Mueller Clarifies

Robert Mueller’s mini-press conference yesterday had what must have been the intended effect: it cast another cloud over President Trump, and gave rise to renewed talk about impeachment among Democrats. The takeaway, for most naive observers, likely was that the president may be “guilty” after all. This headline on the front page of my local newspaper, the Minneapolis Star Tribune, was typical:

The casual observer likely won’t understand that President Trump has, in fact, been exonerated with respect to colluding with Russia, which is what Mueller’s investigation was supposed to be about. It is only with regard to the absurd “obstruction of justice” theory–which most people don’t care about, given that justice obviously was not obstructed–that Mueller tried to leave the door open.

Yesterday, following Mueller’s statement to the press, the Department of Justice and the spokesman for the Special Counsel’s Office released this statement:

The Attorney General has previously stated that the Special Counsel repeatedly affirmed that he was not saying that, but for the OLC [Department of Justice Office of Legal Counsel] opinion, he would have found the President obstructed justice. The Special Counsel’s report and his statement today made clear that the office concluded it would not reach a determination – one way or the other – about whether the President committed a crime. There is no conflict between these statements.

Maybe that will help, but I doubt it. President Trump responded more directly on Twitter:

That was actually the conclusion of a tweet storm on Mueller that included this:

Has that been in the public domain? I can’t keep track!

Finally, Michael Ramirez comments on Mueller’s performance yesterday. Click to enlarge:

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