In a Wednesday morning press conference, Robert Mueller announced the formal conclusion of his two-year special counsel investigation. Mueller’s brief remarks largely reiterated the contents of his April report. “The work speaks for itself,” he asserted.
The former FBI director said he does “not believe it is appropriate” for him to testify before Congress, insisting “the report is my testimony.”
Robert Mueller: "I am speaking out today because our investigation is complete. The attorney general has made the report on our investigation largely public. We are formally closing the special counsel's office, & as well, I'm resigning from the [DOJ] to return to private life." pic.twitter.com/uvvvYJIC2h
— CBS Evening News (@CBSEveningNews) May 29, 2019
“Beyond what I’ve said here today and what is contained in our written work, I do not believe it is appropriate for me to speak further about the investigation or to comment on the actions of the Justice Department or Congress,” Mueller said, later adding, “I would not provide information beyond that which is already public in any appearance before Congress.”
“No one has told me whether I can or should testify or speak further about this matter,” he noted.
Mueller summarized the contents of both volumes from the April report. In regards to volume II, which involved allegations of obstruction of justice against President Trump, Mueller explained that Justice Department policy and “principles of fairness” informed his decision not to bring criminal charges against Trump.
“We concluded that we would not reach a determination one way or the other about whether the president committed a crime. That is the office’s final position and we will not comment on any other conclusions or hypotheticals about the president,” Mueller remarked.
Addressing Attorney General William Barr’s decision to publish the full report, Mueller said, “At one point in time, I requested that certain portions of the report be released and the attorney general preferred to make the entire report public all at once, and we appreciate that the attorney general made the report largely public. And I certainly do not question the attorney general’s good faith in that decision.”
Mueller also used the occasion to announce the formal closure of the special counsel’s office and his intent to return to private life.
“I will close by reiterating the central allegation of our indictments, that there were multiple, systemic efforts to interfere in our election,” he concluded. “And that allegation deserves the attention of every American.”
Mueller did not take questions from reporters after his remarks.
— Philip Wegmann (@PhilipWegmann) May 29, 2019
In a statement, White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders responded to the press conference. “After two years, the Special Counsel is moving on with his life, and everyone else should do the same,” Sanders said.