Why is Trump not investigating Mueller

US special investigator Mueller sees Trump not exonerated

Mueller faced the hour-long questioning about the Russia investigation in Congress. The 74-year-old emphasized that his report had not acquitted the president of the allegation of obstruction of justice. Moscow again denied any interference in the 2016 US presidential campaign.

In the Russia affair, US special investigator Robert Mueller faced questioning by members of the House of Representatives for the first time on Wednesday. The judicial and secret service committee's questioning, which lasted several hours, was broadcast live on television, with Mueller reiterating that the investigations did not fully exonerate President Donald Trump.

At his hearing in front of the US House of Representatives on Wednesday, Mueller repeatedly denied the question whether the investigation had acquitted the president of the allegation of obstruction of justice. "No," said Mueller, emphasizing: "That's not what the report says." The report shows that the President was not exonerated of the acts that he allegedly committed.

As a special investigator, Mueller had investigated for two years whether Trump's campaign camp made secret agreements with Russian government officials on alleged interference by Moscow in the US election campaign in 2016 and whether Trump, as US president, later obstructed the judicial investigations. At the end of March, Mueller presented a final report, some of which was published in blackened form. Trump sees himself relieved of all allegations by the report.

Attempts to influence

In the report, however, Mueller's team listed various attempts by Trump to influence the investigations. These efforts were only unsuccessful because people close to the president refused to follow instructions or to follow his requests, it said. Mueller left it open whether Trump was guilty of obstruction of justice. However, he also expressly did not absolve the President of this accusation.

In his testimony, Mueller also said that according to the current legal opinion of the Ministry of Justice, an incumbent president cannot be charged. When asked whether a president could be prosecuted for obstruction of justice after his retirement from office, Mueller said: "Right."

Mueller's final report also states that there were numerous contacts between Trump's camp and representatives of Russia. However, the investigators did not find sufficient evidence to prove a crime. Mueller emphasized, however, that the Russian attempts to influence the election were among the most serious threats to democracy that he had experienced in his career.

Trump refused to be interviewed personally

When asked, the ex-special investigator also emphasized that Trump had refused to be questioned by Mueller's team. The President had only answered the questions in writing.

Mueller had emphasized at the beginning of his questioning that he would not answer all questions. In fact, he frequently referred to the report without answering the questions further. The opposition Democrats hoped that the two hearings on Wednesday would provide new insights beyond the final report published a good three months ago.

Even before the survey began, US President Donald Trump sent a volley of short Twitter messages in which he once again made his rejection of the investigation clear. Trump once again called the investigation the "largest witch hunt in US history" and also renewed his statement that the Mueller report had not convicted him of either "secret agreements" with Moscow or obstruction of the judiciary.

Russia denies interference

The 74-year-old Mueller also stated in the 448-page report: "The Russian state systematically interfered in the 2016 presidential election." The Russian government again denied any "interference" on Wednesday. There was "no reason" for that Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov said in Moscow on Wednesday that Russia had interfered in the US election process.

The former head of the Federal Police FBI Mueller had stressed several times that he did not want to interfere in political trench warfare and had made it clear that he actually did not want to testify in front of Congress. He was brought under threat of punishment (subpoena) to testify.

Before the highly anticipated appearance of the Russia special investigator, Trump tried to downplay Mueller's appearance. He will not look at the statement, he said on Monday. However, he said afterwards: "Maybe I'll look at a bit of it."

(APA / Reuters / AFP / red.)