Although the full unredacted report has not been given to the House of Representatives, a semi-redacted version was released over a week ago. I plan to listen to the entire thing on audio. Meantime, Trump is trying through sheer, lying repetition to sway the suckers who comprise his base. What are the conclusions? New Yorker
After making a “thorough factual investigation” into these matters, the Special Counsel considered whether to evaluate the conduct under Department standards governing prosecution and declination decisions but ultimately determined not to make a traditional prosecutorial judgment. The Special Counsel therefore did not draw a conclusion — one way or the other — as to whether the examined conduct constituted obstruction. Instead, for each of the relevant actions investigated, the report sets out evidence on both sides of the question and leaves unresolved what the Special Counsel views as “difficult issues” of law and fact concerning whether the President’s actions and intent could be viewed as obstruction. The Special Counsel states that “while this report does not conclude that the President committed a crime, it also does not exonerate him.”
The Special Counsel’s decision to describe the facts of his obstruction investigation without reaching any legal conclusions leaves it to the Attorney General to determine whether the conduct described in the report constitutes a crime.
So Mueller is not exonerating him and if Trump or anyone else says he has, they are lying.
2. Officially no collusion
The report further explains that a primary consideration for the Special Counsel’s investigation was whether any Americans including individuals associated with the Trump campaign — joined the Russian conspiracies to influence the election, which would be a federal crime. The Special Counsel’s investigation did not find that the Trump campaign or anyone associated with it conspired or coordinated with Russia in its efforts to influence the 2016 U.S. presidential election. As the report states: “[T]he investigation did not establish that members of the Trump Campaign conspired or coordinated with the Russian government in its election interference activities.”
It’s hardly as if Mueller found no wrongdoing. He issued nearly two hundred charges, against thirty-four people, including Trump’s first national-security adviser, Michael Flynn, his campaign chairman Paul Manafort, and one of his lawyers, Michael Cohen. Mueller led a team of nineteen lawyers and forty F.B.I. agents, along with forensic accountants and intelligence analysts. He issued twenty-eight hundred subpoenas and five hundred search warrants. A registered Republican with a reputation in official Washington as a person of competence and integrity, Mueller never answered Trump’s repeated charges that the investigation was a “witch hunt” or news reports that the President wanted to put a premature end to his efforts.
And, Trump has been working overtime to try to prevent anyone who actually spoke to Mueller and the grand jury from testifying before Congress. Congress, of course, as a co-equal branch, and the House in particular, has oversight responsibility, and Trump is not a king. In fact, why IS Trump trying to hard to obstruct justice? What is he still hiding?
Incidentally, although Trump lies about this, the Mueller investigation was largely paid for by Manafort.
First off, with Paul Manafort pleading guilty back in September 2018, Trump’s former campaign manager agreed to hand over real estate and cash estimated to be worth between $42 million and $46 million, well over three times the $16.7 million cost of the investigation. Although supporters of the investigation think these seized assets should be used to pay for the investigation, the Justice Department denied this would happen. Instead, the typical action is for the federal government to auction off the forfeited items, according to CNBC.
And a second issue with the Trump administration’s argument is that past special counsel investigations — including those instigated by Republicans against Democrats — have been much more expensive.