In case you missed it this morning, Special Counsel Robert Mueller spoke for roughly ten minutes this morning providing his first public statement on the Russia collusion investigation since May of 2017.

Here’s the full video of Mueller’s statement delivered around 11 am ET Wednesday morning at the Department of Justice:

Mueller reiterated that his findings in the already-released 400-page report were the extent of his comments and that this would be the last time he would speak publicly on the investigation. He did, however, leave some doors open for Democrats to latch on to with regard to whether Mueller could have or should have charged President Trump with obstruction of justice.

Mueller emphasized that due to longstanding Department of Justice guidelines about not indicting a sitting President, he was unable to issue a determination that the President had, in fact, obstructed justice. On the flipside, he also could not say that the President hadn’t obstructed justice. The differentiation is key for the President’s opponents who will point out that Mueller’s statement sounded an awful lot like he was implying that had it not been for the DoJ guidelines, Trump, perhaps, could have been charged with obstruction.

2020 Democrats immediately take notice

Reaction from Donald Trump’s 2020 Democratic opponents began pouring in just minutes after the Mueller press conference concluded:

Sen. Cory Booker tweeted that impeachment proceedings should begin immediately:

Sen. Elizabeth Warren said that not only does Mueller’s statement do more than imply the President committed a crime, Warren argues that Mueller practically drew Congress an impeachment map:

Sen. Kamala Harris said that Mueller’s statement amounts to an “impeachment referral” and that, in her opinion, it’s time for Congress to take up the mantle and begin impeachment immediately as a constitutional duty:

Julian Castro also echoed his 2020 Democratic colleagues in calling for the commencement of impeachment proceedings:

Several candidates, including Joe Biden, Beto O’Rourke, Amy Klobuchar, and Pete Buttigieg have not yet spoken publicly or released a statement on the matter.

Trump’s GOP opponents also sound off

On the other side of the aisle, or perhaps in another part of the aisle, libertarian-leaning Republican Congressman Justin Amash also gently pushed the impeachment narrative by saying that Mueller’s statement, and conclusion of the investigation, now puts the ball in Congress’ court:

Amash has been continuing to ponder a third-party run for president on the Libertarian Party ticket. He’s also continued to attack and criticize the President and Attorney General William Barr for the handling of the Mueller report.

President Trump responds

The official White House response came via Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders:

The President also wasted no time in directly responding and pointing out that Robert Mueller’s statement essentially mirrors everything already released concerning the special counsel report on Russian collusion:

Mueller’s statement leaves many open questions since he has now said he will no longer be speaking publicly on this matter. It’s still possible Mueller could get subpoenaed to testify on Capitol Hill, however, Mueller stated that if he is compelled to testify, he wouldn’t be speaking beyond the information already contained in his report.

One thing is for certain, and that is that the impeachment talk will continue as long as it’s politically expedient for the President’s opponents to keep the narrative alive.

3 COMMENTS

  1. Actually, Mueller did not say he wouldn’t testify. He just said that his report was comprehensive, and there was nothing to add.

    That leaves open reasons why the House may call him, anyway.

    First, they could ask, “what did you mean by this passage?” That would allow them to cherry-pick the report, to focus public attention on only the most damning sections.

    Second, “did you not consider that the logical conclusion would be –?” That would open a whole can of worms about tangents and suppositions.

    Third, “just to clarify, you are saying that there was, in fact, collusion, but not the more specific legal act of conspiracy.” The public doesn’t understand the difference, and that could drive it home.

    Fourth, “just to clarify, you noted ten certain instances that could be considered obstruction. It appears that you said if Trump were not president, this would be enough to indict, is that not correct?” (If Netanyahu can be indicted–while in office, and even while in the middle of a campaign–why not here?)

    Mueller did an unbelievable job of preventing leaks, and was careful not to look like Ken Starr, who became a celebrity from six years of leaks and public comments while investigating Clinton. I’m sure Mueller will try hard to avoid going to Congress, but given his confirmation of what Democrats have been saying, I can’t believe that they will not call him. AND, his resignation might be seen as a way to be free from having Trump-Barr tell him he may not testify. As a private citizen, he will not be subject to “executive privilege.”

    This will go on for as long as the public has curiosity about the issue. Like it or not.

    • Do you mean the Democrats fishing expedition. Soon all but the most die hard Democrat zealots will realize that instead of looking out for the interests of their district or state, the Democrats they elected to either Congress or the Senate are too busy sharpening their knives against President Trump.?

      I foresee 2020 as the beginning of the end of the Democratic party. Not only will Donald J Trump be reelected to a second term as President but the Democrats will suffer catastrophic losses in both the Congress and Senate.?

      • That’s really all irrelevant to the point at hand, which is, will Mueller be called, and will he appear.

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