By Jon Dougherty
(NationalSentinel) POTUS Donald Trump has been the most media-accessible president in modern history, but even he gets his fill sometimes from the inane, often foolish and uninspired questions he gets from the White House Press Corps.
On Wednesday, the president was asked by an NBC News reporter if he was concerned about being indicted — for something — after leaving office, which is an impression former special counsel Robert Mueller and Democrats have tried to create based on, so far, no evidence of wrongdoing whatsoever.
POTUS had no tolerance for the question, mostly because, at this point, it has no basis in fact or reality.
“So Wikileaks is a hoax just like everything else, and all those problems having to do with a crime were the biggest hoax of all. It was a witch hunt. A total witch hunt,” the president began.
“And when you saw Robert Mueller’s statement—the earlier statement, and then he did a recap—he did a correction later on in the afternoon. And you know what that correction was, and you still ask the question,” he continued.
“You know why? Because you’re fake news. And you’re one of the most. And let me just tell you, the fact that you even ask that question, you’re fake news. Because you know what, he totally corrected himself in the afternoon, and you know that just as well as anybody,” POTUS scolded.
Asked if he was concerned he could be indicted once he's left office, Pres. Trump responds angrily, saying "all of those problems having to do with crime were the biggest hoax of all," and accusing the reporter who asked of being "fake news." https://t.co/CXfCvYspNV pic.twitter.com/ZMAR1lWwx6
— ABC News (@ABC) July 24, 2019
The president was making reference to the fact that early in his testimony on Wednesday, Mueller was asked if the decision not to charge Trump was based on the Justice Department policy prohibiting the indictment of a sitting president.
Mueller simply responded, “yes.” But that’s not true; Attorney General William Barr has made it clear that he asked Mueller about that repeatedly earlier this year, and Mueller made it clear that no, he wasn’t not recommending indictment because of that opinion.
Later in the testimony, Mueller clarified his misleading answer by saying that, regardless of DOJ policy, they “did not reach a determination as to whether the president committed a crime.”
Legal analysts have said even that isn’t correct; the legal standard in America isn’t “exoneration,” it’s whether or not there is evidence that a crime was committed. Thus, if Mueller and his staff could not ‘determine’ that, then they can’t level charges.
Rep. John Ratcliffe (R-Texas), a former federal prosecutor, grilled Mueller on his particular comment, criticizing him for using a legal standard that discards the presumption of innocence.
“…[R]espectfully, director, it was not the special counsel’s job to conclusively determine Donald Trump’s innocence or to exonerate him because the bedrock principle of our justice system is a presumption of innocence,” Ratcliffe said.
“It exists for everyone. Everyone is entitled to it, including sitting presidents. And because there is a presumption of innocence, prosecutors never, ever need to conclusively determine it,” he continued.
“I agree with the chairman this morning when he said Donald Trump is not above the law,” Ratcliffe said later. “He’s not. But he damn sure shouldn’t be below the law which is were Volume II of this report puts him.”
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