Robert Mueller found crimes, corruption and cover-ups.
On May 29, 2019, Special Counsel Robert Mueller announced at a press conference that he concluded his investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election.
A redacted version of Mueller’s report was released to the public on April 18, 2019. It detailed his findings on conspiracy and obstruction of justice. It consists of two volumes and 448 pages.
The following are highlights from the report.
VOLUME 1: CRIMINAL CONSPIRACY
Mueller’s investigation established that the Russian government wanted Donald Trump to win the presidential election and worked with his senior campaign officials to make it happen. The report also showed how Trump tried to use his relationship with the Kremlin put more money in his own pockets.
- The Russian government believed it benefitted from Trump winning the election, so it hacked Democrats’ computers and ran a massive disinformation campaign online. [Vol. 1, pg 5]
- Donald Trump and his campaign invited Russian interference in the election and his campaign repeatedly communicated with Russia and Wikileaks, which hacked Hillary Clinton’s campaign and the Democratic National Committee and spread the stolen data. [Vol. 1, pg 5, 49]
- Trump’s campaign chairman, Paul Manafort, repeatedly met with an individual linked to Russian military intelligence and provided internal strategy plans to target voters in key Midwestern states. [Vol. 1, pg. 136, 138, 140]
- Donald Trump Jr., Jared Kushner, and Paul Manafort personally met with a Russian lawyer to receive damaging information about Hillary Clinton to help Trump win the election. [Vol. 1, pg. 110]
- Trump and his campaign had advanced knowledge of the release of stolen information, and his campaign planned press strategy around it. [Vol. 1, pg. 54]
- Trump lied during the campaign about his business ties to Russia. Through the Republican primary, Trump’s team was secretly working with Kremlin officials to build a Trump Tower Moscow, including signing a Letter of Intent and secretly planning trips to Russia. [Vol. 1, pg. 70-79]
- Trump and his campaign repeatedly signaled that his administration’s foreign policy would be favorable to Russia. [Vol. 1, pg. 5-7]
VOLUME 2: OBSTRUCTION OF JUSTICE
Mueller reported that his federal investigation was undermined because Trump officials destroyed evidence and lied to investigators. His team found multiple times in which Donald Trump personally sought to obstruct and interfere with the investigation.
Prosecutors agree that the only reason that Donald Trump was not charged with a crime was because a Department of Justice policy that protects sitting presidents.
- The report found that Trump fired FBI Director James Comey shortly after Comey refused to end the investigation into Michael Flynn, Trump’s former national security adviser. [Vol. 2, 75]
- Trump tried to get Attorney General Jeff Sessions to protect him by limiting the investigation into himself and his associates. [Vol. 2, pg. 97, 112, 113]
- Trump ordered White House Counsel Donald McGahn to fire Special Counsel Mueller, but McGahn refused to carry out the order. Trump then ordered McGahn to lie about the attempted firing and create false records. [Vol. 2, pg. 89, 120]
- Trump actively discouraged his senior aides charged with crimes from cooperating with federal investigators by suggesting the possibility of pardons or threatening them in public and in private. [Vol. 2, pg. 120-128, 144-152]
- The report concludes that President Trump personally helped write a false statement for his son to give the public about a meeting with Russian operatives at the Trump campaign headquarters. He falsely claimed the meeting was to discuss adoption policy, rather than the real purpose of the meeting, which was to get information benefiting his campaign and damaging his opponent. [Vol. 2, pg. 101-103]
THE MUELLER REPORT IS AN IMPEACHMENT REFERRAL
Citing the policy that prevents sitting presidents to be indicted, Mueller concluded that it would be inappropriate to accuse Trump of crimes without providing him the opportunity to defend himself in court. The Special Counsel, however, offered another solution by explicitly stating that Congress should be the body to determine if Trump obstructed justice.
- “…Congress may apply obstruction laws to the President’s corrupt exercise of the powers of office accords with our constitutional system of checks and balances and the principle that no person is above the law.” [Vol. 2, pg. 8]
- “…Congress has authority to prohibit a President’s corrupt use of his authority in order to protect the integrity of the administration of justice.” [Vol. 2, pg. 8]
- “In the case of the obstruction-of-justice statutes, our assessment of the weighing of interests leads us to conclude that Congress has the authority to impose the limited restrictions contained in those statutes on the President ‘s official conduct to protect the integrity of important functions of other branches of government.” [Vol. 2, pg.177]
In short, the Mueller report is an impeachment referral. It is now up to the U.S. House of representatives to start an impeachment investigation.