Sunday, 31 May, 2020

Special counsel's report is released; here are highlights

Special counsel's report is released; here are highlights Special counsel's report is released; here are highlights
Deanna Wagner | 22 April, 2019, 07:58

"We call upon Attorney General Barr to immediately release the complete Mueller report in unredacted, unedited, and unvarnished form".

For almost two years, President Donald Trump and his allies sought to undermine special counsel Robert Mueller's Russian Federation probe, attacking investigators' credibility and playing down their findings.

The executive actions Trump took in firing Comey and to seek accountability in his Justice Department were widely reported in 2017.

In July 2016, Trump publicly called for Russian hackers to find the emails during a campaign speech, saying, "Russia, if you're listening, I hope you're able to find the 30,000 emails that are missing".

A preliminary look at the report shows that Mueller "identified numerous links between individuals" with ties to Moscow and individuals associated with the Trump campaign, but "the evidence was not sufficient to support criminal charges" of collusion or coordination. "For the haters and the radical left Democrats - GAME OVER".

"Even if a single email was recovered and the providence [sic] of that email was a foreign service, it would be catastrophic to the Clinton campaign", Ledeen said in her message to Smith, according to the report.

That's what Mueller's probe really was: a taxpayer-funded anti-Trump opposition research team hiding behind a veneer of official legitimacy. The president seethed at a recent political rally that the whole thing was an attempt "to tear up the fabric of our great democracy".

Almost half of the report focuses on Donald Trump's actions during the course of the investigation and whether he abused his position to try to thwart the probe of his campaign. During that crisis, President Richard Nixon first ordered his attorney general, and then the deputy, to fire the Watergate special prosecutor; they refused and quit on a weekend, but did not derail the independent investigation or Nixon's collapse for long.

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Its shares opened at $23.75, well above the $19 they were priced at, and touched a high of $24.99 in its first hour of trading. Losses shrunk from $14 million in 2017 to $8.2 million in 2018 and just $7.5 million in 2019, signaling its rapid growth.

In June 2017, Trump directed White House counsel Don McGahn push for Mueller to be removed.

As the audience applauded and laughed, Trump said he was going to joke and say "at least for 10 or 14 years, but we would cause bedlam if I said that". "Accordingly, while this report did not conclude that the president committed a crime, it does not exonerate him". The episodes included Trump's firing of FBI Director James Comey, the president's directive to subordinates to have Mueller fired and efforts to encourage witnesses not to cooperate.

The chairman has asked Mueller to testify before the panel by May 23.

The team said that instead of waging a potentially lengthy legal battle to force the president to testify, "we determined that the substantial quantity of information we had obtained from other sources allowed us to draw relevant factual conclusions on intent and credibility".

Trump agreed to submit written answers, but only about the allegations of Russian interference, not on obstruction of justice. Lewandowski and Dearborn did not deliver the President 's message to Sessions that he should confine the Russian Federation investigation to future election meddling only.

However, reading through the report, there's another obvious and crucial conclusion that jumps out, which Barr ignored: Multiple members of Trump's team actively and intentionally told criminal lies about their connections to Russian Federation in ways that hampered the investigation.

The mammoth document is the product of a 22-month investigation by Mr Mueller - who was appointed by the FBI to probe possible collusion between Russian Federation and the Trump presidential campaign.