After a lengthy investigation, Attorney General William Barr released a redacted version of the Mueller report on Thursday, April 18. Led by Special Counsel and ex-FBI director Robert Mueller ’66, the 448-page document detailed the conclusions of a two-year investigation into allegations of obstruction of justice and Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election.
The report found that Russia made a concerted effort to interfere in the 2016 election but concluded that there was no criminal conspiracy between the Trump campaign and Russia. The report, however, could not reach a conclusion as to whether President Donald Trump obstructed justice, although it did document several attempts by Trump to influence the Special Counsel investigation.
Trump had asked multiple aides to commit actions that would have obstructed the investigation, according to the report. The aides, however, refused to follow these directions.
Mueller, who studied politics at the University, was appointed as Special Counsel almost two years ago on May 17, 2017, shortly after President Trump’s dismissal of former FBI director James Comey.
According to the report, President Trump responded to news of Mueller’s appointment with a mix of anger and despondency.
“This is the end of my Presidency. I’m [f***ed],” he said, according to the report. “If you get one of these independent counsels it ruins your presidency. It takes years and years and I won’t be able to do anything.”
Prior to the report’s release, Barr suggested that “the evidence does not establish that the president was involved in an underlying crime related to Russian election interference.” The report, however, clarifies that “the evidence does point to a range of other possible personal motives animating the president’s conduct.”
In addition, Barr quoted that “the special counsel … ultimately determined not to make a traditional prosecutorial judgment.” Mueller’s report explains that this decision resulted from the Office of Legal Counsel’s determination that doing so would violate “the constitutional separation of powers.”
Of the 400+ pages in the report, over 35 pages worth of material were redacted, mainly because of the “harm to ongoing matter” they posed. Members of the House have issued a subpoena requesting that the Justice Department release an unredacted version of the report to Congress.
Some notable excerpts from the report include former White House Counsel Donald McGahn’s recollection that Trump “had asked him to ‘do crazy [s***]’” and how White House Chief Strategist Steve Bannon “regularly used his personal Blackberry and personal email for work-related communications ... and he took no steps to preserve these work communications.”
Mueller did not respond immediately to The Daily Princetonian’s request for comment.