WASHINGTON – President Donald Trump was not charged with obstruction because Justice Department regulations prohibit indicting a sitting president, Special Counsel Robert S. Mueller III said Wednesday.
“If we had confidence that the president did not clearly commit a crime, we would have said so,” Mueller said at a news conference at the DoJ.
Mueller said that because of the regulations, “charging the president with a crime was not an option we could consider.”
Attorney General William Barr and then-Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein, however, have said that they reviewed the evidence presented in Mueller’s 400-plus page report on the investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 U.S. presidential election, and did not find that the evidence reached the standard to charge Trump with obstruction.
While Mueller said he could not charge a sitting president, another special counsel, Kenneth Starr, said in 1998 that his investigation found that then-President Bill Clinton could be charged on 11 specific possible grounds for impeachment
Trump dismissed Mueller’s statement.
Nothing changes from the Mueller Report. There was insufficient evidence and therefore, in our Country, a person is innocent. The case is closed! Thank you.
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) May 29, 2019