Charging Donald Trump with a crime in his investigation of Russian interference in the 2016 U.S. election, was not an option special counsel Robert Mueller says he could consider, given existing Justice Department guidelines that a sitting president cannot be indicted.
(Carolyn Kaster/Associated Press)
In his first public remarks since being assigned in May 2017, Mueller said ”it would be unfair” to potentially accuse someone of a crime when the person could not stand trial to defend himself.
”We concluded that we would not reach a determination one way or the other about whether the president committed a crime,” added Mueller.
Trump has claimed the report exonerates him and his campaign team of collusion.
The report did not exonerate the president on obstruction of justice charges.
The 74-year-old former FBI director, who’s about to return to private life, appeared to stress that during his statement.
”If we had had confidence that the president clearly did not commit a crime, we would have said so.”
Meanwhile, shortly afterward, Trump said on social media that ”nothing changes from the Mueller Report. There was insufficient evidence and therefore, in our country, a person is innocent. The case is closed!”