WASHINGTON (AP) — Special counsel Robert Mueller, breaking a two-year silence on his investigation into ties between Russia and the Trump campaign, announced his resignation from the Justice Department on Wednesday so that he can “return to public life.”
Mueller’s statement was expected to be relatively brief, about eight minutes, and Attorney General William Barr was given a heads-up about what he would say, according to people who were not authorized to provide details on the record and spoke on condition of anonymity.
The statement came amid demands for Mueller to testify on Capitol Hill about his findings and tension with Barr.
Mueller and Barr have been at odds over the attorney general’s handling of the special counsel’s report on Russia’s interference in the 2016 election and the possibility that Republican candidate Donald Trump’s campaign cooperated with the Russians’ efforts to help him win.
Mueller has remained a Justice Department employee since submitting the report in March, though the Justice Department has not said what work he has been doing.
Any public statement from Mueller would be extraordinary since his office has been famously tight-lipped throughout the investigation, and the special counsel himself has made no public statements since his May 2017 appointment. His spokesman has only rarely commented to confirm logistical or staff announcements, to announce the filing of public charges and to dispute one published report earlier this year.
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