Quigley Statement on Special Counsel’s Testimony
Today, U.S. Representative Mike Quigley (IL-05), a member of the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence (HPSCI), issued the following statement after Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s testimony before HPSCI and the House Committee on the Judiciary:
“Today, the Special Counsel reminded the American people of what we already knew: In 2016, Russia attacked our election process, the Trump campaign knew about it, welcomed it, and failed to alert the FBI. Very far from the President’s claim of ‘no obstruction, no collusion,’ the Special Counsel confirmed again today that he did not exonerate the President. In one of the few moments when the Special Counsel offered his opinion, he responded to my question about the President’s praise for Wikileaks by saying ‘problematic is an understatement.’ That should get the attention of every single American.
“The Special Counsel also said today that a sitting President cannot be indicted under current policy and he was unable to answer if a President who is in office when the statute of limitations runs out can face prosecution. No one is above the law. But current Department of Justice policy effectively grants the President immunity. That policy needs to change. Until it does, Congress has one remedy and one remedy only—we must open an impeachment inquiry.”
Quigley questioned Mueller about DOJ policy preventing the indictment of a sitting President and the President’s praise for Wikileaks. Video of Quigley’s questioning is available here and a transcript has been provided below.
QUIGLEY: Thank you Mr. Chairman. Director, thank you for being here. This too shall pass. Earlier today and throughout the day you have stated the policy that a seated President cannot be indicted, correct?
QUIGLEY: And upon questioning this morning, you were asked could a President be indicted after their service. Correct?
QUIGLEY: And your answer was that they could.
MUELLER: They could.
QUIGLEY: The follow-up question that should be concerning is what is a President serves beyond the statute of limitations?
MUELLER: I don't know the answer to that one.
QUIGLEY: Would it not indicate that if the statute of limitations on federal crimes such as this or five years, that a President who serves a second term is therefore, under the policy, above the law?
MUELLER: I'm not certain I would agree with the conclusion. I'm not certain I can see the possibility that you suggest.
QUIGLEY: But the statute doesn't toll, is that correct?
MUELLER: I don't know specifically.
QUIGLEY: It clearly doesn't. As the American public is watching this, and perhaps learning about many of these for the first time, we need to consider that and the other alternatives are perhaps all that we have, but I appreciate your response. Earlier in questioning, someone mentioned that - it was a question involving whether anyone in the Trump political world publicized the emails, whether or not that was the case. I just want to refer to Volume I page 60, where we learn that Trump Jr. publicly Tweeted a link to the leak of stolen podest emails in October 2016. Are you familiar with that?
MUELLER: I am.
QUIGLEY: So that would at least be a republishing of this information. Would it not?
MUELLER: I'm not certain I would agree with that.
QUIGLEY: Director Pompeo assessed Wikileaks in one point as a hostile intelligence service. Given your law enforcement experience and your knowledge of what Wikileaks did here and what they do generally, would you assess that to be accurate or something similar? How would you assess what Wikileaks does?
MUELLER: Absolutely, and they are currently under indictment, as Julian Assange is.
QUIGLEY: Would it be fair to describe them - you would agree with Director Pompeo that it is a hostile intelligence service, correct?
QUIGLEY: If we could put up slide 6: "This just came out... Wikileaks, I love Wikileaks." -Donald Trump, October 10, 2016; "This Wikileaks stuff is unbelievable... It tells you the inner heart, you gotta read it." -Donald Trump, October 12, 2016; "This Wikileaks is like a treasure trove." -Donald Trump, October 31, 2016; "Boy, I love reading those Wikileaks." -Donald Trump, November 4, 2016. Do any of those quotes disturb you Mr. Director?
MUELLER: I'm not sure and I would say um –
QUIGLEY: How do you react to those?
MUELLER: It's - problematic is an understatement in terms of what it displays, in terms of giving some, I don't know, hope, some boost to what is and should be illegal activity.
QUIGLEY: Volume I page 59, "Donald Trump Jr. had direct electronic communications with Wikileaks during the campaign period." On October 3rd, 2016, Wikileaks sent another direct message to Trump Jr. asking 'you guys to help disseminate a link alleging Candidate Clinton had advocated a drone to attack Julian Assange. Trump Jr. responded that, quote: "he had already done so." Same question, is this behavior, at the very least, disturbing?
MUELLER: It is disturbing and also subject to investigation.
QUIGLEY: Could it be described as aid and comfort to a hostile intelligence service?
MUELLER: I wouldn't categorize it with any specificity.
QUIGLEY: I yield the balance to the Chairman.