Richard L. Hasen at Slate:
Special counsel Robert Mueller issued a final statement on Wednesday before resigning from the Department of Justice, which clearly appeared aimed at one person: House Speaker Nancy Pelosi. Mueller’s simple message to Pelosi is that it is the constitutional duty of Congress—and her sworn duty as speaker of the House—to begin an investigation of the president and seriously consider impeaching him.
Unlike Attorney General William Barr’s early characterization of the Mueller report’s decision not to find criminal behavior on the part of the president as having nothing to do with the Department of Justice policy against indicting a sitting president, Mueller’s statement made clear the special counsel’s office believes “it was bound” by department policy not to indict the president—or even accuse him. “It would be unfair to potentially accuse somebody of a crime when there can be no court resolution of the actual charge accuse him of committing a crime,” Mueller said, reemphasizing something he had already directly stated in his report.
But coupled with this statement from Mueller were three points aimed at Pelosi: First, given DOJ policy, “the Constitution requires a process other than the criminal justice system to formally accuse a sitting president of wrongdoing.” That process is impeachment, though Mueller was again oblique about this. Second, “as set forth in the report, after that investigation, if we had confidence that the president clearly did not commit a crime, we would have said so.” Third, “when a subject of an investigation obstructs that investigation or lies to investigators, it strikes at the core of their government’s effort to find the truth and hold wrongdoers accountable.”