From the Chairman’s Desk: Different Standard & Robert Mueller

Different Standard & Robert Mueller


 Former Special Counsel Robert Mueller admitted during the House Judiciary Committee Hearing on Wednesday, July 24, 2019 “that the determination of his report held President Donald Trump to a different standard than the Department of Justice holds any other individual under investigation (Daily Wire News).”
According to the Daily Wire News.com, Republican Representative  John Ratcliffe (TX), a former federal prosecutor, addressed Mueller: “You said in Volume 1, on the issue of conspiracy, the special counsel determined that the investigation did not establish that members of the Trump campaign conspired or coordinated with the Russian government in its election interference activities. Then in volume 2 ….the special counsel did not make a determination on whether there was an obstruction of justice crime committed by the president.” Ratcliffe continued reading report: “The evidence we obtained about the president’s actions and intent presents difficult issues that prevent us from conclusively determining that no criminal conduct occurred. Accordingly, while this report does not conclude that the president committed a crime, it also does not exonerate him.”
Ratcliffe argued that the findings of the report violated Department of Justice (DOJ) policies and principles by abstaining from exonerating Trump after the Special counsel failed to conclusively determine that he was innocent of all accusations. He challenged Mueller: “Your report, and today, you said that at all times the special counsel team operated under, was guided by, and followed Justice Department policies and principles, so which DOJ policy or principle sets forth a legal standard that an investigated person is not exonerated if their innocence from criminal conduct is not conclusively determined?” 
Ratcliffe repeated the question several times, but Mueller failed to provide a clear answer. Ratcliffe then asked Mueller: “Can you give me an example other than Donald Trump where the Justice Department determined that an investigated person is not exonerated because their innocence was not conclusively determined?” Mueller was unable to identify another person who was ever held to the same standard, but he said- “This is a unique situation.”
Ratcliffe then said: “You can’t….find it because I tell you why: it doesn’t exist. The Special Counsel’s job, nowhere does it say that you were to conclusively determine Donald Trump’s innocence or that the special counsel report should determine whether or not to exonerate him. It’s not in any of the documents, it’s not in your appointment order, it’s not in the special counsel regulations, it’s not in the OLC opinions, it’s not in the justice manual, and it’s not in the principles of federal prosecution. Nowhere do those words appear together because respectfully, respectfully, director, it was not the special counsel’s job to conclusively determine Donald Trump’s innocence or to exonerate him because the bedrock principle of our justice system is a presumption of innocence. It exists for everyone. Everyone is entitled to it including sitting presidents.”
Democrats on the Judiciary Committee tried to convince Americans that Trump was not exonerated for obstruction of justice by the Mueller report. Representative Ratcliffe clearly documented the error of this effort.