Special Counsel Robert Mueller appeared flustered in the opening hours of his Congressional testimony Wednesday; asking lawmakers to repeat their questions and dodging direct inquiries into Fusion GPS and the infamous Steele Dossier.
“The longtime lawman was known to be reluctant to testify, having made clear he would largely stick to the boundaries of his original report. He reiterated Wednesday that his testimony before House committees would be based on the text of his report on Russian election interference and potential obstruction of the investigation,” reports Fox News.
“As defined in legal dictionaries, collusion is largely synonymous with conspiracy as that crime is set forth in the general federal conspiracy statute,” Rep. Doug Collins read from the report. “Now, you said you chose your words carefully. Are you contradicting your report right now?”
“Not when I read it,” Mueller replied.
“No, no, the uh, if you look at the language,” deflected Mueller.
This is a developing story. Check back for updates.
MUELLER MAYHEM: Federal Judge REJECTS Special Counsel’s Request for Delay
A second federal judge flat-out rebuked special counsel Robert Mueller over the weekend; rejecting his request to delay a court hearing in a criminal case surrounding Russian election meddling using social media.
According to Politico, Judge Dabney Friedrich issued a “brief order” Saturday that denied Mueller’s request to delay the scheduled hearing Friday evening; offering no explanation and setting the stage for a high-stake showdown between the special counsel’s office and 13 Russian nations indicted for interfering in the 2016 election.
The judge’s decision comes just hours after another federal judge rebuked Mueller’s team during hearings in the case against former Trump campaign manager Paul Manafort; accusing the special counsel’s office of using Manafort to launch “impeachment” procedures against the President.
“You don’t really care about Mr. Manafort,” said the judge. “You really care about what information Mr. Manafort can give you to lead you to Mr. Trump and an impeachment, or whatever.”
MUELLER MAYHEM: Mueller Backtracks, Releases Joint Statement with Barr, Says ‘No Conflict’
Former Special Counsel Robert Mueller released a joint statement with Attorney General William Barr Wednesday evening; raising even more questions over his unusual press conference that fueled Democrats’ calls for impeaching President Trump.
“The Attorney General has previously stated that the Special Counsel repeatedly affirmed that he was not saying that, but for the OLC opinion, he would have found the President obstructed justice. The Special Counsel’s report and his statement today made clear that the office concluded it would not reach a determination -one way or the other- about whether the President committed a crime. There is no conflict between these statements,” said a joint press release from Barr and Mueller’s offices.
Attorney General Barr’s office and Special Counsel clarify on OLC guidance re: charging a sitting president. Both say no discrepancy. pic.twitter.com/OVsjHGdzVi
— Katie Pavlich (@KatiePavlich) May 29, 2019
“If we had had confidence that the president clearly did not commit a crime, we would have said that,” Mueller said Wednesday. “We did not determine whether the president did commit a crime.”
“Charging the president with a crime was not an option we could consider,” Mueller explained, adding that “it would be unfair to accuse someone of a crime when there could be no court resolution of the charge.”
White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders commented on Robert Mueller’s recent remarks Wednesday; saying the special counsel came to a “very explicit conclusion” there was no collusion between the Trump campaign and Russia.
Sarah Sanders: "If Bob Mueller had determined that there was a crime, he would've had a moral obligation to report it, to put that into his report — he didn't." pic.twitter.com/nuXVcwZjDq
— The Hill (@thehill) May 29, 2019
“If Bob Mueller had determined that there was a crime, he would’ve had a moral obligation to report it, to put that into his report — he didn’t. The whole purpose that he had his investigation, the whole purpose of the special counsel in the first place was to make a determination on whether or not there was collusion,” said Sanders.
“He came to a very explicit conclusion on that front that there was no collusion and there was no conspiracy,” she added.
Special Counsel Robert Mueller officially concluded the two-year long investigation into allegations of Russian collusion in the 2016 election Wednesday; closing his office and retiring from the Department of Justice.
“Special Counsel Robert Mueller, in his first public appearance since being appointed to lead the Russia investigation, said it was ‘not an option’ to charge President Trump with a crime, per Department of Justice policy, but maintained that if they had ‘confidence’ that the president did not commit a crime, they ‘would have said so,’” reports Fox News.
“The Justice Department announced Mueller would make a statement on Wednesday morning–his first in the more than two years since he was appointed as special counsel. A senior White House official told Fox News that the White House was advised on Tuesday night of Mueller’s plans,” adds the report.
“I have not spoken publicly… I am speaking out today because our investigation is complete….we are formally closing the special counsel’s office,’” said Mueller at the DOJ.
“We are formally closing the special counsel’s office and as well I am resigning from the Department of Justice to return to private life,” Mueller added.