Mueller Says Charging Trump with Crime “Not an Option,” Won’t Testify Before Congress
In his first public appearance since taking charge of the hoax Russia investigation, Special Counsel Robert Mueller said charging President Trump was “not an option” due to a Department of Justice policy which states a president cannot be charged with a federal crime while in office.
“If we had confidence that the president clearly had not committed a crime, we would have said so,” he said. “We did not however make a determination as to whether the president did commit a crime.”
“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,” he continued.
Watch full statement: Robert Mueller says he "did not make a determination as to whether" President Trump "did commit a crime" as he closes down the special counsel's office and departs the Justice Department. https://t.co/HEo1vzAgOv pic.twitter.com/jV28xImqvr
— CNBC Now (@CNBCnow) May 29, 2019
Mueller also said he would not testify before Congress because any testimony he gives “would not go beyond [the] report” and that he would “not provide information “beyond that which is already public in any appearance before Congress:”
Now 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. No one has told me whether I can or should testify or speak further about this matter. There has been discussion about an appearance before Congress. Any testimony from this office would not go beyond our report. It contains our findings and analysis and the reasons for the decisions we made. We chose those words carefully and the work speaks for itself. And the report is my testimony. I would not provide information beyond that which is already public in any appearance before Congress. In addition, access to our underlying work product is being decided in a process that does not involve our office. So beyond what I have said here today, and what is contained in our written work, I do not believe it is appropriate for me to speak further about the investigation or to comment on the actions of the Justice Department or Congress. And it’s for that reason I will not be taking questions today as well.”