1. Robert Mueller walks into Justice Department briefing room
2. SOUNDBITE (English) Robert Mueller, Special counsel:
"The opinion says that the Constitution requires a process other than the criminal justice system to formally accuse a sitting president of wrongdoing. And beyond department policy, we were guided by principles of fairness. It would be unfair to potentially, it would be unfair to potentially accuse somebody of a crime when there can be no court resolution of the actual charge. So that was Justice Department policy. Those were the principles under which we operated. And from them, we concluded that we would--would not reach a determination one way or the other about whether the president committed a crime. That is the office's, that is the office's final position and we will not comment on any other conclusions or hypotheticals about the president."
3. Cutaway of Mueller speaking
4. SOUNDBITE (English) Robert Mueller, Special counsel:
"Now I hope and expect this to be the only time that I will speak to you in this manner. I am making that decision myself. No one has told me whether I can or should testify or speak further about this matter. There has been discussion about an appearance before Congress. Any testimony from this office would not go beyond our report. It contains our findings and analysis and the reasons for the decisions we made. We chose those words carefully and the work speaks for itself. And the report is my testimony. I would not provide information beyond that which is already public in any appearance before Congress. In addition, access to our underlying--underlying work product is being decided in a process that does that does not involve our office. So beyond what I've said here today and what is contained in our written work, I do not believe it is appropriate for me to speak further about the investigation or to comment on the actions of the Justice Department or Congress."
5. Cutaway of Mueller speaking
6. Cutaway of press
7. SOUNDBITE (English) Robert Mueller, Special counsel:
"Now before I step away, I want to thank the attorneys the FBI agents and I will close by reiterating the central allegation of our indictments that there were multiple, systematic efforts to interfere in our election. And that allegation deserves the attention of every American. Thank you, thank you for being here today."
Special counsel Robert Mueller says charging a president with a crime was "not an option" his team could consider in the Russia investigation.
Speaking at the Justice Department Wednesday, Mueller said he was bound by long-standing Justice Department opinions that say a president can't be indicted while in office as well as "principles of fairness."
"It would be unfair to potentially accuse somebody of a crime" when the person couldn't stand trial to defend himself, Mueller said in his first public comments about the probe.
Mueller did not rule out testifying before Congress but he served notice that he does not intend to go beyond what has already been revealed in his report.
Saying "the work speaks for itself," Mueller said the report is his "testimony" and that he "would not provide information beyond that which is already public in any appearance before Congress."
Mueller ended his nearly ten-minute remarks saying there were "multiple, systematic efforts" to interfere in the 2016 presidential election, and that "deserves the attention of every American."
He detailed that meddling in an indictment last year, charging 12 Russian military intelligence officers with hacking Democratic email accounts.
Mueller's probe found there was no evidence that President Donald Trump's campaign colluded or conspired with Russia. But a report released at the end of the investigation detailed many contacts between Russia and the campaign.
Trump has repeatedly called the entire investigation " a witch hunt."