Mueller: If We Had Confidence That The President Clearly Did Not Commit a Crime We Would Have Said So
Special counsel Robert Mueller on Wednesday broke more than two years of silence about his investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 election and whether President Donald Trump obstructed justice, and suggested that the president committed a crime, but explained why he did not have the “option” of charging Trump with a crime.
Mueller said he was speaking out because his “investigation is complete,” his office is “formally closing” and that he is “resigning from the Department of Justice to return to private life.”
“The matters we investigated were of paramount importance,” Mueller said. “When the subject of an investigation obstructs that investigation or lies to investigators it strikes at the government’s effort to find the truth and hold wrongdoers accountable.”
With regard to why he did not make a decision about whether the president obstructed justice, Mueller said charging the president with a crime was “not an option we could consider” because of Justice Department policy.
But he added, “If we had confidence that the president clearly did not commit a crime we would have said so.”
Mueller also said he would prefer to not testify before Congress about his investigation. “I hope and expect this to be the only time that I will speak to you in this manner. I am making that decision myself,” Mueller said.
“I do not believe it is appropriate for me to speak further about the investigation. The report is my testimony,” he added.
His remarks were the first time the public had heard from Mueller after two years, 199 criminal charges and 37 indictments.
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