Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s first public statement about his investigation into President Donald Trump added no new information and simply reinforced what we already knew, which begs the question: Why did he hold a press conference?
It seems that Mueller may have been just as interested in sowing discord as the Russians he was investigating.
Regarding obstruction—adding to the murky language of his report with the murky language of his presser, he acted as a partisan, rather than a prosecutor. At this point, it’s incredibly difficult to see Mueller’s press conference as anything other than an orchestrated sham, crafted to provide fodder to Democrats who want to impeach the president.
While Mueller said his team chose not to “make a determination as to whether the president did commit a crime” and reiterated that their decision was based on long-standing Department of Justice policy that prevents a sitting president from being charged with a crime, he still said that “if we had had confidence that the president clearly did not commit a crime, we would have said so.”
Clearly, he understands this runs contrary to his role as a prosecutor.
Yet, in his report and in his public statement, he intentionally left a cloud of suspicion (one he created himself) hanging over the president of the United States, despite the fact that the president was not charged with a crime—a clear violation of his supposed commitment to not comment “on the guilt or innocence of any specific defendant,” a privilege he afforded to the Russians he charged, but not Trump.
Sean Davis, co-founder of The Federalist, noted Mueller’s rank hypocrisy, stating, “According to Mueller and his team, charged Russians are presumed innocent. An American president, however, is presumed guilty unless and until Mueller’s team determines he is innocent.”
He continued, “Such a standard is an obscene abomination against the rule of law, one that would never be committed by independent attorneys who place a fidelity to their oaths and impartial enforcement of the law ahead of their political motivations.”
The Mueller investigation has ended the same way the investigation of the Trump campaign began—with biased, partisan officials abusing their power and attempting to tilt an investigation and public opinion against a duly elected president. In both the report and his press conference, he had the opportunity to provide clarity, but wasted those opportunities by discarding any pretense of objectivity in what—by all accounts—now looks like a political hit job.
Dr. Kelli Ward, chairwoman of the Arizona Republican Party, issued a press release following Mueller’s statement, saying, “Desperate Democrats are in a frenzy to impeach President Trump for a crime that doesn’t exist when, instead, they should be issuing a public apology for wasting millions of taxpayer dollars, hurling spurious accusations at the President and his family, and leading the American people on a wild goose chase that confirmed what we knew all along: There was no collusion.”
Mueller’s presser reiterated as much: no collusion. However, his insinuation that there might-have-but-probably-not-but-could’ve been obstruction did a disservice to the country and to his investigation.
Across the country, as many people are ready for Congress to move on and start working for the U.S. people, Mueller’s press conference shows that the president’s enemies still have an ax to grind.
The ending to this investigation was a sad, final slap in the face from a group of officials who desperately wanted to hang a crime on Trump, but despite a two-year investigation that cost more than $30 million, managed to come up short.
And now, even after all this, their lord-and-savior Mueller is the one who resigned and Trump will still be their president.