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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 rules or judicial orders limit the disclosure of information to protect the fairness of the proceedings. And consistent with long-standing 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 the 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 opening of the FBI’s Russia investigation, which occurred months before my appointment, or matters related to the so-called Steele dossier. These matters are the subject of ongoing review by the department. Any questions on these topics should therefore be directed 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 29: The report is my testimony. And I will stay within that text.
And as I stated in May, I also will 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 role and to the department’s standards that govern it.
I will be joined today by the deputy special counsel, Aaron Zebley. Mr. Zebley has extensive experience as a federal prosecutor and at the FBI, where he served as 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 agents, the analysts, and the professional staff who helped us conduct this investigation in a fair and independent manner. These individuals, who spent nearly two years working on this matter, were of the highest integrity.
And 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. As I said on May 29, this deserves the attention of every American.