The Mueller Report – A Few Thoughts on Volume II of II

As I began my previous post: The long-awaited, or dreaded, Mueller Report: Volume II is out.

This work concentrates not on Russian interference in the 2016 election and any connections with the Trump campaign, but on whether or not Trump (et al) obstructed or attempted to obstruct the government’s investigation of that interference. As such, it was more difficult reading and there was a great deal of legalize with which to deal.


  • Mr. Trump and, many, if not most, of the people around him have no respect for the truth. In fact, I have my doubts that some of them even have a concept of “truth.” If the statement helped Mr. Trump it was good; if the statement harmed Mr. Trump it was bad. Whether the statement was true or not had/has no place in the discussion.
  • It is interesting that some of the people surrounding Mr. Trump (whether in government positions or not) refused to follow his instructions, sometimes repeatedly.
  • Questions of (Constitutional) law are complicated — especially, involving the separation of powers.
  • We are lucky in that we have a system of checks and balances which limits both the powers of Congress and the President.

A charge of Obstruction of Justice needs three elements:

  1. An obstructive act —

    Obstruction-of-justice law “reaches all corrupt conduct capable of producing an effect that prevents justice from being duly administered, regardless of the means employed.”

  2. Nexus (a connection) to a pending or contemplated official proceeding;

  3. Corruptly (intent) —

    The word “corruptly” provides the intent element for obstruction of justice and means acting “knowingly and dishonestly” or “with an improper motive.”

In other words: Did Mr. Trump (or others at his direction) corruptly obstruct, or attempt to obstruct, the investigations by the FBI or Special Counsel.

The Mueller Report goes into a great deal of detail to explain the above, the conduct of Mr. Trump and his associates in regards to it and the constitutional ramifications of various actions and charges.

I found the Report to be damning.

I also found the lack of people willing to come forward and honestly tell their stories disturbing. There are no real “good guys” connected with the White House. Everyone, even those who refused to carry out Mr. Trump’s instructions, seemed/seems to be concerned with only themselves — no one puts America first.

It took me two days to read through Volume II. While the language was no more difficult than Volume I, the content density of the material was greater and frequently required re-reading of sections.

Following the investigative material and its conclusions is the Appendix:

AAAAAA. The order establishing the Special Counsel;

AAAAAB. A Glossary of names and brief descriptions of individuals and entities referenced in the two volumes of the report;

AAAAAC. Questions submitted to Mr. Trump for written replies (and the reasoning behind this) and Mr. Trump’s replies;

AAAAAD. The matters transferred or referred by the Special Counsel’s Office, as well as cases prosecuted by the Office that are now completed.


To get the full impact of the Mueller Report you must actually read it. No media summary and commentary is sufficient. However, the following may give you a hint of its effect.

Because we determined not to make a traditional prosecutorial judgment, we did not draw ultimate conclusions about the President’s conduct. The evidence we obtained about the President’s actions and intent presents difficult issues that would need to be resolved if we were making a traditional prosecutorial judgment. At the same time, if we had confidence after a thorough investigation of the facts that the President clearly did not commit obstruction of justice, we would so state. Based on the facts and the applicable legal standards, we are unable to reach that judgment. Accordingly, while this report does not conclude that the President committed a crime, it also does not exonerate him.”

The Mueller Report – A Few Thoughts on Volume I of II

The long awaited, or dreaded, Mueller Report is out.

I have been avoiding watching news reports on its substance and I’ve avoided reading about it in the newspapers.

Today I went to  — — and downloaded a copy of the report. I’ve spent most of this afternoon reading it. So far, I’ve finished reading Volume I. Tomorrow, or later, I’ll read Volume II.


  • Attorney General Barr’s speech just before the release of the Mueller Report had nothing to do with the report itself but was a political misdirection in favor of President Trump.
  • The Mueller Report is an “easy” read. That is, the language is easy to understand, the narration and explanations are understandable with little need to re-read sections or puzzle over the meanings of words. Indeed, the most difficult part was dealing with Russian names.
  • It is, however, not light reading. There is a wealth of information and detail.


Portions of the report were redacted, that is, censored for several reasons:

  • HOM — Harm to Ongoing Matter
  • Personal Privacy — Huh?
  • Grand Jury
  • Investigative Technique

More Impressions

That a great deal of work went into the investigation is evident in both its extent and detail. Robert Mueller, III earned his pay, and so did the others on his team.

The Mueller Report does not exonerate President Trump or any of his associates.

From the Report

  • The Russian government interfered in the 2016 presidential election in sweeping and systematic fashion.
    • . . . the Special Counsel’s investigation established that Russia interfered in the 2016 presidential election principally through two operations.
    • First, a Russian entity carried out a social media campaign that favored presidential candidate Donald J. Trump and disparaged presidential candidate Hillary Clinton.
    • Second, a Russian intelligence service conducted computer-intrusion operations against entities, employees, and volunteers working on the Clinton Campaign and then released stolen documents. The investigation also identified numerous links between the Russian government and the Trump Campaign.
    • Although the investigation established that the Russian government perceived it would benefit from a Trump presidency and worked to secure that outcome, and that the Campaign expected it would benefit electorally from information stolen and released through Russian efforts, the investigation did not establish that members of the Trump Campaign conspired or coordinated with the Russian government in its election interference activities.
    • In evaluating whether evidence about collective action of multiple individuals constituted a crime, we applied the framework of conspiracy law, not the concept of “collusion.”


  • According to Gates, in March 2016, Manafort traveled to Trump’s Mar-a-Lago estate in Florida to meet with Trump. Trump hired him at that time. Manafort agreed to work on the Campaign without pay. Manafort had no meaningful income at this point in time, but resuscitating his domestic political campaign career could be financially beneficial in the future. Gates reported that Manafort intended, if Trump won the Presidency, to remain outside the Administration and monetize his relationship with the Administration. (My Italics.)
  • The conflicting accounts provided by Bannon and Prince could not be independently clarified by reviewing their communications, because neither one was able to produce any of the messages they exchanged in the time period surrounding the Seychelles meeting. Prince’s phone contained no text messages prior to March 2017, though provider records indicate that he and Bannon exchanged dozens of messages. Prince denied deleting any messages but claimed he did not know why there were no messages on his device before March 2017. Bannon’s devices similarly contained no messages in the relevant time period, and Bannon also stated he did not know why messages did not appear on his device. Bannon told the Office that, during both the months before and after the Seychelles meeting, he regularly used his personal Blackberry and personal email for work-related communications (including those with Prince), and he took no steps to preserve these work communications. (My Italics.)

The Mueller Report details actions of both members of the Trump campaign and Russians. It makes for interesting reading. Although Mr. Trump and members of his campaign may not have conspired — according to the letter of the law — with the Russians to influence the 2016 election, I believe the Mr. Trump and his supporters “used” the Russians and their illegal hacking and social media exploits to help him win the election. He showed, and still shows, no interest in punishing them for their interference in that election and no concern that it might occur again.

Ronald Reagan and Dwight D. Eisenhower are spinning in their graves.

NOTE: Of special interest in this report are the Special Counsel’s reasons and reasoning for not bringing charges against certain individuals.

Remember those “30,000 emails” of Mrs. Clintons? Wouldn’t getting those emails and using them — being as they were illegally “hacked” and stolen — be considered “receiving stolen property?” Mr. Mueller’s reasoning that it was not a crime is brilliant . . . and proves that the world is run, to its detriment, by too many lawyers.