Friday, July 26, 2019

This Might Be the Most Important Exchange in the Mueller Testimony
As we continue to review Mueller’s testimony, determine what it means and what should come next, it’s critical that we focus on the seriousness of the evidence in Volume I of the report regarding the multiplicity of contact Trump and his campaign had with the Russians and the open arms with which they accepted Russian activity designed to turn American voters toward him. Mueller wanted focus on his conclusion that it was not possible to exonerate the President on charges of obstruction. As Ohio Republican Mike Turner pressed him near the end of the Intelligence Committee hearing on whether DOJ had the power to exonerate people and whether it was appropriate for him to say that the investigation had not exonerated the President, Mueller suddenly pushed back. He told Turner that he included his conclusion on the lack of exoneration in the report because the Attorney General might not know this was their conclusion and “he should know it.” Mueller was not writing a report for the public. He was writing the confidential report to the Attorney General that the special counsel regulations called for.

The Attorney General ignored Director Mueller’s conclusion. In fact he navigated 180 degrees from it to declare that the investigation had given the President a clean bill of health – no collusion, no obstruction. But that is not the case in either regard, and in fact, it may be that it was the obstruction that led to the absence of conspiracy charges. We would do well to take Mueller’s unheeded warning to the Attorney General to heart as we move forward.

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