And just like that, President Donald Trump is facing fresh impeachment calls. The calls came after Special Counsel Robert Mueller gave his first — and possibly only — remarks on the two-year investigation into potential collusion between Russia and members of the Trump 2016 campaign, during which he elaborated on some pretty alarming findings. So, what did Robert Mueller say about impeachment? Nothing directly, but what he did say has some members of Congress ready to remove the president from office.
On Wednesday, May 29, Mueller gave his first public comments about the report, which found no conspiracy, but did conclude the Trump campaign expected to benefit from Russian election meddling. The 400-plus page report also did not find Trump guilty of obstruction of justice, but expressly noted that it did not exonerate him. Elite Daily previously reached out to the White House for comment on the details of the report, but did not hear back. Mueller elaborated on his findings during his address, saying that charging the president with a crime was “not an option,” citing a Justice Department policy prohibiting the indictment of a sitting president. "That is unconstitutional,” he said, in reference to possible charges.
But Mueller also pointed out that “the Constitution requires a process other than the criminal justice system to formally accuse a sitting president of wrongdoing,” which seemed to refer to impeachment proceedings. At least, that's how everyone took it. As of May 29, the president has not been formally accused of or charged with any crime, and no serious impeachment proceedings have been started.
Shortly after the address, several politicians took to social media to share their support for impeachment.
In a statement, White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said that "the Special Counsel is moving on with his life, and everyone else should do the same." The statement said in part,
The Special Counsel has completed the investigation, closed his office, and has closed the case. Mr. Mueller explicitly said that he has nothing to add beyond the report, and therefore, does not plan to testify before Congress. The report was clear — there was no collusion, no conspiracy — and the Department of Justice confirmed there was no obstruction. Special Counsel Mueller also stated that Attorney General Barr acted in good faith in his handling of the report.
Trump himself also shared a statement, tweeting that the Mueller "case is closed!"
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.
OK, so he's kinda right: There wasn't enough evidence to conclude that he had engaged in a conspiracy. But the thing is, presidents can be impeached without having engaged in criminal conduct, according Barbara Radnofsky, the author of A Citizen's Guide To Impeachment.
"Impeachment doesn't require criminal conduct, so even without Mueller's definitive conclusion on criminal behavior, there's no question that this is impeachable," Radnofsky previously told Elite Daily in an interview.
With that, it's probably not surprising that members of Congress are rallying behind impeachment like this. Now, they'll just have to get the rest of their peers to get on the same page, which may be a challenge. Stay tuned for where this goes.