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President Donald Trump on Wednesday responded to special counsel Robert Mueller's first-ever public statement about his investigation of Russian interference in the 2016 election and potential obstruction of justice by the president.
"The case is closed! Thank you," the president tweeted.
Trump's tweet came minutes after Mueller, speaking at the Department of Justice, reiterated the finding from his 22-month probe that "if we had had confidence that the president clearly did not commit a crime, we would have said so."
In a statement later, White House press secretary Sarah Sanders said: "The report was clear — there was no collusion, no conspiracy — and the Department of Justice confirmed there was no obstruction. Special Counsel Mueller also stated that Attorney General [William] Barr acted in good faith in his handling of the report. After two years, the Special Counsel is moving on with his life, and everyone else should do the same."
The Trump 2020 presidential campaign made a similar statement that emphasized the need to move forward on Barr's investigation into the origins of the Mueller probe.
Mueller's 448-page report on the probe, made public in lightly redacted form last month by Barr, found insufficient evidence to show that Trump's campaign conspired with Russia during the 2016 presidential election. The report made no determination on whether Trump obstructed justice, though it outlined multiple instances of potential obstruction.
Mueller said Wednesday he did not make that determination because of a longstanding Justice Department policy barring the prosecution of a sitting president for a federal crime.
"Charging the president with a crime was, therefore, not an option we could consider," Mueller said.
The special counsel, who also announced at the event that he was formally resigning and returning to private life, said he would not provide any information beyond what was in his report if he was forced to testify by House Democrats, who have been eager to bring him to Congress to answer their questions.
"The report is my testimony. I would not provide information beyond what is already public," Mueller said.
Trump, in his tweeted response to Mueller, said that "Nothing changes" in the wake of the report being made public. "There was insufficient evidence and therefore, in our Country, a person is innocent."
Trump was far from the only politician to respond to Mueller's remarks.
"The ball is in our court, Congress," tweeted Rep. Justin Amash, R-Mich., the only Republican in the legislative branch to publicly call for launching impeachment proceedings against Trump based on the Mueller report.
Trump's attorney Rudy Giuliani, the former mayor of New York, criticized Mueller in a Fox News interview.
"He had no evidence, or insufficient evidence, which is the same thing for a prosecutor, of collusion," Giuliani said. "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."
Another attorney for Trump, Jay Sekulow, said Mueller's announcement "puts a period on a two year investigation that produced no findings of collusion or obstruction against the President."