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29 May, 2019 14:58

Charging Trump with obstruction of justice ‘was not an option,’ says Mueller in 1st public statement

Charging Trump with obstruction of justice ‘was not an option,’ says Mueller in 1st public statement

US Special Counsel Robert Mueller has made his first public statement since delivering his report. He announced he is formally closing the counsel's office and resigning from Justice Department.

Mueller released the report into alleged collusion between the Trump campaign and Russia in April.

Mueller cited indictments made against Russian citizens as proof of the alleged Russian interference in the election, although indictments themselves are not proof of anything. Mueller made that clear when he said he would not be commenting "on the guilt or innocence of any defendant."

Also on rt.com Mueller report takes ‘Russian meddling’ for granted, offers no actual evidence

He also confirmed the findings of the report, saying there was "insufficient evidence" to charge a broad conspiracy between the Trump campaign and Russia.

Mueller said that his team had not made any determination as to whether Trump had committed a crime when it came to allegations that he may have obstructed investigation efforts and noted that since a sitting president cannot be charged with a federal crime while in office.

Charging Trump with a crime was therefore “not an option we could consider,” he said, adding that it would be "unfair to potentially accuse somebody of a crime” when they can’t defend themselves in court.

Notably, Mueller did not accuse Attorney General William Barr of misrepresenting his report when he presented a summary of its findings to the media back in March. He said he appreciated that the AG had made the report largely public and said he did not question Barr's "good faith" in that decision. Many Democrats and media figures had accused Barr of trying to spin the contents of the report in Trump's favor.

Concluding the brief remarks, Mueller told reporters that he felt it was “not appropriate” for him to publicly speak further on the matter. He said his report should “speak for itself” and that he would not comment on any alternative “conclusions or hypotheticals” regarding Trump and the election.

Also on rt.com Trump says impeachment-obsessed Dems are ‘getting NOTHING done’

Reacting on social media, many saw Mueller's comments about not being able to charge a sitting president as a signal to Democrats in Congress that they should begin impeachment proceedings against him. House leader Nancy Pelosi has angered many in her party for refusing to do so, however, oddly claiming the reason is that Trump “wants to be impeached” so that he can be vindicated.

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