At last publicly disclosed, special prosecutor Robert Mueller’s report revealed on Thursday to an expectant United States that President Donald Trump tried to control the investigation into Russia’s interference in the 2016 elections and dismiss Mueller to prevent him from investigating a possible obstruction of justice on the part of the North American agent chief executive.
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The report said that in June of 2017, Trump ordered White House attorney Don McGahn to call the acting attorney general and tell him Mueller should be removed because the special prosecutor allegedly faced conflicts of interest.
McGahn refused to do so, opting to resign instead of unleashing what he considered a possible Saturday Night Massacre like the layoffs during the Watergate scandal.
Due to all of that, Mueller said in his report that he could not conclusively determine that Trump had engaged in criminal justice obstruction .
The Department of Justice released a redacted version of the report online Thursday, 90 minutes after Justice Secretary William Barr gave some details of the findings.
Read the full report here.
The 448-page, two-volume report tells how Trump repeatedly tried to control research on Russia.
Mueller evaluated 10 incidents of possible obstruction of justice, including the dismissal ordered by Trump from FBI director James Comey, the president’s instruction to his subordinates to dismiss Mueller and efforts to encourage witnesses not to cooperate.
The president’s lawyers have said that Trump’s behavior was within his constitutional powers, but Mueller’s team considered that the incidents merited criminal scrutiny.
Mueller reported that Trump had been agitated by the special prosecutor’s investigation since his early days, reacting to Mueller’s appointment by saying it was the “end of his presidency.”
The cameramen who gave coverage to the ad take part of the document. AP
On the question of whether the Trump campaign team had colluded with Russia during the 2016 presidential campaign, Mueller wrote: “Although the research identified numerous links between individuals with links to the Russian government and individuals associated with the campaign of Trump, the evidence was not enough to support the criminal charges. ”
Mueller also said there was not enough evidence to accuse any campaign official of working as an unregistered foreign agent of Russia.
The report included a 12-page appendix with Trump’s written responses to the special prosecutor. They did not include questions about possible obstruction of justice, as part of an agreement with Trump’s legal team.
Trump told Mueller that he had “no recollection” of having known in advance about the much vaunted meeting at the Trump Tower between representatives of his campaign and a Russian lawyer.
He also said he did not remember receiving information from the emails about the preparations for the meeting and that they promised to reveal something dirty about Hillary Clinton’s campaign.
In general, the president denied knowing any foreign government that tried to help him in his campaign, including the Russian government. He said he was aware of some reports that Russian President Vladimir Putin had made “laudatory statements” about him.
Trump said his comment during a political rally in 2016, when he asked Russian hackers to help him find erased emails from Clinton’s private server, was done “jokingly and sarcastically” and that he did not remember being told during the campaign of some Russian attempt to infiltrate or hack into computer systems.
Trump’s legal team called the results “a total victory for the president.”