In his second round of testimony Wednesday, former special counsel Robert Mueller corrected what was initially seen as the biggest bombshell from remarks he gave earlier in the day regarding his investigation into whether President Donald Trump attempted to obstruct the Russia probe.
“Now before we go to questions, I want to add one correction to my testimony this morning,” Mueller began at the outset of his testimony before the House Intelligence Committee.
Watch → Mueller corrects @TedLieu’s assertion that he “didn’t charge the president because of the OLC opinion.”
Mueller reaffirms findings in his report and says the Special Counsel’s Office “did not reach a determination as to whether the president committed a crime.” pic.twitter.com/HvCnJw1a7u
— House Judiciary GOP (@JudiciaryGOP) July 24, 2019
Mueller agreed with Lieu that the reason the special counsel’s office did not charge Trump with obstruction was because of Justice Department office of legal counsel policies against indicting sitting presidents. (RELATED: Mueller Forgot Which President Appointed Him US Attorney)
“The reason again that you did not indict Donald Trump is because of [Office of Legal Counsel] opinion stating that you cannot indict a sitting president, correct?” Lieu asked.
“That is correct,” Mueller said.
Mueller’s statement was seen as a major boon for Democrats, who have speculated that Mueller would have indicted Trump if he were not president.
But those hopes were dashed when Mueller revisited his statement to Lieu.
“I want to go back to one thing that was said this morning by Mr. Lieu, who said, and I quote, ‘you didn’t charge the president because of the OLC opinion.'”
“That is not the correct way to say it,” Mueller said.
“As we say in the report, and as I said in the opening, we did not reach a determination as to whether the president committed a crime.”
Mueller said in his report and his testimony that prosecutors could not exonerate Trump on the issue of obstruction. The report did say that prosecutors were unable to establish that the Trump campaign conspired with the Russian government to interfere in the 2016 election.
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