"If we had confidence that the president did not commit a crime, we would have said so," Robert Mueller said in his statement on the Russia probe. https://t.co/LpWptitZsb— Twitter Moments (@TwitterMoments) May 29, 2019
Robert Mueller's comments today in resigning from DOJ were brief but important. What he said wasn't actually new or unexpected to anyone who read his report, but unfortunately, in a world where a lot of people take a "TL;DR" approach to important news stories, speaking publically aloud what should already be obvious matters a lot. (This doesn't mean that what he said won't still be misrepresented.)
To me, the five words that matter the most are the title of this post:
The order appointing the Special Counsel authorized us to investigate actions that could obstruct the investigation. And we conducted that investigation and we kept the Office of the Acting Attorney General apprised of the progress of our work.
And as set forth in the report after that investigation, if we had had confidence that the President clearly did not commit a crime, we would have said so.
The report doesn't actually say that the president didn't commit a crime. It lays out a case regarding multiple instances of potential obstruction of justice for others (congress) to pick up because DOJ opinion was that this was the correct thing to do. The report also doesn't say that no evidence of "collusion" exists, rather that insubstantial evidence for criminal conspiracy exists.
Another important takeaway is this: Russian attacked our political system, and investigation into that matter was warranted. He states:
The indictments allege, and the other activities in our report describe, efforts to interfere in our political system. They needed to be investigated and understand. And that is among the reasons why the Department of Justice established our office. That is also a reason we investigated efforts to obstruct the investigation. The matters we investigated were of paramount importance and it was critical for us to obtain full and accurate information from every person we questioned. When a subject of an investigation obstructs that investigation or lies to investigators, it strikes at the core of the government’s effort to find the truth and hold wrong doers accountable.
Trump (and his supporters) have been going around claiming that there was something "illegal" or "treasonous" about any such investigation--but it's a national security issue! Trying to derail the investigation into Russia's interference (especially while making the claim that they hadn't done so, which Trump has claimed) is serious, and helps a foreign entity that attacked us.
Mueller's statement today is what we should have gotten when the redacted report was released instead of AG Barr's gross spin. More than ever, I see impeachment as inevitable.