(AP) – Robert Mueller’s report reveals President Donald Trump’s efforts to seize control of the Russia probe and force the special counsel’s removal.
A redacted version of Mueller’s report was released Thursday morning.
The report says President Donald Trump reacted to his appointment by saying it was the “end of his presidency.”
Mueller investigated multiple instances of Trump attempting to curtail the special counsel probe as part of determining whether the president committed obstruction of justice.
Mueller’s report includes President Donald Trump’s written responses submitted in the Russia probe. Trump’s responses are released without redactions and comprise 12 pages.
Trump told Mueller he had no recollection of several key events in Mueller’s probe, including a 2016 meeting at Trump Tower between top aides and a Russian lawyer offering aid to his campaign. Trump also told Mueller he had no recollection that he was told that Russian President Vladimir Putin wanted to aid his campaign or hurt Hillary Clinton’s 2016 effort, or that any foreign leader wanted to help his candidacy.
In Mueller’s report released Thursday, prosecutors call Trump’s answers “inadequate.” They considered issuing a subpoena for Trump, but decided against it after weighing the likelihood of a long legal battle.
Prosecutors also said they had enough information from other sources to draw “relevant factual conclusions on intent and credibility.”
Mueller’s team investigated contacts between Trump’s campaign and Russia and whether the president obstructed justice. The written answers did not cover obstruction of justice.
Trump declined a sit-down interview request from the special counsel.
Mueller’s report reveals how Trump repeatedly sought to seize control of the Russia probe.
The 10 episodes scrutinized by Mueller include Trump’s firing of FBI Director James Comey, the president’s directive to subordinates to have Mueller fired and efforts to encourage witnesses not to cooperate.
The president’s lawyers have said Trump’s conduct fell within his constitutional powers, but Mueller’s team deemed the episodes were deserving of scrutiny to determine whether crimes were committed.
Special counsel Robert Mueller’s report on the Russia investigation is two volumes and 448 pages long including attachments.
The report’s first volume details Russian election interference and the second relates to whether President Donald Trump obstructed justice.
Mueller found that contacts between Russian Ambassador Sergei Kislyak and Trump campaign officials in April 2016 and at the 2016 GOP convention were “brief, public, and non-substantive.”
Mueller’s assessment came as part of his investigation into potential collusion between the Trump campaign and Russia.
Mueller’s report adds that his office “did not establish” that efforts to alter the GOP platform’s language on Ukraine at the convention were done at the behest of Trump or Russia.
Additionally, Mueller did not establish that a conversation between Kislyak and then-Alabama Sen. Jeff Sessions in September 2016 included “any more than a passing mention of the presidential campaign.” Sessions later served as Trump’s attorney general.
The Mueller report appears to be most heavily redacted in its first section, which covers Russia’s meddling in the 2016 election and examines contacts between Russian representatives and the Trump campaign. The report concludes there was no criminal culpability by Trump aides.
Several pages in that first section are almost entirely blacked out. The report’s second section, examining possible obstruction by President Donald Trump, appears more lightly redacted.
The Justice Department’s careful excisions begin as early as the fourth page of the report.
Barr said he was withholding grand jury and classified information as well as portions relating to ongoing investigation and the privacy or reputation of uncharged “peripheral” people.
In referencing an oligarch who headed up a team of Russian tech experts who used U.S. social media to exploit American political controversies, Justice officials blacked out details about the man’s ties to Russian President Vladimir Putin.
Trump’s legal team called the results “a total victory for the president.”