Mueller: Although the team did not establish that the President and his campaign had conspired with the Russians, he might have wanted the investigation to end because of things that it might have (and did) reveal about the campaign. It’s possible that the President would have feared that these were crimes: the public misstatements about Trump Organization’s pursuit of Russian business deals into Summer 2016, and Trump tried to get information about future Wikileaks.
Republicans: And these were crimes under which laws?
Mueller: “More broadly, multiple witnesses described the President’s preoccupation with the press coverage of the Russia investigation and his persistent concern that it raised questions about the legitimacy of his election.” (p. 256.)
Mueller: Finally, he didn’t tell the truth at first about why he had fired Comey. (pp. 256-257.)
Republicans: And you discovered the real reason how? He went on national television a few days later and told a journalist.
The Post-Comey Phase.
Mueller: The team immediately added an investigation of President Trump for obstruction of justice to its mandate. President Trump reacted strongly against the appointment of a special prosecutor. (p. 257.)
Mueller: On 9 June 2016, Manafort, Kushner, and Trump, Jr. met with some Russians in hopes of hearing about Russian “dirt” on Hillary Clinton. That turned out to be false advertising on the part of the Russians. Receiving such information might have been a violation of campaign finance laws, but they got skint. When news of this meeting first became public, President Trump repeatedly tried to mischaracterize the intended purpose of the meeting.
Mueller: It would have been obstruction of justice to prevent either Congress or the Special Prosecutor from receiving relevant documents when demanded. The President did not do that. (p. 280.)
Mueller: “The evidence does not establish that the President intended to prevent the Special Counsel’s Office or Congress from obtaining the emails setting up the June 9 meeting or other information about that meeting.” (p. 281.) The only evidence we have is that the President told people to hand over emails and other information to whomever needed to have them. (p. 280.)
Republicans: This phrase you keep using—“did not establish”—what does that mean exactly? Because in this particular case, what you have is evidence of a media strategy directed against the Democratic media combined with a demonstrated willingness to provide requested information to Congress and the Special Prosecutor. So, does “did not establish” mean the same thing everywhere else in the Report? As in, “did not establish” collusion/co-ordination/conspiracy with the Russians. Does that really mean “we didn’t find any evidence of this at all”?