White House Press Secretary Sarah Sanders responded to Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s statement Wednesday saying the case is closed citing “no collusion” and “no obstruction” regarding the special counsel’s investigation into President Donald Trump’s campaign and Russia.
Other’s questioned whether Mueller’s nine minute plus press conference Wednesday was another stab at Trump. Mueller didn’t state Trump’s innocence but instead, said his office didn’t “make a determination as to whether the president did commit a crime.”
What? You are either innocent or guilty under the law. That’s how our system works. Mueller had no evidence of a crime and therefore, did not state that Trump was guilty of a crime in his report.
His statements, however, were confusing. In fact, Trump supporters and detractors didn’t know what to make of Mueller’s statement and it made things worse, not better, many said. They questioned whether Mueller’s impromptu press conference, in which he didn’t take questions from reporters was nothing more than to add fuel to the fire for Democrats intent on impeaching Trump. Other’s questioned whether this wasn’t Mueller’s way of getting back at Trump for those in the FBI and intelligence community, who are now faced with a very real investigation into how the bureau initiated the investigation into Trump’s campaign.
Sanders issued her statement shortly after Mueller concluded the press conference. She didn’t criticize Mueller’s statement but basically reiterated what Mueller’s office, and Attorney General William Barr, revealed in their own report: no collusion and no obstruction.
“The Special Counsel has completed the investigation, closed his office, and has closed the case,” Sanders said. “Mr. Mueller explicitly said that he has nothing to add beyond the report, and therefore, does not plan to testify before Congress.”
She added: “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. After two years, the Special Counsel is moving on with his life, and everyone else should do the same.”
President Trump also spoke out on Twitter, as well, stating: “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.”
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.
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) May 29, 2019
White House Statement on Mueller statement today: pic.twitter.com/f5TXzf3Qpd
— Sarah Sanders (@PressSec) May 29, 2019
This was Mueller’s first press conference since concluding the Special Counsel report on his office’s investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 election. The main thrust of the investigation was whether or not members of the Trump campaign, including the president, had conspired with Russia in the election. They answered that question definitively: there was none.
But Mueller didn’t exactly state that in his press conference today. Instead, he pontificated away from the law. He created confusion in his own characterization of what his own office determined.
“There was insufficient evidence to charge a broader conspiracy,” said Mueller. “We did not, however, make a determination as to whether the president did commit a crime…Charging the president with a crime was, therefore, not an option we could consider”
Mueller added that “beyond department policy, we were guided by principles of fairness. It would be unfair to potentially accuse someone of a crime when there can be no court resolution of the actual charge.”
Basically, Mueller found no evidence that would suggest any one in Trump’s campaign, or any American, colluded with the Russian government. He states that in his report but his delivery of that message appeared to leave a cloud of doubt over the president’s head. Or was that what Mueller intended?
Here’s what Newt Gingrich had to say:
“Mueller tried today to have it both ways,” said Gingrich. “If he thought President Trump was guilty of something he should have said he was guilty of something. Ken Starr used the word guilty 11 times on 11 different counts in his report on President Clinton. If not guilty Trump is innocent.”
Muller tried today to have iut boith ways. If he thought President Trumpo was guilty of something he should have said he was guilty of something. Ken Starr used the word guilty 11 times on 11 different counts in his report on President Clinton. If not guilty Trump is innocent.
— Newt Gingrich (@newtgingrich) May 29, 2019
Newt wasn’t the only one. Matt Schlapp, American Conservative Union Chair (CPAC), tweeted out his concerns regarding Mueller’s statement.
“How is one ever certain that there is no wrongdoing? Think about the absurdity of this statement given to this man to read,” Schlapp said.
How is one ever certain that there is no wrongdoing? Think about the absurdity of this statement given to this man to read. https://t.co/WdgPI9ZDtC
— Matt Schlapp (@mschlapp) May 29, 2019
Tom Fitton, president of Judicial Watch, also lashed out at Mueller saying his statement “is another abuse of power. Mueller raises the possibility of guilt and then refuses to ‘exonerate’ President” Trump.
Today's Mueller special counsel statement is another abuse of power. Mueller raises the possibility of guilt and then refuses to “exonerate” President @realDonaldTrump This turns our legal system upside down and shows the rule of law is no bar to smearing President Trump.
— Tom Fitton (@TomFitton) May 29, 2019