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Mueller Officially Steps Down From Special Counsel, Says ‘The Report Is My Testimony’

Special counsel for the Russia investigation Robert Mueller formally stepped down from his position on Wednesday morning after announcing the work of his office had been completed.

Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images

In announcing his resignation from the Department of Justice position, Mueller stated that he believed his written work spoke for itself — and emphasized his preference not to speak more about the matter, including to Congress, according to updates from CNN.

Mueller stated clearly and without hesitation that “any testimony from this office would not go beyond our report,” though he didn’t outright say he wouldn’t appear before Congress if compelled to do so either.

“The report is my testimony,” he added.

Mueller reiterated aspects of the report his office submitted to Attorney General William Barr in March. He pointed out that there was not “sufficient evidence” to charge a crime of coordination among members of the Trump campaign and the Russian government.

Mueller was less conclusive, as he was in his eponymous report, about the matter of obstruction of justice on the part of the president. He repeated a line from the report, that if his office “had confidence that the president clearly did not commit a crime, we would have said so.”

Mueller added that he was bound by department regulations not to charge the president.

“Under longstanding department policy, a president cannot be charged with a federal crime while he is in office,” the special counsel said.

“The special counsel’s office is part of the Department of Justice, and by regulation, it was bound by that department policy,” Mueller added. “Charging the president with a crime was therefore not an option we could consider.”

Of great importance, Mueller concluded, was the “systematic efforts to interfere” in the U.S. electoral system by Russia and possibly other outside actors, a matter that “deserves the attention of every American.”

At the end of his statement, Mueller declined to take questions, though a few reporters tried anyway. The special counsel smiled, said “no questions,” and walked out of the room.



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