Trump ‘Tried to Control’ the Russia Probe: Mueller in His Own Words

Christian Berthelsen
Trump ‘Tried to Control’ the Russia Probe: Mueller in His Own Words

(Bloomberg) -- Special Counsel Robert Mueller says his investigation doesn’t entirely clear President Donald Trump of wrongdoing, laying out 10 instances of obstruction by the president, with an analysis of each.

Here are some highlights from his report:

‘End of My Presidency’

After then-Attorney General Jeff Sessions told the president that a special counsel had been appointed to investigate Russia’s interference in the 2016 election, Trump expressed alarm. “This is the end of my presidency,” he said, worrying aloud that a years-long inquiry would prevent him from accomplishing anything as president.

Trying to Undo Sessions’ Recusal

When Mueller said that his investigation didn’t exonerate the president, he may have been referring to these findings: “Our investigation found multiple acts by the president that were capable of exerting undue influence over law enforcement investigations, including the Russia-interference and obstruction investigations”

Saving the President From Himself

“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”

An Incomplete Picture

Because of lies and misdirection by witnesses, assertions of Fifth Amendment rights, destruction of evidence and lack of access to overseas witnesses, the special counsel’s office “cannot rule out the possibility that the unavailable information would shed additional light on (or cast in a new light) the events described in this report”

‘Difficult Issues’ in Forming Conclusions

“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, however, we are unable to reach that judgment.”

Why Mueller Didn’t Subpoena Trump

“We made that decision in view of the substantial delay that such an investigative step would likely produce at a late stage in our investigation”

To contact the reporter on this story: Christian Berthelsen in New York at cberthelsen1@bloomberg.net

To contact the editors responsible for this story: Heather Smith at hsmith26@bloomberg.net, David S. Joachim, Jeffrey D Grocott

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