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Mueller says charging Trump was ‘not an option,’ resigns as special counsel with final statement

Click to play video: 'Robert Mueller says charging Trump was ‘not an option’ in Russia probe' Robert Mueller says charging Trump was ‘not an option’ in Russia probe
WATCH: Robert Mueller says charging Trump was 'not an option' in Russia probe – May 29, 2019

Special counsel Robert Mueller announced Wednesday he is officially closing the special investigation into Russian interference.

“We are formally closing the special counsel’s office,” Mueller said. “As well, I’m resigning to return to private practice.”

Mueller’s report was completed in March, capping a 22-month investigation into ties between Russia and U.S. President Donald Trump’s campaign team.

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Mueller detailed the two sections of the report; in the first section he said there was evidence that there were numerous instances of Russia trying to meddle in the election. The second section focused on obstruction of justice.

WATCH: Robert Mueller resigns as special counsel, closes Russia probe

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Robert Mueller resigns as special counsel, officially closes Russia investigation – May 29, 2019
“After [the obstruction of justice] investigation, if we had had confidence that the president did not commit a crime, we would have said so.”
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He also explained that due to long-standing policy at the Justice Department, the president can not be charged with a crime while in office.

“Even if the charge is kept under seal and hidden from public view that too is prohibited,” Mueller explained.

Therefore, “charging the president with a crime is not an option we could consider,” he continued.

“It would be unfair to accuse someone of a crime when there can be no court resolution of the actual charge.”

His statement came amid demands for Mueller to testify on Capitol Hill about his findings and tension with Attorney General William Barr over the handling of his report.

Mueller said Wednesday he would not testify before Congress, saying, “The report is my testimony.”

Responding to Mueller’s statement, Trump said nothing will change.

“Nothing changes from the Mueller Report,” he said on Twitter. “There was insufficient evidence and therefore, in our Country, a person is innocent. The case is closed! Thank you.”

Barr released a summary saying there was no collusion between Trump and Russia.

WATCH: Latest news videos on the Mueller report

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Barr also said there was not sufficient evidence that Trump committed obstruction of justice.

But Mueller took exception to Barr’s summary, saying in a private letter that the summary didn’t “fully capture the context, nature and substance” of the special counsel’s investigation, The Washington Post reported.

READ MORE: Mueller’s redacted report says Trump didn’t commit crime — stops short of exonerating him

The Democratic chairman of the House Judiciary Committee Jerry Nadler said at a press conference that he would continue to hold Trump accountable.

“With respect to the impeachment question at this point, all options are on the table and nothing should be ruled out,” he said later Wednesday.

“No one, not even the president, is above the law,” he continued.

A redacted version of the report was released in April, and the report did not make a conclusion on whether Trump had committed obstruction of justice but did not exonerate him, either.

After the report was released, Barr appointed an attorney to examine the origins of the Russia investigation, after numerous accusations from Trump that the investigation was a hoax.

READ MORE: U.S. AG William Barr appoints prosecutor to examine Russia investigation: source

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A senior White House official told the Associated Press, “the White House was notified” on Tuesday night that Mueller might make a statement on Wednesday.

*with files from the Associated Press and Katie Dangerfield

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