The OLC confessions

The OLC confessions

by digby

These were the important moments of the morning Judiciary Committee hearing:

Special Counsel Robert Mueller told Congress on Wednesday that he did not exonerate President Trump and that he could, in fact, be indicted after he leaves office.

In a curt exchange with Colorado Republican Rep. Ken Buck, the former special counsel said the Justice Department’s legal rules don’t shield Trump from criminal charges after he’s out of the White House.

“Could you charge the president with a crime after he left office?” Buck asked.

“Yes,” Mueller replied.

“You believe that he committed–you could charge the president of the United States with obstruction of justice after he left office?” Buck asked.

“Yes,” Mueller replied.

Committee Democrats, including Rep. Jamie Raskin, nodded excitedly through the exchange—the closest Mueller came to explaining the significance of his refusal to exonerate the president in his report on Russian interference in the 2016 election and possible obstruction by the White House. It followed a similar, shorter exchange earlier with the Democratic chairman of the House Judiciary Committee, Rep. Jerry Nadler.
And this:

.@RepKenBuck: Was there sufficient evidence to convict president of Trump or anyone else of obstruction of justice?

MUELLER: We did not make that calculation.

BUCK: Why not?

M: Because of the OLC opinion that states the president can't be charged with a crime.
— Aaron Rupar (@atrupar) July 24, 2019
And this:

LIEU (D-CA): The reason, again, that you did not indict Donald Trump is because of the OLC opinion stating that you cannot indict a sitting president, correct?

MUELLER: That is correct.


Former special counsel Robert Mueller pushed back against President Donald Trump’s characterizations of his 22-month investigation, telling lawmakers on Wednesday that he did not evaluate “collusion” with the Russian government, and confirming that his report did not conclude that there was “no obstruction” of the probe. 
“The president was not exculpated for the acts that he allegedly committed,” Mueller told the House Judiciary Committee, adding that Trump could theoretically be indicted after he leaves office.
Those conclusions are the basis for impeachment.

All the rest of the commentary is amateur theatre criticism.


Rep. Demings: "Lies by Trump campaign officials and administration officials impeded your investigation."

Mueller: "I would generally agree with that."

— NBC News (@NBCNews) July 24, 2019