EDITOR'S NOTE: Check back tomorrow at 7 a.m. CDT to watch Mueller's testimony live.
WASHINGTON - Former special counsel Robert Mueller is scheduled to testify publicly before two separate congressional panels Wednesday, July 24, when he will publicly address questions for the first time about his investigation of President Donald Trump and Russian interference in the 2016 election.
Here are five things to know:
1. What time is the hearing?
Mueller will first appear before the House Judiciary Committee starting at 8:30 a.m. Because of the committee's size, that hearing is expected to last about three hours. He will then appear before the House Intelligence Committee at noon, in a hearing that is expected to last about two hours.
Both hearings are public and will be streamed on The Washington Post's homepage. Live coverage begins Wednesday at 7 a.m. CDT.
2. Will Mueller say anything new?
Mueller is going to try not to make any news, and he will be a reluctant witness, at best. At a May news conference to announce that the special counsel's office was closing, Mueller said that he hoped his public remarks then would be his last and that - if pressed to testify - he would not stray beyond his report.
"We chose those words carefully, and the work speaks for itself," he said.
Jim Popkin, a spokesman for Mueller, reiterated Monday that Mueller intends to limit his testimony to what is in his report. He said Mueller will submit the publicly released version of the document as his official statement for the record, though he will also read a separate opening statement. The Justice Department told Mueller in a letter that his testimony "must remain within the boundaries of your public report" and noted that some aspects of his work were covered by executive privilege.
"You can expect him to stick pretty close to the four walls of the report come Wednesday," Popkin said.
A former FBI director, Mueller has loads of experience testifying before Congress. Those who know him say he generally did not like the exercise, though he prepared vigorously and was skilled at deflecting lawmakers' questions.
The hearing Wednesday will probably be far more contentious, though, than any he has faced previously. Popkin said Mueller and a small group of former team members have been preparing in unused office space at the WilmerHale law firm, which Mueller left to work as special counsel.
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3. What are Democrats most likely to ask about?
Democrats have signaled that they intend to focus much of their questioning on the episodes that Mueller outlined in his report in which Trump sought to impede the investigation. While the 448-page report lays them out in great detail, some Democrats believe that the American public hasn't yet been exposed to them, and having a respected former prosecutor rehash them on national TV is worthwhile in its own right.
Mueller almost certainly will not answer Democrats' biggest question: Does he believe there is enough evidence to bring an obstruction-of-justice case against Trump, were he not president? That is because Mueller's team decided it could not make a determination on that topic even privately, because of Justice Department policy preventing the indictment of a sitting president, combined with concerns about the unfairness of making an allegation against someone who would not have an opportunity to defend himself at a trial.
Video: Special Counsel Robert Mueller said it would be "unfair" to accuse President Trump of a crime since he could not be charged with a crime. (The Washington Post)
If Mueller were to publicly opine now that enough evidence exists to charge Trump, he would be contradicting the logic in his own report.
4. What are Republicans most likely to ask about?
Trump's conservative allies in Congress are likely to question the former special counsel about what they perceive as bias on his team. They are likely to refer repeatedly to anti-Trump text messages exchanged by two FBI officials who worked for Mueller: agent Peter Strzok and lawyer Lisa Page.
Mueller removed Strzok from the case when he was alerted to the messages, and Page already had left his team. Both Page and Strzok have insisted that their private views did not influence their work. But Trump has repeatedly used them to attack Mueller's probe, including as recently as Monday.
Republicans also are likely to press Mueller on the origins of the probe before his appointment and the propriety of investigative tactics the FBI used in dealing with the Trump campaign. If Mueller does not stray from his report, it is possible he will merely turn away such inquiries. But it is also possible that he will feel compelled to defend his team or the FBI, particularly in light of the president's repeated claim that his campaign was inappropriately spied on.
5. Where will lawmakers turn their attention when they are done with Mueller?
Mueller is a pivotal witness in the Judiciary and Intelligence committees' ongoing investigations of the Trump administration and Russian interference in the 2016 election, but he is hardly the only one. When he is finished, lawmakers might intensify their efforts to speak with members of his team.
They also might refocus on those who were witnesses for Mueller and can describe firsthand possible obstructive conduct by the president. Trump so far has largely stymied House Democrats on that front, citing executive privilege and other concerns to block witnesses from testifying.
For example, lawmakers have been unable to get former White House counsel Donald McGahn to speak with them, and former White House communications adviser Hope Hicks has repeatedly declined to discuss her time inside the administration, though she did talk about her time on the campaign.
Check back tomorrow at 7 a.m. CDT to watch Mueller's testimony live.
This article was written by Matt Zapotosky, a reporter for The Washington Post.