You guys, it happened. Special Counsel Robert Mueller spoke publicly for the first time since the launch of the investigation into potential collusion between Russia and members of the Trump 2016 campaign — and he dropped some lines that have the internet talking. These tweets about Robert Mueller's statement are losing it over his comment about indicting a president.
As you probably know by now, the probe found no evidence of conspiracy, but Mueller wrote that the Trump campaign intended to benefit from Russian election meddling. The 400-plus page, heavily redacted report also did not reach a conclusion on obstruction of justice, but expressly noted that it did not exonerate President Donald Trump. Elite Daily previously reached out to the White House for comment on the report, but did not hear back.
The president went on to take a victory lap, saying multiple times that the report was a "total exoneration." But on Wednesday, Mueller suggested that was far from the case. Speaking publicly for the first time since he was appointed to lead the investigation, Mueller said at the Justice Department headquarters that charging the president with a crime was not an option he could consider, citing Department of Justice (DOJ) guidelines preventing the prosecution of a sitting president. “That is unconstitutional,” he said, according to NBC News. But he added, "If we had had confidence that the president clearly did not commit a crime, we would have said so.”
Does that... mean Mueller concluded Trump did commit a crime, but won't say so? To be clear, as of May 29, President Trump has not been formally accused of or charged with any crime. But the internet is wondering.
As convinced as some people may be, Mueller actually did not say whether his office would have considered charging Trump if the DOJ guidelines weren't in place. But he did say, per CNBC, that the "Constitution requires a process other than the criminal justice system to formally accuse a sitting president of wrongdoing," suggesting that such a decision should be left up to Congress through impeachment proceedings.
For his part, the president doubled down on his position, tweeting shortly after Mueller's address:
Nothing changes from the Mueller Report. There was insufficient evidence and therefore, in our Country, a person is innocent. The case is closed! Thank you.
The White House echoed those comments in a statement from Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders, which said in part:
The report was clear — there was no collusion, no conspiracy — and the Department of Justice confirmed there was no obstruction. ... After two years, the Special Counsel is moving on with his life, and everyone else should do the same.
Mueller's comments come on the heels of demands from House Democrats for the full, unredacted report. The DOJ has refused to give it up, instead offering a less redacted report, but some Democrats — such as House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-California) and Rep. Adam Schiff (D-California) — have made it clear they want the entire thing.
With the latest update, it seems almost certain that Democrats will be ramping up their demands for the full report, which may get ugly. So, don't close the Mueller drama book just yet.