Wednesday on his nationally syndicated radio show, conservative talker Rush Limbaugh slammed Department of Justice special counsel Robert Mueller for his statement regarding whether or not President Donald Trump had committed obstruction of justice during his investigation of Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election.
Limbaugh called such a statement an “abomination” of the U.S. justice system.
Partial transcript as follows:
LIMBAUGH: You know, this is going to be very interesting because I went back during the break, I went back to the archives out there, and I found the attorney general on two separate occasions — they were both in the press conference — when he announced that Mueller’s report was in and that he had read the report and gave his four-page summary, it had some questions out there. The media asked questions. Of course, Mueller didn’t deign to take any questions. And we know why. Mueller doesn’t want any questions about the stuff he ignored.
Anyway. This is going to be a big bone of contention because Mueller made it plain today — in fact, I’ve got three Mueller sound bites. I’ve been looking for every reason in the world not to use ’em ’cause they just tick me off. This is going to be a big bone of contention because of what Barr has said on two separate occasions. I’ll get to what Barr has said after I play for you Mr. Integrity, Mr. Boy Scout, Mr. Honorable, Mr. Impeccable, Mr. They don’t come any better than this, Robert J. Mueller III.
MUELLER: As set forth in the report after that investigation, if we had had confidence that the president clearly did not commit a crime, we would have said so. We did not, however, make a determination as to whether the president did commit a crime. Beyond department policy we regarded by principles of fairness, it would be unfair to potentially accuse somebody of a crime when there can be no court resolution of the actual charge. So that was Justice Department policy, those were the principles under which we operated, and from them we concluded that we would not reach a determination one way or the other about whether the president committed a crime. That is the office’s final position, and we will not comment on any other conclusions or hypotheticals about the president.
LIMBAUGH: Now, he actually was more emphatic than that, even, on the Justice Department guidelines. By the way, Office of Legal Counsel is the lawyers for the lawyers. You know, DOJ is the Department of Justice, but even they have lawyers who tell the other lawyers what the law is and what procedures are, and it’s the Office of Legal Counsel that determines what the DOJ can charge and not charge. They have determined since 1979 that you cannot indict a sitting president.
And Mueller made it clear over and over again today that that’s the reason they didn’t pursue the president is because of those guidelines. Can’t indict a sitting president, so why do it? That’s why I was screaming when he said this. “What the hell was this for then?” If from the very beginning you were operating under guidelines that say you can’t accuse him, you can’t charge him, you can’t indict him, then what the hell has been going on here?
Well, Attorney General Barr on two separate occasions has said that Robert Mueller told him three different times Mueller specifically was asked by Barr, “Is your reason for not charging Trump anything to do with the Office of Legal Counsel guidelines?” And Barr says that Mueller said three times, “No, that has nothing to do with it.” Barr is on record on two occasions saying that Mueller told him three times the Office of Legal Counsel guidelines have nothing to do with his decision not to indict the president or not to link the president to crimes.
And today Mueller goes out there and says the only reason we didn’t — he implied — the only reason we didn’t is because of those guidelines. And then what else he said here? You know, I promised I was gonna drop this, but I played this sound bite and I get revved up again. “As set forth in the report after the investigation, if we had confidence the president clearly did not commit a crime, we would have said so.”
Do you realize what an abomination of the justice system that is? I say this without any partisanship or favoritism toward Trump here at all. This just turns our system of justice on its head. It really does, folks. If we had confidence the president clearly did not commit a crime, we would have said so.
How about this? “If we had confidence the president clearly did commit a crime, we would have said so.” That’s the way it’s supposed to be. “If we had evidence the president committed a crime, we would have damn well said so.” It’s not, “If we had confidence the president did not commit a crime, we would have said so.” That’s not what the job is. And then he goes on to say we couldn’t have indicted him anyway because of Justice Department guidelines.
But then this next: “We did not, however, make a determination as to whether the president did commit a crime.” Well, go tell that to Jerry Nadler and Elizabeth Warren and the rest, ’cause they sure as hell think that you have. “We did not make a determination as to whether the president did commit a crime.”
Yes, you have! You have done everything you can to imply that he did and that you just couldn’t find it! That’s what makes me so livid. This guy in his righteousness sitting here saying that “We did not make a determination as to whether the president committed a crime.”
“Beyond department policy, which is the Office of Legal Counsel guidelines, we were guided by the principles of fairness.” Ha. What an absolute crock. There hasn’t been anything fair about this from the moment it began! “It would be unfair to potentially accuse somebody of a crime when there can be no court resolution of the charge.”
That didn’t stop you from charging the Russians! They’re not gonna get their day in court because you can’t get them extradited, and you knew they weren’t gonna come face your charges. That’s why you could charge ’em with anything. You could charge them with blowing up human feces in San Francisco, and they wouldn’t come face the charges because Russia wouldn’t indict ’em.
So you charged those Russians knowing full well they would never have a chance to refute and to prove their innocence. So what the hell do you care, Mr. Mueller, about somebody having a chance to prove their innocence? You clearly, by innuendo, wanted to destroy these Russian groups and give them no chance whatsoever to answer your charges. And yet that fairness is what prevents you from charging the president. “So that was Justice Department policy. Those were the principles under which we operated.” Blah, blah, blah, blah, blah.
Take a look here what has actually happened in this so-called investigation. James Comey, July 5th, 2016, press conference, lists all the crimes Hillary Clinton committed, lists all the crimes that they know she did! And then said, “But we’re not charging her because we don’t think she intended to do any of this.”
Now, we move to the Trump investigation, “We can’t find a damn thing the guy did, but we are certain he intended to.” What the hell is this, folks? They exonerate Hillary because they think she didn’t intend to do what she did. They can’t find that Trump did anything, but they think he intended to do what he didn’t do, and so we need to impeach him.
If this is the best Washington has, if this is the top of the heap when it comes to integrity and honor and decency and all that, then we have run out of decency and honor in Washington, D.C. This is such a crock, I can’t even begin to aptly, accurately describe the anger, the rage, and the emotions here that I am feeling and not get profane in doing so.
Follow Jeff Poor on Twitter @jeff_poor