By PoliZette Staff | May 29, 2019
Special counsel Robert Mueller, making public remarks on Wednesday, explained bluntly that his team did not have the “option” to charge President Donald Trump with a crime.
That’s because of longstanding Justice Department policy.
He said that if the team had “confidence” the president did not commit a crime, the special counsel’s report would have made that point.
Speaking from the Justice Department on Wednesday morning, he announced the closing of his office.
Mueller also detailed the conclusions of the Russia probe, underscoring the contention that there “was not sufficient evidence to charge a conspiracy” over whether members of the Trump campaign coordinated with Russian interests during the 2016 election.
But Mueller did not mince words on his inquiry into whether the president obstructed justice.
“If we had had confidence that the president clearly did not commit a crime, we would have said that,” Mueller declared. “We did not determine whether the president did commit a crime.”
Mueller explained longstanding Justice Department policy — it states that a sitting president cannot be charged with a crime.
As to obstruction, the Mueller team failed to reach a conclusion and turned that task over to the Attorney General.
The AG, in concert with then-Deputy AG Rod Rosenstein, decided that as a matter of fact and law, an obstruction case against President Trump was not warranted.
— Lindsey Graham (@LindseyGrahamSC) May 29, 2019
“Charging the president with a crime was not an option we could consider,” Mueller explained, adding that “it would be unfair to accuse someone of a crime when there could be no court resolution of the charge.”
“The Constitution requires a process other than the criminal justice system to formally accuse the president of wrongdoing,” Mueller said Wednesday, as Fox News also noted, echoing his report; it states that Congress “may apply obstruction laws to the president’s corrupt exercise of the powers of office accords with our constitutional system of checks and balances and the principle that no person is above the law.”
“We concluded that we would not reach a determination one way or the other about whether the president committed a crime,” Mueller added on Wednesday.
“That is the office’s final position.”
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This piece originally appeared in LifeZette and is used by permission.
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