Special counsel Robert Mueller’s statement Wednesday that he has no plans to say anything more in public about his investigation should be taken as the last gasp in the long-running saga of the failed effort to find collusion between Russia and the Trump campaign, according to President Donald Trump’s spokeswoman.
White House press secretary Sarah Sanders responded to Mueller’s brief comments Wednesday with a statement urging that the political and media worlds catch up to Mueller and move on.
“The Special Counsel has completed the investigation, closed his office, and has closed the case. Mr. Mueller explicitly said that he has nothing to add beyond the report, and therefore, does not plan to testify before Congress,” Sanders said in the statement, which she posted to Twitter.
White House Statement on Mueller statement today: pic.twitter.com/f5TXzf3Qpd
— Sarah Sanders (@PressSec) May 29, 2019
“The report was clear — there was no collusion, no conspiracy — and the Department of Justice confirmed there was no obstruction. Special Counsel Mueller also stated that Attorney General Barr acted in good faith in his handling of the report,” the statement added.
“After two years, the Special Counsel is moving on with his life, and everyone else should do the same,” Sanders said.
Trump also added his own statement via Twitter, noting that he considers the report a closed chapter in the history of his administration.
“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.
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.
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) May 29, 2019
During remarks at the Justice Department, Mueller said he will not testify before Congress about the report, NBC News reported.
“The report is my testimony,” Mueller said.
He later added: “I would not provide information beyond what is already public in any appearance before Congress.”
Mueller suggested that anyone with questions about what he and his team thought about their investigation should read the 448-page report.
“We chose those words carefully and the work speaks for itself,” he said.
As to whether Mueller believes Trump — who fiercely opposed the investigation — obstructed justice, Mueller noted in his comments, “If we had had confidence that the president clearly did not commit a crime, we would have said so.”
Mueller said the investigation was conducted within Justice Department parameters that would not have allowed a sitting president to be charged.
“Today’s statement by Mr. Mueller reinforces the findings of his report. And as for me, the case is over. Mr. Mueller has decided to move on and let the report speak for itself. Congress should follow his lead,” Graham said.
Graham said America should heed the report’s conclusions about not only the lack of collusion between the Trump campaign and Russia, but Russia’s efforts to interfere with elections.
“The report shows there was no collusion between the Trump campaign and any member or operative of the Russian government. However, there was a systematic effort by Russia to disrupt our election. We should be on guard for future election attacks by Russia and other bad actors,” Graham said.
Graham also tackled the issue of possible obstruction.
“As to obstruction, the Mueller team failed to reach a conclusion and turned that task over to the Attorney General. The AG, in concert with then-Deputy AG Rod Rosenstein, decided that as a matter of fact and law, an obstruction case against President Trump was not warranted,” Graham said.
“As the Mueller report indicated, a possible obstruction case was a hodgepodge of complicated facts and law,” he added.
“Without an underlying offense or collusion, and the overwhelming cooperation by the Trump White House with the Mueller investigation, the Attorney General’s decision on obstruction is sound. It will be the final word in my view.”
Today’s statement by Mr. Mueller reinforces the findings of his report.
And as for me, the case is over.
Mr. Mueller has decided to move on and let the report speak for itself.
Congress should follow his lead.
— Lindsey Graham (@LindseyGrahamSC) May 29, 2019
Graham then called for Congress to focus on the issues facing Americans.
“It is now time to move on and to work together in a bipartisan fashion to harden our election infrastructure against future attempts by Russia and other bad actors. We should also work together to solve our nation’s problems like high prescription drug prices and broken infrastructure,” he said.
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