Special Counsel Robert Mueller has been silent since 2017 when it comes to speaking publicly about anything. Mueller is scheduled to make a public statement about the Russia investigation for the first time — more than a month after he submitted the confidential report to Attorney General William Barr. The presser is expected to begin at 11 a.m.
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There have been many questions left unanswered about why Mueller did not reach a traditional prosecutorial judgment, not accusing President Donald Trump of the crime of obstruction of justice but not exonerating him of it either. Many have noted that Mueller was aware he could not indict a sitting president, per DOJ policy. Mueller himself pointed this out in his report.
The surprise statement occurs a day after Mueller spokesman Peter Carr had to debunk a claim in the Guardian that the Special Counsel’s Office had once created a draft indictment for Trump.
“The documents that you’ve described do not exist,” Carr said. Carr clarified even further that these documents never existed.
As some have noted this was a rare thing for Carr to do.
Peter Carr with a strong denial of the sort not seen since the BuzzFeed Cohen story. pic.twitter.com/fx7mMcwY2z
— southpaw (@nycsouthpaw) May 28, 2019
It’s not immediately clear if this was behind Mueller’s decision to speak publicly.
We already knew that Mueller had concerns with the way Barr handled the report, with a four-page summary of Mueller’s “principal conclusions.” The president came away from that falsely saying the Mueller had exonerated him, while debate raged in the media and among the public as to what Mueller intended to convey.
And so, Mueller penned a letter of his own to Barr days later to say that he felt Barr “threaten[ed] to undermine” the point of appointing a Special Counsel in the first place by jeopardizing the public’s confidence in the process.
“The summary letter the Department sent to Congress and released to the public late in the afternoon of March 24 did not fully capture the context, nature, and substance of this office’s work and conclusions,” Mueller’s letter said. “There is now public confusion about critical aspects of the results of our investigation. This threatens to undermine a central purpose for which the Department appointed the Special Counsel: to assure full public confidence in the outcome of the investigations.”
Meanwhile, Mueller and House Democrats have not yet sealed a deal for Mueller’s testimony.
The Associated Press reported that Mueller would not be taking questions and that Barr is currently in Alaska.
[Image via Alex Wong/Getty Images]
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