The text of the special counsel’s detailed, damning report is rightfully receiving much attention. Most analysis has nevertheless failed to appreciate the narrow channel Robert Mueller needed to navigate when crafting this report—and just how deftly he managed to do so.
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On April 23, Benjamin Wittes hosted a panel discussion at the Brookings Institution unpacking what we learned from the redacted version of the Mueller report. The panel featured Susan Hennessey, Chuck Rosenberg and Margaret Taylor. They discussed the factual record Mueller established on Russian interference and collusion, whether the president's conduct constitutes obstruction of justice and how Congress and the American people might react to the report.
The Mueller report contains some interesting tidbits 0n "going dark" and bitcoin.
The redacted Special Counsel report confirms that the Russian government, carried out a multi-pronged campaign against the U.S. before, during, and after the 2016 election. There were three distinct elements of that campaign.
Mueller did not find a criminal conspiracy between the Trump campaign and Russia, and he did not conclude that President Trump had obstructed justice. But he did not exonerate the president either.
Editor’s Note: Below are the executive summaries of the two volumes of Special Counsel Robert Mueller's final report. Volume I deals with links between Russia and the Trump campaign, while Volume II deals with potential obstruction of justice by President Trump. This article is available in audio format on the Lawfare Podcast: Special Edition:
If the president’s lawyers release their prewritten rebuttal in response to the Mueller report, attorney-client privilege will not shield them from having to testify before Congress.
Congress has managed twice to obtain federal grand jury information in prior special counsel investigations, but the legal and factual landscape surrounding those situations is distinct from the landscape surrounding the Mueller report.
On Thursday, April 11, the Department of Justice announced the indictment of former White House Counsel Greg Craig. Craig is charged with willfully falsifying and concealing material facts in violation of 18 USC § 1001(a) from the Foreign Agents Registration Act (FARA) Unit of the Justice Department's National Security Division and making false statements to the FARA unit in violation of 22 USC § 618(a)(2).
Attorney General Bill Barr announced on Wednesday, April 10, that the Mueller report will be released next week.