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Mueller Report: The Most Eye-Opening Parts

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2. In a section related to episodes involving the president and possible obstruction of justice, Mueller’s team explains how it “determined not to make a traditional prosecutorial judgement.”

Apart from OLC’s constitutional view, we recognized that a federal criminal accusation against a sitting President would place burdens on the President’s capacity to govern and potentially preempt constitutional processes for addressing presidential misconduct.

3. On the question of whether the Trump Tower meeting between Donald Trump, Jr., Jared Kushner, Paul Manafort, and a Russian lawyer amounted to collusion, the Mueller team writes:

On the facts here, the government would unlikely be able to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that the June 9 meeting participants had general knowledge that their conduct was unlawful. The investigation has not developed evidence that the participants in the meeting were familiar with the foreign-contribution ban or the application of federal law to the relevant factual context … While the government has evidence of later efforts to prevent disclosure of the nature of the June 9 meeting that could circumstantially provide support for a showing of scienter … that concealment occurred more than a year later, involved individuals who did not attend the June 9 meeting, and may reflect an intention to avoid political consequences rather than any prior knowledge of illegality.

4. The special counsel details Trump’s reaction when he found out that a special counsel had been appointed.

[The] President slumped back in his chair and said, “Oh my God. This is terrible. This is the end of my Presidency. I’m fucked.” The President became angry and lambasted the Attorney General for his decision to recuse from the investigation, stating, “How could you let this happen, Jeff?” The President said the position of Attorney General was his most important appointment and that Sessions had “let [him] down,” contrasting him to Eric Holder and Robert Kennedy. Sessions recalled that the President said to him, “you were supposed to protect me,” or words to that effect.

5. Trump tried to convince former Attorney General Jeff Sessions to unrecuse himself from the special counsel’s investigation.

President Trump reacted negatively to the Special Counsel’s appointment. He told advisors that it was the end of his presidency, sought to have Attorney General Jefferson (Jeff) Sessions unrecuse from the Russia investigation and to have the Special Counsel removed, and engaged in efforts to curtail the Special Counsel’s investigation and prevent the disclosure of evidence to it, including through public and private contacts with potential witnesses.

6. In June 2017, Trump told then-White House Counsel Don McGahn to direct the acting attorney general to remove Mueller as special counsel.

McGahn did not carry out the direction, however, deciding that he would resign rather than trigger what he regarded as a potential Saturday Night Massacre. [McGahn did not leave his post until October 2018.]

7. The Mueller team did not find enough evidence to establish that Trump directed his former attorney Michael Cohen to lie to Congress. “The evidence available to us does not establish that the President directed or aided Cohen’s false testimony,” it wrote.

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