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24 Jul, 2019 13:23

Mueller says he found ‘insufficient evidence’ that Trump conspired with Russians

Mueller says he found ‘insufficient evidence’ that Trump conspired with Russians

Former special counsel Robert Mueller told a House Judiciary Committee hearing that his two-year investigation has found “insufficient evidence of the president’s culpability” in conspiring with Russians in 2016.

In a hearing on Wednesday that saw Democrats and Republicans grill Mueller along party lines, Georgia Republican Rep. Doug Collins, the committee’s ranking Republican, asked Mueller to verify that his investigation had been a thorough one, and then pressed the former prosecutor on his findings. 

Mueller stuck to the conclusion of his report, stating that his team had found insufficient evidence of collusion between the Trump campaign and Russia, and reiterated that nobody within Trump’s campaign team aided so-called Russian election interference efforts.

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Questioning Mueller prior to Collins, Committee Chairman Rep. Jerrold Nadler (D-New York) set the Democrats' tone, focusing on the incidents of potential obstruction outlined in the second half of Mueller’s 440-page report. Though Nadler pressed Mueller to admit that he could have charged Trump with obstruction if he so wished, Mueller remained taciturn, repeatedly stating that the decision not to make a formal decision on obstruction was informed by a long-standing Justice Department policy not to charge a sitting president with a crime.

Mueller did, however, confirm that Trump could possibly be indicted for obstruction after he leaves office.

Speaking to CNN before the hearing, Nadler said that he hoped Mueller would speak beyond the confines of his report, released in April. Mueller had stated in a Justice Department letter that he would not, but Nadler told the network that “he does not have to comply with that letter. He doesn’t work for them. And that letter asks things that are beyond the power of the agency to ask even if he still worked for them.”

Wednesday’s Judiciary Committee hearing is the first of two sessions on the hill for the former special counsel. Mueller is also scheduled to answer questions from the House Intelligence Committee in the afternoon.

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