Trump Declares “Case Is Closed” on Russia Investigation. Mueller Just Hinted at the Exact Opposite.

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President Donald Trump continued to claim innocence after Robert Mueller staged a surprise press conference Wednesday morning, declaring that nothing had changed in the wake of Mueller’s unprecedented public appearance. “Case is closed!” the president said on Twitter.

In doing so, Trump misleadingly conflated Mueller’s reference to insufficient evidence on collusion with his findings on obstruction. In his statement, Mueller specifically referred to the Justice Department’s longstanding policy that protects sitting presidents from being indicted on federal charges, and not any lack of evidence, as the governing reason for why the investigation did not lead to charges against Trump.

Mueller also repeated a central line from the special counsel’s report that if investigators had had “confidence the president clearly did not commit a crime, we would have said so.” The statement, Mueller’s first public remarks in more than two years, rebutted Trump’s persistent claims that the Mueller report was a clear acquittal of his actions and of allegations that he had attempted to obstruct the Russia investigation.

Trump’s response on Wednesday seemed to represent something of a shift, with “insufficient evidence” replacing the president’s previous declarations of “total exoneration.” His critics, including Rep. Justin Amash, offered a different view:

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SIX TRUTHS

Reclaiming power from those who abuse it often starts with telling the truth. And in "This Is How Authoritarians Get Defeated," MoJo's Monika Bauerlein unpacks six truths to remember during the homestretch of an election where democracy, truth, and decency are on the line.

Truth #1: The chaos is the point.

Truth #2: Team Reality is bigger than it seems.

Truth #3: Facebook owns this.

Truth #4: When we go to work, we're in the fight.

Truth #5: It's about minority rule.

Truth #6: The only thing that can save us is…us.

Please take a moment to see how all these truths add up, because what happens in the weeks and months ahead will reverberate for at least a generation and we better be prepared.

And if you think journalism like Mother Jones'—that calls it like it is, that will never acquiesce to power, that looks where others don't—can help guide us through this historic, high-stakes moment, and you're able to right now, please help us reach our $350,000 goal by October 31 with a donation today. It's all hands on deck for democracy.

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