Special counsel Robert Mueller broke his silence Wednesday his silence on Wednesday to make a statement about his completed two-year investigation, the aftermath of which has continue to roil President Donald Trump’s administration and Congress.
“We did not make a determination as to whether” Trump “did commit a crime,” Mueller said, referring to his inquiry as to whether the president obstructed justice by interfering in the inquiry into Russian meddling in the 2016 presidential election and possible collusion by members of the Trump campaign.
The special counsel cited a long-standing Justice Department policy barring the prosecution of a sitting president for a federal crime.
“That is unconstitutional,” Mueller said, referring to the idea of such a prosecution.
But he also noted, ” if we had had confidence that the president clearly did not commit a crime, we would have said so.”
Mueller also suggested that if he ultimately is forced to testify before Congress about his investigation, he “would not go beyond the findings in our report.”
”“The report is my testimony. I would not provide information beyond what is already public”
“I am making that decision myself. Nobody has told me whether I can or should testify or speak further about this matter,” Mueller said. “There has been discussion about an appearance before Congress. Any testimony from this office would not go beyond our report.”
Mueller’s televised statement to reporters, his first ever in public since being appointed special counsel in 2017, came three months after he submitted 448-page report on the findings of his probe to Attorney General William Barr. The special counsel did not take any questions from journalists after his statement, which lasted about nine minutes.
Barr was in Alaska while the former FBI director Mueller made his comments at the Justice Department headquarters in Washington, D.C.
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Congressional Democrats want Mueller to testify about his investigation.
Rep. Jerry Nadler, the New York Democrat who chairs the House Judiciary Committee, has said that Mueller prefers to testify behind closed doors instead of in public.
Nadler and his Democratic colleagues also pushed Attorney General William Barr to release the unredacted report of the special counsel, who obtained convictions of former national security advisor Michael Flynn, Trump campaign chief Paul Manafort, and Michael Cohen, the president’s former personal lawyer.