When Robert Mueller testifies before Congress — a date that as The Inquisitr reported has now been pushed to July 24 — he must go beyond the conclusions stated in his report and clearly state whether or not Donald Trump committed the crime of obstruction of justice — because “the country’s future depends on it,” a former top prosecutor in two Republican administrations now says.
In his report submitted in March and released in redacted form to the public in April, the special counsel — who spent 22 months investigating the 2016 Trump campaign for collaboration with Russia and Trump’s subsequent attempts to obstruct the investigation — said he made a deliberate decision “not to make a traditional prosecutorial judgment” as to whether Trump should be charged with obstruction. The report remains available to read online via The New York Times.
But Mueller went on to say that even though his report did not reach a conclusion about Trump’s possible criminality, “it also does not exonerate him.”
So what does Mueller himself believe, now that he is a private citizen? Donald Ayer, a United States attorney in the Ronald Reagan administration and deputy attorney general under President George H.W. Bush, wrote in The Atlantic magazine that with Mueller’s July 24 testimony, the time has come for Mueller to reveal what he really thinks.
Mueller, in the report, said that a Department of Justice policy banning the indictment of a sitting president meant that Trump could not be indicted, and it would also, therefore, be “unfair” to issue an opinion as to his guilt or innocence. But as Raw Story notes, the Mueller report spelled out 10 specific instances of what appears to be obstruction or attempted obstruction by Trump.
As a result, more than 1,000 former federal prosecutors signed a public statement in May, saying that if not for the Justice Department policy, Trump would have clearly been hit with an obstruction indictment, according to a Newsweek account.
As Ayers notes, Attorney General William Barr, did not feel the same inhibition as Mueller about rendering an opinion on Trump’s guilt or innocence — issuing a statement clearing Trump of obstruction. According to Ayer, Barr appeared to “ridicule Mueller’s punctilious insistence that fairness foreclosed any finding of likely criminality by the president.”
Mueller said in his only public statement to date, delivered on May 29 as The Inquisitr reported, that any testimony he would give would not go beyond what he already stated in the report. But according to Ayer, Mueller now appears likely to vary from that pledge.
“An unambiguous direct statement by Mueller of his own prosecutorial judgment… would carry enormous weight,” Ayer wrote. “He needs to tell us whether, in his view, the president obstructed justice.”