Everyone shut up! Robert Mueller has something to say. Today, the man behind the curtain came forward in a very rare public appearence to get a few things off his chest. When a man of power, well-tailored suits, and possibly information to kick Trump out of office speaks, we listen with bated breath.
So what did we learn?
He Is Resigning And Closing The Special Counsel’s Office
Unfortunately, the “he” in this case is Robert Mueller and not Donald Trump. With the conclusion of the Special Counsel report, Mueller is closing the office and retiring to private life. I doubt there’s going to be a big bash with goodbye tequila shots for his departure. More likely there will be a solemn greeting card from CVS passed around the office that everyone has to sign.
He Did Not Clear Trump
While Trump’s fingers are about to fall off from tweeting NO COLLUSION NO OBSTRUCTION 200 times a day, Mueller restated that this was not the point made by his report. “If we could say with confidence that the president clearly did not commit a crime, we would have said so,” he said.
There it is folks pic.twitter.com/eqrzPzzJxh
— The Betches Sup (@Betches_Sup) May 29, 2019
Take your time untangling the double negatives, but basically, he is saying Trump is up to some shady stuff. He emphasized that his office chose to follow a Justice Department policy that states a sitting president cannot be indicted “even if the charge is kept under seal and hidden from public view,” Mueller said, adding: “Charging the president with a crime was, therefore, not an option we could consider.”
As such, the report states that Mueller’s team “determined not to apply an approach that that could potentially result in a judgment that the president committed crimes.” Def thought that’s what they’ve been doing for two years, but okay.
So because Trump could not be indicted, Mueller determined it would be inappropriate to pursue any conclusion that would result in charges. Why? Because any trial that could prove guilt or exonerate Trump would have to wait until after his presidency or it would, obviously, impact his ability to govern. (Is that what we’re calling it?) However, the hottest tea from today’s statement — or at least, tea that’s become lukewarm since the report and Mueller popped in the microwave for a minute — relates to whether the office determined that he did not commit a crime. Mueller encouraged us to highlight and underline the parts in his report that say “we can’t say he didn’t commit a crime” and to rest assured that if they had determined “no obstruction,” they would have said so.
Today’s statement also affirms that Attorney General Bill Barr dramatically understated how limited Mueller felt by the Justice Department’s policy. Barr had previously suggested that Mueller found no evidence of a crime and the policy barring him from bringing charges was almost irrelevant. Based on Mueller’s report and statements today, that is not the case. The policy, it seems, had a definitive impact on the investigation.
He’s Not Going To Testify
What we read is what we’re going to get. Despite many of us wanting an extensive Sparknotes version of the report, Mueller is being an annoying English teacher and is like “the text speaks for itself.” He does not want to testify any further and kept referring to his report as the final word. He’s pretty clear about that. It’s like his old man version of constantly reminding everyone he studied abroad. We get it.
Mueller's statement about whether he will or won't testify is so confusing. In it he:
1. says his report is his testimony
2. says he will not add anything addition if he does testify
3. says he does not want to speak about other departments
4. does not expressly refuse to testify pic.twitter.com/Jv5BwFSQj7
— Amee Vanderpool (@girlsreallyrule) May 29, 2019
Is It A Call For Impeachment?
Some folks, especially the Democrats (duh) believe this is Mueller advocating for an impeachment. When Mueller reiterated that his office was unable to make a determination on obstruction of justice or suggest a penalty for any wrongdoing they did find, he noted that “the Constitution requires a process other than the criminal justice system to formally accuse a sitting president of wrongdoing,” he said. Incidentally, that process is impeachment.
If that’s what the tea leaves are saying, so be it. Happy to clear my important schedule of watching RHONY re-runs and watch an impeachment hearing. Nancy Pelosi continues to stall on impeachment, but many lawmakers (especially ones running for president, which is most of them) took Mueller’s words as a call to arms.
What Robert Mueller basically did was return an impeachment referral. Now it is up to Congress to hold this president accountable.
We need to start impeachment proceedings. It's our constitutional obligation.
— Kamala Harris (@KamalaHarris) May 29, 2019
It's time for Congress to begin impeachment hearings and follow the facts. Robert Mueller clearly expects Congress to exercise its constitutional authority and take steps that he could not. We can't let the president defy basic accountability measures built into our Constitution.
— Kirsten Gillibrand (@SenGillibrand) May 29, 2019
Mueller’s statement makes clear what those who have read his report know: It is an impeachment referral, and it’s up to Congress to act. They should.
— Elizabeth Warren (@ewarren) May 29, 2019
Robert Mueller’s statement makes it clear: Congress has a legal and moral obligation to begin impeachment proceedings immediately.
— Cory Booker (@CoryBooker) May 29, 2019
Mueller to Congress pic.twitter.com/dVPqvfsVie
— David Dennis Jr. (@DavidDTSS) May 29, 2019