Special Counsel Robert Mueller revealed important divisions with Attorney General William Barr about crucial decisions during his investigation – even the sending of a memo that made several statements while delivering what he said was his only public comment.
& # 39; I hope and expect that this will be the only time I will discuss this issue & # 39 ;, Mueller said to the reporters on a nine-minute statement on Wednesday – his first formal public statement since he released his 448 page & # 39 ; s report on Russian election interference.
But despite his statement, and his statement that he is not going to offer anything beyond the findings, if he were to testify before Congress, Mueller's office issued a memo during his press conference that emphasized the split with Barr.
Special Counsel Robert Mueller said he hoped his comments would be his only public comment on his report on Wednesday, but an official also issued a memo with various statements offered by Attorney General William Barr
The differences were first revealed when Mueller reiterated his objections in a letter of March 27th that responded to a four-page letter that Barr wrote with a summary of the Mueller report. The letter stood for weeks as a public proxy for the report, when the public was then unable to view it.
The document that was circulated on Wednesday included, among other things, a journalist's question to Barr at the Barr press conference immediately before his public publication of the report, and whether Mueller Barr had explained his reasons not to burden President Trump with obstruction of the law.
& # 39; He didn't say that, but for the opinion [Office of Legal Counsel] he would have found a crime. He made it clear that he had not expressed the determination that there was a crime, & # 39; said Barr, in a statement subject to several intmsnb interpretations.
The document showed that Mueller said his office & # 39; would not achieve any determination & # 39; about the obstruction by President Trump
Mueller & # 39; s statements revealed a break with Attorney General Bill Barr
Special Counsel Robert Mueller makes a statement about the investigation in Russia on May 29, 2019 at the Department of Justice in Washington, DC
An official handed out the memo in Mueller's surprising press statement
The memo follows the language allegedly attributed to Mueller.
& # 39; So that was the Ministry of Justice policy and those were the principles under which we worked. We have concluded from them that we are somehow not determined to determine whether the President has committed a crime. That is the firm's final position and we will not comment on other conclusions or hypotheses about the president, & said the memo. The note did not enclose the statement in quotation marks, but placed it after Mueller & # 39; s name.
MSNBC reported that a special counsel official distributed the memo to the reporters in Mueller's dramatic press statement, and described it as a draft of how Mueller would have responded.
Mueller also revealed the break with Barr during his statement by saying that he & # 39; bound & # 39; was on the internal guidelines of the Ministry of Justice – the same lawful policy as Barr.
& # 39; Charging the president with a crime was therefore not an option we could consider & # 39 ;, Mueller said.
The language seems to diverge from Barr & # 39; s Senate testimony about his meeting with Mueller on March 5 coinciding with Mueller running in the report. & # 39; Mueller told us three times in that meeting in response to our interrogation that he emphatically did not say so, but he would have found an obstruction to the opinion of Office of Legal Counsel, & # 39; Barr responded.
Influential democrats stood in line to argue for the start of the deposition process against President Trump after Mueller's surprise statement.
Normally Mueller with the short lips stirred the deposition pot with his remarks at the Ministry of Justice without actually uttering words – instead, he noted that the Constitution requires a different process from the criminal justice system to formally sit a accusing President of misconduct & # 39 ;.
With Mueller mentioning the retention of evidence and referring to the assertion of his report that it is not acquitting the president, landlord Nancy Pelosi, struggling to contain a rebellious rebellion in her caucus, said the & # 39; table lay & # 39 ;.
Mueller told the country in a dramatic statement that it & # 39; not an option & # 39; was for his position to have imposed an obstruction crisis on President Trump and that it was & # 39; inappropriate & # 39; would be to continue talking about his investigation into Russian election interference.
Democrats hit Barr because he gave the Mueller report a positive twist
In a public statement he said would probably be his only one, Mueller repeated parts of his 448 report – including the controversial decision not to charge Trump with a crime.
The President has repeatedly cited the report – and the decision of his own Attorney General not to attack him – as evidence that there is & # 39; no obstacle & # 39; used to be.
But Mueller said in his sudden statement with little public notice that his decision was based on the policy of the Ministry of Justice – not on the guilt or innocence of President Trump.
That didn't stop Trump from immediately tweeting after Mueller & # 39; s comments that the case against him & # 39; closed & # 39; used to be.
& # 39; Nothing changes in the Mueller report. There was insufficient evidence and therefore someone in our country is innocent. The case is closed! Thanks, & Trump wrote.
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President Trump tweeted immediately after Mueller said that there was & # 39; insufficient evidence & # 39; and that & # 39; someone is innocent & # 39;
Charging Trump as such would & # 39; be unconstitutional & # 39; Mueller said – to make a technical legal point that nevertheless contradicts the repeated assertions of President Trump that he has actually been declared innocent by the Special Counsel.
Mueller & # 39; s comments immediately and renewed calls for Trump & # 39; s deposition – including from various Democratic presidential candidates. Participating in them was Rep. Justin Amash from Michigan, the only Republican calling on Congress to investigate the accusation.
Sen. Elizabeth Warren, Sen. Kamala Harris and Mayor Pete Buttigieg, mayor of South Bend, each referred to Mueller's statement as a & # 39; referral charge & # 39; while Senator Cory Booker the & # 39; only way forward & # 39; accusation. Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez wrote on Twitter: & # 39; Mueller plays a game of Taboo with Congress. His word is "accuse." & # 39;
House lawyers President Jerold Nadler said that it is up to Congress to respond to President Trump's crimes, lies and other wrongdoing.
& # 39; Regarding the deposition question at this point, all options are on the table and nothing should be excluded, & # 39; said Nadler at a press conference in New York.
Mueller made it a point to extract from the report a statement that investigators would have said if they could have determined that Trump did not commit an obstruction crime.
He made it & # 39; long-standing & # 39; Ministry of Justice policy that a president cannot be charged and noted, as well as the report, that if he were accused the president would not be able to defend himself as he would in court.
& # 39; That is unconstitutional & # 39 ;, Mueller said – stressing that the fundamental reason for not blaming Trump was not to do with guilt or innocence, but rather with those fundamental factors.
& # 39; Due to regulations, it was bound to that departmental policy & # 39 ;, Mueller said. & # 39; Therefore, suing the president with a crime was not an option we could consider. & # 39;
Mueller reiterated an important conclusion from the report – although one that was not included in the original letter from four attorneys-general Barr.
Mueller said virtually nothing publicly in the course of his two-year investigation until his press statement Wednesday
& # 39; And as explained in the report, after that investigation, if we had been confident that the president had clearly not committed any crime, we would have said so. However, we have not made a decision as to whether the President has committed a crime. & # 39;
Mueller explained: & # 39; Under long-term departmental policy, a president cannot be accused of a federal crime while in office. That is unconstitutional. Even if the cargo is kept sealed and hidden from the public, it is also forbidden. A special law firm is part of the Ministry of Justice and was bound by that department policy by regulation. Charging the president with a crime was therefore not an option that we could consider. & # 39;
He also spoke about the severity of the obstruction and emphasized the language in the report, which seemed to suggest that it was up to Congress to find out what to do with the information it contained.
& # 39; It was crucial for us to obtain complete and accurate information from every person we interviewed. When a topic of an investigation hinders investigations or lies for investigators, it goes to the heart of the government's efforts to find the truth and hold offenders liable, & Mueller said.
Although his language was indirect, Mueller referred to possible future indictments as well as to the language of the constitution that deals with deposition as a political means against & # 39; high crimes and crimes & # 39; performed by a president.
& # 39; First, the advice of the [Ministry of Justice] explicitly allows the investigation of a sitting president, because it is important to keep evidence while the memories are fresh and documents are available. That evidence could be used, among other things, if there were conspirators who could now be charged, & said Barr.
& # 39; And second, the opinion says that the Constitution requires a different process from the criminal justice system to formally accuse a incumbent president of wrongdoing, & # 39; he added. The & # 39; other than & # 39; system like it for Congress, through House and Senate voting, to remove officials accused of misconduct of their post after a trial that resembles a trial.
He also said that he does not want to appear before Congress as the Democrats demand.
& # 39; Any testimony from this office would go no further than our report & # 39 ;, Mueller said.
& # 39; The report is my testimony. I would not provide information that goes beyond what is already public to Congress. & # 39;
Mueller explains why he did not make a decision about charging Trump
& # 39; And as explained in the report, after that investigation, if we had been confident that the president had clearly not committed any crime, we would have said so. However, we have not made a decision as to whether the President has committed a crime. The introduction to part II of our report explains that decision. It explains that according to a long-term departmental policy, a president cannot be accused of a federal crime while in office. That is unconstitutional. Even if the cargo is kept sealed and hidden from the public, it is also forbidden. A special law firm is part of the Ministry of Justice and was bound by that department policy by regulation. Charging the president with a crime was therefore not an option that we could consider.
& # 39; It contains our findings and analysis and the reasons for the decisions that we have said. We have carefully chosen these words and the work speaks for itself. & # 39;
& # 39; I don't think it's appropriate to continue talking about the research & # 39 ;, said Mueller.
White House Secretary, Sarah Sanders, told DailyMail.com that the White House always & # 39; has been prepared – although she did not immediately say that it had held cancellation strategy sessions.
& # 39; We are always prepared, but I don't think the American people deserve it, & # 39; she said when they asked him about deposition. & # 39; Look, every minute the conference spends on that, we don't spend on infrastructure, we don't spend on reducing drug prices, & # 39; she said.
& # 39; All they do is distance themselves from things that can really help the American people & # 39 ;, she said about congress democrats and called it a & # 39; great bad service & # 39 ;.
When asked if that meant that White House staff members were not focusing on extortion either, Sanders replied: & I'm not going to get into internal processes. I'm just saying that we are always prepared and that we continue to do what we think is important and focus on things that really help people. & # 39;
Mueller also picked from the persuasive language report describing Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election.
He introduced the use of & # 39; advanced cyber techniques & # 39; through Russia and quoting from indictments blaming Russian military intelligence.
& # 39; They stole private data and then published that information through fake online identities and through the WikiLeaks organization, & # 39; he said, to damage & # 39; a presidential candidate & # 39; – Hillary Clinton.
& # 39; Russian citizens posed as Americans to influence an election, & # 39; he said.
The White House Secretary, Sarah Sanders, used Mueller & # 39; s statement as a call to everyone to continue with the Russian probe.
& # 39; The Special Counsel has completed the investigation, closed his office and closed the case. Mr. Mueller said explicitly that he has nothing to add that goes beyond the report, and therefore does not intend to testify before Congress. The report was clear – there was no conspiracy, no conspiracy – and the Ministry of Justice confirmed that there was no obstacle. 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 will continue his life and everyone must do the same, & Sanders said.
House Judicial President Rep. Jerold Nadler promised to continue his investigation into President Trump, but stopped saying that House Democrats would continue to impose deposition proceedings.
& # 39; Given that Special Counsel Mueller was unable to prosecute indictments against the president, it is up to Congress to respond to President Trump's crimes, lies and other crimes – and we will, & # 39; said Nadler in a statement.
"No one, not even the President of the United States, is above the law," he added.
Mueller & # 39; s statement brought a renewed focus in Congress on the question of deposition.
& # 39; Robert Mueller's statement makes it clear: Congress has a legal and moral obligation to initiate indictment immediately & # 39; said Cory Booker, a presidential candidate from New Jersey, from Senegal.
Massachusetts Senator Elizabeth Warren tweeted: & Mueller's statement makes it clear what those who have read his report know: it is a referral and it is up to Congress to act. They should. & # 39;
She added: & # 39; Mueller leaves no doubt about it: 1] he did not acquit the president because there is evidence that he has committed crimes. 2] Justice policy has prevented him accusing the president of crimes. 3] The Constitution leaves it to Congress to act – and that is deposition. & # 39;
South Bend Mayor Pete Buttigieg told NBC: & # 39; This is as close as possible to a referral reference that you could get in the given circumstances. & # 39;
& # 39; The ball is in our court, Congress & # 39 ;, wrote Justin Amash from Michigan, the only republican who called for Trump's accusation.
Democratic New York Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez has Rep. David Cicilline from Rhode Island, who wrote: & # 39; The next step is for the House Judicial Committee to open an investigation into deposits to formally start asking whether deposition articles should be submitted. & # 39;
& # 39; This government has continued to block the supervision of Congress. Starting seduction procedures is the only way forward. & # 39;
Said Kamala Harris from California, another presidential candidate: & # 39; It is a good conclusion from what we heard at that press conference that Bob Mueller essentially referred to the United States Congress. & # 39;
Vice President Mike Pence's office has issued a statement stating that & # 39; no obstacle & # 39; and that the White House has fully cooperated & # 39 ;.
& # 39; As Robert Mueller confirmed today, the investigation has been completed. The Attorney General has made the Special Counsel report public. The Ministry of Justice concluded that there was no collusion and no obstacle. For two years, the White House fully cooperated in the investigation that turned millions of pages of documents and provided witnesses for hundreds of hours of testimony, & said Pence Press Secretary Alyssa Farah. Farah also mentioned allegations against the president & # 39; discredited & # 39 ;.
& # 39; The Trump board focuses daily on working for the American people. Although some Democrats can cling to accusations against the president, the American people can be confident: this government will continue to focus on making our country stronger, safer and more secure, & she said.
Trump lawyer Rudy Giuliani accused Mueller in an appearance on Fox News.
& # 39; The reality is that he gave us his opinion about collusion and obstruction, & # 39; said Giuliani. & # 39; And his opinion is that you cannot bring a case. & # 39; With Mueller – his counterpart in negotiations where Trump avoided personal testimony and gave answers to written questions, Giuliani wrote: & Bob, that's the end. That's what a prosecutor does. And you prove no negatives. & # 39;
Giuliani said: & # 39; What they did here is a perversion, & # 39; The hill reported. & # 39; A combination of him and the media. And I'm surprised about Bob because he's a better lawyer than that. I do not know where this idea comes from that you must acquit. & # 39;
Trump campaign leader Brad Parscale has released a statement saying that Mueller's comments revealed that there is & # 39; no reason for obstruction & # 39; used to be.
& # 39; Special Counsel Robert Mueller's comments today confirmed what we already knew. There was no collusion between the Russians and the Trump campaign and there was no reason for obstruction. President Trump has been completely and completely acquitted. Mueller said his investigation was over. The case is now closed, & he said, picking up some of Trump's own language.
& # 39; Now it's time to return to the origins of the Russian hoax and find out to the bottom why the Trump campaign was spied on by the Obama era DOJ and the FBI. Anyone who is in favor of transparency, constitutional civil liberties and the rule of law should want to know why human resources, eavesdropping practices, and unmasking were used to infiltrate a presidential campaign, & # 39; Parscale said.
Trump has also called for & # 39; to investigate the researchers & # 39; and even accused several FBI officials of treason.
HOW ROBERT MUELLER DOES SILENCE FOR TWO YEARS: HIS COMPLETE STATEMENT, INDIVIDUAL AND NON-WEIGHING TRUMP OF CRIMINALITY
This is the script that Robert Mueller read at the Ministry of Justice on May 29, his first public statement since he was appointed as special counsel
Two years ago the attorney general asked me to serve as a special counsel and he created the special law firm.
The appointment assignment led the office to investigate Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election. This included investigating links or coordination between the Russian government and people associated with the Trump campaign.
I did not speak publicly during our investigation. I speak today because our research is complete. The Attorney General has largely made the report on our investigation public. And we formally close the Special Counsel & # 39; s Office. And I resign from the Ministry of Justice and go back to private life.
I will make a few comments about the results of our work. But apart from these few remarks, it is important that the written work of the office speaks for itself.
Let me start where the appointment warrant begins: and that is interference in the 2016 presidential election.
As the grand jury claimed in an indictment, Russian intelligence services that were part of the Russian army launched a joint attack on our political system.
The indictment claims that they have used advanced cyber techniques to hack computers and networks used by the Clinton campaign. They stole private data and then released that information through fake online identities and through the WikiLeaks organization. The releases are designed and timed to disrupt our elections and damage a presidential candidate.
And at the same time, as the grand jury claimed in a separate indictment, a private Russian entity engaged in a social media operation in which Russian citizens expressed themselves as Americans to get involved in the elections.
These charges contain allegations. And we do not comment on the guilt or innocence of a specific culprit. Every defendant is presumed to be innocent unless and until the contrary is proven in court.
Make the charges, and describe the other activities in our report, attempts to interfere with our political system. They had to be examined and understood. That is one of the reasons why the Ministry of Justice has established our office.
That is also a reason why we have investigated the efforts to obstruct the investigation. The cases that we investigated were of the utmost importance. It was crucial for us to obtain complete and accurate information from every person we interviewed. When a subject of an investigation impedes investigations or lies for investigators, it goes to the heart of the government's efforts to find the truth and hold offenders liable.
Let me say a word about the report. The report consists of two parts that relate to the two main problems that have been presented to us for investigation.
The first part of the report provides a detailed overview of Russia's many efforts to influence the elections. This volume includes a discussion of the Trump campaign's response to this activity, as well as our conclusion that there was insufficient evidence to charge for a broader conspiracy.
And in the second part, the report describes the results and analysis of our obstruction of judicial investigation involving the president.
The order to appoint me Special Counsel gave us permission to investigate actions that could hinder the investigation. We conducted that investigation and kept the Acting Attorney General's office informed of the progress of our work.
As we found in our report, after that investigation, if we were confident that the President had clearly not committed a crime, we would have said so.
However, we have not made a decision as to whether the President has committed a crime. The introduction to part two of our report explains that decision.
It explains that according to a long-term Department policy, a president cannot be accused of a federal crime while in office. That is unconstitutional. Even if the load is kept sealed and hidden from the public – that is also forbidden.
The special law firm is part of the Ministry of Justice and was bound by that department policy based on regulations. Therefore, suing the president with a crime was not an option that we could consider.
The written position of the department explaining the policy against charging a president contains a number of important points that have further informed us about our handling of the obstruction investigation. These points are summarized in our report. And I will describe two of them:
Firstly, the advice explicitly allows the investigation of a sitting president, because it is important to preserve evidence while the memories are fresh and documents are available. That evidence could, among other things, be used if there were conspirators who could now be charged.
And second, the opinion says that the Constitution requires a different process from the criminal justice system to formally accuse a incumbent president of misconduct.
And outside of departmental policy, we were guided by principles of honesty. It would be unfair to accuse someone of a crime if it is not possible to make a court ruling on an actual charge.
So that was the Ministry of Justice policy and those were the principles under which we operated. We have concluded from them that we are somehow not determined to determine whether the President has committed a crime. That is the definitive position of the office and we will not comment on other conclusions or hypotheses about the president.
We have conducted an independent criminal investigation and reported the results to the Attorney General as required by departmental regulations.
The Attorney General then concluded that it was appropriate to provide our report to Congress and the American people.
At a certain point I asked to release certain parts of the report. The Attorney General preferred to make the entire report public at once. We appreciate that the Attorney General has largely made the report public. I do not doubt the attorney general's good faith in that decision.
I hope and expect that this will be the only time I will discuss this issue. I make that decision myself – nobody told me if I can or should testify or continue to speak about this issue.
There has been discussion about an appearance for Congress. A testimony from this office would not go beyond our report. It contains our findings and analysis and the reasons for the decisions we have made. We have carefully chosen these words and the work speaks for itself.
The report is my testimony. I would not provide any information that goes beyond what is already public in any appearance before Congress.
Moreover, access to our underlying work product is determined in a process in which our office is not involved.
So apart from what I have said here today and what is written in our written work, I do not believe that it is appropriate to continue to discuss the investigation or to comment on the actions of the Ministry of Justice or Congress.
For that reason I will not answer any questions here today.
Before I leave, I want to thank the lawyers, the FBI agents, the analysts and the professional staff who helped us conduct this research in an honest and independent manner. These individuals, who spent nearly two years with the Special Counsel & # 39; s Office, were of the highest integrity.
I will conclude by repeating the central allegation of our indictments – that there were multiple, systematic attempts to interfere in our elections.
That allegation deserves the attention of every American.
Mueller discovered that the & # 39; Russian government intervened in a drastic and systematic way during the 2016 presidential election & # 39;
Mueller was renowned publicity disadvantage during his almost two-year investigation. He never gave a press conference and did everything to stay out of the spotlight. His absence on the public stage was such that it brought news when he was seen in an airport and in an Apple store.
Mueller & # 39; s report found that the & # 39; Russian government intervened in the 2016 presidential election in a sweeping and systemic manner. & # 39;
It cited the hack of emails from the Democratic National Committee and information harmful to Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton, and said the Russian government was behind the effort. Prosecutors clear a series of leads, including a notorious Trump Tower meeting with Russians in June 2016, and back and forth between Trump and his assistants about a misleading statement describing how the meeting was set up.
Mueller's team of prosecutors also investigated ten areas of potential obstruction of justice by Trump – including statements by Trump & # 39; s own staff that he ordered them to force Mueller. They also investigated Trump's behavior toward former campaign chair Paul Manafort, who is now serving a 7 1/2 year prison sentence for tax and money laundering practices. Ze doken ook in een Trump Moscow tower-project dat voormalig Trump-advocaat Michael Cohen, die ook in de gevangenis zit, niet onthulde tijdens zijn eigen eerste getuigenis van het Huis.
Het rapport stelde dat 'als we vertrouwen hadden na een grondig onderzoek van de feiten dat de president duidelijk geen obstructie van gerechtigheid beging, zouden we dat zo stellen.' Maar er stond dat ze 'niet in staat waren om dat oordeel te bereiken'.
In een andere van zijn beroemde conclusies stelt het rapport van Mueller: 'Hoewel dit rapport niet concludeert dat de president een misdaad heeft begaan, ontslaat het hem ook niet.'
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