Mueller Admits Making up His Own Standard for ‘Completely Exonerating’ Target Under Intense Questioning

‘You can’t find it because I will tell you why: It doesn’t exist’


RATCLIFFE: “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. Is --"
MUELLER: "Can I -- I'm sorry go ahead."
RATCLIFFE: "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?”
MUELLER: “I -- I cannot, but this is a unique situation.”
RATCLIFFE: “OK. Well, you can't. Time is short. I've got five minutes. Let's just leave it. You can’t find it because -- I will 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 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 opinion, it's not in the justice manual, and it's not in the principles of federal prosecution. 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. Now Director, the special counsel applied this inverted burden of proof that I can’t find and you said doesn’t exist anywhere in the department policies and you used it to write a report. And the very first line of your report, the very first line of your report says as you read this morning, it authorizes the special counsel to provide the special counsel to provide the attorney general with a confidential report explaining the prosecution or declination decisions reached by the special counsel. That’s the very first word of your report, right?"
MUELLER: "That’s correct."

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