Mueller to Nadler: Report Did Not "Totally Exonerate" Trump

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House Judiciary Committee Chairman Rep. Jerry Nadler (D-NY) asked former special counsel Robert Mueller if he exonerated President Trump in his report at Wednesday's House Judiciary Committee hearing:

REP. JERRY NADLER (D-NY), HOUSE JUDICIARY COMMITTEE CHAIRMAN: Director Mueller, the President has repeatedly claimed that your report found there was no obstruction and that it completely and totally exonerated him. But that is not what your report said, is it?



ROBERT MUELLER, FORMER SPECIAL COUNSEL: Correct, that is not what the report said.

NADLER: And from reading from page 2 of volume 2 of your report that's on the screen you wrote, 'If we had confidence after a thorough investigation of the facts that the President clearly did not commit obstruction of justice we would so state. Based on the facts and the applicable legal standards, however, we are unable to reach that judgment.' Now, does that say there was no obstruction?

MUELLER: No.

NADLER: In fact, you are actually unable to conclude the President did not commit obstruction of justice, is that correct?

MUELLER: Well, we at the outset determined that we -- when it came to the President's culpability we needed to -- we needed to go forward only after taking into account the OLC opinion that indicated that a president -- a sitting president cannot be indicted.

NADLER: So the report did not conclude that he did not commit obstruction of justice? Is that correct?

MUELLER: That is correct.

NADLER: And what about total exoneration? Did you actually totally exonerate the President?

MUELLER: No.

NADLER: Now, in fact your report expressly states it does not exonerate the President?

MUELLER: It does.

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