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Does Trump Have Obstructed Justice? Mueller did not say, but left a trace to the answer



WASHINGTON – The report by Robert S. Mueller III, the Special Adviser, explored a dozen episodes in which President Trump's actions raised concerns about the prevention of justice.

Mr. Mueller stopped briefly to conclude whether Mr. Trump committed that crime, but the report explained that others can use evidence to make this call. Mr. Mueller's investigators made an oblique reference to possible infringement procedures and noted that after Mr. Trump leaves officials, he will lose the temporary immunity, the Ministry of Justice says that presidents enjoy. Sir. Mueller quoted this factor as excluding him from making accusations now.

The report assessed evidence based on three criteria: The action must be obstructive, associated with a study and made with a corrupt motive. Investigators also investigated countervailing evidence that Mr Trump's lawyers could use to argue that the acts were subject to a crime.

Mr. Mueller also referred over a dozen pages to address a false argument offered by Mr Trump's lawyers – and lawyer William P. Barr, who said he believes Mr. Trump does not violate obstruction laws: Congress cannot make it a crime for a president to abuse his official powers to prevent an investigation.

Here is a look at several of the more significant events the report explores:

Having learned in June 2017 that he was investigating for justice, Mr Trump ordered the White House Adviser Donald F. McNahn II over the phone to get the Ministry of Justice fire mr. based on the President's views on the special council's conflicts of interest. Mr. Trump relied on Mr. McGahn refused to implement the directive and was willing to resign in protest. [Reference: Vol. 2, Pages 77-90 ]

Obstructive?

Potentially . While he acknowledged that removal of him would not have prevented the investigation from continuing, Mr Mueller wrote that such an act could nevertheless have "had the potential to delay further investigation investigations, cool off any replacement personnel, or otherwise impede the study. "

Associated with a study?

Yes .

Wrong intention?

Yes . The report quoted, among other things, that Mr. Trump "knew he shouldn't have made these calls," because McGahn had warned him to use his personal lawyers to file conflict complaints, not use his official powers to remove that special advice. Bottom line: While Mr Mueller uncovered a bit on the first of the three criteria, the report suggests that there is sufficient evidence to ask a large jury to consider charging this act as an illegal obstacle . [19659017] Trump pushed McGahn to refuse the attempt to shoot Mueller.

Mr. Trump's attempt to shoot mr. Mueller was highlighted in news reports in January 2018. Trump repeatedly pressured Mr McGahn to state that the president had not instructed him to shoot Mr Mueller and write a note "for our records" to deny the reports. Although Mr. Trump threatened to shoot him if he did not comply, Mr. refused. McGahn to say the articles were correct. [Vol2 Pages 113-120 ]

Obstructive?

Potentially . By pushing Mr McGahn to make a statement and creating a written record that refuses the facts, he knew that Mr. McGahn thought to be true, Mr. Trump's action "qualifies as an obstructive act if it had the natural tendency to restrict McGahn from witnessing truthfully or undermining his credibility as a potential witness if he testified consistently with his memory, rather than with what the record said. . "

Associated with a study?

Yes . Mr. Trump knew that Mr. McGahn had already told the researchers about the shot attempt and would probably talk to them again, and his push to an internal note "indicates that the president was not only focused on a press strategy, but instead was likely considering ongoing investigation and any procedure arising from it. "

Wrong intention?

Yes . "Significant evidence suggests that the President repeatedly urged McGahn to dispute that he was ordered to have the Special Council terminated for the purpose of influencing McGahns account to mitigate or prevent further investigation of the President's conduct against the investigation. " [19659009] Bottom line: The report suggests that there is sufficient probable evidence to ask a large jury to consider charging Mr. Trump with attempted obstruction.


Obstructive?

Potentially . Mr. Trump & # 39; s directives "indicate that Sessions was instructed to tell the special advice to complete the existing investigation of the president and his campaign."

Associated with a study?

Yes . It was public knowledge then that Mr Mueller worked with a large jury.

Wrong intention?

Yes . "Important evidence" indicates that Mr. Trump tried to "prevent further investigative investigation into the behavior of the president and his campaign." Reaching the Sessions meetings surreptitiously via an external loyalist rather than counting on official White House channels "provides additional evidence of his intention."

Bottom line: The report suggests that there is sufficient probability that a large jury is considering leaving Mr. Trump with attempted obstruction.


Coherent with a study?

Yes . The account cited reasons that Mr. Trump could reasonably have predicted that the Flynn study would likely lead to a major jury investigation or prosecution.

Wrong intention?

Unclear . While the clearing of the room made Mr Trump look furtive, the report said the study could not gather conclusive evidence that the president had any personal interest in the outcome of a study by Mr. Flynn. For example, it is unclear whether Mr. Trump was involved in Mr. Flyn's lies and the evidence "does not state that Flynn otherwise had information damaging the president who would give the president a personal incentive to complete the FBI investigation of Flynn's behavior."

Bottom line: The report seems to cast doubt on the fact that the investigation found sufficient evidence to establish that Mr. Trump intended to move forward with an obstruction.


Wrong intention?

Unclear . The report cites "essential evidence" that the catalyst was Mr. Trump's frustration that Mr. Comey did not publicly state that the president was not personally investigating. But it did not get a clear answer to the character of Mr. Trump's underlying motive: "The original dependence on justification could support an introduction that the president was worried about giving the real cause of the firing, although the evidence does not resolve whether these concerns were personal, political or both."

Bottom line: The report's analysis suggests that it would be difficult to establish at least two of the three elements needed to request a large jury to charge Mr. Trump with obstacle to shoot Mr. Comey.


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