Special counsel Robert MuellerRobert (Bob) Swan MuellerThe Hill’s 12:30 Report: Trump orders more troops to Mideast amid Iran tensions Trump: Democrats just want Mueller to testify for a ‘do-over’ Graham: Mueller investigation a ‘political rectal exam’ MORE said Wednesday that charging President TrumpDonald John TrumpDemocrat to announce Senate bid Wednesday against Lindsey Graham Harris praises Amash for calling for Trump’s impeachment: He has ‘put country before party’ NY Times reporter wears wedding dress to cover Trump in Japan after last-minute dress code MORE with a crime “was not an option we could consider” due to Department of Justice (DOJ) regulations.

Mueller said that his office interpreted current DOJ guidance that states a sitting president cannot be indicted as meaning his team could not bring a charge against Trump as they investigated him for obstruction of justice.


The special counsel said that the Constitution requires a “process other than the criminal justice system” for taking disciplinary action against a sitting president, but did not mention impeachment directly.

Mueller also reiterated that while his final report “does not conclude that the president committed a crime, it also does not exonerate him.”

“After that investigation, if we had had confidence that the president clearly did not commit a crime, we would have said so,” Mueller said.

Mueller noted that the DOJ guidance, in the form of an opinion from the Office of Legal Counsel, “explicitly permits the investigation of a sitting president because it’s important to preserve evidence when memories are fresh and documents are available.”

And he noted that the opinion would have prohibited him from filing a charge under seal that could be made public once Trump left office.

Mueller did not clarify whether his office would have charged Trump with a crime if the DOJ guidance had not been in place.

But he said that “it would be unfair to potentially accuse somebody of a crime when there can be no court resolution of the actual charge.”

This breaking news report will be updated.

Read more from The Hill:

Mueller says he will not testify before Congress

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