Robert Mueller: "If we had had confidence that the president clearly did not commit a crime we would have said so."
By Keya Vakil
May 29, 2019

Special Counsel Robert S. Mueller delivered a statement on Wednesday morning, reiterating that his office was not confident that President Trump did not commit a crime and was prohibited from charging the President with a federal crime due to longstanding Justice Department policy.

“If we had had confidence that the president clearly did not commit a crime we would have said so. We did not, however, make a determination as to whether the president did commit a crime.”

Mueller’s statement was his first in the two years he served as the Special Counsel, a position that tasked him with investigating Russian interference in the 2016 Presidential Election and potential obstruction of justice committed by President Trump.

In his statement, Mueller cited DOJ legal guidance stating that the constitution requires a process other than the criminal justice system to formally accuse a sitting president of wrongdoing.

Mueller’s statement is likely to intensify calls for Congressional Democrats to begin impeachment proceedings against President Trump. Roughly three dozen Democrats, including Rep. Don Beyer (D-Virginia), have said they believe an impeachment inquiry should begin, but Democratic House leaders have thus far resisted calls to begin such an inquiry.

With his investigation now concluded, Mueller also announced that the Special Counsel’s office is formally closing and that he would be resigning from the Department of Justice to return to private life.

Congressional Democrats have repeatedly requested that Mueller testify about his 448-page report, but Mueller indicated on Wednesday that he would not do so, saying that any testimony would not cover any new information beyond his report and that it was “important that the office’s written work speak for itself.”

Mueller did not take any questions, but closed his statement by reiterating that there were “multiple systematic efforts to interfere in our election.”

While responses to Mueller’s announcement are still trickling in, some Virginia Democrats quickly reiterated their calls for an impeachment inquiry.

  • Keya Vakil

    Keya Vakil is the deputy political editor at COURIER. He previously worked as a researcher in the film industry and dabbled in the political world.

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