Robert Mueller’s public statement was ‘not good news’ for President Trump: Judge Napolitano
Special Counsel Robert Mueller made his first public statements since the release of his investigative report, and Fox News senior judicial analyst Judge Andrew Napolitano said it was “not good news” for President Trump.
In an interview with “Outnumbered” Wednesday after Mueller’s remarks, Napolitano said that Mueller’s interpretation of the Department of Justice’s inability to indict a sitting president isn’t entirely accurate.
In his statement, Robert Mueller announced that he would be closing the special counsel’s office, retiring from the DOJ, and would not testify further in regard to his Russia investigation. He also said that the report, of which a redacted full version was released in April, was clear in its language that his office could not determine that the president did not commit a crime.
However, given the limitations of the special counsel’s office within the Department of Justice, it was “not an option” to indict President Trump on an obstruction charge, Mueller said.
Judge Napolitano said these rules, however, are up for interpretation. According to the judicial analyst, the Office of Legal Counsel (OLC) ruled in October 2000 that a sitting president should not, “not cannot,” be indicted while still in office “because of material disruption to his constitutional duties.”
He said the guidelines are “advisory only, not mandatory”
Napolitano said there is “no way to reconcile” what Mueller said today with Attorney General Bill Barr’s previous assertion that the OLC guidelines were not the reason Mueller declined to recommend an obstruction charge.
Furthermore, Napolitano added that he could not say exactly why Mueller decided to speak publicly, but the result would not be good for President Trump.
“He has ginned up all the Democrats to believe there must be a there there, and it was a parting shot at his soon-to-be former boss, Bill Barr, who basically whitewashed what Mueller said in the four-page summary he distributed back in March,” he continued.
Several Democrats even one Republican have come out in the months since Mueller’s report was released, advocating for impeachment. The impeachment push ramped up Wednesday after Mueller’s rare public statement, with several Democratic senators supporting the move.