Robert Mueller Says Trump Was Not Exonerated Of Crimes In Opening Statement Of House Testimony
In the opening statement of his testimony before the House Intelligence and Judiciary Committees, former special counsel Robert Mueller refuted President Donald Trump’s claim of “no collusion, no obstruction,” and confirmed that he did not have any conflicts of interest.
“The president was not exculpated for the acts that he allegedly committed,” Mueller told the panel, adding that Trump could theoretically be indicted after he left office.
Rep. Jerry Nadler: "What about total exoneration? Did you actually totally exonerate the president?"
— ABC News (@ABC) July 24, 2019
“We did not address ‘collusion,’ which is not a legal term,” Mueller added. “Rather, we focused on whether the evidence was sufficient to charge any member of the campaign with taking part in a criminal conspiracy. It was not.”
The prosecutor also countered the president’s claim that he had conflicts of interest and should, therefore, be fired. When asked by Rep. Hank Johnson (D-Georgia), whether it was true that he had no conflicts of interest, Mueller replied, “Correct.”
The former head of the probe into Trump’s possible collusion with the Russians indicated in his opening statement that his testimony would most likely stay within the confines of his original 448-page report. “I do not intend to summarize or describe the results of our work in a different way in the course of my testimony today,” Mueller said. “As I said on May 29: the report is my testimony. And I will stay within that text.”
His stance on not providing his personal theories towards impeachment assuredly pleased the Republicans and the Trump administration, which had instructed Mueller not to testify on anything outside the scope of his original report. Mueller agreed to work within the DOJ’s confines, saying, “These are Justice Department privileges that I will respect.” The prosecutor’s neutral stance proves frustrating for Democrats, who hoped to use the special counsel’s testimony to convince the nation and their fellow lawmakers that the president was guilty of impeachable offenses.