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 QuigleySondland emerges as key target after Vindman testimony In testimony, Dems see an ambassador scorned, while GOP defends Trump Ex-Ukraine ambassador arrives to give testimony MORE (D-Ill.) said early Thursday that special counsel Robert MuellerRobert (Bob) Swan MuellerSpeier says impeachment inquiry shows 'very strong case of bribery' by Trump Gowdy: I '100 percent' still believe public congressional hearings are 'a circus' Comey: Mueller 'didn't succeed in his mission because there was inadequate transparency' MORE is “protecting” President TrumpDonald John TrumpFive landmark moments of testimony to Congress Lindsey Graham basks in the impeachment spotlight Democrats sharpen their message on impeachment 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.


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.”