Special Counsel Robert Mueller issued a statement Wednesday at the Department of Justice reviewing the findings of his investigation and closing down his office.
Mueller began by reviewing the order creating his office and the grand jury indictments that allowed him to investigate Russian interference in the 2016 election. Mueller also highlighted his investigation into possible obstruction of justice by President Donald Trump, which arose out of actions the president undertook while the investigation was ongoing. Mueller reiterated statements from the Mueller Report that “if we had confidence that the President clearly did not commit a crime, we would have said that.” He also once again stated that his office did not make a determination about whether the president had committed a crime due to longstanding Department of Justice policy asserting that a sitting president cannot be indicted. Mueller said that the same policy preventing him from indicting the president suggests an alternative constitutional remedy for holding a president accountable. The alternative remedy is heavily implied to be impeachment and the purview of Congress. Mueller ended his statement by saying that any testimony he gave to Congress would not go beyond what was already in the report as the document should speak for itself. Mueller thanked the various attorneys and staff who worked on the investigation and announced that he was closing the Special Counsel’s Office and resigning from the Department of Justice to return to private life.
A number of responses have been released regarding the Special Counsel’s statement. Trump is holding firmly on the line of “No Obstruction, No Collusion” with a statement released by Press Secretary Sarah Sanders. Several members of the House are calling for impeachment inquiries to begin, including Justin Amash (R-MI), Bill Pascrell (D-NJ) and Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY). Several Democrats in the Senate have called for impeachment as well, including Elizabeth Warren (D-MA), Kamala Harris (D-CA) and Cory Booker (D-NJ), each of whom is running for president in the 2020 election. House Judiciary Chairman Jerry Nadler held a press conference announcing intentions to hold the president accountable, stating that all options including impeachment are on the table but refusing to commit to impeachment at this time.