If the Dems were hoping Robert Mueller was a weapon they could brandish against AG Bill Barr, they will be sorely disappointed.
Mueller is getting out of Dodge, he has taken one last public statement to tell the public that he has no further comment on the findings beyond what the report has already said.
While mentioning the defendants he actually DID lay charges against for election interference, Mueller raised a point that the Democrats and the media would do well to remember: “every defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty”.
That phrase has an ‘obvious’ (or what SHOULD be obvious) application a little later on, when Mueller says he didn’t have enough evidence to make a determination of whether he committed a crime.
Here are some various ‘takes’ on his announcement, together with a video for ClashDaily readers to make up their own minds.
“Two years ago, the acting attorney general asked me to serve as special counsel and he created the special counsel’s office,” said Mueller. He was directed to investigate Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election, Mueller said.
“I have not spoken publicly… I am speaking out today because our investigation is complete….we are formally closing the special counsel’s office.” He said he would return to private life.
There was a debate already brewing over whether Mueller would testify before Congress.
Two minutes before Mueller took the podium, reporters were informed anew that Mueller would not take questions.
“I hope and expect this to be the only time that I will speak to you in this manner. I am making that decision myself,” Mueller said in remarks on camera at the Justice Department. “I do not believe it is appropriate for me to speak further about the investigation.”
“The report is my testimony,” he added.
This is being generally translated as: “He has no intention of testifying before Congress”.
Mueller confirmed that his office did not make a determination as to whether the president did commit a crime. He said it was prohibited and unconstitutional to charge a president with a federal crime. “Charging the president with a crime was therefore not an option we could consider,” said Mueller. He added, “The Constitution requires a process other than the criminal justice system to formally accuse a sitting president of wrongdoing.” That refers to impeachment procedures.
“It would be unfair to potentially accuse someone of a charge when there could be no court resolution,” according to Mueller. “We would not reach a determination one way or the other about whether the president committed a crime. That is the office’s final position.”
This is the full context of what Mueller said: “Under longstanding department policy, a president can not be charged with a federal crime while he is in office. That is unconstitutional. Even if the charge is kept under seal and hidden from public view, that too is prohibited. The special counsel’s office is part of the Department of Justice and by regulation it was bound by that Department policy. Charging the president with a crime was therefore not an option we could consider.”
You will remember that Barr has described Mueller as having reported to him verbally, on multiple occasions that this policy was not a “game-changer” that was the sole issue standing in the way of Mueller pressing said charges.
Which makes the next statement interesting:
He praised those in the special counsel office and also did not question Attorney General Willian Barr’s good faith in the way he released the report.
Mueller did not take any questions. He stated that this will be his only statement about the report, which basically squashes the Democrats hope for him to testify in front of Congress.
…I’m seeing mixed reactions on social media, which also happened when he released the report. The left interpreted his message as code to Congress to impeach Trump while the right celebrates that he reiterated his report that he found no collusion and could not reach a determination on obstruction of justice.
His most controversial statement…
‘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. We did not, however, make a determination as to whether the president did commit a crime.’
… takes us back to that statement he himself made near the beginning about the Presumption of Innocence, now doesn’t it? Someone sure thought so:
This thread aged well, from March 24. Fully confirmed today. https://t.co/r3W8XpXvqM
— Mollie (@MZHemingway) May 29, 2019
His JOB description was to decide whether there was a case or not. He failed to make a case. He lacked the evidence. He himself said so.
In light of all that, the President’s tweet:
Nothing changes from the Mueller Report. There was insufficient evidence and therefore, in our Country, a person is innocent. The case is closed! Thank you.
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) May 29, 2019
Seems just about right, doesn’t it?
Rep Mark Walker thinks so:
If you spend 675 days, interviewing 500 individuals, spending more than $25 million and still have "insufficient evidence,” maybe it’s because there’s no collusion.
Time to move on and stop attacking @realDonaldTrump’s family for an investigation built on lies.
— Mark Walker (@RepMarkWalker) May 29, 2019
And so do the editors here at ClashDaily.
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