A beleaguered Trump feared 'the end of my presidency'

Trump and his team continue to insist that he was exonerated by the two-year investigation.

"While this report does not conclude that the President committed a crime, it also does not exonerate him", Mr. Mueller wrote. But Barr was confusing two different concepts, motive and intent. He's wrong on all those fronts.

President Donald Trump says some statements made in special counsel Robert Mueller's Russian Federation report are "fabricated & totally untrue". I hope that was not his view.

Barr said he and Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein chose to declare the matter of obstruction closed because Trump was understandably "frustrated and angered" at the very existence of the investigation, and thus may not have had the requisite intent to commit a crime.

In saying why it didn't make a "traditional prosecutorial judgment", Mueller cites that policy but not the inconclusiveness of the evidence.

The report states that no person is above the law, including the president, and that the Constitution "does not categorically and permanently immunize a President for obstructing justice".

The San Diego Union-Tribune Editorial Board's thinking is that Congress should close the loop on its open questions about the Mueller report but not drag this out.

Rep. Adam Schiff, the chairman of the Intelligence Committee, said the acts described in the report "whether they are criminal or not, are deeply alarming in the president of the United States".

"As I have been saying all along, NO COLLUSION - NO OBSTRUCTION!" the president tweeted as he declared a political victory.

While the special counsel declined to prosecute Trump on obstruction of justice, he did not exonerate him, all but leaving the question to Congress. Mueller's report provides fresh evidence of Trump's interference in the Russian Federation probe, challenging lawmakers to respond.

McGahn did eventually resign as White House counsel, in October 2018.

Obstruction of justice is often coupled with some underlying wrongful act that is being covered up, legal experts said.

In a passage likely to be welcomed by Trump's Democratic opponents in Congress, Mueller stated that it could be up to lawmakers to determine whether Trump's actions met the legal standards for obstruction of justice.

Democrats said on Thursday the report contained disturbing evidence of wrongdoing by Trump that could fuel congressional investigations.

Therefore, Mueller said his office "did not charge any individual associated with the Trump Campaign with conspiracy to commit a federal offense arising from Russian Federation contacts". Basically, Mueller decided that waiting through the long delay while Trump challenged the subpoena in court wouldn't be worth it, and besides, he already had plenty of evidence to go on. Sessions left the room to take a call from his deputy, Rod Rosenstein, and returned to tell the president that Rosenstein had informed him of the special counsel appointment.

Democratic Congressmember Kim Schrier had not read the report when she spoke to KIRO Radio Thursday morning, but said that she had looked at summaries and transcripts from Attorney General Barr and that so far "nothing has surprised me".

THE FACTS: He's not going out on a limb for public disclosure.

In the days following the appointment of Special Counsel Robert Mueller to investigate accusations of collusion with Russian Federation, the president aired concerns to his inner circle, including then-Chief Strategist Steve Bannon, that there were conflicts of interest. But Mueller did not establish that members of the Trump campaign conspired or coordinated with the Russian government, and he made no conclusion on the question of whether the president obstructed justice.

But it's unlikely that the full Mueller report or the public testimony will untangle the dilemma that Democrats face.

Lewandowski told Trump he would handle it, but instead, he asked White House official Rick Dearborn to deliver the message.

The report refers to "a representative of that foreign government".

On Sept. 7, 1998, Clinton's attorney David Kendall requested that Starr provide him an opportunity to review the report before it was sent to Congress. Starr quickly turned him down.

Mueller didn't accuse Trump of a crime, in large part, because he didn't think he could - and not necessarily because the evidence was so inconclusive. It has since expired.


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