The Mueller Report


The Mueller Report documents the findings and conclusions of Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation into

  • Russian efforts to interfere in the 2016 United States presidential election,
  • Allegations of conspiracy or coordination between Donald Trump’s presidential campaign and Russia,
  • Allegations of obstruction of justice.
    The report was submitted to Attorney General (AG) William Barr on March 22, 2019. Two days later, AG Barr made public a 4-page summary of the 448-page report, which Mueller later said was not fully faithful to its conclusions. A redacted version was released by the Department of Justice (DOJ) on April 18. President Trump’s temporary assertion of executive privilege to this day has prevented the full, unredacted report from being made available to Congress.

VOLUME I of the report concludes that the investigation did not find conclusive evidence of conspiracy between the Russian government and the Trump campaign. However, investigators concluded that Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election was illegal, occurred “in sweeping and systematic fashion” (mostly through hacks of Secretary Clinton’s emails and of the DNC, and through social media influence campaigns), and was welcomed by the Trump campaign, which hoped to benefit from Russian interference. The investigation was frustrated by encrypted or deleted documents as well as false, incomplete or declined testimony.

   VOLUME II addresses obstruction of justice. The Office of Legal Counsel (OLC)
  opinion that a sitting president could not stand trial because it would hamper the 
  functions of government – and it would preempt impeachment by Congress – 
  prevented the investigation from reaching the conclusion that Trump committed a 
  crime. As a citizen, Trump could also not be accused of a crime without having to
  stand trial. Faced with a Catch-22 situation, the investigation famously “ does not 
  conclude that the President committed a crime”; however, “it also does not exonerate
  him”. The report details ten episodes where Trump could have obstructed justice while 
  president (the firing of Comey among others) and one before he was elected. The
  report ultimately lets Congress decide whether any of the behavior it describes
  warrants impeachment.

  NOTE: this information is mostly drawn from the first pages of Wikipedia’s excellent 
  summary, slightly abbreviated.

TRUMP spin – some things your drunk uncle might say at the Thanksgiving table.

  1. “This whole thing started with the Democrats. Hillary hired Fusion GPS and former British spy Christopher Steele to spy on Trump. Obama wiretapped Trump’s phones and the FBI spied on the Trump campaign. We must investigate the Democrats and the Deep State!”
    IN FACT, a Trump operative named George Papadopoulos told an Australian diplomat in July 2016 that the Trump campaign knew of emails the Russians had stolen from Hillary. The FBI, led by James Comey, started investigating links between the Trump campaign and Russia, AS IS ITS JOB (that’s the CONSPIRACY part). Trump fired Comey in May 2017 after Comey refused to pledge allegiance to the president. Andrew McCabe, who succeeded Comey at the FBI in an acting role, started investigating Trump for obstruction of justice. McCabe was himself later fired. Comey’s firing was one of the reasons Mc Cabe opened the FBI’s OBSTRUCTION investigation.
  2. “Ratcliffe was right. Mueller exceeded his mandate. Volume II should never have been written.”
    IN FACT, the authorizing document, signed by then deputy AG Rosenstein, says the scope of the investigation extends to attempts to interfere with the investigation, “such as perjury, obstruction of justice, destruction of evidence, and intimidation of witnesses.”
  3. “No collusion, no obstruction!”
    IN FACT, collusion is not a legal concept. Mueller investigated conspiracy, for which a high standard of proof is needed. If “birds of a feather flock together”, we need to consider that the Mueller investigation resulted in 34 indictments, including several members of the Trump campaign. 12 investigations were referred to other offices, and 2 were public. Manafort, Gates, Flynn, Cohen became household names. They were all extremely close to Trump himself.
  4. “The FBI and the intelligence agencies are the Deep State, they are all Trump haters who donated to Hillary. Two agents exchanged text messages showing that Trump would be stopped. They are all crooked, like Hillary.”
    IN FACT, the private text messages between two agents (Lisa Page and Peter Strzok) having an extramarital affair were illegally leaked and cherrypicked to show animosity to Trump. They were equally disdainful of Hillary. It should also trouble us that political donations (in the public domain, as are yours and mine) are used as proof of bias and assumed to taint federal agents’ judgment and behavior. If corporations are people and allowed to pour money into campaigns, are federal workers less than people? Are they prohibited from participating in democracy? McCabe and Strzok are currently suing the DOJ for firing them after being pressured by the White House.