Mueller speaks about the Russia investigation

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11:16 a.m. ET, May 29, 2019

Mueller's final message: Russia tried to interfere in our election and that should concern every American

Special counsel Robert Mueller closed his brief, but long-awaited, remarks with a reminder about what got him appointed in the first place.

I will close by reiterating the central allegation of our indictments, that there were multiple, systematic efforts to interfere in our election. And that allegation deserves the attention of every American.

He left the podium without taking questions.

11:14 a.m. ET, May 29, 2019

Mueller says any testimony would not go beyond report

Special counsel Robert Mueller said he does not believe it would be "appropriate" for him to speak about his report further.

"Beyond what I’ve said here today and what is contained in our written work, I do not believe it is appropriate for me to speak further about the investigation or to comment on the actions of the Justice Department or Congress," he said.

Many lawmakers have called for Mueller to testify before Congress. However, Mueller today said the report is his testimony.

“Now, I hope and expect this to be the only time that I will speak to you in this manner. I am making that decision myself. No one has told me whether I can or should testify or speak further about this matter. There has been discussion about an appearance before Congress. Any testimony from this office would not go beyond our report. It contains our findings and analysis and the reasons for the decisions we made. We chose those words carefully and the work speaks for itself. And the report is my testimony. I would not provide information beyond that which is already public in any appearance before Congress."
11:10 a.m. ET, May 29, 2019

Mueller: If we had confidence the President did not commit a crime, we would have said so

Special counsel Robert Mueller just explained why he couldn't charge President Trump with a crime.

Mueller reiterated the finding in his report, saying if his office "had confidence that the President clearly did not commit a crime, we would have said so."

"We did not, however, make a determination as to whether the President did commit a crime," he said.

Mueller then explained, citing Department of Justice policy, that a President "cannot be charged with a federal crime while he is in office. That is unconstitutional."

"Even if the charge is kept under seal and hidden from public view, that, too, is prohibited," Mueller said. The special counsel's office is part of the Department of Justice, he said, and is therefore bound by its policies.

"Charging the President with a crime was therefore not an option we could consider," he said.

11:06 a.m. ET, May 29, 2019

Mueller: Russia "launched a concerted attack on our political system"

Special Counsel Robert Mueller said intelligence officers with the Russian military "launched a concerted attack on our political system" in an attempt to "interfere with our election and to damage a presidential candidate."

He's speaking about his 22-month long investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election.

Here's how he put it:

"As alleged by the grand jury in an indictment, Russian intelligence officers who are part of the Russian military launched a concerted attack on our political system. The indictment alleges that they used sophisticated cyber techniques to hack into computers and networks used by the Clinton campaign. They stole private information and then released that information through fake online identities and through the organization Wikileaks. The releases were designed and timed to interfere with our election and to damage a presidential candidate."
11:04 a.m. ET, May 29, 2019

Mueller: It is important the written work speaks for itself

Special counsel Robert Mueller opened his remarks this morning by announcing that he was formally closing the office and resigning his post at the Department of Justice.

Noting that he has not spoken publicly during the investigation, Mueller said he was "speaking out today because our investigation is complete. The attorney general has made the report on our investigation largely public."

He announced he was "formally closing the special counsel's office and, as well, I'm resigning from the department of justice to return to private life." 

He added that he written work "speaks for itself."

11:01 a.m. ET, May 29, 2019

Robert Mueller is speaking now

Special counsel Robert Mueller just took the lectern at the Department of Justice. He's giving a statement about his 22-month investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 US presidential election.

You can watch Mueller's statement in the video player at the top of this page. (Refresh the page if you don't see it.)

10:59 a.m. ET, May 29, 2019

Trump is watching from the White House residence

President Trump is in the residence at the White House this morning and will be watching Robert Mueller’s remarks from there, an official tells CNN.

The President's mood: The official described Trump’s mood as calm and unchanged, saying there is nothing Mueller can say that would change Trump’s mind from his belief of “no collusion, no obstruction and witch hunt.”

It’s unclear if Trump will speak today — or tweet. The official saying that’s up to him.

10:55 a.m. ET, May 29, 2019

Nancy Pelosi wasn't given a heads-up about Mueller's statement

Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi’s office was not given a heads-up about Special Counsel Robert Mueller's statement today, according to a Democratic aide.

10:48 a.m. ET, May 29, 2019

Barr knows what Mueller is going to say

Attorney General William Barr was not only given a heads up these 11 a.m. ET remarks were happening, but the attorney general was briefed on the contents of the statement, too.

The bottom line: He knows what Mueller is planning to say, according to a source familiar with the plans.

When asked if Barr requested that Mueller do this, the source said unequivocally: "No."