Hillary Clinton: Mueller report proves Russian meddling, obstruction of justice

Speaking at Wellesley College, candidate defeated by Trump says there is ‘nothing normal about undermining the rule of law, about attacking the press’

Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton delivers Hunter College's commencement address, Wednesday, May 29, 2019, in New York. (AP Photo/Mary Altaffer)
Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton delivers Hunter College's commencement address, Wednesday, May 29, 2019, in New York. (AP Photo/Mary Altaffer)

WELLESLEY, Massachusetts (AP) — Hillary Clinton said Saturday there were two inescapable conclusions of special counsel Robert Mueller’s report.

The first is that Russia conducted a sweeping and systemic interference into the 2016 election and the second is that obstruction of justice occurred.

“You cannot read the report, chapter and verse, fact after fact, without reaching those conclusions,” Clinton said. She made the comments during an appearance with Madeleine Albright at their alma mater, Wellesley College.

“People just want to quit hearing about it and get back to their normal lives. There is nothing normal about undermining the rule of law. There is nothing normal about attacking the press. There is nothing normal about trying to undermine another branch of government,” she said.

US President Donald Trump has repeatedly said the Mueller report shows no collusion between his campaign and the Russians.

Clinton said she was also worried that the speed of online communications could make the country vulnerable to the tactics of demagogues including what she called the clever use of symbols combined with verbal and physical intimidation.

“This is a classic pattern. There is nothing new about it,” she said. “I think given the rapidity with which information can be conveyed today because of the internet, it is an even more dangerous set of circumstances.”

The two former Democratic secretaries of state spoke on a range of topics, from their years at Wellesley to the state of women’s rights in the world.

Albright is a member of the class of 1959. Clinton is a member of the class of 1969.

Albright was the nation’s first female secretary of state and served under president Bill Clinton. Hillary Clinton served as secretary of state under president Barack Obama.

Special counsel Robert Mueller speaks at the Department of Justice on May 29, 2019, in Washington, about the Russia investigation. (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster)

Mueller said late last month he believed he was constitutionally barred from charging Trump with a crime but pointedly emphasized that his Russia report did not exonerate the president.

“If we had had confidence that the president clearly did not commit a crime, we would have said so,” Mueller said. “We did not however make a determination as to whether the president did commit a crime.”

He cautioned lawmakers who have been negotiating for his public testimony that he would not go beyond his report in the event he appears before Congress. But he also signaled that Congress was the proper venue, not the criminal justice system, for deciding whether action should be taken against the president in connection with allegations that Trump and aides obstructed the investigation of Russian interference to help the Republican candidate in the 2016 election campaign.

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