Former FBI deputy director Andrew McCabe told MSNBC host Rachel Maddow Thursday that it’s very clear that the special counsel believes the president obstructed justice.
Maddow asked McCabe about the reasons Robert Mueller was resistant to charge President Donald Trump with obstruction of justice when he spent so much time outlining the case for it.
“There’s a lot of legal discussion out there about whether or not the president can be essentially accused by Mueller and his office of having committed crimes given that Justice Department policy says he can’t be tried which means he can’t rebut those assertions in court, and maybe that wouldn’t be fair,” Maddow said. “That said, the special counsel’s office goes out of their way to describe the president’s motives and how those might go toward justifying charges essentially for obstruction of justice.”
She said that she sees it as a kind of legal road map for Congress if they were so inclined to follow it.
“Otherwise, you wouldn’t go to the length they go to in order to explain the president’s state of minds. Is that how you read it?” she asked the former Trump foe.
“Absolutely. The Bob Mueller that I know, the Bob Mueller that I worked for many years is not a guy who is going to write a report that contradicts can existing DOJ policy,” McCabe explained. “He’s not going to write a report that says the president should be indicted knowing that’s not a possibility under the current policy.”
What Mueller has done, according to McCabe, is provide an avalanche of information that “clearly indicates obstructive activity on the part of the president. He calls it out plainly in ten different sections in volume two of the report lays out why he believes the intent is present. And he lays out why he believes the nexus to the contemplated or ongoing matter is present. So, the analysis is extraordinary. The scope is incredibly damning for the president.”
He noted that it’s extraordinary because the information from Mueller is laid out in the way a prosecutor would to justify charges.
“I would add done fairly,” McCabe continued. “There are places in the report where Mueller evaluates the evidence they have and says, ‘You know, it is not clear to us that the intent to obstruct was present in this particular circumstance.’ So, he very much gives the president the benefit of the doubt when it’s a ball up in the air and it’s a 50/50 call, he comes down clearly on the side it’s not all there.”
Watch the interview below: