Published: Sun, April 21, 2019
Worldwide | By Lisa Hogan

Ex-White House Lawyer Cobb Says Mueller Did a ‘Professional Job’

Ex-White House Lawyer Cobb Says Mueller Did a ‘Professional Job’

While Special Counsel Robert Mueller may not have found evidence of a criminal conspiracy between Donald Trump's 2016 campaign and Russia, but his report details extensive contacts between the campaign and Russian operatives who sought to influence the election.

Trump has tried to blame President Barack Obama for Russia's efforts to interfere in the 2016 election before, but to do it on the day when the Mueller revealed so much more about his campaign's duplicity is truly brazen, even for him.

The report said the special counsel's team determined there was a "reasonable argument" that the president's son, Donald Trump Jr, violated campaign finance laws, but did not believe they could obtain a conviction.

At the moment two years ago when Donald Trump learned a special counsel had been appointed to investigate his campaign and Russian Federation, the president responded with profane fury - and something resembling panic. Trump asked his attorney general.

Mueller does not explicitly say that Congress must now judge the president's conduct.

House Judiciary Democrat Jamie Raskin pointed to Trump's effort to get McGahn to fire Mueller and then lie about being told to do so as an area of interest for lawmakers, and said McGahn and former Attorney General Jeff Sessions could be valuable witnesses as the committee moves forward. He acknowledged that Mueller closely scrutinized the president for obstruction of justice but said he and Rosenstein disagreed with some of Mueller's legal theories. But she said, "the report squarely puts this on our doorstep". "The Mueller report very clearly outlined obstruction by the president and basically said, I can't do anything about it, it's up to Congress to hold the president accountable". Mr. Trump later asked Mr. McGahn to publicly deny that Mr. Trump had asked him to fire Mr. Mueller; Mr. McGahn refused this, too. The goal was to speed the inquiry - and also provide legal cover for Trump to refuse to be interviewed by Mueller on the grounds that wasn't necessary.

House speaker Nancy Pelosi and other Democratic leaders have previously sought to tamp down any discussion of impeaching Trump, believing that this extreme option should be pursued only if the evidence against the president was so compelling that impeachment proceedings would have broad bipartisan support.

One, Russia clearly interfered with the 2016 election, and the USA president undermined the findings of his intelligence community after a briefing in January 2017 that detailed the meddling.

Trump called White House Chief Counsel Don McGahn twice and told him to tell Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein that Mueller should be removed.

The FBI had been looking into Russian interference in the 2016 USA presidential campaign for months before Trump was even elected. A Russian entity directly served at least 29 million people content in their news feeds via almost 80,000 posts over two years - posts that may have reached 126 million people - a deception that undermined both USA laws and the US election, despite Trump pooh-poohing the idea.

Ahead of the report's public release, FRONTLINE's The Mueller Investigation explored numerous issues and moments that are now confirmed to have been at the heart of the special counsel's probe.

Legislators have "the authority to prohibit a president's corrupt use of his authority", the report said.

"Christie had no intention of complying with the president's request that he contact Comey", Mueller wrote. With respect to the substance of the dinner conversation, Comey documented the President's request for loyalty in a memorandum he began drafting the night of the dinner; senior Federal Bureau of Investigation officials recall that Comey told them about the loyalty request shortly after the dinner occurred, and Comey described the request while under oath in congressional proceedings and in a subsequent interview with investigators subject to penalties for lying under 18 U.S.C, g 1001.

"Knockout", read a text message from Rudy Giuliani, one of the president's attorneys, to reporters after Barr finished speaking.

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