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Mueller breaks silence on Russia investigation

by Harvest Prude
Posted 5/29/19, 12:52 pm

WASHINGTON—Special counsel Robert Mueller on Wednesday gave his first public comments about the investigation into Russian interference in 2016 U.S. presidential election. He announced his resignation from the Justice Department and said he did not plan to testify before Congress. Mueller was appointed in May 2017 to examine whether Donald Trump’s campaign conspired with the Russian government to influence the election’s outcome. The probe’s results are described in a 448-page report and led to indictments of 37 people and businesses. During his statement, Mueller described Russian intelligence agents’ concerted efforts to interfere in the U.S. election system through cyberattacks, social media campaigns, and the release of emails damaging to Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton’s reputation. He reiterated the report’s findings that the Trump campaign did not conspire with the Russian government in the attacks.

On the question of obstruction of justice, Mueller said his office followed Justice Department policy, which forbids charging a sitting president with a crime. The Constitution provides a “process other than the criminal justice system to formally accuse the president of wrongdoing,” he said, referencing the role of Congress in conducting impeachment proceedings. It would be “unfair to potentially accuse someone of crime when there can be no court resolution of the actual charge,” Mueller noted.

Attorney General William Barr and former Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein found the evidence did not support an obstruction of justice claim.

House Democrats have pushed for Mueller to testify before Congress, and the president has said he will leave that decision to Barr. Mueller does not intend to speak about the investigation publicly again and said he is “making that decision himself.” He said any testimony to Congress would not go beyond the written report, describing that as “my testimony.”

“Nothing changes from the Mueller Report,” Trump tweeted Wednesday. “There was insufficient evidence and therefore, in our Country, a person is innocent. The case is closed!”

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Harvest Prude

Harvest is a political reporter for WORLD's Washington Bureau. She is a World Journalism Institute and Patrick Henry College graduate. Harvest resides in Washington, D.C. Follow her on Twitter @HarvestPrude.

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  • OldMike
    Posted: Wed, 05/29/2019 03:42 pm

    “He [Mueller] reiterated the report’s findings that the Trump campaign did not conspire with the Russian government in the attacks.”

    Is that sound I hear, wailing and gnashing of teeth from the left?

    As for obstruction, that’s looking pretty dead too. 

    But you Trump-haters, go right ahead with your fixations. 

  •  Chrisi56's picture
    Posted: Wed, 05/29/2019 05:35 pm

    He doesn't want to be cross-examined by any Republicans.  "The first to plead his case seems right until another comes and examines him."  Proverbs 18:17

  •  West Coast Gramma's picture
    West Coast Gramma
    Posted: Wed, 05/29/2019 11:53 pm

    Ms Prude: The headline reads, "Mueller breaks silence on Russia investigation." The news here is that Mueller spoke for the first time since his appointment in 2017. Half way through the article you write, "Attorney General William Barr and former Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein found the evidence did not support an obstruction of justice claim." Why did you so suddenly switch over to what Barr said? Especially since he said that one month ago. You left out one of the biggest statements Mueller spoke, "If we had had confidence that the President clearly did not commit a crime, we would have said so." In other words, since they did NOT say, "the President clearly did not commit a crime," the reader can infer that they did not have this confidence. Since the article is about what Mueller said, you don't find it interesting enough to report that for his part, Mueller, who wrote the report, cannot come flat out and say, The President did not commit a crime of obstruction of justice. And yet Barr, who merely read the report, has that confidence?

    An IMPARTIAL news report would say something like this: Mueller stated he did not have confidence that the President clearly did not commit a crime [of obstruction]. Some Democrats are using his statement to push harder for impeachment, while Republicans are fixating on Volume 1 of the report, which states that there is not sufficient evidence to demonstrate that Trump's campaign conspired with Russian spying. And beyond all this, it seems to me that everyone is passing by what may matter most to Mueller. He concluded his brief remarks with a warning to the American people, " And I will close by reiterating the central allegation of our indictments: That there were multiple, systematic efforts to interfere in our election, and that allegation deserves the attention of every American." In other words, the Russians worked hard at interfering with out election in 2016, and they'll most likely do so again. What are we doing to foil that interference?

  • Big Jim
    Posted: Thu, 05/30/2019 01:31 am

    Hey Gramma,

    Two things:

    1) since when is it a prosecutor's job to prove someone didn't commit a crime? It's their job to prove a crime was committed beyond a reasonable doubt which Mueller was unable to do.

    2) Who was in charge during all this Russian interference during the 2016 election? What did he do to foil that interference? Sure glad he's not still in charge because it looks like he didn't do a very good job when he was. Let's see if Trump can do better.

  •  West Coast Gramma's picture
    West Coast Gramma
    Posted: Thu, 05/30/2019 06:24 am

    Big Jim, I was waiting for the critical comment--just didn't know whose it would be. In reply: 1) You missed the point of my comment entirely: I was writing about World's coverage of this news event. An important piece of news was ommitted. Also, you missed the point of Mueller's investigation entirely. He was appointed by a Republican administration to investigate what happened with the Russians during the last election. He did investigate. It wasn't ever about proving anything. The investigation revealed: Russians did meddle, no evidence that Trump conspired, plenty of evidence that Trump may have committed obstruction of justice. It was not Mueller's job to bring charges, and he explained in great detail why not. 2) How long do we keep passing the buck? We're more than halfway in to Trump's term and we're still saying things like Obama did worse? When does Trump get to stand on his own two feet? Personally, as President, he has done precious little to paint the Russians the color they truly are--black. What concern has he ever shown to protect the integrity of American elections from Russian hacking? None that I can see.

    Posted: Thu, 05/30/2019 05:29 pm

    I remember Obama caught on tape when in Russia  "After my election I will have more flexibility,” Obama said

    Obama showed his true colors toward Russia.

    Obama promised he would restore Cuba's trade with the U.S. Even though Cuba never changed. Obama even got the CIA and FBI to LIE.

    OBAMA passed the buck to BUSH for 8 years. No, you won't find much truth on the web about Obama. The powers that be are erasing what tells the TRUE STORY of what OBAMA DID TO AMERICA. 

    After 9/11 America was coming together, OBAMA did what he could to break America apart. He even encouraged killing police. 

    TRUMP is doing good stuff for America, but you won't hear any of it on the MEAN-STREAM MEDIA. 


  • CM
    Posted: Thu, 05/30/2019 08:06 am

    Using scandal as a political tool, the left seeks to discredit the president, and the lack of evidence will not discourage them.  In this approach, as we saw in the Kavanaugh confirmation, the accused is guilty until proven innocent.  It is time for it to end.  

  •  West Coast Gramma's picture
    West Coast Gramma
    Posted: Thu, 05/30/2019 03:09 pm

    And can there be no investigation? What if this president or any hypothetical president is actually guilty? Your approach assumes innocence beyond a shadow of doubt, one that cannot even be questioned or investigated. If it looks like a duck, walks like a duck, and quacks like a duck, then it may be a duck. Your approach suits a dictatorship better than a democracy. And what you fail to grasp is that Mueller did find evidence of possible obstruction, and this is why he spoke out. It is not his place to accuse. Constitutionally, he is not permitted to accuse. That's why he spoke up. If there will be accusing, someone else--i.e., Congress, which has equal status with the presidency--must do it. This is how our democracy functions--checks and balances. (PS--Bringing Kavanaugh in is a rhetorical ploy--a red herring thrown out to distract and confuse the central issue that Mueller did find evidence of potential obstruction.)

    Posted: Thu, 05/30/2019 05:38 pm

    Don't worry GRAMMA I have a bad feeling your bad duck will be coming back. If you think Obama was a good pres. and you live in the People's Republic of Cal., you are right where you belong. 

    Where judges declare that boys who "must" go into girl's dressing rooms is more important than the privacy of the girls. That brings a WHOLE NEW meaning to #metoo. 

    Your world is where Dems have decided that Americans can't make the "right" decisions like killing babies. A very scarey world you have chosen. 

  •  West Coast Gramma's picture
    West Coast Gramma
    Posted: Thu, 05/30/2019 06:51 pm

    Re News2Me: And while you obfuscate by bashing me for opinions I never stated (guilt by unsubstantiated association), I notice you didn't meet (or even attempt to meet) one single argument I made. Something about when you can't beat them, then hit below the belt? How much the children resemble their father...father Trump...?

  • OldMike
    Posted: Fri, 05/31/2019 03:16 pm

    Gramma, the way I see it:

    The Dems have a majority in the House. There we find the required means and opportunity. 

    Many Dems are not merely interested in finding the truth, but rabidly eager to expose President Trump’s High Crimes and Misdemeanors. There we find the required motivation. 

    So let them have at it! Rather, let them continue to have at it, although as you say we are over two years into the Trump Administration and they have not yet found what they claim is right there in front of our noses!

    So I will not bother to repeat, “I think they’re beating a poor dead horse.”  I’ll just say, “Keep after it Dems, you are bound to accomplish something of great value for this Nation if you don’t give up!”

    [such as discrediting the National Democratic Party Leadership in the minds of millions of undecided voters—big smiley!]

  • WORLD User 188067
    Posted: Fri, 05/31/2019 08:28 pm

    Don't bother with facts here or try to reason with them, this publication and it's (thankfully) small group of followers is so far down the rabbit hole that Trump could shoot a man on fifth avenue and they would claim Obama was behind it. (This is referring to a statement that Donald Trump himself said on the campaign trail - I'll leave the link here - ) - otherwise someone would say that quote was fake news doctored by the main stream media. It's not worth your stress, we live in a post fact era.