2020 Democratic presidential hopeful Kamala Harris (D-Calif.) made a claim about why President Donald Trump was not indicted, but that claim has already been debunked by both the attorney general and the former special counsel himself.
During her opening remarks on Thursday night’s Democratic primary debate, Harris spoke a message directly to the president, claiming that he has used “over 12,000 lies” as a way to “distract” Americans from his “failed policies and broken promises.”
She continued on to claim that the “only reason” that Trump has not been charged with any crimes while serving in office is because of a policy at the Justice Department preventing an indictment of a sitting president.
“The only reason you have not been indicted is because there was a memo in the Department of Justice that says a sitting president cannot be charged with a crime,” said Harris, speaking directly to Trump.
Watch the video here:
The “memo” that Harris referred to is an opinion from the Office of Legal Counsel (OLC) that says a sitting president cannot be charged with a crime while serving in the position.
Barr said in April that the former special counsel made it “very clear several times” that he was not “taking a position that he would have found a crime but for the existence of the OLC opinion.”
Mueller held a press conference in May where he confused some by saying that his office was “bound” under Department of Justice policy and that “charging the president with a crime was therefore not an option we could consider.”
This prompted both the Justice Department and a spokesperson for Mueller to release a joint statement clarifying Mueller’s comments, where they said that his “report and his statement today made clear that the office concluded it would not reach a determination — one way or the other — about whether the President committed a crime.”
“There is no conflict between these statements,” the statement added.
Mueller concluded at the end of his two-year investigation into Russian election interference that there was no evidence of collusion between the president and the Kremlin during the 2016 presidential election.
He also listed 10 times that Trump possibly obstructed justice but did not conclude whether or not it happened.