In his first public remarks since taking the job of special counsel, Robert Mueller held a news conference from the Justice Department on Wednesday to announce that he was officially closing down the Office of the Special Counsel and leaving his report to speak for itself. In what he insisted would be his final public comments on the matter, save for possible congressional testimony, Mueller confirmed once again that his investigation found that there “was not sufficient evidence to charge a conspiracy” between the Trump 2016 campaign and Russian hackers working to undermine the election.
However, when it came to the second volume of the report – the one about Trump’s possible obstruction of the investigation – Mueller was far less conclusive about the results.
“If we had had confidence that the president clearly did not commit a crime, we would have said that,” Mueller said. “We did not determine whether the president did commit a crime. Charging the president with a crime was not an option we could consider. It would be unfair to accuse someone of a crime when there could be no court resolution of the charge.
“The Constitution requires a process other than the criminal justice system to formally accuse the president of wrongdoing,” Mueller continued. “Congress may apply obstruction laws to the President’s corrupt exercise of the powers of office accords with our constitutional system of checks and balances and the principle that no person is above the law.”
After Mueller was finished speaking, it was immediately obvious that interested observers heard what they wanted to hear from his speech.
House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerrold Nadler, who has dedicated his latest term in office to “getting Trump,” said in a statement: “Given that Special Counsel Robert 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.”
President Trump, on the other hand, said that Mueller’s remarks were only confirmation of his campaign’s complete innocence.
“Nothing changes from the Mueller Report,” he tweeted. “There was insufficient evidence and therefore, in our Country, a person is innocent. The case is closed! Thank you.”