Mueller Lies, Says ‘OLC Decision’ Prevented Him From Indicting Trump

In his testimony on Capitol Hill on Wednesday, former special counsel Robert Mueller was asked repeatedly about why he didn’t indict President Trump after concluding his 22-month investigation into whether the president or his campaign colluded with Russia to alter the outcome of the 2016 election.

Democratic Rep. Ted Lieu asked the question explicitly.

“The reason you did not indict Donald Trump… is because of the OLC decision. Is that correct?”

 

Mueller responded: “That is correct.”

The “OLC decision” is a ruling from the Office of Legal Counsel (OLC) within the Department of Justice (DOJ) — dating back to the time of Richard Nixon and Watergate — that says a sitting president cannot be indicted.

Several other Democrats asked the same question, eliciting the same response from Mueller.

But Rep. Debbie Lesko, a Republican on the House Judiciary Committee, cut through through the mess when she pointed out that Mueller said exactly the opposite in his 448-page report.


“That is not what you said in the report, and it’s not what you told Attorney General Barr,” Lesko said. “And in fact, in a joint statement that you released with DOJ on May 29 after your press conference, your office issued a joint statement with the Department of Justice that said: ‘The Attorney General has previously stated that the special counsel repeatedly affirmed that he was not saying, that but for the OLC opinion, he would have found the President obstructed justice,’ ” she said.

Lesko asked Mueller if he stood by that statement.

“I would have to look at it more closely before I said I agree,” Mueller said.

Oof.

UPDATE: In Mueller’s opening statement before the House Intelligence Committee later in the day, he said he needed to clarify one single statement. He said he was not saying the OLC was the reason the counsel’s office did not indict Trump. “That’s not the correct way to say it,” Mueller said. “We did not reach a determination as to whether the president committed a crime.”

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