Mueller meets with House Intel panel

The head of the FBI met with lawmakers on the House Intelligence Committee Wednesday as Congress struggles to make sense of an agency investigation into ex-CIA chief David Petraeus.

FBI Director Robert Mueller declined to comment to The Hill as he swiftly left the secure briefing room for the House Intelligence panel, three floors underground in the Capitol Visitor Center.

Mueller’s attendance at Wednesday’s briefing was not announced ahead of time and the FBI chief, with his security detail, dodged a group of more than a dozen reporters that had gathered outside the briefing room area by taking a back set of stairs.

House Intelligence Committee Chairman Mike Rogers (R-Mich.) also declined to comment as he hurried out of the briefing room, appearing to be headed back to his office in the Cannon House Office Building.

Rogers and Rep. Dutch Ruppersberger (D-Md.), the panel’s ranking member, have been in closed talks with Mueller and the CIA’s acting director, Mike Morell, for most of the day. Senior staff members for both lawmakers were also present. 

Capitol Hill has swirled with questions and concerns about the FBI’s investigation of Petraeus. Most lawmakers were only informed of the investigation when the former head of the CIA submitted his letter of resignation last Friday, citing an extramarital affair.

And while some members of Congress are calling for more answers from the FBI and the Justice Department, President Obama said Wednesday he is "withholding judgment" about the FBI’s choice to keep the White House and Congress in the dark as it investigated whether Petraeus’s personal email account was hacked.

The inquiry uncovered an affair between Petraeus and biographer Paula Broadwell, and lawmakers are demanding to know who decided to keep the investigation hidden from Congress until after the election.

Wednesday’s briefing between the House Intelligence panel and Mueller was an attempt to smooth relations between the government branches ahead of Thursday’s closed full committee hearing on the Benghazi attacks that killed four Americans, including the U.S. ambassador to Libya.