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The Mueller Report
Presented with Related Materials
by the Washington Post
(Click for Amazon book review)
BOOK REVIEW by OnTheIssues.org:
We will attempt non-partisanship with this book excerpting, but this is the most challenging task of non-partisanship that OnTheIssues has ever attempted. Our methodology is to cite the Mueller report results; report where Mueller's results conflict with what members of the Trump administration say; and add in a few excerpts from other elected officials too, with citations. We leave the conclusions to our readers--one's conclusions depends on one's politics.
The page numbers in our excerpts are those of the Mueller Report itself--its formal title is "Report On The Investigation Into Russian Interference In The 2016 Presidential Election." It has two volumes--we show the volume number in the page references, since volume ii starts over at page 1. Volume i, running 199 pages, focuses on "collusion" between the Trump campaign and the Russian government. Volume ii, running 183 pages, focuses on "obstruction of justice" during the investigation.
We also include "Related Materials" as provided in the version of the Mueller Report published by the Washington Post. Those pages are numbered from that edition (not within each document). We use the Washington Post's summary of indictments and other legal documents because the documents themselves are written in "legalese" which is not amenable to excerpting or understanding. We avoid citing the Washington Post's commentary or opinion, because we recognize them as a partisan source. When we do cite opinions, from other sources, they are clearly labeled "OpEd" to indicate opinions rather than facts.
The terminology we use to describe the two volumes is common English instead of legalese, too. The Mueller Report itself disowns the term "collusion," pointing out that there is no such thing from a legal perspective. The relevant crime would be "coordination" between the Trump campaign and outside entities, which is disallowed by campaign finance law, or perhaps a conspiracy charge to commit some other crime. Several Russian operatives were charged by the Mueller team with cyber-crimes such as hacking into email and other computer sources--but those crimes don't apply to the Trump campaign.
The second volume's focus, "obstruction of justice," is equally couched in legalistic limbo. The Mueller team concluded that a sitting president cannot be charged with "obstruction of justice" at all, and hence simply presented the evidence of obstruction without exonerating Trump (they did charge several other campaign members). Mueller left it to Congress to determine whether criminal charges or impeachment proceedings should follow from their conclusions. Attorney General Barr (appointed by Trump) concluded that no criminal charges were warranted in his view, but Congress has yet to decide one way or the other, as of this writing.
We'll comment on two important but not-so-obvious conclusions of the Mueller Report: first, about Russian collusion. The Russian government began in 2014 to prepare their disinformation campaign for the 2016 election, including positioning Russian agents in America more than two years before the election. Note that in 2014, Donald Trump was not a serious candidate yet (for example, OnTheIssues had already covered his presidential intimations in 2000 and 2012, which remained posted in 2014, but our coverage of Trump's entry into the 2016 race didn't start until well into 2015). In other words, the Russians did not initially support Trump--their purpose was simply to lay the groundwork to disrupt the 2016 elections. Later, they did actively support Trump, and actively opposed Hillary Clinton (and accordingly, actively supported Bernie Sanders in the 2016 Democratic primary). Mueller concludes that the Russian interference in the 2016 election was successful--their online disinformation campaign resulted in millions of Facebook and Twitter re-postings (indicating widespread acceptance of disinformation as truth, vol. i, p. 15); and that the Russians' 80,000 Facebook posts reached 126 million people (that's half the voting population of the United States, vol. i, p. 42).
Second, on "obstruction of justice," the Mueller team convicted several Trump associates of obstruction. Several members of Trump's campaign and several Trump presidential aides were charged with lying to Congress or to the Mueller investigation--Michael Flynn, George Papadopoulos, Michel Cohen, Paul Manafort--the convictions are summarized on vol. i, p. 9, and their indictments are detailed in an additional two hundred pages, pp. 521-722 of the Washington Post "related materials." President Trump argued that he could not be charged with "obstruction of justice" because there was no underlying crime of "collusion," but that's not how the law works--his associates were convicted of "obstruction of justice" even without any underlying "collusion" crimes. Most notably, it's not a crime to lie to the American people, but it IS a crime to lie to Congress. Trump commits no crime by offering his opinion that he is fully exonerated by the Mueller Report, even if you think he is lying; his associates, on the other hand, DID lie to Congress or to the Mueller investigation, and hence obstructed justice and are facing prison terms accordingly. President Trump answered Mueller's questions in writing, and never in person--the in-person testimony is how Michael Cohen got convicted, for example. Robert Mueller himself commented on that, noting that he COULD have required the president to testify in person (and perhaps lay a "perjury trap"), but that would have taken a year or more to accomplish, so it was never done.
We have gathered separately politicians' comments on impeaching Trump, and we have also gathered separately the activities of the Trump administration in the policy realm outside of the Mueller Report. We leave the rest to our readers.
-- Jesse Gordon, editor-in-chief, jesse@OnTheIssues.org, April 2019
July 2019 Addendum: Robert Mueller testified to the United State Congress Committes on House Intelligence and House Judiciary, on July 24, 2019. We added several excerpts from that testimony, and from analysis before and afterwards.
|OnTheIssues.org excerpts: (click on issues for details)|
John Neely Kennedy: Plenty of evidence Ukraine meddled in 2016 election.
Adam Schiff: Congress must act to protect elections from Russians.
Donald Trump: May veto FISA bill; unless "attempted coup" against him.
Principles & Values|
Donald Trump: Trump challenged Russia to hack Hillary's email; Russia did.
Donald Trump: Mueller convicted three Trump aides of lying about Russia.
John Bolton: Trump repeatedly tied Ukraine aid to investigating Biden.
Joe Biden: We had to wait until after election to tell about it.
Tommy Tuberville: Fight any attempt to discredit President Trump.
Elizabeth Warren: Ignoring Mueller Report means president is above the law.
Julian Castro: Mueller Report is clear that Trump deserves impeachment.
Kamala Harris: Trump should be prosecuted for obstruction of justice.
Adam Schiff: Anyone excerpt the president would have been indicted.
Adam Schiff: Congress must decide on impeachment, not Mueller.
Adam Schiff: Trump accepting assistance from Russians is criminal.
Donald Trump: Mueller: Presidents may not be indicted for obstruction.
Jim Sensenbrenner: Mueller should have decided impeachable conduct.
Steve Chabot: Mueller did not determine any impeachable conduct.
Ted Lieu: Trump committed all three elements of obstruction of justice.
Ted Lieu: Trump committed obstruction but presidents can't be indicted.
Beto O`Rourke: Can't let Trump abuse power; must act to save democracy.
John Delaney: Trump could be prosecuted, but it's not an issue for voters.
Donald Trump: No collusion, if you read the Mueller Report as I did.
Pete Buttigieg: Not up to the president to decide who should be prosecuted.
Doug Collins: No collusion; no obstruction.
Justin Amash: President Trump has engaged in impeachable conduct.
Justin Amash: Mueller Report revealed crimes & violations of public trust.
Justin Amash: Trump obstructed justice despite no Russia collusion.
Tom Steyer: Mueller report says Trump obstructed justice.
Bill Weld: 500 prosecutors: we'd indict Trump based on Mueller evidence.
Bill Weld: 500 prosecutors: Letting Trump go risks system of justice.
Donald Trump: Based on Mueller report, we'd indict Trump if not president.
Donald Trump: Letting Trump go risks system of justice.
Donald Trump: Mueller Report documents 77 lies by Trump campaign.
Donald Trump: OpEd: strong evidence of collusion by Trump campaign.
Donald Trump: OpEd: Russia helped Trump so they'd control eastern Ukraine.
Donald Trump: OpEd: criminal act to try to get A.G. to unrecuse.
Donald Trump: OpEd: impeachable act to fire FBI's Comey.
Donald Trump: OpEd: impeachable act to investigate Hillary Clinton.
Donald Trump: OpEd: Trump's crew tried to collude, like Keystone Kollusion.
Donald Trump: OpEd: would face criminal charges if not president.
Donald Trump: OpEd: Trump met three criteria for obstruction of justice.
Bill Weld: Trump used power of Oval Office to protect himself.
Bill Weld: Five Trump associates convicted; maybe 12 more redacted.
Bill Weld: Mueller Report found ten instances of possible obstruction.
Joni Ernst: Obama administration misused power to spy on Trump.
Barack Obama: Dec. 2016: Russia influenced election to benefit Trump.
Bernie Sanders: Mueller Report: Russia bought pro-Bernie social media ads.
Democratic Party: Russia hacked into Party computers & released via WikiLeaks.
Donald Trump: Mueller appointed to investigate Trump after Comey firing.
Donald Trump: Mueller results: 7 guilty pleas and 34 indictments.
Donald Trump: Focus in school was "creating mischief".
Donald Trump: Campaign manager convicted: conspiracy with Ukraine & Russia.
Donald Trump: Trump's lawyer convicted of lying to Congress about Russia.
Donald Trump: Barr/Trump's Mueller conclusion: no collusion;no obstruction.
Donald Trump: Campaign supplied Russians, without knowing it was Russia.
Donald Trump: Russia made up voter fraud story & Trump campaign re-posted.
Donald Trump: Mueller Report: Russia bought pro-Trump social media ads.
Donald Trump: Mueller: firing Comey is obstruction if Russia probe delayed.
Donald Trump: Trump: no Russia probe; Mueller: yes, Comey was running it.
Donald Trump: Trump: no connection to Russia; Mueller: yes, hotel business.
Donald Trump: Attempted to fire Special Counsel, but staff refused.
Donald Trump: Trump: Mueller has conflict; Mueller: no, it's obstruction.
Hillary Clinton: Focus of Putin & Russia in 2016 was hacking Hillary's email.
Hillary Clinton: Trump challenged Russia to hack Hillary's email; Russia did.
Hillary Clinton: Mueller Report: Russia bought anti-Hillary social media ads.
Jeff Sessions: Recusal from Mueller investigation for conflict of interest.
Jeff Sessions: Tendered resignation after Special Counsel Mueller appointed.
Jerrold Nadler: Mueller Report shows evidence of Trump's obstruction.
Steve Scalise: Apologize to America for smear campaign against Trump.
Adam Schiff: Investigation necessary to expose Russian interference.
Rudy Giuliani: No obstruction; Trump didn't testify to avoid perjury trap.
Lincoln Chafee: Mueller investigation a waste of money.
Donald Trump: 2016: cheered on WikiLeaks releasing Hillary's stolen emails.
The War on Normal People, by Andrew Yang (2019)
The Mueller Report, with notes by the Washington Post (2019)
The Truths We Hold, by Kamala Harris (2019)
Shortest Way Home, by Pete Buttigieg (2019)
The Land of Flickering Lights, by Michael Bennet (2019)
Healing the Soul of America, by Marianne Williamson (2018)
Unlikely Journey, by Julian Castro (2018)
The Right Answer, by John Delaney (2018)
Healing America, by Rep. Tim Ryan (2018)
Where We Go From Here, by Bernie Sanders (2018)
This Fight Is Our Fight by Elizabeth Warren (2017)
Guide to Political Revolution, by Bernie Sanders (2017)
Promise Me, Dad, by Joe Biden (2017)
Our Revolution by Bernie Sanders (2016)
United, by Cory Booker (2016)
The Opposite of Woe, by John Hickenlooper (2016)
The Senator Next Door, by Amy Klobuchar (2015)
Crippled America, by Donald J. Trump (2015)
Off the Sidelines, by Kirsten Gillibrand (2014)
A Fighting Chance by Elizabeth Warren (2014)
Smart People Should Build Things, by Andrew Yang (2014)
Time to Get Tough, by Donald J. Trump (2011)
Dealing Death and Drugs, by Beto O'Rourke (2011)
Smart on Crime, by Kamala Harris (2010)
A Political Odyssey, by Mike Gravel (2008)
Citizen Power: A Mandate for Change, by Mike Gravel (2008)
The Two-Income Trap by Elizabeth Warren (2007)
Promises to Keep, by Joe Biden (2007)
All Your Worth, by Elizabeth Warren & Amelia Warren Tyagi (2006)
The America We Deserve, by Donald Trump (2000)
Pour Your Heart Into It, by Howard Schultz (1999)
2020 Presidential Hopefuls by OnTheIssues.org
All material copyright 1999-2022
by Jesse Gordon and OnTheIssues.org
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Page last edited: Mar 16, 2021