Apr 18, 2019 by

4.18.19 – Campaign for Working Families

“The Mueller Report:  Trump Cleared”

By Gary Bauer

Excerpts from this newsletter:

As you know, Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s report has been released to Congress and posted online. 
You can read it here:

This morning, Attorney General William Barr held a press conference to explain the bottom line conclusions and the redaction process.  Here’s what you need to know: 

  • Barr stressed that special counsel reports are confidential, that the president could have exerted executive privilege over much of the information and that it is not standard practice to make such reports public. 
  • But because President Trump did nothing wrong and has nothing to hide, the White House exerted no privilege claims and the Mueller report is being publicly released with very limited redactions. 
  • Mueller investigated three ways that Russia interfered in the 2016 election:  Attempting to sow discord on social media; hacking and publishing stolen emails from the DNC and Clinton campaign; and contacts with Russian-linked individuals. 
  • The “bottom line,” Barr said:  “After nearly two years of investigation, thousands of subpoenas, and hundreds of warrants and witness interviews, the special counsel confirmed that the Russian government sponsored efforts to illegally interfere with the 2016 presidential election but did not find that the Trump campaign or other Americans colluded in those schemes.” 

No Obstruction
On the issue of obstruction, Mueller considered “ten episodes” of possible obstruction by the president but could not reach a clear decision. 
Barr said that Mueller did not feel bound by a long-standing Justice Department protocol [ ] that states a sitting president cannot be indicted.  In other words, Mueller would have indicted President Trump if he felt there was compelling evidence.  But that obviously was not the case.
In my opinion, I don’t see how the president could possibly obstruct a nonsense investigation that ultimately cleared him of any wrongdoing.  Having determined that there was no collusion, the obstruction issue should have been moot.  It seems Mueller shared this view to a certain extent. 
This is important to keep in mind, my friends.  According to Barr, Mueller considered the context of the “unprecedented situation” confronting the president:
“As he entered into office, and sought to perform his responsibilities as president, federal agents and prosecutors were scrutinizing his conduct before and after taking office, and the conduct of some of his associates. 
“At the same time, there was relentless speculation in the news media about the president’s personal culpability. . .  And as the special counsel’s report acknowledges, there is substantial evidence to show that the president was frustrated and angered by a sincere belief that the investigation was undermining his presidency, propelled by his political opponents, and fueled by illegal leaks. 
“Nonetheless, the White House fully cooperated with the special counsel’s investigation, providing unfettered access to campaign and White House documents, directing senior aides to testify freely, and asserting no privilege claims. . .  the president took no act that in fact deprived the special counsel of the documents and witnesses necessary to complete his investigation. . . 
“. . . this evidence of non-corrupt motives weighs heavily against any allegation that the president had a corrupt intent to obstruct the investigation.”

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