Whitewater independent counsel Robert Ray explained why he believes Hillary Clinton is “exactly wrong” to claim President Trump would have been indicted if he weren’t president.
Ray said he believes the report disputes that, adding that Barr speaking to Special Counsel Robert Mueller prior to the release of the report — and his press conference — only further weight on the opposite side of Clinton’s claim.
“That is why the attorney general, before the report was released to the public went back to the special counsel apparently on more than one occasion, as he said in his press conference,” Ray said during a Wednesday appearance on “Fox and Friends.”
He added the purpose of going back to Robert Mueller was “to inquire about” whether the reason why Trump wasn’t indicted is that he’s sitting president.
“The answer that came back is, no, that is not what I’m saying,” Ray said.
“So I know people in some quarters don’t want to listen to what the attorney general actually said but while that is a reasonable question, Hillary Clinton has it exactly wrong. That is not the reason.”
His comments came amid Clinton’s remarks during the “TIME 100 Summit” in New York on Tuesday, in which she said Trump would have been indicted by the Special Counsel if he weren’t president.
“I think there’s enough there that any other person who had engaged in those acts would certainly have been indicted,” Clinton said. “But because of the rule in the Justice Department that you can’t indict a sitting president, the whole matter of obstruction was very directly sent to the Congress.”
But Ray said that unlike Trump, Clinton has to thank departmental policy and former FBI director James Comey’s discretion for not charging her with the crime over her email use.
“I think that there was lots of discussion in the justice department about how it was appropriate to resolve that investigation,” he said.
“But the bottom line is the exercise of discretion and departmental policy is what Hillary Clinton has to thank for the fact that she wasn’t charged with a criminal offense.”
Ray added that when FBI Director James Comey announced that charges won’t be brought against Clinton, it was an issue as Comey wasn’t a prosecutor at the time and just an FBI official who stepped “outside of his lane to resolve a criminal case which is a judgment that the department should have made based on application of department policy.”
He compared that situation to Mueller, who was appointed and who was able to indict the president if he felt he had sufficient grounds.
“This is a situation where you have a special counsel who is a former FBI director who is in the position of being special counsel who has decided that the traditional prosecutorial factors and the exercise of discretion would not be exercised by him but ultimately had to be exercised by the attorney general Bill Barr,” Ray said.