Robert Mueller defends DOJ hiring practices | USA TODAY

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Robert Mueller said he's "not had occasion once to ask somebody's political beliefs" while defending his hiring practices.

See Robert Mueller's opening statemet:

Former special counsel Robert Mueller told lawmakers in during a highly-anticipated hearing Wednesday that the investigation he supervised revealed a "serious" threat to American democracy from Russian election interference and reinforced his conclusion that he had "not exculpated" President Donald Trump.

And he rebutted Trump's critique of the two-year inquiry, telling lawmakers that it had revealed a Russian effort to benefit Trump's campaign, which welcomed the assistance, and that it had not cleared the president of obstructing the probe. "It is not a witch hunt," Mueller told the House Intelligence Committee during the second of two back-to-back hearings Wednesday.

Russia's interference in U.S. elections "deserves the attention of every American," Mueller said earlier in the day as he began his testimony about the investigation of the Kremlin's efforts to sway the election that put Trump in office.

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