Quantcast
Connect with us

Trump ‘tweeting in triumph’ over Mueller report would be premature: Legal analyst

Published

on

The US public and Washington’s deeply divided political class faced an anxious wait Saturday to learn if the key findings of the Russian meddling probe will implicate President Donald Trump in serious wrongdoing.

One day after Special Counsel Robert Mueller submitted the confidential final report on his 22 month investigation, Attorney General Bill Barr was studying the document, which he must summarize for Congress.

The Justice Department told legislators however that Barr would not be sending an outline of its “principal conclusions” expected over the weekend on Saturday, according to US media.

That left the American public still in the dark over what the Mueller investigation uncovered about the president’s ties to Russia and alleged acts of obstruction of justice.

Chronic tweeter Trump, who was spending the weekend at his Palm Beach, Florida Mar-a-Lago residence, remained uncommonly silent after spending two years repeatedly labeling Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation an illegal witch hunt.

ADVERTISEMENT

After the president spent the morning golfing, White House spokesman Hogan Gidley confirmed that they still had not seen the report or been briefed on its findings.

Asked how the president felt, Gidley replied: “He’s good.”

Meanwhile Democrats in Congress, many of who are hoping for evidence to support a presidential impeachment, pressed hard to ensure the report’s full contents are made public, and not just a summary prepared by the Trump-appointed Barr.

ADVERTISEMENT

Neal Katyal, the former Justice Department official who drafted the rules for special counsels, said Barr had no excuse for keeping Mueller’s report secret.

No new indictments

“Absolutely nothing in the law or the regulations prevents the report from becoming public,” Katyal said in a Washington Post opinion piece.

ADVERTISEMENT

The secret report was handed to Barr on Friday with the announcement that no new indictments were forthcoming.

That produced sighs of relief from the White House, where members of Trump’s family — Don Jr. and son-in-law Jared Kushner in particular — had been feared possible targets of the probe.

For Trump himself, Mueller was prevented by longstanding Justice Department policy from indicting the president.

ADVERTISEMENT

But his report could still outline criminal behavior by Trump that could be the basis for an impeachment effort.

Mueller, a 74-year-old veteran criminal prosecutor and former FBI chief, investigated whether members of Trump’s campaign colluded with Russians to skew the 2016 election.

In addition, he studied whether actions by Trump, including the May 2017 firing of FBI director James Comey, amounted to criminal obstruction of justice.

ADVERTISEMENT

At the end of the probe, he was required to produce to Barr a confidential report that explained why he decided to indict or not indict subjects of the probe.

Barr must summarize the report for Congress.

He said in a letter to congressional leaders Friday that he is “committed to as much transparency as possible.”

ADVERTISEMENT

However, the special counsel regulations “give Barr lots of discretion about what to disclose,” said Andrew Coan, a University of Arizona law professor.

“The selective release of exculpatory material is a possibility worth watching for,” Coan warned.

34 already charged

ADVERTISEMENT

Analysts cautioned Saturday about reaching any conclusions, saying nothing is yet known about the form or length of the report.

“The president should wait before popping the champagne corks over this and tweeting in triumph.” Benjamin Wittes, a prominent Washington legal analyst, wrote on the Lawfare website.

Mueller indicted 34 individuals during the probe, among them six Trump associates, including his former national security advisor Mike Flynn, his former personal lawyer Michael Cohen, and campaign chairman Paul Manafort.

ADVERTISEMENT

Five of the six have pleaded guilty to the charges against them.

Court filings in those cases painted a broad picture of a cohesive Russian effort via hacking and social media manipulation to swing the election in Trump’s favor against Democrat Hillary Clinton.

The investigation has revealed scores of contacts between the campaign and Russians, with members of the team readily talking to the Russians about obtaining dirt on Clinton.

ADVERTISEMENT

Hours before Barr’s announcement, Trump repeated his accusation that the entire investigation was a hoax and questioned Mueller’s credentials for investigating him.

But Mueller, who was director of the FBI for 12 years, has the respect and support of Democrats and Republicans alike as a straight-shooting, disciplined and fair investigator.


Report typos and corrections to [email protected].
READ COMMENTS - JOIN THE DISCUSSION
Continue Reading

Breaking Banner

REVEALED: Jeffrey Epstein used his fake passport to enter multiple countries

Published

on

Prosecutors revealed that the fake passport Jeffrey Epstein had among the items seized by investigators had been used.

According to NBC News, he used the passport to enter multiple countries in the 1980s, including the U.K, Spain and Saudi Arabia.

The passport was found in the safe of his New York home along with $70,000 in cash and 48 diamonds. There was a different name used on the passport and it had already expired, but it listed the residence in Saudi Arabia.

Continue Reading

Breaking Banner

House holds Bill Barr and Wilbur Ross in criminal contempt of Congress

Published

on

The House has officially voted to hold Attorney General Bill Barr and Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross in contempt of Congress.

Both men refused to abide by a subpoena from the House for documents so they that could investigate actions by both departments.

The last person to be held in contempt of Congress was Bill Barr when he was held in civil contempt, but this was a criminal charge.

In the case of Ross, he is accused of lying under oath to Congress and they requested documents to prove it. Ross refused to provide the information necessary.

Ross has called the contempt charge "political theater" and of no real substance. If that was true, he shouldn't be afraid to provide the documents. Still, he refused.

Continue Reading
 

Breaking Banner

Trump’s ‘craziness’ will drive Mexico to find other sources of soybeans — permanently hurting US farmers: Ex-diplomat

Published

on

President Donald Trump believes he has worked out a killer trade deal with Mexico and Canada -- but one former Mexican diplomat tells Storm Lake Times columnist Art Cullen that the damage done to the relationship between the countries will have lasting ramifications for years to come.

Jorge Guajardo, who served for six years as Mexico's ambassador to China, recently explained to Cullen that Trump's erratic behavior has shown his country that it must look for other major trading partners so it doesn't run the risk of getting burned by the United States again.

Continue Reading
 
 
 

Copyright © 2019 Raw Story Media, Inc. PO Box 21050, Washington, D.C. 20009 | Masthead | Privacy Policy | For corrections or concerns, please email [email protected]

Enjoy Summer! Try Raw Story Ad-Free for $1. Invest in Progressive Journalism.
close-image