Mueller Says Russia Tried to ‘Damage’ Clinton Campaign: Meddling ‘Deserves Attention of Every American’
In what Robert Muller says are his final public words about his investigation into 2016 election tampering, the departing special counsel said Russians interfered in the race “to damage” former Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton and argued the Kremlin attack “deserves the attention of every American.”
“We are formally closing the special counsel’s office and I’m resigning from the department of justice to return to private life,” Mueller began before laying out the allegations of election interference detailed in indictments.
“Russian intelligence officers who are part of the Russian military launched a concerted attack on our political system,” he said. “The indictment alleges that they used sophisticated cyber techniques to hack into computers and networks used by the Clinton campaign. They stole private information and then released that information through fake online identities and through the organization WikiLeaks. The releases were designed and timed to interfere with our election and to damage a presidential candidate.”
In his closing comments about the investigation that started in May 2017, but wasn’t released until last month, Mueller explained why it will not be worthwhile for him to testify before Congress:
“I hope and expect this to be the only time that I will speak to you in this manner. I am making that decision myself. No one has told me whether I can or should testify or speak further about this matter. There has been a discussion about an appearance before Congress. Any testimony from this office would not go beyond our report. It contains our findings and analysis and the reasons for the decisions we made. We chose those words carefully and the work speaks for itself. And the report is my testimony.”
Mueller, who did not take questions after the press briefing, finished by thanking those involved with his investigations and praising them as having “the highest integrity.”
“I will close by reiterating the central allegation of our indictments, that there were multiple, systemic efforts to interfere in our election,” Mueller concluded. “And that allegation deserves the attention of every American.”
Watch both the clips above, via CNN.
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