President Trump and his team reacted to special counsel Robert Mueller’s wrap-up Wednesday by urging Congress and the public to consider the investigation “case closed.”
“Nothing changes from the Mueller Report,” the president tweeted shortly after Mr. Mueller’s first public comments on the probe. “There was insufficient evidence and therefore, in our Country, a person is innocent. The case is closed! Thank you.”
White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said it’s well past time for Americans to move on.
“After two years, the special counsel is moving on with his life, and everyone else should do the same,” she said. “The special counsel has completed the investigation, closed his office, and has closed the case.”
House Democrats are conducting multiple investigations in the wake of the Mueller report, with some of their probes aimed at possible impeachment.
Mrs. Sanders noted that Mr. Mueller “explicitly said that he has nothing to add beyond the report, and therefore, does not plan to testify before Congress.”
“The report was clear — there was no collusion, no conspiracy — and the Department of Justice confirmed there was no obstruction,” she said in a statement. “Special counsel Mueller also stated that Attorney General Barr acted in good faith in his handling of the report.”
The press secretary for Vice President Mike Pence said the White House “fully cooperated with the investigation turning over millions of pages of documents and making witnesses available for hundreds of hours of testimony” for two years.
“The Trump administration is focused every day on working on behalf of the American people,” Alyssa Farah said. “While some Democrats may cling to discredited allegations against the president, the American people can be confident: This administration will continue to focus on making our nation stronger, safer, and more secure.”
Speaking to White House reporters, Mrs. Sanders rattled off a laundry list of items the White House wants Congress, from lowering drug prices to contending with Iranian aggression and passing new trade deals.
“Every single thing that they’re doing is taking away from things that could actually help the American people. And that’s a great disservice,” she said. “And I think it’s frankly wrong for them to do that.”
Mrs. Sanders declined to say whether the White House is preparing steps to take if Democrats do, however, pursue an impeachment inquiry.
“I’m not going to get into internal processes. I’m just saying we’re always prepared and we’re going to move forward doing what we think is important, and focus on things that actually help people,” she said.
The president apparently monitored the special counsel’s live televised statement from the White House residence, while work by his staff in the West Wing continued as normal Wednesday morning.
The Mueller probe, which found no collusion between the Trump campaign and Russians who interfered in the 2016 election, has consumed vast amounts of time and energy at the White House and in Mr. Trump’s legal team.
Mr. Trump’s 2020 campaign team echoed the main theme from the White House.
“Mueller said his investigation is over. The case is now closed,” campaign manager Brad Parscale said.
He said Mr. Trump has been “fully and completely exonerated,” even though Mr. Mueller notably declined to do so.
The campaign said the matter isn’t completely closed, however
“Now it’s time to turn to the origins of the Russia hoax and get to the bottom of why the Trump campaign was spied on by the Obama-era DOJ and FBI,” Mr. Parscale said.
Trump lawyer Rudolph W. Giuliani took issue with Mr. Mueller emphasizing publicly that he was barred by Justice Department guidelines from charging a sitting president.
“He’s lost his notion of American fairness,” Mr. Giuliani said on Fox News. “The reality is, he doesn’t have a case. He doesn’t have a collusion case, he doesn’t have an obstruction case. I mean, if he was constrained by this Justice Department rule, then why did he do the investigation at all?”
Mrs. Sanders, meanwhile, said the underlying purpose of the investigation was to determine whether there was collusion, while the attorney general declined to bring obstruction charges after Mr. Mueller left it to the Justice Department.
“The attorney general made his decision based on Mueller’s information. Everybody keeps forgetting that,” she told reporters. “The entire decision about obstruction was based on Mueller’s report, based on the information that he laid out. He couldn’t make a determination. That means it goes to the next step in the process.”
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