James Comey says he's confused by Mueller's key decision — arguing it misses the point of having a special counsel
Former FBI Director James Comey (Screen cap)

Former FBI Director James Comey said he was "confused" by Special Counsel Robert Mueller's decision not to reach a conclusion about whether President Donald Trump's conduct regarding the Russia investigation constituted obstruction of justice, an NBC News report revealed Tuesday night.

Comey was speaking at an event in Charlotte, North Carolina, for Queens University.

"The part that's confusing is, I can't quite understand what's going on with the obstruction stuff," Comey said, according to reporter Julia Ainsley. "And I have great faith in Bob Mueller, but I just can't tell from the letter why didn't he decide these questions when the entire rationale for a special counsel is to make sure the politicals aren't making the key charging decisions."

Comey added that he didn't have a preference about what conclusion was reached. He has said that he hopes Trump doesn't get impeached but is instead voted out of office in 2020.

Many observers have been perplexed by Attorney General Bill Barr's summary of the findings, which said that Mueller's report did not charge that Trump obstructed justice; he instead presented the evidence of the relevant conduct and left the interpretation open. Barr reported that, in concert with Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein, he concluded that Trump's conduct did not meet the criteria for an obstruction charge.