The Latest: Mueller says charging President Trump 'not an option'

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WASHINGTON (AP) -

The Latest on special counsel Robert Mueller and the Russia investigation (all times local):

11:10 a.m.

Special counsel Robert Mueller (MUHL'-ur) says charging a president with a crime was "not an option" his team could consider in the Russia investigation.

Mueller says that he was bound by longstanding Justice Department opinions that say a president can't be indicted while in office.

In his first public comments in the probe, Mueller said on Wednesday "it would be unfair" to potentially accuse someone of a crime when the person couldn't stand trial to defend himself.

Mueller's comments echoed the findings in his public report.

Mueller's report revealed that President Donald Trump tried to seize control of the Russia probe and force Mueller's removal to stop him from investigating potential obstruction of justice by the Republican president. Trump has called the investigation a "witch hunt."

11 a.m.

Special counsel Robert Mueller says he's leaving the Justice Department now that he's concluded his Russia investigation.

Mueller made the announcement Wednesday in his first public statement since his appointment two years ago.

Mueller has been on the Justice Department's payroll since he formally concluded his probe in March. Last month, Attorney General William Barr publicly released a redacted version of his Russia report.

It's unclear what Mueller has been doing at the Justice Department since, though the Democrat-led House Judiciary Committee has been negotiating with his office in an attempt to secure his public testimony before Congress. So far, no deal has been made.

Mueller's report revealed that President Donald Trump tried to seize control of the Russia probe and force Mueller's removal to stop him from investigating potential obstruction of justice by the Republican president. Trump has called the investigation a "witch hunt."

10:50 a.m.

Special counsel Robert Mueller's first public statement on the Russia investigation is expected to last about eight minutes. That's according to a Justice Department official.

The statement comes as Attorney General William Barr is traveling in Alaska. A second person familiar with Barr's trip says Barr was told ahead of time that Mueller would be making a statement. But the person did not provide additional details.

Both people spoke on the condition of anonymity because they weren't authorized to discuss the matters publicly.

Mueller is not expected to take questions.

Mueller's report revealed that President Donald Trump tried to seize control of the Russia probe and force Mueller's removal to stop him from investigating potential obstruction of justice by the Republican president. Trump has called the investigation a "witch hunt."

10:10 a.m.

The White House says it was given a heads-up that special counsel Robert Mueller might be making a public statement about his Russia probe.

A White House official says the White House was not caught off-guard by Mueller's announcement that he would be speaking Wednesday about the report.

It will be Mueller's first statement on the report. He's not expected to take questions.

It's unclear what Mueller intends to say, but the statement comes amid demands for Mueller to testify on Capitol Hill about his findings and tension with Attorney General William Barr over the handling of his report.

Mueller's report revealed that President Donald Trump tried to seize control of the Russia probe and force Mueller's removal to stop him from investigating potential obstruction of justice by the Republican president. Trump has called the investigation a "witch hunt."

9:40 a.m.

Special counsel Robert Mueller is set to make his first public statement on the Russia investigation Wednesday, the Justice Department said.

Mueller will speak at the Justice Department at 11 a.m. and won’t take any questions.

It was not clear what he intended to say, but the statement comes amid demands for Mueller to testify on Capitol Hill about his findings and tension with Attorney General William Barr over the handling of his report.

Mueller’s report into Russia meddling in the 2016 election did not find that Russia and the Trump campaign coordinated to sway the presidential election. It also did not reach a conclusion on whether Trump had obstructed justice, with Mueller saying he did not think it would be fair to publicly accuse the president of a crime if he could not charge him. A Justice Department legal opinion says sitting presidents cannot be indicted.

Barr has said he was surprised that Mueller did not reach a conclusion, and decided with Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein that the evidence did not support an obstruction of justice allegation.

Mueller, for his part, privately complained to Barr that a four-page letter the attorney general wrote summarizing his main conclusions did not adequately capture the investigation’s findings. Barr has called Mueller’s letter “snitty.”

Barr is currently in Alaska for work.

A senior White House official said “the White House was notified” on Tuesday night that Mueller might make a statement Wednesday.