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In the category of: “I’m fucked”.
The special counsel’s report on Russian obstruction, released Thursday, does not exonerate the president of obstruction of justice.
“Oh my God,” President Donald Trump said. “This is terrible. This is the end of my presidency. I’m fucked.”
That was how Trump reacted to the news that special counsel Robert Mueller had been appointed to investigate Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election, according to Mueller’s report, which the Justice Department made public with several redactions Thursday morning.
The scene, which took place in May 2017, is one of several damning episodes detailed in Mueller’s nearly 400-page report.
The redacted document describes 10 instances in which Trump may have obstructed justice by using his authority to interfere with the special counsel’s investigation. Mueller declined to make a determination about whether the president obstructed justice.
“The Russian government interfered in the 2016 presidential election in a sweeping and systematic fashion,” Mueller wrote. He found extensive ties between members of the Trump campaign and Russian officials. “The links included Russian offers of assistance to the campaign,” he wrote. “In some instances, the Campaign was receptive to the offer, while in other instances the Campaign officials shied away.”
In the category of: Intent
In the report, special counsel Robert Mueller outlined why obstruction by President Trump failed. It failed because others refused to “carry out orders.”
“The President’s efforts to influence the investigation were mostly unsuccessful, but that is largely because the persons who surrounded the President declined to carry out orders or accede to his requests,” the report said.
“(James) Comey did not end the investigation of (Michael) Flynn, which ultimately resulted in Flynn’s prosecution and conviction for lying to the FBI. (Don) McGahn did not tell the Acting Attorney General that the special counsel must be removed, but was instead prepared to resign over the President’s order. (Corey) Lewandowski and Dearborn did not deliver the President ‘s message to (Jeff) Sessions that he should confine the Russia investigation to future election meddling only. And McGahn refused to recede from his recollections about events surrounding the President’s direction to have the special counsel removed, despite the President’s multiple demands that he do so. Consistent with that pattern, the evidence we obtained would not support potential obstruction charges against the President’s aides and associates beyond those already filed,” the report said.
In the category of: Let’s get over it – right??
Republicans are ready to move on from Mueller. Democrats still have questions.
Republicans have been trying to move on from the beginning. The news isn’t over yet.
Republicans in Congress haven’t changed their tune on the Trump-Russia investigation since it started two years ago: They see no collusion and no obstruction, and they feel for Trump, who they say has had to conduct his presidency under the shadow of a “Democratic witch hunt.”
First and foremost, Republicans want this whole thing to end and be forgotten.
“I am hopeful that the Senate Intelligence Committee is able to look at all of the report, with the exception of the grand jury material, and believe it will assist us in bringing our investigation of Russian involvement in our elections to a conclusion,” Sen. Roy Blunt (R-MO) said in a statement.
McCarthy was explicit.
“It is time to move on,” he said. “Americans deserve better than this partisan quest to vilify a political opponent, and I urge our Democratic colleagues in the House to put their emotions and opinions aside, and instead use that passion to come to the table and work on real solutions for all Americans.”
Others called it “game over.”
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