Now that the redacted 448-page Mueller report has been released to the public, people on both sides of the aisle have been madly poring over the results of the special counsel's 22-month Russia probe.
Prosecutors closely examined whether Donald Trump or members of his 2016 campaign conspired with Russia to release emails which were damaging to Hillary Clinton's campaign and the DNC, and/or any involvement with the Kremlin's social media disinformation campaigns.
The investigation also covered whether Trump associates operated as unregistered Russian (and in one case Israeli) agents, and whether the infamous June 9, 2016 Trump Tower meeting with a Russian attorney violated campaign finance laws as a "thing-of-value" offered by foreign governments, or crossed any other legal boundaries.
At the end of the day, Mueller and his team did not find that any Trump campaign associates were operating on behalf of a foreign government in connection with the 2016 election. Mueller did, however, find Trump campaign manager Paul Manafort and his deputy Rick Gates guilty of crimes connected to their work for the Ukrainian government prior to their involvement with Trump.
There are a mountain of pages and footnotes to go through, but here are some takeaways so far:
- Mueller was unable to establish that Trump committed any underlying crimes.
"Unlike cases in which a subject engages in obstruction of justice to cover up a crime, the evidence we obtained did not establish that the president was involved in an underlying crime related to Russian election interference," the report reads.
- Mueller considered pressing charges in connection with the Trump Tower meeting.
The special counsel's office considered prosecuting the Trump Tower meeting as a campaign-finance violation, however declined because they didn't have "admissible evidence" likely to prove that Trump officials "wilfully" acted, or that the information offered by the Russians exceeded the threshold for prosecution.
Interestingly - the Mueller report completely omits the involvement of Fusion GPS in the Trump tower meeting - as the Russian attorney involved in it, Natalia Veselnitskaya, was a Fusion GPS associate and met with founder Glenn Simpson before and after the Trump Tower meeting.
The report also notes Veselnitskaya's work for Prevezon, which was charged with money laundering and sanctions violations, yet fails to note that Clinton campaign contractor Fusion GPS was working for her and Prevezon on that issue. How does a collusion investigation miss that? pic.twitter.com/aepx2Zih5X— Sean Davis (@seanmdav) April 18, 2019
Also noteworthy is that the Trump Tower meeting investigation "did not identify evidence connecting the events of June 9 & the GRU's hack-and-dump operation.
BREAKING: Buried in a footnote, Mueller Report crushes last remaining MSM "collusion" hopes centered on June 9, 2016, Trump Tower meeting involving Donald Trump Jr: "The investigation did not identify evidence connecting the events of June 9 & the GRU's hack-and-dump operation."— Paul Sperry (@paulsperry_) April 18, 2019
- Mueller looked at charging Trump aide George Papadopoulos as an agent of Israel.
Whoa -- the investigation into Papadopoulos was into whether he was an Israeli agent pic.twitter.com/HUN5Z6nv4z— Chuck Ross (@ChuckRossDC) April 18, 2019
In June 2018, @simonamangiante told me that investigators had threatened to charge @GeorgePapa19 as an agent of Israel. I didn't know what to make of it at the time, but Mueller report backs it up. https://t.co/CcZHeJEJqC @dailycaller— Chuck Ross (@ChuckRossDC) April 18, 2019
Let’s summarize the Mueller report:— George Papadopoulos (@GeorgePapa19) April 18, 2019
He states that warrants were targeted at me during my time before and after I joined the campaign because of my “high level connections to Israel.”
Translation: Obama illicitly spied on me with a FISA because I was a top energy advisor.
- Trump worried that the Special Counsel investigation would end his presidency.
According to the Mueller report, when then-Attorney General Jeff Sessions let Trump know about the appointment of a special counsel, Trump replied: "Oh my God. This is terrible. This is the end of my presidency. I'm fucked," adding "How could you allow this to happen, Jeff?"
Trump goes on to say: "Everyone tells me if you get one of these independent counsels it ruins your presidency. It takes years and years and I won't be able to do anything. This is the worst thing that ever happened to me."
- Former White House attorney Don McGahn threatened to resign.
McGahn was ready to hand in his resignation as White House counsel in June 2017 when Trump directed him to tell Deputy Attorney Rod Rosenstein that "Mueller has to go," per the report.
"In response to that request, McGahn decided to quit because he did not want to participate in events that he described as akin to the Saturday Night Massacre," during the Nixon administration. McGahn would stay on as White House counsel for for another 16 months.
BREAKING: Mueller Report reveals it could find no documentary or other evidence indicating Papadopoulos shared Mifsud's claim that Russia had "dirt" on Hillary Clinton in the form of emails with any other Trump campaign official -- the alleged predicate for opening investigation— Paul Sperry (@paulsperry_) April 18, 2019
Reminder that BuzzFeed stood by their report even after it was directly disputed by Mueller's team. https://t.co/9x19ViZlPD— Amber Athey (@amber_athey) April 18, 2019
NEW: special counsel Mueller's report directly contradicts BuzzFeed's bombshell story— Peter J. Hasson (@peterjhasson) April 18, 2019
BF: Cohen told Mueller "the president personally instructed him to lie"
Mueller: Cohen said "the President did not direct him to provide false testimony"https://t.co/nx9eGj7DGr
Mueller found "little corroboration" of Jerome Corsi's claims that Roger Stone asked him to contact WikiLeaks on day of Access Hollywood tape release. This allegation from Corsi has created bad blood b/w him and Stone pic.twitter.com/olKtQ08kig— Chuck Ross (@ChuckRossDC) April 18, 2019