Robert Mueller said Tuesday that his office never meant to charge President Donald Trump with a crime regardless of its findings in the Russian Federation investigation, citing Justice Department policy that a sitting president can not be indicted.
Trump says he has done nothing wrong and the case is now closed.
Mueller: Charging Trump was not an option
He then announced he would be stepping down from the Justice Department and took no questions from reporters present. He said his office is formally closing its doors and he is now returning to life as a private citizen.
As explained in the report, "under longstanding [Justice] Department policy, a president can not be charged with a federal crime while he is in office", Mueller said, adding: "That is unconstitutional".
Trump has assailed the Russian Federation investigation as a "witch hunt" and a "hoax" that amounted to a "treasonous" attempt to overthrow him. Mueller said his hands had been tied by longstanding DOJ, which prohibited him from pursuing criminal charges against a sitting POTUS.
"We would like to thank Special Counsel Robert Mueller for his service to our nation over the past two years". Mueller knew the rules from the start and they guided the entire outlook of the obstruction inquiry. Mueller is set to speak publicly about the Russian Federation probe Wednesday at 11 a.m. ET. 'He made it clear that he had not made the determination that there was a crime'.
Trump assails 'totally conflicted' Robert Mueller
Mueller is a "never-Trumper", the president said, his office was filled with bad people and Trump said he has done nothing wrong. As he prepared to board a helicopter to Colorado, Mr Trump continued the attack, saying "Mueller should have never been chosen".
Trump has wavered publicly in recent weeks on the prospect of Mueller's testimony before Congress as his administration has clashed sharply with lawmakers over demands for documents and testimony. Amash responded that McCarthy hasn't read the special counsel's report. Williams showed some back-to-back examples where "Mueller directly contradicted some of Barr's claims". But these comments were highly misleading and did not broadly align with Mueller's stated rationale. Barr and Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein then stepped into the void, deciding on their own that the evidence was not sufficient to support a criminal charge.
Reached for comment, Mueller's former spokesperson also referred INSIDER to pages 80-84 of Volume II of the report, which he said "address this issue". As to whether Trump criminally obstructed the investigation, the special counsel wrote that while he could not charge the president, he could not exonerate him either. Last month, Barr insisted Mueller wasn't relying on that opinion. Meanwhile, committee Democrats voted to hold Barr in contempt when he defied a committee subpoena for his testimony and an unredacted version of the report.
Among those conflicts, Trump cited his belief that Mueller "had interviewed for the FBI Director position shortly before being appointed" special counsel.
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