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Reaction to Mueller Report Divides Along Partisan Lines

Erin Schaff/The New York Times WASHINGTON — House Democrats vowed on Friday to pursue the revelations in the special counsel’s report on President Trump but drew little Republican support in a nation still deeply polarized over the investigation that has dogged the White House for two years. “Statements are made about me by certain people in the Crazy Mueller Report, in itself written by 18 Angry Democrat Trump Haters, which are fabricated & totally untrue,” Mr. Trump wrote on Twitter. Mr. Trump’s lawyer, Rudolph W. Giuliani, challenged the credibility of Mr. McGahn’s account later on Friday. “It can’t be taken at face value,” he said in an interview. “It’s a mystery why Rudy Giuliani feels the need to relitigate incidents the attorney general and deputy attorney general have concluded were not obstruction,” said the lawyer, William A. Burck. “But they are accurately described in the report.” On the campaign trail, Democratic presidential candidates condemned the president’s conduct and called for action against him. Mr. Trump’s critics called it a devastating indictment of a candidate willing to profit from the help of a foreign power and a president who repeatedly sought to disrupt or end the investigation even if he was not charged with violating the law. The subpoena issued on Friday by Representative Jerrold Nadler, Democrat of New York and the chairman of the House Judiciary Committee, escalated a fight with Mr. Barr over what material Congress is entitled to see from the investigation even as Democrats continued to pummel the attorney general for effectively serving as the president’s defense lawyer. “The department will continue to work with Congress to accommodate its legitimate requests consistent with the law and long-recognized executive branch interests.” Mr. Barr redacted about 10 percent of the report, blacking out information that would divulge secret grand jury evidence, expose classified intelligence, compromise continuing investigations, or invade the privacy or damage the reputation of “peripheral third parties.” Democratic leaders on Friday rejected Mr. Barr’s offer to show just select leaders a version with only the grand jury material redacted. “The attorney general stands ready to testify before our committee and to have the special counsel do the same.

Giuliani rails against Mueller report as Democrats mull Trump impeachment

As the White House mounted a furious assault on the Mueller report and critics of a president not found to have conspired with Russia but not cleared of obstruction of justice, the chair of the House judiciary committee said obstruction, if proven, “would be [an] impeachable” offence. Asked on NBC’s Meet the Press why Trump was so angry at Mueller and former White House counsel Don McGahn, a key witness, Giuliani replied: “Because they tried to frame him.” There’s nothing wrong with taking information from Russians. It depends on where it came from Rudy Giuliani The first volume of Mueller’s report concerns Russian election interference and the Trump campaign’s warm reception to “offers of assistance” including an infamous June 2016 meeting with a Kremlin-linked lawyer offering “dirt” on Hillary Clinton. Giuliani told CNN: “There’s nothing wrong with taking information from Russians. House judiciary committee chair Jerrold Nadler told NBC that if evidence shows Trump obstructed justice, “some of this would be impeachable, yes”. On Fox, House intelligence chair Adam Schiff said to impeach or not to impeach was “going to be a very consequential decision and one I’m going to reserve judgment on until we have a chance to fully deliberate on it”. The American people, a lot of them clearly still don’t believe President Trump is doing things to destroy our democracy Elijah Cummings Giuliani fiercely attacked McGahn, who is cited by Mueller in descriptions of orders from Trump to fire the special counsel, which McGahn did not do. I wasn’t asked. Asked if Trump thought Russian interference helped him win, Giuliani told NBC: “Whether he did or he didn’t, I think it’s quite clear that there are a lot of factors that go into any election and the reality is he was elected president.” Conway told ABC Trump “didn’t need WikiLeaks. Trump has repeatedly claimed Mueller’s investigation exonerated him, which it did not, and called the inquiry a “hoax”.

Controversial Steele dossier back in spotlight after Mueller report’s release

But despite an intensive two-year investigation, Mueller’s team found no evidence of any such tape. The New York Times, in a lengthy article on the Steele dossier's current standing, noted that there is no evidence in the Mueller report on a number of claims: “DNC moles, Romanian hackers, Russian pensioners -- or years of Trump-Putin intelligence trafficking.” But a lawyer for Fusion GPS, the firm that commissioned the dossier, told The Times that the Mueller probe backed up “the core reporting” in the Steele memos -- including that Russian President Vladimir Putin directed “a covert operation” to have Trump elected. Horowitz has said he will address the question of whether the FBI followed all "legal requirements" when applying for that warrant. One official told the outlet that he had the impression that the IG report “is going to try and deeply undermine” Steele. Republicans in Congress have long focused on the dossier, claiming that it formed the origins of what became Mueller's Russia investigation. They and the president have noted in particular the dossier's funding by the DNC and Clinton campaign. "You can't have the FBI using one party's opposition research document to launch an investigation and spy on the other party's campaign," Rep. Jim Jordan, R-Ohio, said on “Cavuto Live” on Saturday. On Thursday, California Republican Devin Nunes told Fox News’ Sean Hannity that the report shows that the dossier also formed part of the memo that established the scope of the special counsel’s investigation. Attorney General William Barr told lawmakers that he intends to review FBI and DOJ conduct during the formative days of the Russia investigation -- where the Steele dossier played a role. Trump, meanwhile, has pledged to “get to the bottom” of the origins of the Russian probe, and has promised to “turn the tables” and investigate the investigators -- which could include closer scrutiny of the role that Steele's infamous dossier played.

Mueller Reveals Trump’s Efforts to Thwart Russian Inquiry in Highly Anticipated Report

Todd Heisler/The New York Times WASHINGTON — Robert S. Mueller III revealed the scope of a historic Russian campaign to sabotage the 2016 presidential election in a much-anticipated report made public on Thursday, and he detailed a frantic monthslong effort by President Trump to thwart a federal investigation that imperiled his presidency from the start. Then, after federal investigators opened an inquiry into the extraordinary Russian campaign, the president repeatedly tried to undermine it. “The incidents were often carried out through one-on-one meetings in which the president sought to use his official power outside of usual channels,” the report said. But on Thursday, top Democratic lawmakers seized on the report’s findings and suggested that the issue of impeachment was not settled. When Mr. Mueller began his work, there were still prominent voices at both ends of the political spectrum openly debating whether the hacking and leaking of emails — and the fake news that spread like a wildfire on social media in the months before the election — was the work of Russia, China, stateless hackers or, as Mr. Trump once liked to say, “someone sitting on their bed that weighs 400 pounds.” Even last summer, standing next to President Vladimir V. Putin of Russia after a summit meeting in Finland, Mr. Trump refused to accept that the Russians had carried out the election sabotage. The indictments gave exquisite details about the entirety of the Russian operation — how Russians paid unsuspecting Americans to stage pro-Trump rallies in battleground states, how Russian hackers penetrated the personal email account of Mrs. Clinton’s campaign chairman and how a pair of Russian women took a scouting trip to the United States two years before the election to gather information for the planned assault. Mr. Mueller’s team found that the evidence was “not sufficient.” Some of the meetings with Russians were a mélange of business and politics, and Mr. Mueller’s prosecutors wrapped up their inquiry still puzzled about their purpose. In the end, the special counsel’s team “did not resolve the apparent conflicts in the accounts,” according to the report. He was a god to them until he said ‘no collusion.’ They don’t like him so much now.” Even so, the revelations in Mr. Barr’s letter did not produce a noticeable bump in Mr. Trump’s approval rating, and polls taken in the weeks since Mr. Barr’s letter have shown that many Americans were reserving judgment until they had a fuller picture of Mr. Mueller’s conclusions. So far, only two of those have officially been made public.
Fitton: President Trump is the victim of a crime

Fitton: President Trump is the victim of a crime

Now that the Mueller report is complete, Attorney General Barr must prosecute people who abused their office to target the president, says Judicial Watch president Tom Fitton. #OutnumberedOvertime #FoxNews FOX News operates the FOX News Channel (FNC), FOX Business Network…

A Look At The Political Ramifications Of The Mueller Report For Trump

Joining us now to talk through what the release of the report means for the president is NPR national political correspondent Mara Liasson. CHANG: So it sounds like the president is pretty happy. LIASSON: Well, there's a lot of damaging information. Mueller actually corroborated several news reports that the president has called fake - one of them where he asked his White House counsel, Don McGahn, to order the deputy attorney general to fire Bob Mueller, which he didn't do, or the Mueller report validated news reports that show the president dictating the false statement about the Trump Tower meeting with the Russians. LIASSON: Yes. JERRY NADLER: The responsibility now falls to Congress to hold the president accountable for his actions. You can call on the Russians to hack your opponents' emails. And remember Mueller's bottom line - no Trump campaign official knowingly assisted the Russian government in their interference, and no American illegally participated in Russia's hacking of emails. CHANG: That's NPR's Mara Liasson. LIASSON: Thank you.

The ‘On Politics’ Mueller Report Cheat Sheet

This is a moment, people: It’s a major crossroads in Donald J. Trump’s presidency. (If you read only one section, make it pages 290-299, which detail Mr. Trump’s attempts to fire the special counsel.) This is the worst thing that ever happened to me.” [Get On Politics delivered to your inbox.] The report notes, though, that the tapes were likely “fake.” The report also details a search by Mr. Trump’s associates for Hillary Clinton’s deleted emails, which Mr. Trump, in July 2016, publicly asked Russia to help him obtain. What about the obstruction investigation? “If we had confidence after a thorough investigation of the facts that the president clearly did not commit obstruction of justice,” they wrote, “we would so state.” Here’s some of what they’re describing: • For 13 days after Mr. Trump asked Mr. Finally, on May 30, the president returned the letter with a notation: “Not accepted.” • Mr. Trump repeatedly called Donald F. McGahn II, the White House counsel, at home and ordered that he have Mr. Mueller removed. The two-volume document is a redacted version of the report written by Mr. Mueller, the special counsel, presenting the findings of his team’s investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election, and into Mr. Trump’s possible effort to influence the outcome. Mr. Barr, the attorney general, released a four-page summary of Mr. Mueller’s report last month, in which he said the investigation did not find that the Trump campaign had colluded with the Russian government and cleared the president of the charge of obstruction of justice. A lot of Democrats were skeptical of Mr. Barr’s summary — particularly on the obstruction issue — and pushed for the release of the full report.

The Mueller report is out

The committee has also authorized subpoenas for five former White House officials who were mentioned in the Mueller report – including former White House counsel Don McGahn – that could shed light on allegations of obstruction of justice. Schiff called the facts in the report “damning,” adding, "whether they could or should have resulted in the indictment of the President or the people around him, they are damning. Watch more: GOP Senate Intel chair appeared to brief White House counsel on FBI investigation in 2017, report says Senate Intelligence Chairman Richard Burr appeared to brief the White House counsel’s office about the targets of the FBI’s Russia investigation in March 2017, the special counsel’s report says. In a footnote, the report states that the White House counsel’s office was briefed by Burr on the "existence of 4-5 targets," citing notes from former deputy White House Counsel Annie Donaldson. The chairman’s stewardship over the committee’s bipartisan and fact-based investigation over the last two years speaks for itself.” Trump ignored reporters' questions as he left the White House President Trump and first lady Melania Trump just left the White House. None of the attendees who spoke to special counsel Robert Mueller — Sessions and at least two of his Senate aides — told Mueller that Russian meddling came up during the meeting. Sessions rebuffed efforts to stop recusal At the direction of President Trump, White House counsel Don McGahn and other aides made extensive and repeated attempts to prevent then-Attorney General Jeff Sessions from recusing himself from the investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election, according to special counsel Robert Mueller's report. In his remarks prior to releasing the redacted report from special counsel Robert Mueller, Attorney General William Barr said that President Trump's lawyers were given the chance to read a final version of the redacted report before it was publicly released. The Ethics in Government act Barr references covers independent counsels (Robert Mueller, instead, was a special counsel). David Kendall, a lawyer for then-President Bill Clinton during Ken Starr's independent counsel investigation, sent a letter to Starr requesting that those named in his report be allowed to see the report before its release.

Here’s What the Mueller Report Says About the Pee Tape

Mueller report reveals text messages showing the Trump campaign was privately aware as early as October 2016 — more than two months before BuzzFeed News published the Steele dossier — that embarrassing tapes of then-candidate Donald Trump might exist in Russia. According to the report, on October 30th, 2016, Trump’s private attorney and fixer Michael Cohen received a text from a Russian businessman involved in the Trump Tower Moscow deal, in progress for more than a year. Cohen told investigators he spoke to Trump about the issue after receiving the texts from Rtskhiladze. Rtskhiladze’s description of the tapes’ content tracks with the unverified information included in the Steele dossier, which claimed that Trump watched Russian prostitutes urinate in a Moscow hotel room in 2013. “Rtskhiladze said ‘tapes’ referred to compromising tapes of Trump rumored to be held by persons associated with the Russian real estate conglomerate Crocus Group, which had helped host the 2013 Miss Universe Pageant in Russia.” The Crocus Group’s president is Aras Agalarov. It was Agalarov’s son, the Russian pop star Emin Agalarov, who brokered the June 9th, 2016 Trump Tower meeting between Donald Trump Jr. and a Kremlin-linked lawyer, who promised to deliver “official documents and information that would incriminate Hillary.” Besides the Trump Tower Moscow project, the report also says Rtskhiladze was involved in discussions for a Trump-branded project in Astana, Kazakhstan, and had previously been involved in a development deal with the Trump Organization in Batumi, Georgia. Separately, the report says Rtskhiladze had worked on business ventures in Moscow, including a licensing deal with the Agalarov-owned Crocus Group. According to the report, Cohen forwarded a preliminary design study for the Trump Moscow project to Rtskhiladze, in September 2015 writing, “I look forward to your reply about this spectacular project in Moscow.” Rtskhiladze forwarded Cohen’s email to an associate and wrote, “[i]f we could organize the meeting in New York at the highest level of the Russian Government and Mr. Trump this project would definitely receive the worldwide attention.” In his book, A Higher Loyalty, James Comey wrote that after he briefed Trump, the then-president-elect asked him to investigate and prove the report was a lie. “He brought up what he called the ‘golden showers thing’…adding that it bothered him if there was ‘even a one percent chance’ his wife, Melania, thought it was true,” Comey writes. “He just rolled on, unprompted, explaining why it couldn’t possibly be true, ending by saying he was thinking of asking me to investigate the allegation to prove it was a lie.

Democrats condemn attorney general’s plan for rollout of Mueller report

On the eve of the long-anticipated release of the report by special counsel Robert Mueller on Russian tampering in the 2016 election and alleged Trump campaign involvement, Democrats accused the attorney general, William Barr, of trying to “cherry-pick” and “put his own spin” on the conclusions of the investigation. “Now it appears that the attorney general intends to once again put his own spin on the investigative work completed by the special counsel and his team,” Nadler said. “The fact that the attorney general is not releasing even the redacted report to Congress until after his press conference will again result in the report being presented in his own words, rather than in the words of special counsel Robert Mueller. “The central concern here is that Attorney General Barr is not allowing the facts of the Mueller report to speak for themselves, but is instead trying to bake in the narrative about the report to the benefit of the White House.” Mueller's Trump-Russia report to be released on Thursday Read more Nadler said he would subpoena the full report “in very short order” and said he assumed it would be useful to call Mueller and members of his team to testify before Congress. The House speaker, Nancy Pelosi, argued Americans deserved to see the truth, “not a sanitized version of the Mueller Report approved by the Trump Admin”. The Attorney General should cancel the press conference and provide the full report to Congress, as we have requested”, they added. The nearly 400-page report is expected to reveal what Mueller uncovered about ties between the Trump campaign and Russia that fell short of criminal conduct. It will also lay out the special counsel’s conclusions about formative episodes in Trump’s presidency, including his firing of the FBI director James Comey and his efforts to undermine the Russia investigation publicly and privately. Trump announced Barr’s press conference during a radio interview Wednesday before the justice department did. The letter said Mueller did not find a criminal conspiracy between the Trump campaign and the Russian government but he found evidence on “both sides” of the question of whether the president obstructed justice.