After two years, special counsel Robert Mueller broke his silence on his investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 general election and whether his team found evidence that President Donald Trump obstructed justice by attempting to impede the investigation.
Although Mueller said that he does not want to testify to Congress — as Democrats have pushed him to do — he explained why did Trump was not charged with a crime for the actions outlined in the report, which is available at the Department of Justice (DOJ) website.
After going over the evidence of the "concerted attack" on the United States political system by Russian intelligence offers outlined in the first part of the report, Mueller moved on to Trump's actions — described in the second part of the report.
Per the Vox transcript of Mueller's statement, he explains that he was ordered to investigate possible actions of obstruction that Trump committed and keep Attorney General William Barr informed of progress.
"And as set forth in the report after that investigation, if we had had confidence that the president clearly did not commit a crime, we would have said so."But Mueller claims that Trump cannot be charged with a federal crime while in office due to "long-standing department policy," which it deems "unconstitutional."
"Even if the charge is kept under seal and hidden from public view, that too is prohibited," he added.Mueller pointed out that his office is a part of the DOJ and — by regulation — must follow its policy, and claims that charging Trump was "not an option," regardless of whether he committed one. His statement aligns with a previous statement by his former assistant, Michael Zeldin, who said that Mueller was trapped by "defective regulations" that bind him to the DOJ, as The Inquisitr previously reported.
Mueller also pointed out that the Constitution makes it so that a sitting President can only be formally accused of a crime with a process other than the criminal justice system. He also stresses that the DOJ policy requires fairness, and it would not be fair to accuse Trump of a crime when there could not be a resolution of the charge via the court system.
After highlighting that Barr acted in "good faith" when he pushed to have the majority of the report released to the public, Mueller thanked the "attorneys, the FBI agents, and analysts, the professional staff" that ensured that the investigation was conducted in a fair, independent manner.
"And I will close by reiterating the central allegation of our indictments — that there were multiple, systematic efforts to interference in our election. That allegation deserves the attention of every American."