Among the extraordinary aspects of Robert Mueller’s time as special counsel has been his discretion. The President tweeted. White House staffers leaked. Congressional Republicans spun. Democrats sputtered and shouted. Yet Mueller and his team went about their work quietly. They gave few comments to the press. They did not appear on television. The indictments filed by Mueller’s office were read for hints about the direction of his over-all project, but he offered few other clues. Whether this was a positive trait is hard to say—would the Mueller investigation’s findings have been received differently had he been directly setting expectations along the way?—but it certainly projected seriousness and competence in the context of a Washington that had lost the ability to project either.
Now, having finished his investigatory work—and having all but accused the President of obstruction of justice without charging him—Mueller has finally decided to speak. On Wednesday morning, he is due to make a “lengthy and substantial” statement in Washington at 11 A.M., according to the Times. He will take no questions. He has reportedly not been happy at the way Attorney General William Barr handled the release of his report. A soon-to-be-published book by the journalist Michael Wolff reportedly says that Mueller drew up an obstruction-of-justice indictment against the President. The White House, which has been trying to control the damage of the special counsel’s report since it was handed in, was apparently alerted to Mueller’s intention to give a statement last night.