Mueller Says He Did Not Indict Trump Because of OLC Opinion, Later Walks It Back
Robert Mueller told Rep. Ted Lieu (D-CA) that he did not indict Donald Trump for obstruction of justice because of the Office of Legal Counsel opinion stating that a sitting president cannot be indicted for a crime while in office.
It was not the first time Mueller said this in Wednesday’s hearing. He said it to a Republican. He said it to Lieu. He said it even when Debbie Lesko, a Republican representative from Arizona, tried to get him to take back his comments to Lieu.
The OLC opinion was also cited in Mueller’s report as a reason for his office not indicting the president.
Mueller stated flat-out at the beginning of the hearing that he did not exonerate Trump either, and later said the president can be indicted after he leaves office. All told, none of this is helpful to Trump’s stated belief that he is totally innocent and was completely exonerated by the special counsel.
Watch the clip above, via CNN.
UPDATE: At the beginning of his afternoon testimony before the House Intelligence Committee, Mueller sought to clarify his comments about the OLC memo:
Mueller, predictably, just corrected what he said to Rep. Lieu about the OLC opinion. What he meant to say is that the investigators did not reach a conclusion about whether Trump obstructed justice.
— Shane Harris (@shaneharris) July 24, 2019