Mueller Reiterates a Sitting President Can’t Be Indicted, Does Not Want to Testify Before Congress

After years of silence, Special Counsel Robert Mueller has spoken. Mueller’s long-awaited public statement lasted roughly 10 minutes on Wednesday, and he basically went strictly by the book.

Mueller spent much of his time talking about the obstruction volume of his report. Mueller emphasized that he and his team “would not” make a decision about whether to charge President Donald Trump with the crime of obstruction of justice because of Department of Justice policy against indicting a sitting president.

“If we had confidence that the president did not commit a crime, we would have said so,” Mueller repeated the phrasing of his report. “Charging the President with a crime, therefore, was not an option we could consider.”

This is to say Mueller did not exonerate the president of a crime.

Mueller said it was his belief that it’s important for his office’s report to speak for itself. Mueller also suggested that impeachment is the constitutional way of accusing a president of wrongdoing.

Some have said that there was a stark difference between Mueller’s tone here and Attorney General William Barr‘s representation of Mueller’s findings.

One Mueller decision that is receiving pushback is his expressed desire not to testify before Congress. Mueller said that his report is his testimony and that he wouldn’t be telling Congress anything new.

Mueller otherwise announced that he was resigning from the Department of Justice and returning to public life.

[Image via YouTube screengrab]

Matt Naham is managing editor of Law&Crime. He formerly worked as news editor and weekend editor at Rare.

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