(CNSNews.com) - In his opening statement to the House Judiciary Committee, former Special Counsel Robert Mueller on Wednesday repeated "certain points" arising from his investigation.
Among them: "The investigation did not establish that members of the Trump campaign conspired with the Russian government in its election interference activities."
Here's a transcript of "certain points that bear emphasis," as Mueller phrased it:
First, our investigation found that the Russian government interfered in our election in sweeping and systematic fashion.
Second, the investigation did not establish that members of the Trump campaign conspired with the Russian government in its election interference activities. We did not address “collusion,” which is not a legal term. Rather, we focused on whether the evidence was sufficient to charge any member of the campaign with taking part in a criminal conspiracy. It was not.
Third, our investigation of efforts to obstruct the investigation and lie to investigators was of critical importance. Obstruction of justice strikes at the core of the government’s effort to find the truth and to hold wrongdoers accountable.
Finally, as described in Volume 2 of our report, we investigated a series of actions by the President towards the investigation. Based on Justice Department policy and principles of fairness, we decided we would not make a determination as to whether the President committed a crime. That was our decision then and it remains our decision today.
On that final point, as CNSNews.com reported, Republican Rep. John Ratcliffe (Texas) chastised Mueller for not making a determination as to whether the President committed a crime.
“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 to exonerate him,” Ratcliffe told Mueller.
“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.”