a means by way of which to deal with these behaviors, thiss conduct. it's not his role to advocate for or try to stop. >> let's listen in now to what's happening inside the hearing room.
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room. >> robert mueller, 74 years old, former vietnam war marine, also known as bobby three sticks. that is the usual protesters. sometimes nicknamed bobby three sticks because he is robert mueller iii. a man who goes by the books. >> sure. this is happening because we had a midterm election, norah. democrats had not won that mid term election and taking control of the house, there would be no mueller hearing. registered on the house side. republicans do not want to convene this q & a session. >> what we want you to know is that we will provide for you here at cbs three hours of live coverage.
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>> we welcome everyone to today's hearing on oversight of the day's report. i will now recognize myself for a brief opening statement. your career, for example, is a model of responsibility. you are a decorated marine offic officer. you served as senior roles of the department of justice and in the immediate aftermath of 9/11, you served as director of the fbi. two years ago, you returned to public service to lead the investigation into russia interference elections. you conducted that investigation with remarkable integrity. for 22 months, you never
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commented in public about your work, even when you were subjected to repeated and grossly unfair personal attacks. instead, your indictments spoke for you in astonishing detail. over the course of your investigation, you obtained criminal indictments against 37 people and entities. you secured the conviction of president trump's campaign chairman, his deputy campaign manager, his national security adviser and his personal lawyer, among others. in the paul manafort case alone, you recovered as much as $42 million so that the cost of your investigation to the taxpayers and inpo, you red th country an ll. in volumei, found that the russian government u.s. presidea sweeping fashion and that the attacks were designed to benefit
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the trump campaign. volume ii walks us through ten separate instances of possible obstruction of justice where, in your words, president trump attempted to exert undue influence over your investigation. the president's behavior included public attacks on the investigation, nonpublic efforts to control it and efforts in both public and private to encourage witnesses not to cooperate, close quote. among the most shocking of these incidents, president trump order his white house counsel to have you fired and then to lie and deny that it had happened. he ordered his former campaign manager to tell the attorney general to step in and limit your work and prevented witnesses from cooperating with your investigation. although department policy barred the president from this
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conduct, you made clear he is not exonerated. any other person who acted in this way would have been charged with crimes. in this nation, not even the president is above the law. which brings me to this committee's work. responsibility, integrity and accountability. these are the marks by which we serve on this committee will be measured as well. director mueller, we have a responsibility to address the evidence that you have uncovered. you recognized as much when you said, quote, the constitution requires a process other than the criminal justice system to formally accuse a sitting president of wrongdoing, close quote. that process begins with the work of this committee. we will follow your example, director mueller. we will act with integrity. we will follow the facts where they lead. we will consider all appropriate remedies. we will make our recommendation to the house when our work
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concludes. we will do this work because there must be accountability for the conduct described in your report, especially as it relates to the president. thank you again, director mueller. we look forward to your testimony. it is now my pleasure to recognize the ranking member of the judiciary committee, the gentleman from georgia, mr. collins, for his opening statement. >> thank you, mr. chairman. and thank you, mr. mueller, for being here. for two years, leading up to the release of the mueller report and in the three months since, americans were first told what to expect and then what to believe. collusion, we were told, was in plain sight, even if the special counsel's team didn't find it. when mr. mueller produced his report and attorney general barr provided it to every american, we read no american conspired with russia to interfere in our elections but learned the depths of russia to interfere. after an extended, unhampered investigation, today marks the
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end to mr. mueller's investigation involvement in an investigation that closed in april. burden of proof for accusations that remain unproven is extremely high, especially in light of special counsel's thoroughness. we were told this investigation began as an inquiry into whether russia meddled in our 2016 election. mr. mueller, you concluded they did. russians accessed democrat servers and disseminated inside information by tricking insiders into providing information. whether president trump sought assistance to win the presidency, mr. mueller concluded he did not. his family or advisers did not. in fact, the report concludes no one in the president's campaign cloouded, collaborated or conspired with the russians. the president watched the public narrative surrounding this investigation to assume his guilt while he knew the extent of his innocence. volume ii, mr. mueller's report details the president's reaction to frustrating investigation where his innocence was established early on.
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the president's attitude toward the investigation was understandably negative. yet the president did not use his authority to close the investigation. he asked his lawyer, mr. mueller had disqualify mr. mueller from the job but did he not shut down the investigation. the president knew he was innocent. those are the facts of the mueller report. russia meddled in the 2016 election, the president did not conspire with the russians and nothing we hear today will not change these facts. one element of this story remains, the beginnings of the fbi investigation into the president. what he found during the review of the origins of the investigation, in addition the inspector general continues to review how baseless gossip can be used to launch an investigation against a private citizen and eventually a president. we will need to learn from them to ensure intelligence and law enforcement powers are never used to turn on a private citizen or potential political
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candidate as a result of political leanings of a handful of fbi agents. what it means to be american. every american has a voice in our democracy and we must protect the sanctity of their voice by combating election interference. every american enjoys the presumption of innocence. if we carry nothing -- anything away today, it must be that we increase our vigilance against foreign election interference while law enforcement doesn't execute their power against every american citizen. the months we have spent investigating from this diaz failed to end the border crisis. instead we've gotten stuck and it's paralyzed this committee and this house. as a side note, every week i leave my family and kids, the most important things to me, to come to this place, because i believe this place is a place we can actually do things and help people. i came here to work on behalf of
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the people of the ninth district in this country. we accomplished a t first six years, with many of those sitting across the aisle on this diaz today. because of the dislike of this president and the endless hearing into investigations have caused us to accomplish nothing but talk about the problems of our country while our border is on fire in crisis and everything else has stopped. this hearing is long overdue. we've had truth for months. no american conspired to throw our election. what we need today is to let that truth bring us confidence and i hope, mr. chairman, closure. with that, i yield back. >> thank you, mr. collins. i will now introduce today's witness. robert mueller served as director of the fbi from 2001 to 2013 and most recently served as special counsel in the department of justice overseeing the investigation into russian interference in the 2016 special election. he received his b.a. from
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princeton university, m.a. from new york university, in my district, and jd from the university of virginia. mr. mueller is accompanied by counsel, aaron zebley, who served as deputy assistant counsel on the investigation. we welcome our distinguished witness and thank you for participating in today's hearing. if you will please rise, i will begin by swearing you in. >> raise your right hand, please. do you swear that the testimony you're about to give is the truth to the best of your information and belief? let the record show that the witness answered in the affirmative. thank you and please be seated. please note that your written statement will be entered into the record in its entirety. i ask that you summarize your testimony in five minutes. director mueller, you may begin. >> good morning, chairman nadler
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and ranking member collins, and the members of the committee. as you know, in may 2017, the acting attorney general asked me to serve as special counsel. i undertook that role because i believe it was of paramount interest to the nation to determine whether a foreign adversary had interfered in the presidential election. as the acting attorney general said at the time, the appointment was necessary in order for the american people to have full confidence in the outcome. my staff and i carried out this assignment with that critical objective in mind, to work quietly, thoroughly and withinw integrity, so that the public would have full confidence in the outcome. the order appointing me as special counsel directed our office to investigate russian interference in the 2016
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presidential election. this included investigating any links or coordination between the russian government and individuals associated with the trump campaign. it also included investigating efforts to interfere with or obstruct our investigation. throughout the investigation, i continually stressed two things to the team that we had assembled. first, we needed to do our work as thoroughly as possible and as expeditiously as possible. it was in the public interest for our investigation to be complete, and not to last a day longer than was necessary. second, the investigation needed to be conducted fairly and with absolute integrity. our team would not leak or take other actions that could compromise the integrity of our work. all decisions were made based on
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the facts and the law. during the course of our investigation, we charged more than 30 defendants with committing federal crimes, including 12 officers of the russian military. seven defendants have been convicted or pled guilty. certain of the charges we brought remain pending today and for those matters, i stress that the indictments contain allegations and every defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty. in addition to the criminal charges we brought, as required by justice department regulations, we submitted a confidential report to the attorney general at the conclusion of our investigation. the report set forth the results of our work and the reasons for our charge iing decisions. the attorney general later made the report largely public. as you know, i made a few
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limited remarks about our report when we closed the special counsel's office in may of this year. there are certain points that bear emphasis. first, our investigation found that the russian government interfered in our election in sweeping and systematic fashion. second, the investigation did not establish that members of the trump campaign conspired with the russian government in its election interference activities. we did not address collusion, which is not a legal term. rather, we focused on whether the evidence was sufficient to charge any member of the campaign with taking part in a criminal conspiracy, and it was not. third, our investigation of efforts to obstruct vestigation and lie to investigators was of critical importance. obstruction of justice strikes at the core of the government's
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effort to find the truth and all of the wrongdoers accountable. finally, as described in volume ii of our report, we investigated a series of actions by the president towards the investigation. based on justice department policy and principles of fairness, we decided we would not make a determination as to whether the president committed a crime. that was our decision then, and it remains our decision today. let me say a further word about my appearance today. it is unusual for a prosecutor to testify about a criminal investigation and given my role as a prosecutor, there are reasons why my testimony will necessarily be limited. first, public testimony could affect several ongoing matters. in some of these matters, court
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rules or judicial orders limit the disclosure of information to protect, to protect the fairness of the proceedings. and consistent with longstanding justice department policy, it would be inappropriate for me to comment in any way that could affect an ongoing matter. second, the justice department has asserted privileges concerning investigative information and decisions. ongoing matters within the justice department and deliberations within our office. these are justice department privileges that i will respect. the department has released a letter, discussing the restrictions on my testimony. i, therefore, will not be able to answer questions about certain areas that i know are of public interest. for example, i am unable to address questions about the initial opening of the fbi's russia investigation, which occurred months before my appointment, or matters related
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to the so-called steele dossier. they are matters of ongoing review by the department. any questions should be directed, therefore, to the fbi or the justice department. as i explained when we closed the special counsel's office in may, our report contains our findings and analysis and the reasons for the decisions we made. we conducted an extensive investigation over two years. in writing the report, we stated the results of our investigation with precision. we scrutinized every word. i do not intend to summarize or describe the results of our work in a different way in the course of my testimony today. as i said on may 29th, the report is my testimony and i will stay within that text. and as i stated in may, i will
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not comment on the actions of the attorney general or of congress. i was appointed as a prosecutor and i intend to adhere to that rule and to the department standards that govern it. i will be joined today by deputy special counsel aaron zebley, who has extensive experience as a federal prosecutor and at the fbi where he served as my chief of staff. mr. zebley was responsible for the day-to-day oversight of the investigations conducted by our office. i also want to, again, say thank you to the attorneys, the fbi agentsthe analysts, the professional staff who helped us conduct this investigation in a fair and independent manner. these individuals who spent on s matter were of the highest integrity.
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let me say one more thing. over the course of my career, i've seen a number of challenges to our democracy. the russian government's effort to interfere in our election is among the most serious. and as i said on may 29th, this deserves the attention of every american. thank you, mr. chairman. >> thank you. we will now proceed under the five-minute rule with questions. i will begin by recognizing myself for five minutes. director mueller, the president has repeatedly claimed that your report found there was no obstruction and that it completely and totally exonerated him. but that is not what your report said, is it? >> that's correct, that is not what the report said. >> and reading from page two of volume ii of your report that's on the screen, you wrote, quote, if we had confidence after a thorough investigation of the
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facts that the president clearly did not commit obstruction of justice, we would so state. based on the facts and the applicable legal standards, however, we are unable to reach that judgment, close quote. now, does that say there was no obstruction? >> no. >> in fact, you're actually unable to conclude the president did not commit obstruction of justice, is that correct? >> well, at the outset, we determined that when it came to the president's culpability, we needed to go forward only after taking into account the olc opinion that indicated that a president -- sitting president cannot be indicted. >> so the report did not conclude that he did not commit obstruction of justice, is that correct? >> that is correct. >> and what about total exoneration, did you actually totally exonerate the president?
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>> no. >> now, in fact, your report expressly states that it does not exonerate the president. >> it does. >> and your investigation actually found, quote, multiple acts by the president that were capable of exerting undue influence over law enforcement investigations, including the russian interference and obstruction investigations. is that correct? >> correct. >> now, director mueller, can you explain in plain terms what that finding means so the american people can understand it? >> well, the finding indicates that the president was not -- the president was not exculpated for the acts that he allegedly committed. >> in fact, you were talking about incidents, quote, in which the president sought to use his official power outside of usual channels, unquote, to exert undue influence over your
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investigations. is that right? >> that's correct. >> now, am i correct that on page seven of volume ii of your report you wrote, quote, the president became aware that his own conduct was being investigated in an obstruction of justice inquiry. at that point, the president engaged in a second phase of conduct, involving public attacks on the investigation, nonpublic efforts to control it, and efforts in both public and private to encourage witnesses not to cooperate with the investigation, close quote. so, president trump's efforts to exert undue influence over your investigation intensified after the president became aware that he personally was being investigated? >> i stick with the language that you have in front of you. >> which? >> page seven, volume ii. >> is it correct that if you concluded that the president committed the crime of obstruction, you could not publicly state that in your report or here today? >> can you repeat the question, sir? >> is it correct that if you had
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concluded that the president committed the crime of i y report oto well, i would say you -- the statement would be that you would not indict and you would not indict because under the olc opinion a sitting president, excuse me, cannot be indicted. it would be unconstitutional? >> you could not state that because of the olc opinion if that had been your conclusion? >> olc opinion with some guide, yes. >> under department of justice policy, the president could be prosecuted for obstruction of justice crimes after he leaves office, correct? >> true. >> thank you. did any senior white house official refuse a request to be interviewed by you or your team? >> i don't believe so. i take that -- let me take that back. i would have to look at it. i'm not certain that that was the case. >> did the president refuse a request to be interviewed by you
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and your team? >> yes. >> yes. and is it true you tried more than a year to secure an interview with the president? >> yes. >> and is it true that you and your team advised the president's lawyer that, quote, an interview with the president is vital to our investigation, close quote? >> yes. yes. >> and is it true that you also, quote, stated that it is. >> yes. >> but the president still refused to sit for an interview by you or your team? >> true. >> didn't you also ask him to provide written answers to questions on the ten possible episodes of obstruction of justice crimes involving him? >> yes. >> did he provide any answers to a single question about whether he engaged in obstruction of justice crimes? >> i would have to check on that. i'm not certain. >> director mueller, we are grateful you are here to explain your investigation of findings, having reviewed your work, i believe anyone else would have engaged in the conduct described in your report would have been
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criminally prosecuted. your work is vitally important to this committee and the american people, because no one is above the law. i now recognize the gentleman from georgia, mr. collins. >> thank you, mr. chairman. and we're moving on understanding, reiterating the five-minute rule, many questions which will be answered will be questioned in a moment. i want to lay down some foundations. i'm said i talk fast. i will talk slowly. >> thank you, sir. >> in your press conference, we chose these words carefully. the word speaks for itself, i will not provide any information beyond that. do you stand by that statement? >> yes. >> special counsel's office closed in may of 2019, have you conducted any additional interviews or obtained any new information in your role as special counsel? >> in the wake of the report? >> since the closing of the office in may of 2019. >> and the question was? >> have you conducted any new
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interviews, any new witnesses, anything? >> tho. >> you can confirm you're no longer special counsel, correct? >> i am no longer special counsel. >> at any time of the investigation, was your investigation curtailed or stopped? or hindered? >> no. >> were you or your team provided questions by members of the congress committee hearing headed here today? >> no. >> 19 lawyers and 40 fbi agents and analysts and accountants. are those numbers contract accurate? >> repeat that, ease. >> 19 lawyers, 40 analysts and forensic accountants. are those number accurate? >> generally, yes. >> 228 subpoenas, executed 500 search warrants, 230 orders for communication records and 50? >> that went a little fast for me. >> okay. in your report, i'll make this very simple. you did a lot of work, correct? >> that, i agree to. >> a lot of subpoenas. >> a lot of subpoenas. >> okay. we'll walk this really slow if
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we need to. >> lot of search warrants. >> okay. so you were very thorough? >> what? >> your opinion very thorough? >> yes. >> you listed this out in your report, correct? >> yes. >> thank you. is it true the evidence gathered during yourr investigation, givn the questions that you just answered, is it true that the evidence gathered in your investigation did not establish that the president was involved in the underlying crime related to russia election interference as stated volume i, page seven? >> we found insufficient evidence of the president's culpability. >> so that would be a yes? >> pardon? >> that would be a yes? >> yes. >> thank you. isn't it true that the evidence did not establish that the president or those close to him were involved in computer hacking or active measure conspiracies or otherwise had unlawful relations with russian? >> i'll leave the answer to our report. >> so that's a yes. is that true, your investigation
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did not establish that members of the trump campaign conspired or coordinated in >> thank you, yes. >> thank you. although your report states, collusion is not specific offense and you said that this morning for a term of federal criminal law conspiracy is and collusion and conspiracy essentially synonymous terms? >> you have to repeat that for me. >> collusion is not a specific offense or a term of art in the federal criminal law. conspiracy is. >> yes. >> in the colloquial context, known public context, collusion and conspiracy are essentially synonymous terms, correct? >> no. >> if no on page 180 of volume 1 of your r


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