Mueller: I’m Never Going to Say Anything More Than What’s In My Report

Ting Shen/CNP via ZUMA

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Special Counsel Robert Mueller just finished a press conference and said it would be his last and only public comment on his investigation into the Trump-Russia affair. He is retiring from the Justice Department and declined to to take any questions after reading a statement.

In that statement, he reiterated that it was a “longstanding” policy of the Justice Department that a sitting president cannot be charged with a federal crime. “Charging the president with a crime was therefore an option we could not consider.” This appears to be the sole reason that the report made no recommendation on the obstruction-of-justice charges. He also reiterated that if he had found conclusive evidence that President Trump didn’t obstruct justice, the report would have said so.

On the subject of testifying before Congress, Mueller appeared to say that this was off the table. “The report is my testimony. I would not provide information beyond that which is already public in any appearance before Congress.”

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WHO DOESN’T LOVE A POSITIVE STORY—OR TWO?

“Great journalism really does make a difference in this world: it can even save kids.”

That’s what a civil rights lawyer wrote to Julia Lurie, the day after her major investigation into a psychiatric hospital chain that uses foster children as “cash cows” published, letting her know he was using her findings that same day in a hearing to keep a child out of one of the facilities we investigated.

That’s awesome. As is the fact that Julia, who spent a full year reporting this challenging story, promptly heard from a Senate committee that will use her work in their own investigation of Universal Health Services. There’s no doubt her revelations will continue to have a big impact in the months and years to come.

Like another story about Mother Jones’ real-world impact.

This one, a multiyear investigation, published in 2021, exposed conditions in sugar work camps in the Dominican Republic owned by Central Romana—the conglomerate behind brands like C&H and Domino, whose product ends up in our Hershey bars and other sweets. A year ago, the Biden administration banned sugar imports from Central Romana. And just recently, we learned of a previously undisclosed investigation from the Department of Homeland Security, looking into working conditions at Central Romana. How big of a deal is this?

“This could be the first time a corporation would be held criminally liable for forced labor in their own supply chains,” according to a retired special agent we talked to.

Wow.

And it is only because Mother Jones is funded primarily by donations from readers that we can mount ambitious, yearlong—or more—investigations like these two stories that are making waves.

About that: It’s unfathomably hard in the news business right now, and we came up about $28,000 short during our recent fall fundraising campaign. We simply have to make that up soon to avoid falling further behind than can be made up for, or needing to somehow trim $1 million from our budget, like happened last year.

If you can, please support the reporting you get from Mother Jones—that exists to make a difference, not a profit—with a donation of any amount today. We need more donations than normal to come in from this specific blurb to help close our funding gap before it gets any bigger.

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