For the first time EVER, Robert Mueller spoke out in a press conference about his report.
It seems clear from the months and months of silence that the special counsel had no intention of stepping into the spotlight, but it appears his hand has been forced by three different parties.
First, you have Donald Trump shouting about how the report completely exonerates him.
With his all caps NO COLLUSION tweets, he has his base convinced the Mueller Report was good for him — easy enough since they’ll never actually read it.
Heck, he even tweeted right after this press conference:
“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.”
But that’s not what the report says.
And that’s not even close to what Mueller said to reporters on Wednesday morning.
What he said was:
“As stated in the report, if we had confidence that the president clearly did not commit a crime, we would have said so.“
Literally the opposite of exoneration. In fact, the report actually specifically says it “does not exonerate” the President.
It’s the careful language of a legal expert treading dangerous waters, but it’s pretty clear:
WE WOULD TELL YOU IF TRUMP WAS INNOCENT.
Mueller says they can’t tell us that. How much clearer do you need it spelled out??
So the question then becomes, why the eff didn’t they indict Trump with obstruction of justice?
Well, that’s where you get into the second party who forced Mueller’s hand: new Attorney General William Barr.
Trump picked the new AG based on his comments about the Mueller probe — essentially picking the person who would be in charge of the investigation against himself.
We mean, can you imagine if Tony Soprano had gotten to hire the FBI task force leader covering New Jersey? Meet the new boss, agents…
Barr held back the report AND the report summary and instead released his own summary letter, in which he misrepresented the report as clearing Trump.
He implied Mueller’s team didn’t charge the POTUS because they didn’t have the evidence, plain and simple.
But that isn’t true either.
Mueller stated in his presser today that they were not allowed to indict the president:
“A president cannot be charged with a crime while in office. That is unconstitutional. Charging the president with a crime was not an option we could consider.”
So it’s not that they cleared his name. It’s that they couldn’t charge even if he seemed guilty as hell.
[Spoiler Alert if you were planning on reading the report — he is!]
“We did not, however, make a determination as to whether the president did commit a crime.”
You laid out pages and pages of evidence that hundreds of prosecutors around the country have called a slam dunk obstruction case, and you didn’t make the determination??
Well, there’s a really specific reason for that. Mueller says:
“We were guided by principles of fairness. It would be unfair to potentially accuse someone of a crime when there can be no court resolution of the actual charge.”
In other words, they aren’t going to say he committed a crime when they can’t file the indictment.
So… what was the point of all this then??
Well, the report seems to clearly lay out evidence of crimes — even if they won’t call them crimes. But it’s up for Congress to decide if they’re impeachable offenses. (Obstruction of justice is one of the articles of impeachment approved against Nixon, btw.)
Remember how they kept saying they were going to wait until the Mueller report came out? And then it came out, and… they’re doing nothing.
All they’re really doing is trying to get Mueller to come in and testify (they’re the third party on his ass, btw).
Obviously he doesn’t want to do that, he wants them to READ THE DAMN REPORT.
So… where the eff are we again??
The DOJ says Trump can’t be charged, only impeached Congress won’t impeach unless Mueller outright says Trump committed a crime Mueller refuses to outright say Trump committed a crime since he can’t charge him Trump takes another victory lap
So… fudge. Fudge it all.
Watch Mueller’s brief statements in full (below):
[Image via CNN/YouTube/BBC/WENN.]
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