Democratic rep: Mueller is 'protecting' Trump out of 'extreme fairness'

Democratic rep: Mueller is 'protecting' Trump out of 'extreme fairness'
© Greg Nash

Rep. Mike QuigleyMichael (Mike) Bruce QuigleyElection security funds caught in crosshairs of spending debate Lawmakers point to entitlements when asked about deficits Mueller Day falls flat MORE (D-Ill.) said early Thursday that special counsel Robert MuellerRobert (Bob) Swan MuellerFox's Cavuto roasts Trump over criticism of network Mueller report fades from political conversation Trump calls for probe of Obama book deal MORE is “protecting” President TrumpDonald John TrumpBusiness, ballots and battling opioids: Why the Universal Postal Union benefits the US Sanders supporters cry foul over Working Families endorsement of Warren California poll: Biden, Sanders lead Democratic field; Harris takes fifth MORE out of “extreme fairness” by not indicting him.

“The irony of yesterday was, the special counsel is an honorable person who follows the rule of law more than anyone I’ve ever witnessed,” Quigley, who sits on the House Intelligence Committee, said on CNN. "At the same time, in his moment of extreme fairness, he is protecting a president of the United States who has absolutely no concern for the rule of law, who is flaunting it."

Quigley’s comments come a day after Mueller maintained in rare public remarks that he could not exonerate Trump of any wrongdoing and that Justice Department guidelines would have prevented him from filing any charges against the president.

Mueller said in his final report earlier this year that he did not find evidence that Trump conspired with Russia's interference in the 2016 presidential election, but that he would not make a prosecutorial decision on whether the president obstructed probes into the interference.

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The special counsel doubled down on his conclusion on Wednesday, saying, “If we had confidence that the president clearly did not commit a crime, we would have said that.”

Mueller’s remarks stirred up an existing debate within the Democratic Party over whether to begin impeachment proceedings into the president. Democrats appeared united, however, in their calls for the special counsel to testify.

“I have the greatest respect for the special counsel, but he doesn’t get to decide whether or not he testifies before the American people. And he doesn’t get to decide which questions he can talk about. He clearly can’t decide that he’s only going to talk about what’s already in the report,” Quigley said on Thursday.

Mueller, however, appears reluctant to testify publicly, telling reporters Wednesday that “the report is my testimony.”