Former special counsel Robert Mueller spoke before Congress on Wednesday to answer questions regarding his eponymous report, which he was tasked with crafting as part of the investigation into Russia meddling in the 2016 presidential election, as well as inquiring about the possibility of the Trump campaign allegedly colluding with the Russian government in order to win.
While speaking before the House Judiciary Committee, Mueller was questioned by Committee Chair Rep. Jerry Nadler, who asked Mueller several times if the president was exonerated, specifically on the issue of obstruction of justice, pointing out that President Donald Trump has made the claim several times in public and in social media postings. Mueller’s answers were short, but to the point: “No,” he said.
In a lengthier response to the question about whether the president was found innocent of those allegations, Mueller was asked to explain in plain terms to the American people what his report had found.
“The president was not exculpated for the acts he allegedly committed,” Mueller said, per reporting from the BBC.
— The Daily Edge (@TheDailyEdge) July 24, 2019
Mueller’s report, a redacted version of which was made available to the public in April of this year, detailed several instances of Trump possibly engaging in actions that could be called obstruction of justice. Mueller, during his testimony on Wednesday, said he was limited in his ability to take any action on those instances due to longstanding Department of Justice policy that does not allow prosecutors to indict a sitting president.
In his report and, subsequently in a statement he made in May, Mueller did explain that he was unable to say with certainty that the president hadn’t committed a crime.
“If we had confidence the President did not commit a crime, we would have said so,” Mueller explained at that time, per reporting from CNN.
On the same morning of Mueller’s testimony, Trump made several attacks on Twitter against the former special counsel. He also sent out a tweet in which he claimed, once again, that he had not engaged in acts of collusion or obstruction of justice.
NO COLLUSION, NO OBSTRUCTION!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) July 24, 2019