Redacted Mueller Report Directly Contradicts Attorney General

The heavily redacted Mueller Report was finally released and contrary to the oft-repeated “no obstruction, no collusion” it actually fails to clear Trump of either charge.

Let’s take them one at a time, starting with “collusion.” First of all, Mueller applied a conspiracy framework to examine accusations of “collusion” and while he couldn’t establish a criminal conspiracy had been committed, he still documents several instances of what any reasonable person would call “collusion.”

The Trump Tower meeting between Kushner, Donald Trump Jr., Paul Manafort and Russian operatives, for example, is one pretty collusion-y event.

Paul Manafort meeting with an oligarch tied to Russian intelligence to receive a “backdoor” peace plan granting Russia parts of Ukraine, is another instance that certainly seems like it satisfies the definition of one side of “collusion.”

Trump also knew well beforehand about the WikiLeaks dumps of stolen emails from the Clinton campaign, planned a campaign strategy around them, and seemed to know that more would be coming.

As far as the question of obstruction, the report identified 10 separate incidences where Trump’s behavior could constitute “obstruction of justice.” It also includes a colorful anecdote of the President saying he was “f*cked” after learning of Mueller’s appointment.

Trump tried to get Mueller fired on several occasions and sought to limit his investigation. The president also urged witnesses not to cooperate and reportedly dangled pardons for key figures in the investigation.

But perhaps the biggest bombshell of the report is that Mueller did, in fact, want to leave final determinations of obstruction of justice to Congress, not Trump’s hand-picked Attorney General.

In the report, Mueller says, “if we had confidence after a thorough investigation of the facts that the President clearly did not commit obstruction of justice we would so state” and the team was “unable to make that judgment.”

This is the lead up to the snippet Barr quoted in his misleading summary of the report, “while this report does not conclude the President committed a crime, it also doesn’t exonerate him.”

And that’s just what we know about. Keep in mind there are entire pages of the report that have been redacted. Some members of Congress will get to view the full, unreacted Mueller report and it’s possible we’ll learn more then.

h/t: Daily Beast