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Are our hands tied?

Sometimes, much is said with few words. That’s because words, when chosen precisely and with great care, can communicate a whole lot. Such was the case when special counsel and former FBI Director Robert Mueller spoke on Wednesday, May 29, for roughly 10 minutes at the Justice Department.

Mueller spoke about his report — his testimony, as he put it — and threw the issue back to Congress.

“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.”

In other words, the president is far from exonerated for his role with Russian interference in the 2016 election.

Unsurprisingly, President Trump is fighting back, claiming there was no collusion and there was no wrongdoing.

To try to find out whether or not that’s true, one would have to read the entire, unredacted report. That’s unlikely, and we’re forced to rely on the special counsel, the attorney general and the president. That could mean that the American people will never learn what really occurred.

It’s no surprise that a number of Democrats are calling for impeachment proceedings to begin. Others, most notably House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.), have cautioned against impeachment, fearing it would undermine Democratic efforts to take the White House in 2020.

She could be right. With a Republican controlled Senate, the Democratic controlled House is still facing an uphill battle. And voters empathetic to the underdog might then see the president as needing their support. It’s anyone’s guess how impeaching the president could turn out — waiting for elections to roll around could be less painful to Dems.

But that still doesn’t deal with the fact that there seems to be, based on Mueller’s statement, real concern that the president acted improperly. He basically admitted — perhaps against his better judgment — he couldn’t pursue charges against the president.

“Under long-standing department policy, a president cannot be charged with a federal crime while he is in office… charging the president with a crime was, therefore, not an option we could consider,” said Mueller.

Such words do little to comfort Americans.

He instead put it on Congress to take the next step, stating that the Constitution “requires a process other than the criminal justice system to formally accuse a sitting president of wrongdoing.”

The question now is whether Congress will do anything about it.