In his first public appearance Special Counsel Robert Mueller said there was “not an option” to charge President Trump with a crime based on Department of Justice policy, but said “if we had had confidence that the president clearly did not commit a crime, we would have said so.”
“We did not determine whether the president did commit a crime,” Mueller added during the short press conference at the Justice Department. He did not take questions from reporters.
He stated there “was not sufficient evidence to charge a conspiracy” in the Special Counsel probe regarding the Trump campaign and whether it coordinated with Russia during the 2016 presidential election.
Mueller said regarding obstruction of justice that a sitting president cannot be charged with a crime, adding that based on DOJ rules “charging the president with a crime was not an option we could consider.”
“It would be unfair to accuse someone of a crime when there could be no court resolution of the charge,” Mueller said. “We concluded that we would not reach a determination one way or the other about whether the president committed a crime. That is the office’s final position.”
Mueller said the special counsel’s office was officially closed. He said he would be resigning from the Justice Department and return to private life.
Special counsel Robert Mueller is expected to make a statement regarding his report on Russian interference in the 2016 election at 11 a.m. ET Wednesday, the Justice Department announced.
This will be the first time Mueller has spoken since he issued his 400 page report on the investigation. The investigation found no collusion or conspiracy between President Donald Trump’s campaign and Russia.
Mueller’s statement comes at a tumultuous time, when Democrats in charge of the House are geared to investigate Trump’s financial dealings and some are calling for impeachment. Further, there is anticipation as to what Mueller may say regarding his report, particularly on the issue of obstruction. Mueller left the decision of obstruction up to Attorney General William Barr. Barr and then Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein found no evidence of obstruction of justice in the investigation.
According to reports the White House was notified Tuesday night that Mueller was planning to deliver a statement about the investigation.
The Justice Department released a the redacted Mueller report last month.