After two years of silence as he prepared his report on Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election, Special Counsel Robert Mueller made a public statement about his findings on Wednesday. It included this: “If we had confidence that the president did not commit a crime, we would have said so.”
When the report was first released, the White House and Attorney General Robert Barr put a positive spin on the findings. President Donald Trump claimed complete exoneration. But that is not what the report said. The report cited multiple examples of Trump interfering with the investigation. Mueller made clear that the reason that interference did not result in an obstruction of justice charge is that, from the very start of the investigation, he and his team of lawyers worked within Justice Department guidelines that assume a sitting president cannot be charged with a crime.
Only members of Congress, through the impeachment process, can take action against a president while he is in office. Mueller made clear that ball is now firmly in their court.
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