Charging US president with a crime was 'not an option': Mueller

That's 11 am ET

That's 11 am ETThe Department of Justice reports that Mueller will make his first public statement since his report at 1500 GMT. ForexLive

Though he never said definitively that he would not testify in front of Congress, he hinted heavily that he did not want to, and seemed to warn lawmakers that they'd be disappointed if he did. Any testimony from this office would not go beyond our report. House Majority Whip Steny H. Hoyer said Mueller "needs" to testify.

"And beyond department policy, we were guided by the principle of fairness".

Mueller also went through the top findings of his report, noting that his team found "insufficient evidence" to accuse Trump's campaign of conspiring with Russian Federation during the 2016 election, but he also doubled down on his statement in the report that he was not exonerating the president on questions of whether he obstructed justice. But as the immediate reaction to his comments made clear, there was enormous utility in his approaching the statement in this way. It contains our findings and analysis and the reasons for the decisions we made. But he also didn't dismiss it.

House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerrold Nadler, D-N.Y., whose committee would play a starring role in any impeachment effort, said during a New York City news conference on Wednesday afternoon, "With respect to [the] impeachment question, at this point all options are on the table and nothing should be ruled out".

Pelosi avoided mentioning impeachment in a written statement Wednesday. However Democrats yesterday said they would continue to seek his appearance. And Massachusetts Rep. Seth Moulton, a current House member, said it was now his chamber's duty to push forward. Others, such as Florida's Ted Deutch of Florida and Pennsylvania's Madeleine Dean, said Congress must act but, like Nadler, did not detail how.

On Wednesday, Mueller explained his decision not to propose legal action against U.S. President Donald Trump. But it also did not reach a conclusion on whether the president had obstructed justice. Putin did get what he wanted, and Trump's presidency has been a boon to the Kremlin.

Many Democrats interpreted his words as a coded appeal for Congress to escalate the matter.

As set forth in our report, after that investigation, if we had confidence that the President clearly did not commit a crime, we would have said that.

Mueller's report revealed that President Donald Trump tried to seize control of the Russian Federation probe and force Mueller's removal to stop him from investigating potential obstruction of justice by the Republican president. "A senior White House official told Fox News that the White House was advised on Tuesday night of Mueller's plans", adds the report.

Trump is spinning Mueller's statement the same way he and Barr spun the report: pretending Mueller's statement that he can not bring charges means the evidence was insufficient. The case is closed!

Rep. David Cicilline, chair of the House Democratic Policy and Communications Committee, said the House Judiciary Committee must formally open an "impeachment inquiry" into the president. Now it's up to Congress to do its job. "That allegation deserves the attention of every American", he said. He said that charging Trump with a crime was "not an option" that his team could consider.

'Nothing changes from the Mueller Report.

Barr, who is now in Alaska for work and was briefed ahead of time on Mueller's statement, has said he asked Mueller if he would have recommended charging Trump "but for" the legal opinion from the Office of Legal Counsel, and that Mueller said "no".

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