News & Politics

Mueller: Charging President 'Not an Option We Could Consider,' the Final Report Is 'My Testimony'

(AP Photo/Evan Vucci)

WASHINGTON — Robert Mueller announced on Wednesday that he is resigning as special counsel and “returning to private life.”

Addressing calls for him to testify before Congress, Mueller said the final report serves as his testimony.

“Beyond these remarks, it is important that the office’s written work speak for itself,” Mueller said at the Department of Justice.

Mueller referenced volume two of his report on Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election.

“Under long-standing department policy, a present president cannot be charged with a federal crime while he is in office. That is unconstitutional. Even if the charge is kept under seal and hidden from public view, that too is prohibited,” he said. “Charging the president with a crime was therefore not an option we could consider.”

Mueller said that not making a determination on obstruction is the “final position” of the special counsel’s office.

“If we had confidence that the president clearly did not commit a crime, we would have said so,” he said. “We did not, however, make a determination as to whether the president did commit a crime.”

Mueller emphasized that any congressional testimony from the special counsel’s office “would not go beyond” the content of the report.

“The report is my testimony,” he said. “I do not believe it is appropriate for me to speak further about the investigation or comment on the actions of the Justice Department or Congress.”