The crowded hearing room in which former special counsel Robert MuellerRobert (Bob) MuellerSenate Democrats urge Garland not to fight court order to release Trump obstruction memo Why a special counsel is guaranteed if Biden chooses Yates, Cuomo or Jones as AG Barr taps attorney investigating Russia probe origins as special counsel MORE delivered his three-hour testimony broke into a rare bout of laughter Wednesday morning when Mueller joked that a lawmaker could get away with making false statements because "it's Congress."
"What if I had made a false statement to an investigator on your team — could I go to jail?" Rep. Sylvia GarciaSylvia GarciaThe Hill's Morning Report - Presented by Alibaba - Gears begin to shift in Congress on stalled Biden agenda Proposed Texas map adds two new congressional districts to Austin, Houston Three Democrats call for investigation into Sidney Powell to move 'swiftly' MORE (D-Texas) asked Mueller.
"Yes," Mueller replied. "Although, it's Congress, so…” he quipped.
Mueller then grinned as the audience broke into laughter.
"What if I had made a false statement to an investigator on your team—could I go to jail?"— Evan McMurry (@evanmcmurry) July 24, 2019
"Yes," Robert Mueller replies. "Although, it's Congress, so..." he adds to laughter from the room. https://t.co/PIsGWtGws2 #MuellerHearings pic.twitter.com/IPN0rMK66t
The moment came as a rare reprieve from an otherwise tense few hours of testimony from the special counsel as he recounted his report on Russian interference in the 2016 election.
Mueller repeatedly pointed back to the contents of his more than 400-page report when pressed by lawmakers on both sides of the aisle to clarify details on the origins of his report and its findings.
Mueller on Wednesday told Congress that he generally agreed that lies by Trump campaign officials and administration officials impeded his nearly two-year investigation. He also testified earlier that President TrumpDonald TrumpMcCabe wins back full FBI pension after being fired under Trump Biden's Supreme Court reform study panel notes 'considerable' risks to court expansion Bennie Thompson not ruling out subpoenaing Trump MORE refused to sit down for an in-person interview during his investigation.
The former special counsel will also testify before the House Intelligence Committee on Wednesday.