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Washington - 24 July 2019
1. Wide, side view of Mueller addressing hearing
2. SOUNDBITE (English) Rep. Jerrold Nadler, Democrat - New York, House Judiciary Committee Chairman:
"Director Mueller, the president has repeatedly claimed that your report found there was no obstruction and that it completely and totally exonerated him, but that is not what the report said is it?
3. SOUNDBITE (English) Robert Mueller, former Special Counsel:
"Correct, that is not what the report said."
4. SOUNDBITE (English) Rep. Jerrold Nadler, Democrat - New York, House Judiciary Committee Chairman:
"And now reading from page two of volume two of your report that's on the screen. You wrote quote If we had confidence after a thorough investigation of the facts that the president clearly did not commit obstruction of justice we would so state. Based on the facts and the applicable legal standards however we are unable to reach that judgment close quote. Now does that say there was no obstruction?"
5. SOUNDBITE (English) Robert Mueller, former Special Counsel:
Nadler: In fact, you were actually unable to conclude the president did not commit obstruction of justice. Is that correct?"
Well we at the outset determined that we ... when it came to the president's culpability, we needed to, we needed ... we needed to go forward only after taking into account the OLC opinion that indicated that a president and a sitting president cannot be indicted."
Nadler: So the report did not conclude that he did not commit obstruction of justice? Is that correct?
That is correct.
Nadler: And what about total exoneration? Did you actually totally exonerate the president?
Nadler: Now in fact. Your reports expressly states that it does not exonerate the president."
Nadler: And your investigation actually found quote multiple acts by the president that were capable of exerting undue influence over law enforcement investigations including the Russian interference and obstruction investigations. Is that correct?"
Nadler: Now Director Mueller can you explain in plain terms what that finding means. So the American people can understand it?
Well the finding indicates that the president, was not. The president was not ... exculpated for the acts that he allegedly committed."
Special counsel Robert Mueller is dismissing President Donald Trump's claim of "total exoneration," saying it's not what his Russia report said.
Mueller told lawmakers on the House Judiciary Committee on Wednesday that investigators did not exonerate Trump of obstruction of justice.
He made the statement in response to questions from the committee's chairman, Rep. Jerrold Nadler, a New York Democrat.
Mueller's report said the investigation did not find sufficient evidence to establish charges of a criminal conspiracy between the Trump presidential campaign and Russia. But it said investigators did not clear Trump of trying to obstruct the probe.
A redacted version of the 448-page report compiled by Mueller's team was released by the Justice Department in April.