Special counsel Robert Mueller could have declared whether President Trump broke the law if Mueller had wanted to, without the ability to bring any indictment, says Attorney General William Barr. Barr told CBS News in an interview airing Thursday evening and Friday morning that he believed Mueller had more latitude to state his views than the special counsel may have permitted himself, NPR reports. “I personally felt he could’ve reached a decision. He could’ve reached a conclusion,” Barr said.
Mueller’s position was that it would be wrong for him to accuse someone of wrongdoing who couldn’t then have a fair trial and get the chance to defend himself. “It would be unfair to potentially accuse somebody of a crime when there can be no court resolution of the actual charge,” Mueller said. Critics say Mueller presented evidence that Trump obstructed justice and said that anyone else but a president would face criminal charges. Mueller said that his office was not the mechanism by which to accuse and punish a president. Trump’s opponents heard his words as a call to action for Congress and they renewed the debate within the Democratic Party over whether to impeach Trump. The most liberal Democrats say Trump deserves impeachment, but Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) has wavered about the idea.