WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. House Majority Whip James E. Clyburn today released the following statement on Special Counsel Bob Mueller’s remarks:
“I commend Bob Mueller for his service. He did the work he was asked to do as thoroughly as possible.
“As he took his leave, Mueller laid the responsibility at the feet of Congress to take up the mantle and continue its investigation.
“In his remarks today, Mueller clearly stated that, ‘When a subject of an investigation obstructs that investigation or lies to investigators, it strikes at the core of their government’s effort to find the truth and hold wrongdoers accountable…’
“He concluded that ‘if we had had confidence that the president clearly did not commit a crime, we would have said so,’ however, he explained the Justice Department could not indict ‘under long-standing department policy, a president cannot be charged with a federal crime while he is in office…even if the charge is kept under seal and hidden from public view.’
“Mueller further concludes that:
‘A special counsel’s office is part of the Department of Justice, and by regulation, it was bound by that department policy. Charging the president with a crime was therefore not an option we could consider. Those points are summarized in our report and I will describe two of them for you.
‘First, the opinion explicitly permits the investigation of a sitting president because it is important to preserve evidence while memories are fresh and documents available. Among other things, that evidence could be used if there were co-conspirators who could be charged now.
‘And second, the opinion says that the Constitution requires a process other than the criminal justice system to formally accuse a sitting president of wrongdoing.’
“The gravity of the issues revealed in the Mueller Report require the bi-cameral and bi-partisan participation of the United States Congress. The House is continuing to fulfill its duties and responsibilities and it is time for the Senate to cease its misrepresentations of the Mueller Report and the House’s efforts.
“Mr. Mueller selected his words carefully and was careful to not exonerate the president.
“Senator McConnell’s dismissal of the Special Counsel’s investigation saying, ‘it is time to move on,’ is clearly refuted by Mr. Mueller’s statement today. Mr. Mueller said that his efforts to ‘investigate Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election,’ found ‘multiple systemic efforts to interfere in our elections’ and because of Justice Department’s policy could not pursue obstruction of justice evidence involving the president.
“The Trump Administration must stop its stonewalling and Congressional Republicans need to end their dereliction of duty and participate in the Congressional oversight we are required to conduct.”