Robert De Niro to Robert Mueller: ‘The country needs to hear your voice’

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.

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American actor Robert de Niro on the set of Once Upon a Time in America, directed by Sergio Leone. (Photo by Sunset Boulevard/Corbis via Getty Images)
American actor Robert de Niro on the set of Once Upon a Time in America, directed by Sergio Leone. (Photo by Sunset Boulevard/Corbis via Getty Images)
Robert De Niro as Vito Corleone in the 1974 film The Godfather: Part II. (Photo by �� John Springer Collection/CORBIS/Corbis via Getty Images)
American actor Robert de Niro on the set of Taxi Driver, directed by Martin Scorsese. (Photo by Sunset Boulevard/Corbis via Getty Images)
American actor Robert de Niro on the set of Mean Streets, written and directed by Martin Scorsese. (Photo by Sunset Boulevard/Corbis via Getty Images)
Robert De Niro in Taxi Driver (Photo by Herbert Dorfman/Corbis via Getty Images)
Robert De Niro during 2003 Tribeca Film Festival - 'Chinese Coffee' Screening at Tribeca Performing Arts Center in New York, New York, United States. (Photo by J. Vespa/WireImage)
NEW YORK, NY - FEBRUARY 15: Robert De Niro (R) and Grace Hightower attend the SNL 40th Anniversary Celebration at Rockefeller Plaza on February 15, 2015 in New York City. (Photo by D Dipasupil/FilmMagic)
NEW YORK, NY - DECEMBER 16: Robert De Niro attends the 2014 Robert F. Kennedy Ripple Of Hope Gala at New York Hilton on December 16, 2014 in New York City. (Photo by Taylor Hill/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - DECEMBER 16: Honoree Robert De Niro speaks onstage during the RFK Ripple Of Hope Gala at Hilton Hotel Midtown on December 16, 2014 in New York City. (Photo by Mike Coppola/Getty Images for RFK Ripple Of Hope)
ROME, ITALY - NOVEMBER 17: Robert De Niro attends the Remembering The Artist Robert De Niro Conference at Maxxi Museum on November 17, 2014 in Rome, Italy. (Photo by Ernesto Ruscio/Getty Images)
ROME, ITALY - NOVEMBER 17: Robert De Niro attends the Remembering The Artist Robert De Niro Press Conference at Maxxi Museum on November 17, 2014 in Rome, Italy. (Photo by Ernesto Ruscio/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - OCTOBER 28: Actor Robert DeNiro is seen on October 28, 2014 in New York City. (Photo by NCP/Star Max/GC Images)
NEW YORK NY - OCTOBER 18: Robert De Niro sighting on October 18, 2014 in New York City. (Photo by Josiah Kamau/BuzzFoto/FilmMagic)
NEW YORK, NY - SEPTEMBER 27: 'Once Upon A Time In America' cast member Robert De Niro attends the 52nd New York Film Festival at Walter Reade Theater on September 27, 2014 in New York City. (Photo by Slaven Vlasic/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - SEPTEMBER 21: Robert De Niro attends 2014 Atlantic Council's Global Citizen Awards at Natural History Museum on September 21, 2014 in New York City. (Photo by Robin Marchant/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - SEPTEMBER 18: Robert DeNiro, Anne Hathaway filming Nancy Meyer's 'The Intern' on September 18, 2014 in New York City. (Photo by Steve Sands/GC Images)
NEW YORK, NY - AUGUST 26: Robert DeNiro and Anne Hathaway film on the set of 'The Intern' on August 26, 2014 in New York City. (Photo by Steve Sands/GC Images)
NEW YORK, NY - JULY 08: Actor Robert De Niro on the set of 'The Intern' on July 8, 2014 in Brooklyn, New York. (Photo by Bobby Bank/GC Images)
NEW YORK, NY - JUNE 26: Ruby Kushner and Robert De Niro on the set of 'The Intern' on June 26, 2014 in New York City. (Photo by Bobby Bank/GC Images)
NEW YORK, NY - JUNE 23: Actors Robert De Niro and Linda Lavin on the set of 'The Intern' on June 23, 2014 in New York City. (Photo by Bobby Bank/GC Images)
NEW YORK, NY - JUNE 23: Actor Robert De Niro on the set of 'The Intern' on June 23, 2014 in New York City. (Photo by Bobby Bank/GC Images)
NEW YORK, NY - JUNE 23: Robert De Niro is seen filming The Intern in Park Slope, Brooklyn on June 23, 2014 in New York City. (Photo by Alessio Botticelli/GC Images)
NEW YORK, NY - MAY 06: Director Martin Scorsese and actor Robert De Niro speak onstage at Spike TV's 'Don Rickles: One Night Only' on May 6, 2014 in New York City. (Photo by Kevin Mazur/Getty Images for Spike TV)
WASHINGTON, DC - MAY 02: Robert De Niro and Grace Hightower attend a screening of the HBO documentary 'Remembering The Artist, Robert De Niro, Sr.' hosted by POLITICO at the Longview Gallery on May 2, 2014 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Alexander Morozov/Getty Images)
Actor Robert De Niro talks to reporters and film professionals during "Coffee with..." event during the 22nd Sarajevo Film Festival in Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina, August 13, 2016. REUTERS/Dado Ruvic
Paris, France, 24 11 1977, Robert De Niro actor. (Photo by Francis Apesteguy/Getty Images)
UNITED STATES - CIRCA 2000: Robert De Niro is on hand at the Museum of the Moving Image dinner honoring film producer Jane Rosenthal at the St. Regis Hotel. (Photo by Richard Corkery/NY Daily News Archive via Getty Images)
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