AG Barr released a redacted Mueller Report and explained that there was nothing incriminating in it. It turns out that some of the people that were interviewed may not have been honest when it came to interactions with the president.
Trump posted to Twitter over how outraged he was about events that he claims never happened.
“Statements are made about me by certain people in the Crazy Mueller Report, in itself written by 18 Angry Democrat Trump Haters, which are fabricated & totally untrue. Watch out for people that take so-called “notes,” when the notes never existed until needed. Because I never….”
“…agreed to testify, it was not necessary for me to respond to statements made in the “Report” about me, some of which are total bullshit & only given to make the other person look good (or me to look bad). This was an Illegally Started Hoax that never should have happened, a…”
“….big, fat, waste of time, energy and money – $30,000,000 to be exact. It is now finally time to turn the tables and bring justice to some very sick and dangerous people who have committed very serious crimes, perhaps even Spying or Treason. This should never happen again!”
“What stands out is just how diligently and creatively the special counsel’s legal minds worked to implicate someone in Trump World on something Russia- or obstruction-of-justice-related. And how—even with all its overweening power and aggressive tactics—it still struck out.
Volume I of the Mueller report, which deals with collusion, spends tens of thousands of words describing trivial interactions between Trump officials and various Russians. While it doubtless wasn’t Mr. Mueller’s intention, the sheer quantity and banality of details highlights the degree to which these contacts were random, haphazard and peripheral. By the end of Volume I, the notion that the Trump campaign engaged in some grand plot with Russia is a joke.
Yet jump to the section where the Mueller team lists its “prosecution and declination” decisions with regards the Russia question. And try not to picture Mueller “pit bull” prosecutor Andrew Weissmann collapsed under mountains of federal statutes after his two-year hunt to find one that applied.
Mr. Mueller’s team mulled bringing charges “for the crime of conspiracy—either under statutes that have their own conspiracy language,” or “under the general conspiracy statute.” It debated going after them for the “defraud clause,” which “criminalizes participating in an agreement to obstruct a lawful function of the U.S. government.” It considered the crime of acting as an “agent of a foreign government”—helpfully noting that this crime does not require “willfulness.”
Up to now, the assumption was that Mr. Mueller had resurrected long-ago violations of the rarely enforced Foreign Agent Registration Act of 1938 purely to apply pressure on folks like Paul Manafort and Mike Flynn. Now we find out that it was resurrected in hopes of applying it to campaign-period actions of minor figures such as Carter Page and George Papadopoulos.
Mueller’s team even considered charging Trump associates who participated with campaign-finance violations for the June 2016 Trump Tower meeting with Russian lawyer Natalia Veselnitskaya. Was that meeting “a conspiracy to violate the foreign contributions ban”? Was it “the solicitation of an illegal foreign source contribution”? Was it the receipt of “an express or implied promise to make a [foreign source] contribution”? The team considered that the law didn’t apply only to money—it could apply to a “thing of value.” Until investigators realized it might be hard to prove the “promised documents” exceeded the “$2,000 threshold for a criminal violation.” The Mueller team even credited Democrats’ talking point that former Attorney General Jeff Sessions had committed perjury during his confirmation hearings—and devoted a section in the report to it.
As for obstruction—Volume II—Attorney General Bill Barr noted Thursday that he disagreed with “some of the special counsel’s legal theories.” Maybe he had in mind Mr. Mueller’s proposition that he was entitled to pursue obstruction questions, even though that was not part of his initial mandate from Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein. Or maybe it was Mr. Mueller’s long description of what a prosecution of the sitting president might look like—even though he acknowledged its legal impossibility. Or it could be Mr. Mueller’s theory that while “fairness” dictates that someone accused of crimes get a “speedy and public trial” to “clear his name,” Mr. Trump deserves no such courtesy with regard to the 200 pages of accusations Mr. Mueller lodges against him.”