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.
"Lightly redacted" pic.twitter.com/sHkgz99iBe
— Judd Legum (@JuddLegum) April 18, 2019
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.”
Funny that AG Barr repeatedly claims Mueller found 'no collusion,' when the Mueller report summary says clearly: "we applied the framework of conspiracy law not the concept of ‘collusion.’"
— Susan Glasser (@sbg1) April 18, 2019
"Although the investigation established the the Russian government received it would benefit from a Trump presidency and worked to secure that outcome, AND THAT THE CAMPAIGN EXPECTED IT WOULD BENEFIT ELECTORALLY FROM INFORMATION STOLEN AND RELEASED THROUGH RUSSIAN EFFORTS…"
— Brian Beutler (@brianbeutler) April 18, 2019
Here's the key part on how Trump associates were not charged with a conspiracy with the Russians pic.twitter.com/iAxArX1ep2
— Chris Megerian (@ChrisMegerian) April 18, 2019
The Trump Tower meeting between Kushner, Donald Trump Jr., Paul Manafort and Russian operatives, for example, is one pretty collusion-y event.
Mueller report concludes the Trump Tower meeting was awfully collusion-y in intent:
"The Campaign anticipated receiving information from Russia that could assist candidate Trump's electoral prospects, but the Russian lawyer's presentation did not provide such information." pic.twitter.com/TPuebYGfFN
— Greg Sargent (@ThePlumLineGS) April 18, 2019
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.”
Just a harmless meeting between a campaign chair and a Russian intelligence asset to discuss campaign strategy and Russia’s aspiration to take over part of a foreign country. pic.twitter.com/9CAR6Gu3v8
— Matthew Yglesias (@mattyglesias) April 18, 2019
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.
Wow: Trump PERSONALLY received a call about the emails, after which Trump told a campaign aide “more releases of damaging information would be coming.” pic.twitter.com/LO4mKC6rLW
— Matt McDermott (@mattmfm) April 18, 2019
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 upon learning of Mueller's appointment: "Oh my God. This is terrible. This is the end of my Presidency. I'm fucked."
page 290 pic.twitter.com/U3pDPgY56U
— southpaw (@nycsouthpaw) April 18, 2019
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.
BREAKING: Mueller said he lacked confidence to clear Donald Trump of obstruction of justice but suggested Congress could take action on at least 10 instances where the president sought to interfere with the probe.
— Mike Dorning (@MikeDorning) April 18, 2019
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.”
Here's the full "does not exonerate him" graph in the Mueller report pic.twitter.com/oL3XNOn8Rz
— Igor Bobic (@igorbobic) April 18, 2019
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