Robert Mueller made an unexpected statement about his investigation on Wednesday. There’s tons of speculation about his purposes for doing so.
Here’s part of what he said, via Politico:
Good morning, everyone, and thank you for being here. Two years ago, the acting attorney general asked me to serve as special counsel and he created the special counsel’s office. The appointment order directed the office to investigate Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election. This included investigating any links or coordination between the Russian government and individuals associated with the Trump campaign.
Now, I have not spoken publicly during our investigation. I am speaking out today because our investigation is complete. The attorney general has made the report on our investigation largely public. And we are formally closing the special counsel’s office and as well, I’m resigning from the Department of Justice to return to private life.
I’ll make a few remarks about the results of our work. But beyond these few remarks, it is important that the office’s written work speak for itself.
Let me begin where the appointment order begins, and that is interference in the 2016 presidential election. As alleged by the grand jury in an indictment, Russian intelligence officers who are part of the Russian military launched a concerted attack on our political system.
You can watch the statement below:
What was the point of all this? Some people think he was trying to goad the Democrats into impeaching Trump, which would have an unintended effect.
Professor William Jacobson writes at Legal Insurrection:
Mueller breathed life into Democrat impeachment push, and may have just reelected Trump
Robert Mueller’s statement today could have served only one purpose — to breath life into Democrat attempts to commence impeachment proceedings against Trump.
Mueller didn’t add any substance to the 400-page report, and most of his statement was related to procedures, including his resignation, the closing of the special counsel’s office, and his desire not to testify about the report beyond the report itself.
The substance of the statement on Russia collusion/conspiracy was brief and shut the door. There was insufficient evidence to charge a broader conspiracy as to Russian interference.
But most of the substance was on obstruction. Mueller reiterated that the Office of Special Counsel could not clearly determine that Trump did not commit a crime, or it would have said so. “‘If we had confidence that the president clearly did not commit a crime, we would have said so.”
This is a completely unfair standard and not what prosecutors normally due — investigations are not to find that a person did not commit a crime, but to find if the person did commit a crime…
Mueller breathed life into impeachment, but in doing so may have reelected Trump for the very reasons Nancy Pelosi did not want to go the impeachment route.
That’s an outstanding analysis.