Robert Mueller in first comments on Russia inquiry declines to clear Trump

first_img Chandrayaan-2 gets new launch date days after being called off The investigation was necessary both to preserve evidence and to hold accountable anyone who might have conspired with the president and could face criminal charges, he said. He also referred obliquely to the impeachment process, a point that is reduced to a footnote in his report.He also said that the order appointing him by the former deputy attorney general, Rod Rosenstein, specifically authorized him to investigate actions to interfere with his inquiry.Mueller said his news conference was his final word on his investigation. “The report is my testimony,” he said. Advertising US Special Counsel Mueller to testify before House panels on July 17 By New York Times |Washington | Published: May 30, 2019 8:14:11 am Robert Mueller says Russian probe formally closed, resigns as special counsel Robert Mueller said, “If we had had confidence that the president clearly did not commit a crime, we would have said so.” (Source: REUTERS/File Photo)Robert Mueller, the special counsel, declined Wednesday to clear President Donald Trump of obstruction of justice in his first public characterization of his two-year-long investigation of Russia’s interference in the 2016 presidential election. “If we had had confidence that the president clearly did not commit a crime, we would have said so,” Mueller said.He also noted that while Justice Department policy prohibits charging a sitting president with a crime, the Constitution provides for another remedy to formally accuse a president of wrongdoing — a clear reference to the ability of Congress to conduct impeachment proceedings.Although it lasted just 10 minutes, the news conference presented an extraordinary spectacle of a top law enforcement official publicly stating that the president’s conduct had warranted criminal investigation, even though it was impossible to indict him for any crimes. Post Comment(s) US: Special counsel Robert Mueller’s testimony delayed until July 24 center_img US Special Counsel Robert Mueller to testify before two House panels on July 17 Best Of Express Advertising Ayodhya dispute: Mediation to continue till July 31, SC hearing likely from August 2 P Rajagopal, Saravana Bhavan founder sentenced to life for murder, dies Democrats seized on Mueller’s refusal to exonerate Trump and his reference to Congress, saying the onus was now on the House and Senate to fully investigate Trump’s actions. The president’s aides tried to cast the event as just a repetition of a 448-page report released weeks ago.Mueller, 74, in summing up his inquiry, seemed to cast the president’s conduct in a more damning light than Attorney General William Barr. Barr has said Trump was not guilty of “obstructive conduct.” He also suggested that the president may have been merely acting out of frustration, not corrupt intent, when he tried to interfere with the special counsel’s investigation, including when he tried to oust Mueller.Mueller, by contrast, stressed the gravity of the allegations against the president. He said, “When a subject of an investigation obstructs that investigation or lies to investigators, it strikes at the core of their government’s effort to find the truth and hold wrongdoers accountable.”Barr suggested at one point that the special counsel should not have collected evidence against Trump if he only intended for Congress to review it. But Mueller defended his inquiry as wholly justified. Related News last_img