Special Counsel declares Russia investigation closed, announces resignation

WASHINGTON (AP): Special counsel Robert Mueller says he’s leaving the Justice Department now that he’s concluded his Russia investigation.

Mueller made the announcement Wednesday in his first public statement since his appointment two years ago.

Mueller has been on the Justice Department’s payroll since he formally concluded his probe in March. Last month, Attorney General William Barr publicly released a redacted version of his Russia report.

It’s unclear what Mueller has been doing at the Justice Department since, though the Democrat-led House Judiciary Committee has been negotiating with his office in an attempt to secure his public testimony before Congress. So far, no deal has been made.

Mueller’s report revealed that President Donald Trump tried to seize control of the Russia probe and force Mueller’s removal to stop him from investigating potential obstruction of justice by the Republican president. Trump has called the investigation a “witch hunt.”

During his statement, Mueller said charging President Trump with a crime was “not an option” because of Department of Justice guidelines, while adding there was insufficient evidence to prove a crime.

“If we had had confidence that he clearly did not commit a crime we would have said so,” Mueller said.

The report did assert that Russia interfered in the 2016 election:

“There were multiple, systematic efforts to interfere in our election and that deserves the attention of every American,” Mueller said.

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