After two years of silence, special counsel Robert Mueller gave a statement on Wednesday clarifying his findings regarding the investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 election.
In his statement, which took about 10 minutes and was delivered from the Justice Department, Mueller again confirmed that there were multiple, concerted efforts by the Russian government and Russian entities to influence the 2016 election. Mueller pointed out that those involved in the attacks used “sophisticated cyber techniques” in a “considered attack on our political system.”
“That deserves the attention of every American,” Mueller said.
The special counsel did not address the issue of collusion, saying instead that there was “insufficient evidence to charge a broader conspiracy.”
Mueller also spoke forcefully regarding his findings on whether President Trump attempted to obstruct justice during the investigation, saying, “If we had confidence that the President clearly did not commit a crime, we would have said so.” The implication from that statement is, of course, that there is a possibility that the President did commit a crime. Mueller went on to point out that due to the long-standing Department of Justice protocol, indicting the President of a crime was something that he “could not consider,” and that to do so would be unconstitutional.
“The Constitution requires a process other than the criminal justice system to formally accuse a sitting President,” Mueller stated. He continued, saying, “It would be unfair to potentially accuse somebody of a crime when there can be no court resolution of the actual charge.”
President Trump immediately latched on to that statement, tweeting, “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.”
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
To reiterate: what Mueller said was: “If we had confidence that the President clearly did not commit a crime, we would have said so.”
Mueller also took the time to defend both the investigation and the investigators who worked with the investigation, pointing out that it was both necessary and worthwhile, in spite of Presidental attempts to construe the process as a “witch hunt.” He also pointed out that the order of the special counsel authorized him to investigate into obstruction. The President has in the past accused investigators of treason.
My Campaign for President was conclusively spied on. Nothing like this has ever happened in American Politics. A really bad situation. TREASON means long jail sentences, and this was TREASON!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) May 17, 2019
The special counsel officially declared the investigation closed and announced that he is resigning from the Department of Justice and returning to private life. In regards to the possibility that he may be required to testify in front of Congress, Mueller stated, “The report is my testimony.”
“Beyond what I have said here today and what is contained in our written work, I do not believe it is appropriate for me to comment further,” Mueller said. “It is important that (the report) speak for itself.”
The White House is expected to comment on Mueller’s statement later today.
Jenn Bentley is a writer and editor originally from Cadiz, Kentucky. Her writing has been featured in publications such as The Examiner, The High Tech Society, FansShare, Yahoo News, and others. When she’s not writing or editing, Jenn spends her time raising money for Extra Life and advocating for autism awareness.