“Nothing changes from the Mueller Report,” Trump wrote on Twitter. “There was insufficient evidence and therefore, in our Country, a person is innocent. The case is closed! Thank you.”
Nothing changes from the Mueller Report. There was insufficient evidence and therefore, in our Country, a person is innocent. The case is closed! Thank you.
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) May 29, 2019
In a televised announcement, Mueller said he will not comment again on the findings of the investigation and directed all inquiries about the probe the text of his final report.
The special counsel repeated the report’s finding that there is not enough evidence to establish that Trump or anyone in the Trump campaign colluded with Russia to influence the 2016 election.
Mueller also clarified why the special counsel’s office did not decide whether to bring an obstruction of justice charge against the president. The decision was influenced by a DOJ policy which prohibits charging a sitting president with a federal crime, Mueller said. He added that the special counsel refrained from making a determination out of a desire to be fair to the president.
“And beyond department policy, we were guided by the principle of fairness. It would be unfair to potentially accuse somebody of a crime when there can be no court resolution of the actual charge,” Mueller said.
“Charging the president with a crime was therefore not an option we could consider,” he added. “That is the office’s final position and we will not comment on any other conclusions or hypotheticals about the president.”
Mueller’s announcement ends the hopes of Democrats on the House Judiciary Committee that the former FBI director will testify about his final report on the Russia investigation.
Mueller concluded his 22-month investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 election in March. Attorney General William Barr released a redacted version of Mueller’s 400-plus-page report on April 18.
After Barr released the report, the Democrat-led House Judiciary Committee issued a subpoena for a fully unredacted version of the document and requested that Mueller appear to testify about the report.
The negotiations for the testimony stalled after the White House asserted executive privilege over the Mueller report in response to a Democrat-led effort to initiate contempt proceedings against Barr.
Rep. Jerrold Nadler (D-N.Y.), the chair of the House Judiciary Committee, interpreted Mueller’s statement to mean that Congress should act to impeach Trump.
“Given that Special Counsel Mueller was unable to pursue criminal charges against the President, it falls to Congress to respond to the crimes, lies and other wrongdoing of President Trump–and we will do so. No one, not even the President of the United States, is above the law,” Nadler wrote on Twitter.
Mueller also confirmed three central points: he did not exonerate the President of obstruction, obstruction of justice is a serious crime that strikes at the core of our justice system, and the Constitution points to Congress to take action to hold the President accountable. https://t.co/w61a8rRQeK
— (((Rep. Nadler))) (@RepJerryNadler) May 29, 2019
Rep. Doug Collins, the top Republican on Nadler’s committee, did not agree with his interpretation.
“Special Counsel Mueller confirmed today what we knew months ago when his report was released: There was no collusion and no obstruction. Relitigating the 2016 election and reinvestigating the special counsel’s findings will only further divide our country,” Collins wrote on Twitter.
Special Counsel Mueller confirmed today what we knew months ago when his report was released: There was no collusion and no obstruction. Relitigating the 2016 election and reinvestigating the special counsel’s findings will only further divide our country. Full statement → pic.twitter.com/q86hQpnODw
— Rep. Doug Collins (@RepDougCollins) May 29, 2019