Robert Mueller, the taciturn lawman at the center of a polarizing American drama, bluntly dismissed President Donald Trump’s claims of “total exoneration” in the federal probe of Russia’s 2016 election interference. In a long day of congressional testimony, Mueller warned that Moscow’s actions represented — and still represent — a great threat to American democracy. Mueller’s back-to-back Capitol Hill appearances on Wednesday, his first since wrapping his two-year Russia probe , carried the prospect of a historic climax to a rare criminal investigation into a sitting American president. But his testimony was more likely to reinforce rather than reshape hardened public opinions on impeachment and the future of Trump’s presidency . With his terse, one-word answers, and a sometimes stilted and halting manner, Robert Mueller made clear his desire to avoid the partisan fray and the deep political divisions roiling Congress and the country. He delivered neither crisp TV sound bites to fuel a Democratic impeachment push nor comfort to Republicans striving to undermine his investigation’s credibility. But his comments grew more animated by the afternoon, when he sounded the alarm on future Russian election interference. He said he feared a new normal of American campaigns accepting foreign help. He condemned Trump’s praise of WikiLeaks, which released Democratic emails stolen by Russia. And he said of the interference by Russians and others: “They are doing it as we sit here. And they expect to do it during the next campaign.” His report, he said, should live on after him and
The chairman of the House Judiciary Committee says he expects special counsel Robert Mueller to have “a profound impact” when he testifies before Congress on July 17, even though Mueller has said he won’t provide any new information. Mueller’s unusual back-to-back testimony in front of the House Judiciary and Intelligence committees is likely to be the most highly anticipated congressional hearing in years, particularly given Mueller’s resolute silence throughout his two-year investigation into Russian contacts with President Donald Trump’s campaign . Democrats negotiated for more than two months to obtain the testimony, hoping to focus public attention on the special counsel’s 448-page report that they believe most Americans have not read. “I think just if he says what was in the report and says it to the American people so they hear it, that will be very, very important,” Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerrold Nadler told reporters Wednesday. “Whether he goes further than that, we’ll see.” Nadler said he thinks Mueller will be a compelling witness given the nature of the report, which detailed Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election and reviewed several episodes in which Trump tried to influence Mueller’s probe. He said he believes the hearing will have a “profound impact” because many people haven’t read the report and don’t know what’s in it. It will also be the first time Mueller has responded to questions since he was appointed special counsel in May 2017. Throughout his investigation, Mueller never responded to angry, public attacks from Trump, nor
President Donald Trump angrily assailed special counsel Robert Mueller’s motives on Thursday, a day after Mueller bluntly rebuffed Trump’s repeated claims that the Russia investigation had cleared him of obstructing justice. The president also offered mixed messages on Russia’s efforts to help him defeat Democrat Hillary Clinton in the 2016 campaign. Early in the day, Trump tweeted he had “nothing to do with Russia helping me get elected.” That was the first time he seemed to acknowledge that Russia tried to help his campaign. Then on the White House South Lawn, Trump told reporters: “Russia did not help me get elected. You know who got me elected? You know who got me elected? I got me elected. Russia didn’t help me at all.” Mueller’s report said Russia interfered in the election in hopes of getting Trump elected, but his findings and intelligence officials have stopped short of saying the efforts contributed to Trump’s victory. Donald Trump’s 20-minute eruption underscored that he remains deeply distressed over the probe that has shadowed his presidency for nearly two years, even after Robert Mueller announced his resignation and the closure of his office. Democrats are mulling the possibility of impeachment proceedings. Trump insisted that he’s been tough on Russia and that Moscow would have preferred Clinton as president. But that’s not what Russian President Vladimir Putin has said. When asked last year in Helsinki whether he wanted Trump to become president, Putin replied: “Yes, I did.” On Wednesday, Mueller, in his first public remarks
Special counsel Robert Mueller said Wednesday that charging President Donald Trump with a crime was “not an option” because of federal rules, but he used his first public remarks on the Russia investigation to emphasize that he did not exonerate the president. “If we had had confidence that the president clearly did not commit a crime, we would have said so,” Robert Mueller declared. The special counsel’s remarks stood as a pointed rebuttal to Trump’s repeated claims that he was cleared and that the two-year inquiry was merely a “witch hunt.” They also marked a counter to criticism, including by Attorney General William Barr, that Mueller should have reached a determination on whether the president illegally tried to obstruct the probe by taking actions such as firing his FBI director. Mueller made clear that his team never considered indicting Trump because the Justice Department prohibits the prosecution of a sitting president. “Charging the president with a crime was therefore not an option we could consider,” Mueller said during a televised statement . He said he believed such an action would be unconstitutional. Mueller did not use the word ’impeachment,” but said it was the job of Congress — not the criminal justice system — to hold the president accountable for any wrongdoing. The special counsel’s statement largely echoed the central points of his lengthy report, which was released last month with some redactions. But his remarks, just under 10 minutes long and delivered from a Justice Department podium, were extraordinary
SENATE MAJORITY LEADER Mitch McConnell on Tuesday urged his Democratic colleagues to move on after the conclusion of special counsel Robert Mueller's two-year Russia investigation, declaring "case closed."
In a speech from the Senate floor, the Kentucky Republican said Mueller became a "secular saint" for Democrats "destined to rescue the country from the inconvenient truth" that President Donald Trump was elected. McConnell mocked Democrats for "working through the five stages of grief" since last month's release of the 448-page redacted report.
"There's this outrage industrial complex that spans from Capitol press conferences to cable news," McConnell said Tuesday. "They're grieving that the national crisis they spent two years wishing for didn't materialize. But for the rest of the country, this is good news."
Congressional Democrats moved closer on Monday to citing Attorney General William Barr for contempt of Congress over his failure to hand over an unredacted version of the Mueller report, escalating a showdown with the White House.
The Democratic-led House Judiciary Committee issued a report citing Barr, an appointee of President Donald Trump, for contempt of Congress after the expiration at 9 a.m. EDT (1300 GMT) of a second deadline to produce the full report.
Barr missed an initial deadline last week from the committee, which wants to see the entire report from Special Counsel Robert Mueller on his investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 U.S. presidential election.
“Attorney General Barr failed to comply with the committee’s request for these documents and thereby has hindered the committee’s constitutional, oversight and legislative functions,” the committee’s contempt report said.
Born 7 August 1944 in New York City in 1944, Robert Mueller attended Princeton University and served with distinction in Vietnam. He became an assistant U.S. attorney for the Northern District of California in 1976, and over the next two-plus decades he also took on prominent roles with the District of Massachusetts and the Department of Justice.
Named FBI director in 2001, Mueller was immediately confronted by the 9/11 attacks, and he subsequently overhauled the bureau to meet the demands posed by 21st century terrorist activity. He left the post in 2013, but returned to the spotlight four years later as special counsel in charge of investigating Russian interference into the 2016 presidential election and possible ties to associates of President Donald Trump.
President Donald Trump’s former national security adviser provided so much information to the special counsel’s Russia investigation that prosecutors say he shouldn’t do any prison time, according to a court filing that describes Michael Flynn’s cooperation as “substantial.”
The filing by special counsel Robert Mueller provides the first details of Flynn’s assistance in the Russia investigation, including that he participated in 19 interviews with prosecutors and cooperated extensively in a separate and undisclosed criminal probe. But the filing’s lengthy redactions also underscore how much Mueller has yet to reveal.
It was filed Tuesday, two weeks ahead of Flynn’s sentencing and just over a year after he became one of five Trump associates to plead guilty in the Russia probe, in his case admitting to lying to the FBI about conversations with the Russian ambassador to the U.S.