Trump actions that Mueller investigated for possible obstruction of justice
- Nathaniel Lee
Josh Blackman, a professor at the South Texas College of Law Houston, said to find that the president obstructed justice, Mueller needed much clearer evidence that the president acted exclusively with "corrupt intent". "Now it's Congress's turn to weigh the evidence against the president, decide what merits a response and act in the best interests of our democracy", he went on.
The report includes lengthy narratives about key events in Russia's 2016 election interference, the Trump campaign's interactions with Russians, and President Donald Trump's potential obstruction of justice during the probe.
The report, 448 pages in length, describes in detail how the Russian GRU intelligence unit hacked the Clinton campaign's emails, which were subsequently leaked by WikiLeaks.
Russian Federation has repeatedly refuted any claims of interference in the U.S. political system, saying the allegations were made up to excuse the election loss of Trump's opponent as well as deflect public attention from actual instances of election fraud and corruption.
Mueller said in his report released on Thursday that he found "numerous links" and that the Trump campaign "expected it would benefit" from Russia's effort to tilt the ballot in Trump's favor. Thursday's release detailed ten episodes in which questions over such charges were weighed.
"(T) here is substantial evidence to show that the president was frustrated and angered by a honest belief that the investigation was undermining his presidency, propelled by his political opponents and fueled by illegal leaks", Barr said.
"The incidents were often carried out through one-on-one meetings in which the president sought to use his official power outside of usual channels", Mueller wrote in his report.
"In late July 2016, soon after WikiLeaks' first release of stolen documents, a foreign government contacted the Federal Bureau of Investigation about a May 2016 encounter with Trump Campaign foreign policy advisor George Papadopoulos", Mueller wrote in the report.
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Mueller's report also does not name Alexander Downer, who was Australia's high commissioner to the United Kingdom in May 2016 when he met with Trump campaign foreign relations adviser George Papadopoulos at a London wine bar.
A Justice Department official familiar with Barr's thinking said Barr simply wanted to confront head-on questions that he knew were lingering, including about the redaction process and interactions about the report between the Justice Department and the White House.
A month later, Trump fired Comey.
"He charged people he could charge, " he said.
Conway argued in his op-ed that counter to Trump's claims, special counsel Robert Mueller had not "exonerated" him and that it was time for Congress to step in.
Following then-Attorney General Jeff Sessions' recusal from the Russian Federation probe in March 2017, Trump pulled him aside at an event and urged him to "unrecuse". "You gotta call Rod, '" the report said.
Democratic Congressmember Kim Schrier had not read the report when she spoke to KIRO Radio Thursday morning, but said that she had looked at summaries and transcripts from Attorney General Barr and that so far "nothing has surprised me".
"The IRA also recruited moderators of conservative social media groups to promote IRA-generated content, as well as recruited individuals to perform political acts (such as walking around New York City dressed up as Santa Claus with a Trump mask)".
The meeting was set up after the advisers were promised "dirt" on Hillary Clinton, Trump's Democratic challenger for president. But Mr. Mueller found that the Russians did not provide the campaign with any substantive information.
"The most significant thing that has jumped out to me is the contrast between what's actually in the report and the way Attorney General Barr has presented it", Smith said.
One of the unhelpful realities of the Russian Federation probe thus far has been that so many revelations were based upon anonymous sources.
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