An extremely Machiavellian wording of the Mueller statement needs some mental work to be understood: “If we had had confidence that the president clearly did not commit a crime, we would have said so”. The media were swift to explain it to the masses: “Mueller just told the world Trump is a criminal. Now congress must impeach him” – reads the headline of the Independent. But aren’t we too lazy to watch the Mueller statement ourselves? The only important thing that was said is that there were no sufficient evidence found. Everything above it is pure politics and another series of the Impeach 45″ soap opera. It is something like their own Brexit.
The American special prosecutor reads, by way of exception, a statement in which it is once again clear that ‘he is not acquitting’ President Trump. It seems as an offence but he explains further that he had no legal rights to charge him. It is turned to show by the media.
In a surprising public appearance by the investigator who avoided all the spotlight for two years, after a long silence, Mueller now explains the conclusions in his report. It is immediately the only one available to the public.
Democrats want the special prosecutor to come to Congress to answer their questions about his conclusions, but Mueller has little appetite for that. He says, “My report is my testimony.” He will not discuss more than what it says. “I hope this is the only time I speak to you in this way.”
Mueller reports that he is resigning because his work is done. “We formally close the office of the special prosecutor and I resign from the Ministry of Justice to return to my private life.”
But before he goes, he wants to clarify one more thing. “If we had had the confidence that the president clearly did not commit a crime, we would have said that,” Mueller says behind the microphone in a room of the Washington Department of Justice. He reads a prepared text and does not answer journalists’ questions.
In his report, Mueller outlined several moments when Trump was bothering him in his investigation of Russia’s attempts to manipulate the 2016 US elections in favor of Trump. There was “not enough evidence” for the idea that team Trump was working with the Russians. But Trump did try to fire Mueller. Preventing a judicial investigation is punishable.
It is serious business, Mueller emphasizes.
“If a subject of investigation that hinders or lays investigation against investigators, it goes to the heart of their government’s efforts to find the truth and hold offenders accountable.”
Mueller explains once again that he has not brought charges against Trump, because he is bound by the policy of the Ministry of Justice, which assumes that a current president cannot be prosecuted.
An indictment of the president, “was not an option that we could consider,” says Mueller. It would then be “unfair,” he argues, in the “potential” report to accuse someone who cannot be found innocent in a lawsuit.
These are statements that also appear in Mueller’s report, but apparently he does not trust the Americans to read his book well. In March, Mueller turned it over to Barr. A letter later revealed that he was not happy with the way Barr initially reflected his conclusions in a summary.
Trump and his Republicans insist that Mueller’s report clears the president. Democrats argue with the conclusions in hand about whether or not to dismiss the president – presidential candidate Cory Booker says after Mueller ‘s statement that he is in favour of it. Mueller again places the ball explicitly in Congress in his statement. That must decide the consequences of Trump’s actions.