Mueller Report: Trump Obstructed the Investigation

Credit: James Ledbetter, Flickr Creative Commons

The redacted report from Robert Mueller’s special investigation has been released, and it’s a doozy.

In spite of both media outlets and politicians quickly chiming in with what the report does and does not say, it’s going to take time to comb through the entire 400-page document.

One thing that the report makes very clear, however, is that President Trump carried out a concerted effort to obstruct the investigation.

On June 17, 2017, after the media reported that Mueller investigation was looking into whether or not President Trump had obstructed justice, Trump called former White House Counsel Don McGahn and instructed him to call the acting attorney general and tell him that “the Special Counsel had conflicts of interest and must be removed.” McGahn refused, saying that he “would rather resign rather than trigger what he regarded as a potential Saturday Night Massacre.”

The report then goes on:

Two days after directing ( former White House Counsel Don) McGahn to have the Special Counsel removed, the President made another attempt to affect the course of the Russia investigation. On June 19, 2017, the President met one-on-one in the Oval Office with his former campaign manager Corey Lewandowski, a trusted advisor outside the government, and dictated a message for Lewandowski to deliver to Sessions. The message said that Sessions should publicy announce that, notwithstanding his recusal from the Russia investigation, the investigation was “very unfair” to the President, the President had done nothing wrong, and Sessions planned to meet with the Special Counsel and “let [him] move forward with investigating election meddling for future elections.” Lewandowski said he understood what the President wanted him to do.

One month later, in another private meeting with Lewandowski on July 19, 2017, the President asked about the status of his message for Sessions to limit the Special Counsel investigation to future election interference. Lewandowski told the President that the message would be delivered soon. Hours after that meeting, the President publicly criticized Sessions in an interview with the New York Times, and then issued a series of tweets making it clear that Sessions’ job was in jeopardy. Lewandowski did not want to deliver the President’s message personally, so he asked senior White House official Rick Dearborn to deliver it to Sessions. Dearborn was uncomfortable with the task and did not follow through.

According to Mueller, it was the people around the President who protected the investigation against Trump’s efforts at obstruction.

“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. Comey did not end the investigation of Flynn, which ultimately resulted in Flynn’s prosecution and conviction for lying to the FBI. 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. Lewandowski and Dearborn did not deliver the President’s message to 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.

Muller states that the evidence clearly shows that the President had a number of possible personal motives and that his acts discouraging witnesses from cooperating with the government and suggesting future pardons could constitute obstruction. “No principle of law excludes public acts from the scope of obstruction statutes. If the likely effect of the acts is to intimidate witnesses or alter their testimony, the justice system’s integrity is equally threatened.”

Mueller now leaves the decision up to Congress, citing their power under checks-and-balances to investigate and potentially impeach the President over obstruction of justice. “The conclusion that Congress may apply the obstruction laws to the President’s corrupt exercise of the powers of office accords with our constitutional system of checks and balances and the principle that no person is above the law.”

“Congress can permissibly criminalize certain obstructive conduct by the President, such as suborning perjury, intimidating witnesses, or fabricating evidence, because those prohibitions raise no separation-of-powers questions.”

You can download the full text of the Mueller Report for yourself here.

We will have more on this story.

Jenn Bentley is a writer and editor originally from Cadiz, Kentucky. Her writing has been featured in publications such as The Examiner, The High Tech Society, FansShare, Yahoo News, and others. When she’s not writing or editing, Jenn spends her time raising money for Extra Life and advocating for autism awareness.

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5 thoughts on “Mueller Report: Trump Obstructed the Investigation

  1. Is Bigeasy magazine a farcial site like The Onion?
    These comments are not in the Mueller Report. Tell your Dimocrat operatives they got their talking points wrong.
    Congress can make referrals. Good luck with that. The House might pass this absurdity but the Senate would not give it the okay.
    Trump 2020

    1. We are not a facial site, and these comments are in the report – you’re welcome to read it for yourself at the link provided. Other news media outlets have also reported on these particular quotes.

      1. Mueller makes a distinction between “a president” and “the president”:

        Constitutional defenses. As for constitutional defenses arising from the President’s status as the head of the Executive Branch, we recognized that the Department of Justice and the courts have not. definitively resolved these issues. We therefore examined those issues through the
        framework established by Supreme Court precedent governing separation-of-powers issues. The Department of Justice and the President’s personal counsel have recognized that the President is
        subject to statutes that prohibit obstruction of justice by bribing a witness or suborning perjury because that conduct does not implicate his constitutional authority. With respect to whether the
        President ca,n be found to have obstructed justice by exercising his powers under Article II of the Constitution, we concluded that Congress has authority to prohibit a President’s corrupt use of his authority in order to protect the integrity of the administration of justice. Under applicable Supreme Court precedent, the Constitution does not categorically and permanently immunize a President for obstructing justice through the use of his Article II powers. The separation-of-powers doctrine authorizes Congress to protect official proceedings, including those of courts and grand juries, from corrupt, obstructive acts regardless of their source. We also concluded that any inroad on presidential authority that would occur from prohibiting corrupt acts
        does not undermine the President’s ability to fulfill his constitutional mission. The term “corruptly” sets a demanding standard. It requires a concrete showing that a person acted with an intent to obtain an improper advantage for himself or someone else, inconsistent with official duty and the rights of others. A preclusion of”corrupt” official action does not diminish the President’s ability to exercise Article II powers.

        For example, the proper supervision of criminal law does not
        demand freedom for the President to act with a corrupt intention of shielding himse lf from criminal punishment, avoiding financial liability, or preventing personal embarrassment. To the contrary, a statute that prohibits official action undertaken for such corrupt purposes furthers, rather than hinders, the impartial and evenhanded administration of the law. It also aligns with the President’s constitutional duty to faithfully execute the laws. Finally, we concluded that in the rare case in
        which a criminal investigation of the President’s conduct is justified, inquiries to determine whether the President acted for a corrupt motive should not impermissibly chill his performance of his constitutionally assigned duties.

        The conclusion that Congress may apply the obstruction laws to the President’s corrupt exercise of the powers of office accords with our constitutional system of checks and balances and the principle that no person is above the law.

        Because we determined not to make a traditional prosecutorial judgment, we did not draw ultimate conclusions about the President’s conduct. The evidence we obtained about the President’s actions and intent presents difficult issues that would need to be resolved if we were
        making a traditional prosecutorial judgment.

        At the same time, if we had confidence after a
        thorough investigation of the facts that the President clearly did not commit obstruction of justice, we would so state. Based on the facts and the applicable legal standards, we are unable to reach that judgment. Accordingly, while this report does not conclude that the President committed a crime, it also does not exonerate him.

        In short, when called upon to render a professional legal opinion based upon existing legal standards Mueller could not bring himself to doing so and wasted two years and millions of dollars on one of the all time greatest political hoaxes of all time.

  2. Congress can permissibly criminalize anything that the president does as long as they have the votes to do so.

    However that does not make anything they do legal or even right.

    The Mueller investigation is based upon a flat out lie, that Christopher Steele won’t even defend and he wrote the lie to begin with.

    The Lie was that the Russians had something so damning about Trump that he would do anything they wanted him to do.

    Supposedly it was a video tape of him with hookers that the Russians supplied him with, so that WHEN he became president, even years before he even considered running, they could use such a tape to control him.

    Oddly enough the American that paid the Russians for this information was none other than Hillary Clinton, who hired Fusion GPS and Christopher Steele to buy information from the Russian so that Donald Trump could be knocked out of the presidential race by the very information that the Russians planned to use to control Trump before they gave it to people working for Hillary Clinton.

    To me, at least it would seem that Hillary Clinton by buying this information from the Russian: (Their “Trump” card so to speak) owed the Russians a lot more than just the millions of dollars she spent getting it to use against Trump in her FAILED election attempt.

    In Fact I would go so far as to say The Russians bought Hillary’s everlasting loyalty with the information that they supplied to the Steele Dossier.

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