In a public statement today, Special Counsel Robert Mueller said that the investigation into Russian meddling in 2016 presidential campaign and the ancillary investigation into possible obstruction of justice were both justified “in order to find truth and hold wrongdoers accountable.”
Mueller said that there were “numerous efforts emanating from
Russia to influence the election.” Mueller added that there was “insufficient evidence”
of a “broader conspiracy” involving the Trump campaign.”
Mueller added again that “if we had had confidence that the
president clearly did not commit a crime then we would have said so. We did not,
however, make a determination that the president did commit a crime.” This underscores the fact that the president
was not exonerated.
Mueller cited “longstanding Justice Department policy” that
president cannot be indicted while in office, calling the possibility “unconstitutional.”
“Charging the president with a crime was therefore not an
option that we could consider,” Mueller said.
Mueller said that he wanted the report to be seen as his
testimony and that he was would not testify further by his own choice. He added
that the wording of the report was chosen carefully and that he would not add
any new public information in testimony to Congress.
He also said that he believed that Attorney General Barr
acted in “good faith” in disclosing the report.
In his closing, Mueller underscored the fact that Russia had
attacked the election, a point that the Special Counsel obviously believes should
receive more attention. “There were multiple, systematic efforts to interfere
in our election and that allegation deserves the attention of every American,”
Mueller said in closing.