Washington, May 30: The Special Counsel investigating the Trump election campaign and the Russian hand in it, Robert Mueller, resigned on Wednesday making it clear that he did not exonerate the US President but did not charge him either with a crime as it was 'not an option' under the justice department guidelines.
Speaking about his 22-month investigation into the reported Russian meddling in the 2016 US presidential election, Mueller, in a surprise media appearance, said intelligence officers with the Russian military 'launched a concerted attack on our political system' in an attempt to 'interfere with our election and to damage a presidential candidate.'
Mueller opened his remarks by announcing that he was formally closing the Special Counsel's office and resigning his post at the Department of Justice.
Pointing out that he has not spoken publicly all this time, Mueller said he was 'speaking out today because our investigation is complete. The attorney general has made the report on our investigation largely public.' He announced he was 'formally closing the special counsel's office and, as well, I'm resigning from the department of justice to return to private life.'
His 448-page report, released last month, concluded that Russia had interfered in the 2016 presidential election 'in sweeping and systematic fashion' but did not find there had been a criminal conspiracy between Moscow and the Trump campaign.'A Special Counsel's Office is part of the Department of Justice, and by regulation, it was bound by that department policy,' Mueller said.
'Charging the President with a crime was therefore not an option we could consider,' said the former FBI director. At the same time, he reiterated that his report into Russian interference in the 2016 election did not exonerate the President either.
'If we had had confidence that the President clearly did not commit a crime, we would have said so,' Mueller said. 'We did not, however, make a determination as to whether the President did commit a crime.' The remark challenges Trump's repeated public claim that he was exonerated by the report and that there was 'no obstruction'.
Trump has rejected allegations that his campaign colluded with the Russians during the 2016 presidential election.'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,' Trump tweeted soon after Mueller's statement. UNI