reporter's notebook

The Circus Ahead Of The Mueller Hearing

July 24, 2019 8:22 a.m.

The scene outside the Mueller hearing in the hour before it started was — not surprisingly — a circus.

In the hallway outside of the committee room were dozens of TV network cameras and crews, while hundreds of members of the public lined the wall. The public viewer line stretched back around several corners of the labyrinthine Rayburn Building.

A reporter friend who was here very early told me that about 15 members of the public camped out overnight to make sure they got a seat.

As I was checking out the line, a security guard announced that there were only 47 seats total for the public in the committee room. They would rotate new people in as others left, the guard said.

Members of Congress appeared harried as they too attempted to cut through the crowd to get to the committee room and the side rooms where members of staff can hang out. Rep Jamie Raskin’s (D-MD) hair was still wet and his tie undone when I saw him walking through the hall.

Now I am in the committee room where we’re waiting for the man of the hour — former special counsel Robert Mueller — to arrive. The camera crews are poised ready to grab fresh shots of the former FBI director, who proved himself elusive to photographers during the nearly two-year-long investigation.

Today everyone knew exactly where to find him.

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