I believe it is clear: Special counsel Robert Mueller did not “clear” Donald Trump of obstruction of justice. There is no “total victory” for the president.
The long-awaited report from the special counsel came before us today. Yes, Mueller concluded that Trump did not “collude” with Russians who attacked our electoral system. I accept those findings, given that I believe Mueller is a man of high integrity.
But what about this obstruction matter?
Mueller’s 448-page report tells us that Trump gasped when the special counsel was picked, declaring that his presidency is doomed. “I’m fu****,” Trump said, according to Mueller’s report.
Why would the president say such a thing if he had done not a single thing wrong?
Well, Mueller said he would have cleared Trump of obstruction had the president deserved to be cleared. He didn’t. He said Congress has the authority to take measures to ensure that a president’s “corrupt” won’t be allowed.
I agree with those who contend that the redacted report is more damaging than Attorney General William Barr let on. Indeed, there appears to be a growing gap between Mueller and Barr over whether there was at minimum an attempt at obstructing justice.
Mueller cites the refusal by several key Trump aides to carry out presidential orders to fire the special counsel, saving the president from his own impulses. Barr disagrees, saying there is no obstruction. Who do you believe? I’ll go with Mueller.
I likely won’t read the entire report. I intend to read enough of it to try to draw some more cogent conclusions.
I’m going to stand with congressional Democrats on this point, too: Robert Mueller needs to talk to Congress openly and candidly about what he found and how he arrived at his conclusions.
More to come.