Robert Mueller, according to the NY Times, spent 12 pages arguing against Attorney General Barr’s view that a sitting President cannot be charged with a crime…
Mueller then laid out almost a dozen instances where Donald Trump DID do something that could seen as illegal….
But blinked and did NOT go on to say President should be charged with a crime by his office…
It seems, he backed off and left the final call for action up to Congress…
(AG Barr jumped in to say HE didn’t think Mueller felt Trump broken any laws, which Mueller actually DID point out he DID, but intent was an issue… Barr now looks like a Trump lucky for all intents and purposes)
Mr. Mueller, in a report released Thursday, declined to reach any conclusion about whether Mr. Trump illegally obstructed justice. Citing a Justice Department view that sitting presidents cannot be indicted, the special counsel said it would be inappropriate to analyze the evidence while Mr. Trump is in office and busy running the country because it would be unfair to accuse him of an offense without giving him an opportunity to clear his name in court.
Mr. Mueller’s rationale for demurring for now stood in stark contrast to Attorney General William P. Barr. Mr. Mueller noted that Mr. Trump would lose immunity when he left office, and that his investigation had preserved evidence for that moment. Mr. Barr, however, pronounced last month that the evidence Mr. Mueller gathered was insufficient to charge Mr. Trump with obstruction, regardless of the constitutional problems with charging a sitting president.
The special counsel report also contrasted with the views of the attorney general — and the president’s personal lawyers — in another crucial respect. Last year, months before Mr. Trump appointed him, Mr. Barr wrote a lengthy memo for the administration laying out an argument that it was impossible for Mr. Trump to use the power of his office to illegally obstruct the Russia investigation, no matter his intentions, because he has full authority over federal law enforcement as head of the executive branch.
But Mr. Mueller devoted more than a dozen pages of his 448-page report, which Mr. Barr made public on Thursday with some deletions, to systematically dissect and rebut Mr. Barr’s sweeping theory of executive power, which Mr. Trump’s lawyers had put forward earlier in a more abbreviated form.
“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,” Mr. Mueller’s investigators wrote.
Many of the 11 episodes Mr. Mueller detailed had been reported in the news media. The president consistently sought to install a loyalist to oversee the investigation; tried to pressure Attorney General Jeff Sessions to retake control of the inquiry after he recused himself; and asked the F.B.I. director to end the investigation into his first national security adviser.
Mr. Mueller also revealed new presidential attempts to thwart the inquiry. In mid-2017, Mr. Trump enlisted Corey Lewandowski, his former campaign manager, in another bid to impede the inquiry. Mr. Trump wanted Mr. Sessions to declare that the special counsel’s investigation was “very unfair” to the president and asked Mr. Lewandowski to convey the message. Mr. Lewandowski never directly spoke to the attorney general about the request, according to the report.
Mr. Mueller relied heavily on Mr. Trump’s White House counsel, Donald F. McGahn II, who told investigators about how Mr. Trump tried to have him fire Mr. Mueller in June 2017. The report said that Mr. McGahn stopped the effort, “deciding that he would resign rather than trigger what he regarded as a potential Saturday Night Massacre,” a reference to Richard M. Nixon’s firing in 1973 of the special prosecutor who was investigating him. That order, which prompted the top two Justice Department officials to resign rather than carry it out, helped undermine political support for Mr. Nixon among Republicans.
A central difficulty for prosecutors pursuing obstruction cases is proving that the defendant had a corrupt intent when he took steps that could impede an investigation. A key part of Mr. Mueller’s report described how Mr. Trump’s intentions changed over time…..