In an open letter to special counsel Robert Mueller, Robert De Niro, who portrays Mueller on “Saturday Night Live,” urged Mueller to speak up about the findings of his report and go beyond letting the report speak for itself, as Mueller indicated he was inclined to do in a press conference Wednesday.
“In your news conference, you said that your investigation’s work ‘speaks for itself.’ It doesn’t,” the actor wrote in an op-ed published in the New York Times. “But the country needs to hear your voice. Your actual voice. And not just because you don’t want them to think that your actual voice sounds like Robert De Niro reading from cue cards, but because this is the report your country asked you to do, and now you must give it authority and clarity without, if I may use the term, obstruction.”
De Niro argued that the rhetoric from President Trump, from the media and from Attorney General William Barr has affected the perception of the Mueller Report for the general public, and De Niro said Mueller himself needed to step up and be the voice of his own report.
“We’ve learned our lesson about what can happen to the perception of your work when interpreted in rabid tweets by the president, dissected by pundits all over the map, trumpeted in bizarre terms by the president’s absurd personal lawyer and distorted by the attorney general,” De Niro said.
De Niro also reflected on Mueller’s presumed reluctance to testify in front of Congress, which he hinted at during his comments to the press on Wednesday.
“And if, in fact, you have nothing further to say about the investigation, for your public testimony, you could just read from the report in response to questions from members of Congress,” De Niro continued. “Your life has been a shining example of bravely and selflessly doing things for the good of our country. I urge you to leave your comfort zone and do that again. You are the voice of the Mueller report. Let the country hear that voice.”
Mueller told reporters in a press conference Wednesday that it would be unconstitutional to have charged the president with a crime while still in office, a statement which contradicted one made by Attorney General William Barr, who previously had said the president was not above indictment.
“A president cannot be charged with a crime while in office. That is unconstitutional. Charging the president with a crime was not an option we could consider,” Mueller said during a brief press conference at the Department of Justice on Wednesday morning. “We were guided by principles of fairness. It would be unfair to potentially accuse someone of a crime when there can be no court resolution of the actual charge.”
Read De Niro’s full letter via The New York Times.