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The Mueller Report Is Released: The Politics Daily

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Below, we’ve excerpted some of the most eye-opening findings from the report, which has been split into two volumes. The first details the special counsel’s investigation into Russian efforts to influence the 2016 election, and the second analyzes whether the president obstructed justice.

Madeleine Carlisle, Olivia Paschal, and Elaine Godfrey

(Katie Martin / The Atlantic)

From the Report

1. The report states that when Special Counsel Robert Mueller was appointed in May 2017 to investigate Russian interference in the 2016 election, “[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.’”

2. It continues, “[President Trump] 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.”

3. In one instance, in June 2017, Trump told then–White House counsel Don McGahn to direct then–Acting Attorney General Rod Rosenstein to remove Mueller as special counsel. Muller’s team writes:

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 … [Reince] Priebus recalled that McGahn said that the President had asked him to “do crazy shit,” but he thought McGahn did not tell him the specifics of the President’s request because McGahn was trying to protect Priebus from what he did not need to know.

4. Trump answered written questions from Mueller’s team on “certain Russia-related topics,” but did not agree to answer questions about obstruction of justice. Ultimately, Mueller’s team chose not to subpoena him.

→ Read on for other notable findings from the report.


A Brief Timeline of the Special Counsel Investigation

(Chip Somodevilla / Getty / Katie Martin / The Atlantic)

May 9, 2017: President Donald Trump fires then–FBI Director James Comey, at Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein’s recommendation.

May 17, 2017: Rosenstein announces the appointment of former FBI director Robert Mueller as special counsel, taking over the investigation into Russian election interference.

June 2017: Reports come out that Mueller has expanded the probe to investigate whether the president attempted to obstruct justice by firing Comey.

July 13, 2018: A federal grand jury indicts 12 Russian intelligence officers for attempting to interfere in the election by hacking Democratic National Committee emails and sharing them with WikiLeaks.

August 21, 2018: The president’s then–personal lawyer Michael Cohen pleads guilty to campaign-finance violations and tax fraud, and three months later, pleads guilty to lying to Congress about his work on plans for Trump Tower Moscow.



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