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Thursday 23 March 2023 Dublin: 7°C
UPI/PA Images Mueller speaking to reporters today
# Russia
Charging Trump with a crime was not an option under Department of Justice rules, says Mueller
Mueller reiterated what the report had previously concluded; that there was interference from Russia.

US SPECIAL COUNSEL Robert Mueller has said he could not charge President Trump with a crime in the Russia investigation due to long-standing Department of Justice rules.

It was his first statement since the release of the redacted Mueller report in April. 

The Mueller report was published in April following a 22-month investigation into alleged Russian meddling in the 2016 Presidential election. 

The report, which Mueller said consisted of two parts – Russian collusion and the allegations that Trump obstructed the course of justice – found there was no collusion between the president’s campaign and Russia. 

However, the report did not conclude that Trump had not committed any crime. 

Speaking today, Mueller said: “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,” he said.

He explained that under “long-standing Department of Justice policy a president can not be charged with a federal crime when he is in office.

“That is unconstitutional, even if the charge is kept under seal from public view, that too, is prohibited.”

Trump tweeted in the aftermath of the statement saying “the case is closed”.

Tweet by @Donald J. Trump Donald J. Trump / Twitter Donald J. Trump / Twitter / Twitter

Mueller also reiterated what the report had previously concluded; that there was interference from Russia.

“Russian intelligence officers launched a concerted attack on our political system,” he said.

“They stole private information and then released that information through fake online identities.

“The releases were designed and timed to interfere with our election and damage a presidential candidate.”

Speaker of the House of representatives, Nancy Pelosi has been fighting off calls from within the Democratic party to begin impeachment proceedings against Trump. 

They come amidst allegations of financial misconduct being levied against Trump, which were only heightened by the Mueller report when it refused to fully vindicate Trump of any wrongdoing. 

Mueller concluded that he was to retire from the Department of Justice and resign from his post now that the “investigation is complete” and “the attorney general has made the report on our investigation largely public”. 

The special counsel’s office was established for the purpose of the investigation. 

However, minutes after Mueller made his speech, members of congress continued their calls for congress to act. 

Democrat Rep. Val Dennings, a member of the House Judiciary Committee tweeted: “Special Counsel Robert Mueller just said that “charging the president with a crime was not an option we could consider” under DOJ policy.

“It wasn’t lack of evidence. It was DOJ policy.

“He said that this “deserves the attention of every American.” He’s right. Congress must act,” she concluded. 

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