On Wednesday morning, former Special Counsel Robert Mueller testified in front of the House Judiciary Committee about his 448-page report. It was released to the public in April after a two-year-long investigation.
Republican Congressman John Ratcliffe didn't waste any time with his brief, five minute questioning period and ripped Mueller for making up a standard of guilt only applicable to President Trump.
"Now your report, and today you said that, '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 said.
"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? Where does that language come from, director? Where is the DOJ policy that says that? Let me make it easier, can you give me an example other than Donald Trump where the Justice Department determined that an investigated person was not exonerated because their innocence was not conclusively determined?" he continued.
"I cannot but this is a unique situation," Mueller responded.
"Ok, well you can’t—time is short, I’ve got five minutes—let’s just leave it at you can’t find it because I’ll 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," Ratcliffe continued. "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. And because there is a presumption of innocence, prosecutors never ever need to conclusively determine it."
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