Booker, Harris, Gillibrand call for impeachment after Mueller statement

Thursday, 30 May, 2019

"We are formally closing the Special Counsel's office, and I am resigning from the Department of Justice to return to private life", he said. In both cases, it would require establishing a corrupt intent, which the report discusses at length even if Mueller ignored that issue in his statement.

Mueller investigated Russian links to the Trump campaign, and after a brief allusion to the campaign's "response" to Russia's "activity", he reiterated that the evidence was "insufficient" to bring criminal conspiracy charges.

On the other hand, Lindsey Graham of SC, the Republican chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, said that Mueller "has made a decision to move on and let the report speak for itself".

In his first public comments in the probe, Mueller said on Wednesday "it would be unfair" to potentially accuse someone of a crime when the person couldn't stand trial to defend himself. The special counsel noted, "while this report does not conclude that the president committed a crime, it also does not exonerate him". Rather, the Justice Department's position is that the president can not be charged with crimes while he is in office. On Wednesday, she said the special counsel's statement was "an impeachment referral" for Congress to take action.

Instead she urged Congress to continue its normal investigations, and to approve legislation to overhaul American elections and campaigns, making it easier to vote and tougher to weed out fraudulent voters from the rolls; imposing stricter limits on campaign spending and creating a voluntary public financing system; and promoting more cyber defenses against election interference.

Nadler's statement did not reference the fact that Mueller on Wednesday indicated he does not wish to testify before Congress, as Nadler wants him to, and it did not clarify whether Democrats would subpoena him. Washington Gov. Jay Inslee stated that Trump and Attorney General William Barr "lied about the Mueller report", but did not call for impeachment proceedings to begin.

Trump is spinning Mueller's statement the same way he and Barr spun the report: pretending Mueller's statement that he can not bring charges means the evidence was insufficient. Barr called Mueller's letter "snitty" in congressional testimony this month in which he defended his decision to reach a conclusion on obstruction in place of Mueller.

Barr's position was clear from the first four-page letter he offered publicly. He repeated Trump's claim saying that the special counsel "confirmed today what we knew months ago when his report was released: there was no collusion and no obstruction".

His team conducted the investigation in a "fair and independent manner" and were "of the highest integrity", Mueller said.

He said he won't provide more information than what is in his report if he were to testify before Congress.

Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders, who has warned that Democrats could suffer in 2020 if they focused too much on Mueller, said he would put his faith in Democratic House leaders.

"Robert Mueller's statement makes it clear: Congress has a legal and moral obligation to begin impeachment proceedings immediately", Booker wrote on Twitter soon after Mueller finished speaking.

Mr Mueller also declined to lean into a row that flared up between himself and William Barr, the United States attorney general.