May 29, 2019

BYPASSING BARR:

Mueller turns up the heat on impeachment (Jonathan Allen, 5/29/19, ABC News)

Special counsel Robert Mueller may be the real change agent in Washington.

In the sober, restrained tones of a prep school dean, the veteran prosecutor went live on national television Wednesday to contradict President Donald Trump's mantra of "total exoneration" in the Russia probe and to tell the country that the responsibility of holding Trump accountable for possible obstruction of justice lays at the feet of Congress because the Department of Justice won't do it.

"After that investigation, if we had confidence that the president clearly did not commit a crime, we would have said that," Mueller explained at a Justice Department press conference at which he announced he was dissolving his office and resigning. "We did not, however, make a determination as to whether the president did commit a crime."

Now if Trump claims Mueller concluded there was "no obstruction," there is video of Mueller saying that's not what he determined.



MORE:
According to Mueller, the Attorney General Lied (Nancy LeTourneau, May 29, 2019, New York)

Without Mueller present, Barr took a question from a reporter who asked whether Mueller's non-decision on obstruction "had anything to do with the department's long-standing guidance from the Office of Legal Counsel on not indicting a sitting president."

Barr responded that he had a private conversation with Mueller, who told him that he "was not saying that but for the OLC opinion, he would have found a crime."

During his remarks at the Justice Department this morning, Mueller demonstrated that Barr has been lying in an attempt to mislead all along.

The order appointing me special counsel authorized us to investigate actions that could obstruct the investigation. We conducted that investigation, and we kept the office of the acting attorney general apprised of the progress of our work. And as set forth in the report, after that investigation, if we had confidence that the president clearly did not commit a crime, we would have said so. We did not, however, make a determination as to whether the president did commit a crime.

The introduction to the Volume II of our report explains that decision. It explains that under longstanding department policy, a president cannot be charged with a federal crime while he is in office. That is unconstitutional. Even if the charge is kept under seal and hidden from public view, that, too, is prohibited. A special counsel's office is part of the Department of Justice, and by regulation, it was bound by that department policy. Charging the president with a crime was therefore not an option we could consider.

Shorter Mueller: if Trump were not president, he would have been charged with the crime of obstructing justice.

Posted by at May 29, 2019 4:41 PM

  

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