Special Counsel Robert Mueller released his 450-page redacted report on April 18, after almost two years of investigation into whether the Trump campaign knowingly conspired with Russia to influence the 2016 presidential election.
The Mueller report also includes details concerning whether Trump tried to obstruct justice during the course of the investigation.
Ahead of the release, Attorney General William Barr released a four-page summary of his findings of the report stating that the report found no evidence of collusion between the Trump campaign and Russia and adding that Trump was not guilty of obstruction of justice. Democrats criticized Barr’s summary and called on the Justice Department to release the full report.
The Muller report is divided into two volumes: a volume about Russian interference in the election, and a volume about Trump’s reaction to the investigation. Both volumes form the 450-page report.
The Mueller report lays out many events concerning Trump associates and Russia, but was unable to find sufficient legal evidence that the Trump campaign was guilty of collusion or obstruction. However, the Mueller team was also unable to conclude that, “no criminal conduct occurred,” the report stated.
The report does not exonerate Trump from any charges of obstruction of justice. Evidence obtained, “about the President’s actions and intent presents difficult issues that prevent us prom conclusively determining that no criminal conduct occurred,” the report states.
These obstruction efforts failed in part because Trump’s subordinates refused to carry out his orders.
An example of this is when Trump tried to remove Mueller from his post. Trump called former White House lawyer Don McGahn at his home and directed him to call the acting attorney general to inform him that Mueller, “had conflicts of interest and must be removed.” McGahn did not comply.
Mueller also wrote that the President’s public comments may be considered as obstruction because of the power of the presidency.
Additionally, Trump had some strong feelings about Mueller’s appointment. In May 2017, after learning of Mueller’s appointment, Trump, “slumped back in his chair and said, ‘Oh my God. This is terrible. This is the end of my Presidency. I’m [expletive],’” the report detailed.
The Trump campaign was also aware that they would benefit from Russia’s illegal actions to influence the election, but the campaign did not take criminal steps to assist. Trump additionally watched WikiLeaks heavily for the release of the deleted Hillary Clinton emails, and repeatedly asked his team to find the emails.
The report also stated that Mueller believed that as special counsel he had the authority to subpoena Trump regarding these matters, but chose not to do so because it would delay the investigation, and because he believed that prosecutors already had sufficient evidence.
Despite the release of the full redacted report, Democrats in Congress are still calling for a less-redacted version to be made available to legislators.
The Justice Department will provide Senate Judiciary Chairman Lindsey Graham and House Judiciary Chairman Jerry Nadler, along with ranking House and Senate Judiciary committee members with an even less redacted version of the report.
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