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 — https://www.cnn.com/2019/04/18/politics/full-mueller-report-pdf/index.html — 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
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.