Bharara, Yates tamp down expectations Mueller will bring criminal charges
© Greg Nash

Former acting Attorney General Sally YatesSally Caroline YatesABC lands first one-on-one TV interview with Garland since confirmation Appointing a credible, non-partisan Jan. 6 commission should not be difficult There was Trump-Russia collusion — and Trump pardoned the colluder MORE and former U.S. Attorney Preet BhararaPreet BhararaVox Media acquires podcasting company co-founded by Preet Bharara Reimagining the role of the next SEC chair What a Biden administration should look like MORE said Wednesday that it will be difficult for special counsel Robert MuellerRobert (Bob) MuellerWhy a special counsel is guaranteed if Biden chooses Yates, Cuomo or Jones as AG Barr taps attorney investigating Russia probe origins as special counsel CNN's Toobin warns McCabe is in 'perilous condition' with emboldened Trump MORE to prove criminal conduct in his probe into possible coordination between the President TrumpDonald TrumpWarren says Republican party 'eating itself and it is discovering that the meal is poisonous' More than 75 Asian, LGBTQ groups oppose anti-Asian crime bill McConnell says he's 'great admirer' of Liz Cheney but mum on her removal MORE's campaign and Russia.

“I know a lot of people are sort of putting all their hopes into Bob Mueller. And I’ve got tremendous confidence in Bob Mueller,” Yates said in a joint interview with Bharara at Vanity Fair's New Establishment Summit in New York, according to The Wall Street Journal.

“But the fact of the matter is, he’s going to determine whether there’s proof beyond a reasonable doubt that felonies were committed, that crimes were committed that can be used for prosecution or impeachment," she added.

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Bharara emphasized that Mueller's investigation is intended to "find out the truth and apply the law and facts fairly" and said that he could ultimately decide against bringing a case. 

“He may not decide that there is an offense to be charged or referred to the House of Representatives for impeachment. And I’ll respect that. And I think people who are on one side of the fence should respect that also,” he said, according to the Journal.

Mueller is conducting the criminal investigation into Russia's efforts to meddle in the 2016 presidential election, as well as possible collusion between associates of Trump and Russia. 

Yates was fired by Trump in January after she said the Justice Department would not defend the president's first travel ban in court. That executive order barred citizens of seven predominantly Muslim countries from entering the U.S. for 90 days.

Bharara was fired in March after declining to resign when the Trump administration requested that remaining Obama-era U.S. attorneys step down from their posts. He said that Trump had asked him during the presidential transition to stay on.