Trump Tweets Mueller’s Remarks Means ‘The Case Is Closed’ — Is it though?
On Wednesday morning, special counsel Robert Mueller officially stepped down from his office, which is within the Department of Justice.
In stepping aside, Mueller announced his inquiry into Russia interference — as well as questions about the Trump administration, including allegations of coordination with the Kremlin and obstruction of justice during the investigation itself — was concluded.
After Mueller made his remarks, President Donald Trump tweeted from his social media account his belief that the matter was settled.
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
The fact that there was “insufficient evidence” from the Mueller report meant the “case was closed,” the president wrote.
Yet Mueller’s remarks may not have been what the president implied they were.
While the special counsel did explain there wasn’t any evidence of collusion (or rather, coordination) between Russia and the Trump campaign in the 2016 presidential election, on the matter of obstruction of justice, Mueller was adamant that the president wasn’t in the clear.
Indeed, Mueller emphasized in his statement on Wednesday that the question of obstruction of justice had yet to be resolved.
Due to “longstanding department policy, a president cannot be charged with a federal crime while he is in office,” Mueller said, per a previous report from HillReporter.com. Because of that policy, “[c]harging the president with a crime was therefore not an option we could consider,” he added.
And earlier in his remarks, Mueller reiterated a portion of his report that demonstrated Trump was not exonerated of all charges. “If we had confidence that the president clearly did not commit a crime, we would have said so,” the special counsel said.
With those statements made, it’s doubtful that the president’s tweet is an accurate portrayal of what Mueller was trying to say. Indeed, many, including several Democratic presidential candidates, threw out their two cents into the matter after Mueller was done speaking, with some openly speaking out on the need to begin consideration of impeaching Trump.
Among those who implored Congress to begin impeachment proceedings was Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Cory Booker, who had previously abstained from making the call before.
Robert Mueller’s statement makes it clear: Congress has a legal and moral obligation to begin impeachment proceedings immediately.
— Cory Booker (@CoryBooker) May 29, 2019
It’s clear that the president wants nothing more than the issue of the Mueller investigation to be dropped once and for all. However, given the remarks of the special counsel on Wednesday, and the added pressure from Democrats to hold the administration accountable for its efforts to impede Mueller’s inquiry, it’s unlikely that the case is as “closed” as the president suggests that it is.