What Robert Mueller’s Press Conference Means For Congress

For the last two years, Special Counsel Robert Mueller has allowed his work to speak for him. On Wednesday, when he finally stepped to the podium to speak to the American public, he suggested that neither Congress nor Attorney General William Barr had read that work closely enough.

Mueller used his first and only press conference on the subject to highlight the passages of his book-length report that have been fiercely debated in the five weeks since its release. Namely: Charging Trump with obstruction of justice was never on the table — despite what Barr said — and now, any further action is up to Congress.

In a brief, understated appearance, Mueller gave voice to his 448-page report, emphasizing that he would have cleared Trump if the facts had allowed him to do so. He also made clear the limits of his power as a prosecutor, pointing out that the Constitution lays out another mechanism for holding presidents accountable — impeachment — without explicitly using the i-word.

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