Robert Mueller said he had not cleared Donald Trump of allegations of obstructing justice as the former special counsel testified before Congress about his investigation into the 2016 Trump presidential campaign’s ties with Russia.
罗伯特•穆勒(Robert Mueller)表示，他并没有证明唐纳德•特朗普(Donald Trump)在妨碍司法的指控上是清白的。这位前特别检察官在国会作证，主题是他对特朗普2016年大选竞选活动与俄罗斯关联的调查。
His back-to-back appearances before two House committees on Wednesday marked the first time he had been questioned in public about his 22-month probe. It served largely as a platform for Democrats and Republicans to amplify narratives about Mr Mueller’s investigation they have long pushed.
During the morning session before the judiciary committee, Mr Mueller said relatively little as Democrats read excerpts from his report and asked the former special counsel to confirm the most damning findings about Mr Trump’s conduct. Republicans on the committee redirected attention to Mr Mueller himself and the origins of the investigation, which the president has depicted as a “witch hunt” launched by his political foes.
在上午的众议院司法委员会(House Judiciary Committee)听证会期间，穆勒说得相对较少，民主党人宣读从他的报告中摘取的内容，然后要求这位前特别检察官证实关于特朗普行为的最具杀伤力的调查发现。该委员会的共和党人则将注意力转移到穆勒本人和这项调查的起源上；总统将这项调查描述为由他的政治对手发起的“政治迫害”。
Mr Mueller was terse by contrast. He frequently gave one-word answers, asked for the question to be repeated or referred back to his written findings. Mr Mueller spoke more extensively, and passionately, when defending the integrity of his team and their findings
“We strove to hire individuals who could do the job. I’ve been in the business for almost 25 years. In those 25 years, I’ve not had occasion once to ask about somebody’s political affiliation. It is not done. What I care about is the capability of the individual to do the job and do the job seriously and quickly and with integrity.”
Jerrold Nadler, the Democratic House judiciary chair, sought to pin Mr Mueller down on whether he had “totally exonerated” the president, as Mr Trump has claimed. “No,” the former special counsel replied.
Mr Nadler asked whether justice department policy — which says a sitting president cannot be indicted — would allow Mr Trump to be “prosecuted for obstruction of justice crimes after he leaves office”. Mr Mueller replied: “True.”
When asked by Ted Lieu, a Democrat from California, whether that policy was the reason he did not indict Mr Trump, Mr Mueller responded: “That’s correct.”
The remark appeared to contradict his previous statements that there was no conclusion on whether Mr Trump should be charged, but Mr Mueller later clarified: “We did not reach a determination as to whether the president had committed a crime.”
Ken Buck, a Republican from Colorado, pressed Mr Mueller on why he did not make a decision on obstruction, despite describing at length several incidents of possible obstruction.
“You unfairly shifted the burden of proof to the president,” said Mr Buck, before asking him whether there was sufficient evidence to charge Mr Trump.
“We did not make that calculation,” said Mr Mueller. Despite Mr Mueller’s refusal to be drawn into a firmer conclusion than the one delivered in his report, Mr Trump tweeted during the hearing: “In other words, there was NO OBSTRUCTION.”
Mr Mueller emphasised the importance of his investigation into Russia’s role in the 2016 election in his opening remarks. He said the Russian government believed it would benefit if Mr Trump won the White House.
“Over the course of my career, I’ve seen a number of challenges to our democracy. The Russian government’s effort to interfere in our election is among the most serious,” he said.