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The Politics & Policy Daily: It’s (Finally) Mueller Time

The Politics & Policy Daily: It’s (Finally) Mueller TimeWhat We’re Following TodayIt’s Thursday, April 18 (and Mueller report time).Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s report is finally out. Mueller’s team writes that there are links between Donald Trump’s campaign and the Russian government, but concludes that “the evidence was not sufficient enough to produce criminal charges.” The report also details that the president attempted to thwart the special counsel’s investigation, but Mueller “did not draw ultimate conclusions about the President’s conduct.” The special counsel determined that he was unable to definitively say whether the president obstructed justice.The president hit back quickly after the report was released, tweeting, “As I have been saying all along, NO COLLUSION – NO OBSTRUCTION!”Meanwhile, Representative Jerry Nadler, the chairman of the House Judiciary Committee, formally asked Mueller to testify to the committee, Russell Berman reports. Democrats will likely press Mueller on whether Barr’s characterization of the special…


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The Irony of Mueller-Report Profiteering

The Irony of Mueller-Report ProfiteeringWhen the Justice Department releases the Mueller Report this morning, it will publish on the Special Counsel’s Office website. By federal law, it will be placed in the public domain. That means you’ll be able to download the report for free to read on your computer or smartphone, or to print out, or to email to your friends who don’t know where to find it.That’s not stopping Barnes & Noble, the bookseller, from offering its own version of the Mueller Report as a free download to its Nook tablet-and-app ebook platform. “We’ve received strong demand from our customers for this report,” Tim Mantel, the company’s chief merchandising officer said in a statement, “and want to make it as easy as possible for them to access it for free as soon as possible.”Barnes & Noble is also selling a print edition of the report, with an introduction…


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Read Robert Mueller’s Written Summaries of His Russia Report

Read Robert Mueller’s Written Summaries of His Russia ReportAttorney General William Barr released Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s full report on Thursday. Contained therein were the summaries Mueller’s team prepared for the nearly 450-page-long document—presumably, the details he felt were most important for the public to know. The report details Russian efforts to influence the 2016 election and details 10 episodes the special counsel examined related to obstruction of justice. According to Barr, four types of information have been redacted, related to grand-jury material, the intelligence community’s sources and methods, ongoing cases, and the privacy of “peripheral third parties.”Below, the summaries as written by the special counsel.Executive Summary to Volume IRUSSIAN SOCIAL MEDIA CAMPAIGNThe Internet Research Agency (IRA) carried out the earliest Russian interference operations identified by the investigation- a social media campaign designed to provoke and amplify political and social discord in the United States. The IRA was based in…


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What’s Really in the Mueller Report

What’s Really in the Mueller ReportWhile preparing the public for the release of Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s report this morning, Attorney General William Barr noted that Mueller examined 10 separate instances where President Donald Trump might have potentially obstructed the investigation. Mueller ultimately decided not to decide whether Trump had actually attempted to obstruct, and Barr has concluded that Trump’s behavior was not enough to justify obstruction charges. But the minute Barr noted that Mueller had flagged 10 separate instances, that became the news hook for the day. Since Mueller did not draw a conclusion on obstruction, what does the report say? Mueller explains from the start of the report’s obstruction section—an entire volume of the overall report—that he would not come to a “traditional prosecutorial judgment” about Trump because he’d accepted the Office of Legal Counsel’s conclusion that “the indictment or criminal prosecution of a sitting President would impermissibly…


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The Mueller Report: A Detailed Account of Trump’s Lies and Misconduct

The Mueller Report: A Detailed Account of Trump’s Lies and MisconductThe long-awaited report by special counsel Robert Mueller confirms what we already knew: that Donald Trump and his campaign privately interacted with Russia while Putin’s regime was preparing—and then carrying out—an attack on the 2016 US presidential election; that Russia’s goal (as early as the start of 2016) was to help Trump become president; that Trump and his campaign had good reason to believe Putin’s regime was behind the ongoing assault (but kept insisting Moscow was doing nothing); and that Trump and folks in his orbit have lied about much of this. Lies, lies, and more lies. They lace this report.The basics of the Trump-Russia scandal were well established long before Mueller concluded his investigation, because so much of it had taken place in public view—Trump repeatedly echoing Russia’s false claims of innocence, for example. Other elements had been exposed…


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Trump May Not Have Obstructed the Mueller Investigation, But It Sure Looks Like He Tried

Trump May Not Have Obstructed the Mueller Investigation, But It Sure Looks Like He TriedThe Mueller report, a redacted version of which was released today, doesn’t conclude that President Trump obstructed justice. But it also doesn’t conclude that he didn’t. Instead, it strongly suggests that he tried—and was foiled by a staff that refused to carry out his instructions. Attorney General William Barr’s initial summary of the report quoted it as saying that “while this report does not conclude that the President committed a crime, it also does not exonerate him.” The full paragraph is even more explicit about leaving open the possibility that Trump may have acted in a criminal manner. “If we had confidence after a thorough investigation of the facts that the President clearly did not commit obstruction of justice, we would so state,” the report says. “Based on the facts and the applicable legal standards, however,…


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