Robert Mueller says Russian probe formally closed, resigns as special counsel


On Wednesday, Mueller spoke publicly to summarize the findings of his two-year investigation into Russian election interference and the report's inability to clear President Donald Trump of obstruction of justice.

Trump, in a morning tweet, had left the impression that he was acknowledging that Russian interference helped him win the 2016 election over Democrat Hillary Clinton.

He also called Mueller a "never Trumper" and said those who were on the investigation team included "Trump haters", "people who worked for Hilary Clinton" and "some of the worst human beings on Earth".

Trump has blocked House committees' subpoenas and other efforts to dig into the Trump-Russia issue, insisting Mueller's report has settled everything.

And Mueller also said that an internal Justice Department policy, one that said a sitting president can not be charged with a crime, also says that "the Constitution requires a process other than the criminal justice system to formally accuse a sitting President of wrongdoing".

Outside the White House, Trump also implied there was a conflict of interest because Mueller had asked for the job of Federal Bureau of Investigation director following James Comey's dismissal from the position. We did not, however, make a determination as to whether the president did commit a crime.

"With respect to impeachment, all options are on the table, and nothing should be ruled out", he said at a news conference after Mueller's appearance. "It clearly sets forth facts describing 10 instances where the President may well have obstructed justice", Cicilline said in a statement.

It found there were many contacts between Russian agents and members of Trump's presidential election campaign.

"Under longstanding department policy, a president can not be charged with a federal crime while he is in office", Mueller said. "President Trump has exacerbated these allegations by stonewalling congressional investigations, impeding our crucial Constitutional duty to exercise oversight over the Executive branch". "The case is closed!" "There is a difference between an inquiry and an impeachment vote".

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He went beyond the conclusion of his report and gave a political gift to Democrats in Congress who are seeking to institute impeachment proceedings against President Trump.

In a tweet earlier in the day, Mr Trump seemed to say for the first time that Moscow had played a role in helping him to get elected, while disavowing his own involvement.

From the start, he couldn't bring charges - even in secret - against Trump, or any sitting president.

"I told him NO".

Many saw Mueller's statement as a repudiation of Attorney General William Barr, who had declared that the report fully exonerated the president before its detail were released to the public.

Mueller, for his part, privately complained to Barr that a four-page letter the attorney general wrote summarizing his main conclusions did not adequately capture the investigation's findings. "It explains that under long-standing [Justice] Department policy, a president can not be charged with a federal crime while he is in office".

Asked about Mueller's view, Barr told CBS: 'The opinion says you cannot indict a president while he is in office, but he could've reached a decision as to whether it was criminal activity'.

Special counsel Robert Mueller announced his resignation on Wednesday from the United States Justice Department so that he can "return to public life". "Mueller proved he was as biased as his staff".