(CNSNews.com) - President Donald Trump’s lawyer Rudy Giuliani disputed the notion Wednesday that a prosecutor exonerates people.
A prosecutor doesn’t exonerate. He either finds enough evidence to charge someone or he doesn’t, and if he doesn’t, the case is over, Giuliani told Fox News’ “America’s Newsroom” in reaction to Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s statement.
Giuliani said the “notion of exoneration” is “completely foreign to American law.”
“I mean you had us going back somewhere in the Soviet Union that you have to exonerate somebody. I did it for years. I never exonerate anyone. I found is there enough evidence to bring a charge or isn’t there? If there’s not enough evidence to bring a charge, end of case. Case is over,” he said.
Giuliani’s comments came after Mueller said in his statement that if he had confidence that Trump did not commit a crime, he would have said so.
“If we had had confidence that the president clearly did not commit a crime, we would have said so. We did not, however, make a determination as to whether the president did commit a crime,” Mueller said.
The special counsel said that “under longstanding department policy, a president cannot be charged with a federal crime while he is in office.
"That is unconstitutional. Even if the charge is kept under seal and hidden from public view, that too is prohibited. The special counsel’s office is part of the Department of Justice, and by regulation, it was bound by that department policy. Charging the president with a crime was therefore not an option we could consider,” Mueller said.
Giuliani said Mueller’s statement just repeats the report, which Giuliani said is “430 pages of opinion.”
“It just repeats the report. He had no evidence or insufficient evidence - which is the same thing for a prosecutor - of collusion, and although he couldn’t reach a decision on obstruction, that’s a decision. When a prosecutor can’t reach a decision, that’s a decision. So there’s no case on obstruction. There’s no case on collusion. Then when he goes on to discuss the DOJ policy. We all know that’s the DOJ policy,” Giuliani said.
Giuliani said Mueller was unsure at first about whether he could indict Trump, “but obviously, he can’t.” Furthermore, he said Mueller merely offered his opinion on obstruction and collusion.
“When I first met him, he was a little unsure about whether he could indict or not, but obviously, he can’t. We all know that, but he still elicited his opinions in the report. The report is 430 pages of opinion, so the reality is that he offered his opinion on collusion. He offered his opinion on obstruction. Opinion on collusion was that there is no case. His opinion on obstruction was that he couldn’t conclude that the president committed obstruction,” Giuliani said.
Asked when he believes Mueller knew there was insufficient evidence of collusion or conspiracy against the president, Giuliani said, “I think that’s the reason maybe he doesn’t want to get questioned. I think the Republicans would have a field day with him. I think he concluded that a year before. In fact, I think it’s gonna come out in the next couple months that the investigation never should have been started in the first place.”
Giuliani said when the collusion case against former Trump campaign adviser George Papadopoulos fell apart, Mueller knew he didn’t have a case, which he estimated was a year before Mueller released his report.
“I think when [the] Papadopoulos [case] fell apart, they knew they didn’t have a case,” he said. “I don’t know exactly when, but it sure as heck was about a year before the conclusion they reached to file their report.”
Giuliani questioned why Mueller even chose to investigate Trump if knew that a sitting president couldn’t be charged with a crime.
“A sitting president can’t be charged, so then if that’s the case, then why did he offer all those opinions? Why did he offer all those recommendations and suggestions? Why did he investigate? The reality is that he gave us his opinion on collusion and obstruction, and his opinion is you can’t bring a case. That’s the end of it. That’s what a prosecutor does, and you don’t prove negative,” he said.
“What they’ve done here is a perversion – a combination of him and the media, and I’m surprised at Bob, because he’s a better lawyer than that,” Giuliani said.
When asked whether he knew what Mueller was going to say or whether he was aware of the material beforehand, Giuliani said, “I thought he would do what he did, and he basically repeated his report. It’s a 5-minute version of his report, and what did he say? He said, I don’t have a collusion case, and I don’t have an obstruction case.
“And that’s all that matters from the point of a prosecutor. It’s a real question as to whether it’s ethical at all to be discussing it or writing about it. If you concluded you can’t bring a case, the rules of ethics say you have to keep your mouth shut as a prosecutor. And of course, 430 pages of regurgitating every possible thing they could regurgitate, much of which was unfair,” he said.