Pence: Mueller report confirms 'no collusion, no obstruction'

Pence: Mueller report confirms 'no collusion, no obstruction'
© Greg Nash

Vice President Mike PenceMichael (Mike) Richard PenceObama looks to give new momentum to McAuliffe The Hill's Morning Report - Presented by Uber - Manchin, Sanders in budget feud; Biden still upbeat Biden, Trump tied in potential 2024 match-up: poll MORE praised special counsel Robert MuellerRobert (Bob) MuellerSenate Democrats urge Garland not to fight court order to release Trump obstruction memo Why a special counsel is guaranteed if Biden chooses Yates, Cuomo or Jones as AG Barr taps attorney investigating Russia probe origins as special counsel MORE's report after a redacted version was made public Thursday, saying the document confirms "no collusion, no obstruction."

"Today’s release of the Special Counsel’s report confirms what the President and I have said since day one: there was no collusion between the Trump campaign and Russia and there was no obstruction of justice," Pence said in a statement.

"After two years of investigation, conducted with the full cooperation of this Administration, that involved hundreds of witness interviews and millions of pages of documents, the American people can see for themselves: no collusion, no obstruction," he added.

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Pence also suggested that an investigation should be made into how the probe into potential collusion between President TrumpDonald TrumpSix big off-year elections you might be missing Twitter suspends GOP Rep. Banks for misgendering trans health official Meghan McCain to Trump: 'Thanks for the publicity' MORE's 2016 campaign and Russia was started.

"Now that the Special Counsel investigation is completed, the American people have a right to know whether the initial investigation was in keeping with long-standing Justice Department standards — or even lawful at all," the vice president said. "We must never allow our justice system to be exploited in pursuit of a political agenda."

A redacted version of Mueller's report on his investigation was released to the public on Thursday, weeks after the special counsel first turned it over to Attorney General William BarrBill BarrMeadows hires former deputy AG to represent him in Jan. 6 probe: report Why it's time for conservatives to accept the 2020 election results and move on Bannon's subpoena snub sets up big decision for Biden DOJ MORE.

As Barr said in a summary of the report to Congress last month, Mueller did not uncover evidence to conclude that Trump's 2016 campaign colluded with Russia in efforts to interfere in the presidential election.

The report notes that Mueller was unable to “conclusively determine” that no criminal conduct occurred in regards to obstruction of justice. 

"While this report does not conclude that the President committed a crime, it also does not exonerate him,” the report states.

Mueller detailed in his report 10 "episodes" of potential obstruction of justice by the president, many of which have been the subject of public reporting. Barr said that he and Deputy Attorney General Rod RosensteinRod RosensteinWashington still needs more transparency House Judiciary to probe DOJ's seizure of data from lawmakers, journalists The Hill's Morning Report - Biden-Putin meeting to dominate the week MORE concluded based on the content of Mueller's report that there was not sufficient evidence to bring an obstruction charge. 

Mueller said in his report that Congress now has the authority to pursue obstruction of justice investigations.