Live Coverage: Analysis As Redacted Mueller Report Is Released | NBC News

Live Coverage: Analysis As Redacted Mueller Report Is Released | NBC News


ON THE AIR WITH BREAKING NEWS. THE PUBLIC RELEASE OF THE REDACTED MUELLER REPORT IS EXPECTED THIS MORNING. IN THE MEANTIME ATTORNEY GENERAL WILLIAM BARR AND HIS DEPUTY ARE GOING TO ADDRESS THE MEDIA. LET ME WALK YOU THROUGH WHAT’S GOING TO HAPPEN. THEY WILL TALK. AT SOME POINT LATER TODAY WE WILL ALL GET THE MUELLER REPORT. IT WILL HAVE SECTIONS BLACKED OUT, REDACTED SECTIONS. IT’S GOING TO BE INTERESTING TV. YOU’RE GOING TO BE WITH US AS WE’RE READING IT AND DIGESTING IT. >>THIS WILL ALL BE UNFOLDING BEFORE YOUR EYES. THE ATTORNEY GENERAL LEAVING THIS MORNING. WE HAVE A SHOT AT THE PRESS CONFERENCE ROOM AT THE DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE WHERE IN A FEW MOMENTS WE’LL HEAR FROM THE ATTORNEY GENERAL. HE’S THE MAN OF THE MOMENT. THE MUELLER REPORT, AS WE KNOW, WAS TURNED INTO HIM A FEW WEEKS AGO. HE DID NOT RELEASE THE REPORT RIGHT AWAY YET SUMMARIZED HIS TOP LINE FINDINGS. HE FOUND THAT THERE WAS NO COLLUSION, MUELLER DECIDED THERE WAS NO CONSPIRACY CASE AGAINST PRESIDENT TRUMP OR ANY OF HIS ASSOCIATES. ON THAT QUESTION OF OBSTRUCTION OF JUSTICE, MUELLER HIMSELF DECIDED NOT TO RENDER A LEGAL DECISION. THAT’S WHEN WILLIAM BARR STEPPED IN AND DID AND SAID THERE WAS NOT SUFFICIENT EVIDENCE TO CHARGE THE PRESIDENT WITH OBSTRUCTION OF JUSTICE. THAT LEADS US TO TODAY. FOR THE FIRST TIME WE WILL SEE THE 400-PAGE REPORT, THE UNDERLYING EVIDENCE THAT MUELLER COLLECTED OVER A TWO-YEAR INVESTIGATION. >>IT FEELS LIKE WE HAVE SEEN IT ALREADY. OF COURSE WE GOT THE WORD IT WAS HANDED OVER TO CONGRESS, THEN WE GET THAT FOUR-PAGE SUMMARY. REALLY WE HAVE NOT SEEN ANYTHING THAT REMOTELY BEGINS TO SHOW THE DETAILS OF THIS INVESTIGATION. >>WE’VE SEEN THE TOP LINE CONCLUSIONS. WE HAVE NOT SEEN EVIDENCE OR LACK THEREOF. PETE WILLIAMS, OUR JUSTICE COORDINATOR IS RIGHT THERE IN THE ROOM. YOU CAN SEE HIM THERE IN THE ROOM ON THE PHONE. WHAT ARE YOU EXPECTING?>>Reporter: WE EXPECT THE PROCESS THAT WILL PREPARE THE REPORT FOR RELEASE. HE’LL ADDRESS WHAT EXTENT THERE WAS CONVERSATIONS WITH THE WHITE HOUSE IN THE LAST COUPLE OF WEEKS ABOUT IT, THE PROCESS THEY WENT THROUGH IN TERMS OF REDACTION, WHETHER THE WHITE HOUSE HAS ASSERTED EXECUTIVE PRIVILEGE. WE DON’T EXPECT HIM TO TALK ABOUT THE REPORT’S CONCLUSIONS. WE DON’T EXPECT THIS TO BE, IN OTHER WORDS, THE AMPLIFICATION OF THE LETTERS HE SENT OUT LAST MONTH IN WHICH HE SUMMARIZED THE REPORT. RATHER, WE EXPECT HIM TO EXPLAIN HOW THE JUSTICE DEPARTMENT HAS COME TO THIS REPORT TODAY OF RECEIVING THE MUELLER REPORT, WHAT THEY HAVE DONE IN THE INTERIM SINCE RECEIVING IT, AND HOW IT’S GOING TO BE PRESENTED TO THE PUBLIC, HOW THEY WENT THROUGH THE PROCESS OF REDACTION. I WOULD THINK THAT SOMETIME AFTER, SOMETIME LATER THIS MORNING IT WILL BE RELEASED. IT’S GOING TO BE RELEASED TO MEMBERS OF CONGRESS. WE BELIEVE. THAT’S WHAT MEMBERS OF CONGRESS HAVE TOLD US. AT SOME POINT THE PLAN IS TO APPEAR ON A WEBSITE SO THAT EVERYONE CAN SEE IT. >>PETE, DEMOCRATS ARE VERY UPSET THAT THIS NEWS CONFERENCE IS BEING HELD BEFORE THE RELEASE SO THAT REPORTERS ARE AT A DISADVANTAGE IN TERMS OF NOT BEING ABLE TO ASK ABOUT ANYTHING IN THE REPORT ITSELF. THERE HAVE BEEN REPORTS THAT THE WHITE HOUSE HAS HAD A LOOK AT THIS. HOW MUCH DO WE KNOW THAT THEY HAVE BEEN ABLE TO SEE AND WHAT INPUT THEY MAY HAVE HAD ON WHAT’S ABOUT TO TRANSPIRE?>>I DON’T KNOW THE ANSWER TO THAT. THAT’S WHAT THEY ARE GOING TO TELL US. IN TERMS OF WHITE HOUSE SEEING IT, THEY CAN’T CHANGE IT IN ANY WAY. THE WHITE HOUSE CAN’T HAVE ANY INFLUENCE ON WHAT IT SAYS. THE ONE QUESTION IS DID THEY WEIGH IN AT ALL ON EXECUTIVE PRIVILEGE. BARR SAID EARLIER HE WAS NOT GOING TO PRESENT THE REPORT TO THE WHITE HOUSE FOR THE PURPOSES OF HAVING THEM REVIEW IT FOR EXECUTIVE PRIVILEGE, SO WE EXPECT HE’LL TALK MORE ABOUT THAT TODAY. SO AGAIN, HE WANTS TO TALK ABOUT THE PROCESS OF RELEASING IT, NOT THE CONTENT. >>ALL RIGHT. PETE, SIT TIGHT. WE KNOW YOU WILL. WE EXPECT ATTORNEY GENERAL WILLIAM BARR TO ADDRESS THAT PODIUM IN JUST A MATTER OF MOMENTS. WE DO HAVE A MOMENT TO GO TO OUR POLITICAL DIRECTOR, MODERATOR OF “MEET THE PRESS,” CHUCK TODD. WE NOW KNOW WHAT THE LEGAL CONCLUSIONS ARE. WE DON’T KNOW WHAT THE POLITICS WILL BE ONCE THE AMERICAN PEOPLE SEE WHAT UNDERLIES THOSE CONCLUSIONS, WHAT IS THE EVIDENCE. >>POLITICALLY, LET’S BE FRANK HERE, THE WAY THIS HAS BEEN ROLLED OUT HAS BEEN VERY HELPFUL TO THE PRESIDENT. REGARDLESS — WE DON’T KNOW THE TONE OF THE REPORT. WE HAVE YET TO READ A SINGLE COMPLETE SENTENCE, BUT IN ESSENCE HE’S HAD A THREE AND A HALF WEEK HEAD START BETWEEN BARR’S SUMMARY OF PRINCIPLE CONCLUSIONS, TESTIMONY WHERE DEMOCRATS DIDN’T — WERE ABLE TO ASK QUESTIONS WITHOUT KNOWLEDGE OF WHAT WAS IN THE REPORT, THINGS LIKE THIS. SO POLITICALLY, YOU COULD ARGUE THAT THE PRESIDENT, BILL BARR, HAVE NEUTERED THE GREATEST POTENTIAL IMPACT OF THIS REPORT. THAT SAID, LET’S SEE THE DETAILS HERE. IS THE ISSUE OF COLLUSION AND CONSPIRACY, DID HE NOT BRING CHARGES BECAUSE IT WAS A LOT OF RUSSIANS BUT NOT THE RUSSIAN GOVERNMENT? IT WAS CONFUSING LIKE A RUSSIAN NOVEL CAN BE, OR WAS IT PRETTY DEFINITIVE. ON THE OBSTRUCTION, WHY DID HE NOT BRING CHARGES, RIGHT? DID MUELLER DECLINE TO PROSECUTE BECAUSE IT’S THE PRESIDENT AND IT’S NOT CLEAR YOU CAN INDICT A SITTING PRESIDENT OR CHARGE A SITTING PRESIDENT FOR THIS, OR DID HE DO IT BECAUSE HE THOUGHT THERE WASN’T ENOUGH EVIDENCE. THAT WILL MATTER SOME. IN THE GREATER GRAND SCHEME OF THINGS, I’M SKEPTICAL POLITICALLY THIS IS GOING TO MOVE THE NEEDLE, AND I’M SADDENED BY THE FACT I THINK THE COUNTRY COLLECTIVELY HAS LESS FAITH IN OUR JUSTICE INSTITUTIONS RIGHT NOW TODAY THAN THEY DID BEFORE MUELLER STARTED. THAT IN ITSELF IS A PRETTY DAMNING ASSESSMENT, FRANKLY, GOING INTO THIS THING, NO MATTER WHAT WE FIND OUT. >>IS THIS GOING TO BE A CASE OF PEOPLE WILL HEAR WHAT THEY WANT TO HEAR TODAY AND THERE WILL BE PLENTY FOR EVERYONE?>>I THINK THAT IS WHAT’S GOING TO HAPPEN. TAKE THE PAMPL OF ADAM SCHIFF AND DEVON NUNEZ, THE TWO LEADING MEMBERS THAT RUN THE COMMITTEE, SCHIFF THE DEMOCRAT, NUNEZ THE REPUBLICAN. THE ONLY THING THE TWO AGREE ON ABOUT THE INVESTIGATION IS THEY WANT TO SEE THE FULL UNREDACTED MUELLER REPORT. WHY? SCHIFF DOESN’T PS BILL BARR AND NUNEZ. THEY ARE SYMBOLIC OF THAT POLARIZED DIVIDE ABOUT THIS INVESTIGATION. >>CHUCK, HANG TIGHT THERE. WE KNOW YOU WILL. WE WANT TO GO TO OUR WHITE HOUSE COORDINATOR HALLIE JACKSON. >>HI, SAVANNAH AND LESTER, WE KNOW THIS IS A MOMENT TWO YEARS IN THE MAKING. NOBODY IS WATCHING THIS MORE CLOSELY THAN THE MAN IN THE BUILDING BEHIND ME HERE, PRESIDENT TRUMP. WE KNOW HE’S PAYING ATTENTION TO THIS. HE’S ALREADY TWEETING ABOUT IT, SIMPLY SAYING THIS MORNING PRESIDENTIAL HARASSMENT IN ALL CAPS VIA TWITTER. HE ALSO TWEETED, I THINK WE WILL HEAR A LOT FROM PRESIDENT AND WHITE HOUSE OFFICIALS DURING THE DAY HERE. NO COLLUSION, NO OBSTRUCTION. THIS IS A VIDEO YOU’RE LOOKING AT OF THE PRESIDENT REPEATING THOSE PHRASES TIME AND TIME AGAIN SINCE THIS RUSSIA INVESTIGATION HAS BEGUN. IT IS THE OBSTRUCTION PIECE, THOUGH, THAT IS CREATING MOST CAUSE FOR CONCERN BASED ON OUR REPORTING AND THE SOURCES WE TALKED TO INSIDE THE WHITE HOUSE. THAT IS WHAT THE PRESIDENT’S LEGAL TIME WILL BE FOCUSING ON HERE, TALKING ABOUT, LOOKING AT VERY CLOSELY AND COMBING THROUGH ANYTHING RELATED TO THE POTENTIAL FOR OBSTRUCTION OF JUSTICE. HOW WILL THE WHITE HOUSE HANDLE THIS? WE KNOW, BASED ON MY CONVERSATION WITH A WHITE HOUSE OFFICIAL, THAT THEY WILL SPLIT UP INTO TEAMS BASED IN DIFFERENT PARTS OF THE BUILDING, EACH READING SECTIONS OF THE REPORT ONCE IT IS RELEASED LOOKING FOR SPECIFIC THINGS, THINGS THAT POTENTIALLY COULD BE USED TO VINDICATE THE PRESIDENT. THAT SAID, THERE IS A SENSE OF ANXIETY AMONG ALLIES AND AIDES IN AND AROUND THE WHITE HOUSE THAT EVEN IF THERE IS NOTHING LEGALLY PROBLEMATIC FOR THE PRESIDENT IN THIS REPORT, AND THERE’S NO EXPECTATION THAT’S THE CASE, THERE COULD BE POTENTIALLY EMBARRASSING AND DAMAGING DETAILS RELATED TO THE PRESIDENT THAT COULD OPTICALLY MAKE HIM NOT LOOK SO GREAT. THAT IS THE CONCERN FOR FOLKS HERE TODAY, SAVANNAH AND LESTER.>>HALLIE JACKSON, AGAIN. ON THE RIGHT OF YOUR SCREEN YOU’RE LOOKING AT THE NEWS CONFERENCE ROOM AT THE DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE WHERE ATTORNEY GENERAL WILLIAM BARR IS SCHEDULED TO COME OUT RIGHT ABOUT NOW. OF COURSE WE’LL TAKE YOU THERE. LET ME SWITCHING OVER TO NBC’S ANDREA MITCHELL WHO HAS SOME INSIGHT ON WHAT’S ABOUT TO TRANSPIRE. ANDREA. >>ONE OF THE THINGS WE’RE LOOKING AT, THE BROAD CONCLUSIONS PREVIEWED BY WILLIAM BARR AND ARE SO SUSPECT, QUITE FRANKLY, IS WHAT DO WE LEARN ABOUT RUSSIA. LOOKING FORWARD TO 2020, COUNTER-INTELLIGENCE OFFICIALS WANT TO KNOW WHAT DID RUSSIA TRY. EVEN IF IT DIDN’T RAISE TO THE LEVEL OF A CRIMINAL PROSECUTION AS DETERMINED BY WILLIAM BARR IF NOT BY MUELLER HIMSELF, WHAT REALLY DO WE KNOW NOW ABOUT THE ATTACK ON OUR DEMOCRACY BY RUSSIA. WHAT DO WE KNOW ABOUT THE RELATIONSHIP AND ABOUT WHAT PRESSURE, IF YOU WILL, OR WHAT HOLD VLADIMIR PUTIN MAY OR MAY NOT HAVE HAD ON THE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES. WHY DID THE PRESIDENT ACT SO STRANGELY AT PUTIN EVERYTHING UP TO AND INCLUDING THE HELSINKI NEWS CONFERENCE. ALL OF THESE QUESTIONS ABOUT THAT RELATIONSHIP WITH RUSSIA ARE FRONT AND CENTER. WHY WAS MIKE POMPEO, THE SECRETARY OF STATE, VISITING WITH THE ATTORNEY GENERAL TO POSSIBLY FORECLOSE AGAINST FOREIGN REACTIONS TO THIS REPORT AND WHAT IT MEANS FOR OUR ALLIES, OUR CLOSEST INTELLIGENCE PARTNERS ABOUT HOW THE U.S. INTELLIGENCE COMMUNITY MAY OR MAY NOT HAVE BEEN COMPROMISED. ALL OF THESE ARE QUESTIONS WE MAY OR MAY NOT LEARN DEPENDING ON THE REDACTIONS. CONGRESS WILL HAVE ITS ROLE TRYING TO ANSWER SOME OF THESE QUESTIONS IF NOT FOR IMPEACHMENT PURPOSES, FOR PURPOSES OF PROTECTING THE ELECTION AND MAKING SURE THIS ADMINISTRATION IS COMMITTED TO STANDING UP AGAINST RUSSIA. >>ALL RIGHT. ANDREA, THANK YOU. SAVANNAH, IN MANY WAYS, THIS MAY BE A CASE OF IF NOTHING ELSE THIS REPORT MAY TELL US WE DIDN’T IMAGINE SOME OF THIS STUFF. SOME OF THIS STAFF DID HAPPEN. WHERE THEY MAY FALL LEGALLY IS ANOTHER QUESTION BUT THEY DID HAPPEN. >>WE KNOW THIS WAS AN EXHAUSTIVE INVESTIGATION, IT WENT ON FOR TWO YEARS. WE KNOW MUELLER IS THE INVESTIGATOR. WE’LL SEE THE CONCLUSIONS WE DRAW FROM THEM. WE’LL HAVE TO WAIT AND SEE. WE GO TO KASIE HUNT ON CAPITOL HILL. ONE OF THE MOST PERPLEXING QUESTIONS TO COME OUT, IS WHY HE CHOSE NOT TO RENDER A LEGAL JUDGMENT, THIS CONCLUSION ON OBSTRUCTION OF JUSTICE. WE’RE ABOUT TWO MINUTES AWAY FROM THE NEWS CONFERENCE OF THE ATTORNEY GENERAL. A LOT ARE WONDERING IF HE WANTED CONGRESS, YOUR BEAT, WANTED CONGRESS TO DETERMINE IF THIS WAS A POLITICAL ISSUE. >>MY SOURCES ARE TELLING ME, SAVANNAH, THAT IS EXACTLY THE QUESTION THEY WANT TO GET THE ANSWER TO. THEY ARE HOPING IT DOESN’T FALL INTO ONE OF THESE CATEGORIES OF REDACTIONS THAT THE ATTORNEY GENERAL HAS LAID OUT. THEY WANT TO KNOW WHAT ROBERT MUELLER’S INTENT WAS, NOT WHAT THE ATTORNEY GENERAL’S INTENT WAS. DEMOCRATS ARE ALREADY ATTACKING THIS NEWS CONFERENCE THAT WE ARE ABOUT TO SEE BECAUSE THEY DON’T YET HAVE A COPY OF THE REPORT. THE PUBLIC DOESN’T YET HAVE A COPY OF THE REPORT. SO WE’RE GOING TO BE TAKING EVERYTHING THE ATTORNEY GENERAL SAYS AT FACE VALUE. THEY SAY THE TOP DEMOCRAT, CHUCK SCHUMER OUT TWEETING ALREADY THIS MORNING, THAT THAT IS AN INDEFENSIBLE POSITION. WE DO KNOW THEY WILL BE RECEIVING COPIES PFT REPORT AT 11:00 A.M., VIA CD-ROM. JUDICIARY AND INTELLIGENCE COMMITTEES, STAFFERS WILL BE SCRAMBLING TO READ THROUGH IT QUICKLY. SAVANNAH, LESTER, THERE’S A REAL BUILT-IN ADVANTAGE FOR THE ADMINISTRATION AND THE ATTORNEY GENERAL BECAUSE CONGRESS ISN’T EVEN IN SESSION. MEMBERS OF CONGRESS, DEMOCRATIC MEMBERS OF CONGRESS, NOT HERE IN WASHINGTON, THEY ARE SCATTERED ACROSS THE COUNTRY IN THEIR DISTRICTS BECAUSE OF THE HOLIDAYS GOING ON THIS WEEK. SOME OF THEM ARE EVEN OVERSEAS. THEY REALLY DO FEEL AS THEY THEY ARE CAUGHT BACK ON THEIR HEELS AND THAT ALSO GIVES PRESIDENT TRUMP AN UNFAIR ADVANTAGE MESSAGING WHAT WE’RE ABOUT TO LEARN. >>THERE’S COMPLAINTS OF DEMOCRATS THAT ARE NOT HAPPY ABOUT THIS NEWS CONFERENCE THAT’S ABOUT TO BEGIN. >>THAT’S ABSOLUTELY RIGHT. >>THERE WE SEE THE ATTORNEY GENERAL NOW APPROACHING THE PODIUM. WE WILL LEARN MORE ABOUT WHAT WE WILL PERHAPS LATER SEE IN THAT REPORT. HERE IS THE ATTORNEY GENERAL.>>GOOD MORNING, EVERYBODY, AND THANKS FOR BEING HERE THIS MORNING. AS YOU KNOW ON MARCH 22nd, SPECIAL COUNSEL ROBERT MUELLER CONCLUDED HIS INVESTIGATION INTO MATTERS RELATED TO RUSSIAN ATTEMPTS TO INTERFERE IN OUR 2016 PRESIDENTIAL ELECTION. HE SUBMITTED HIS CONFIDENTIAL REPORT TO ME PURSUANT TO DEPARTMENT REGULATIONS. AS I SAID DURING MY SENATE CONFIRMATION HEARING AND SINCE, I’M COMMITTED TO ENSURING THE GREATEST DEGREE POSSIBLE OF TRANSPARENCY CONCERNING THE SPECIAL COUNSEL’S INVESTIGATION CONSISTENT WITH THE LAW. AT 11:00 THIS MORNING, I’M GOING TO TRANSMIT COPIES OF THE PUBLIC VERSION OF THE SPECIAL COUNSEL’S REPORT TO THE CHAIRMAN AND RANKING MEMBERS OF THE SENATE AND HOUSE JUDICIARY COMMITTEES. THE DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE WILL ALSO MAKE THE REPORT AVAILABLE TO THE AMERICAN PEOPLE BY POSTING IT ON THE DEPARTMENT’S WEBSITE AFTER IT HAS BEEN DELIVERED TO CONGRESS. I’D LIKE TO MAKE A FEW COMMENTS TODAY ON THE REPORT. BEFORE I DO THAT, I WANT TO THANK DEPUTY ATTORNEY GENERAL ROD ROSENSTEIN FOR JOINING ME HERE TODAY AND FOR HIS ASSISTANCE AND COUNSEL THROUGHOUT THIS PROCESS. ROD, AS YOU KNOW, HAS SERVED AT THE DEPARTMENT FOR NEARLY 30 YEARS WITH DEDICATION AND DISTINCTION, AND IT’S BEEN A GREAT PRIVILEGE AND PLEASURE FOR ME TO WORK WITH HIM SINCE MY CONFIRMATION. HE HAD WELL DESERVED PLANS TO STEP BACK FROM PUBLIC SERVICE THAT WERE INTERRUPTED BY MY ASKING HIM TO HELP IN MY TRANSITION. ROD HAS BEEN AN INVALUABLE PARTNER AND I’M GRATEFUL HE’S WILLING TO HELP ME AND HAS BEEN ABLE TO SEE THE SPECIAL COUNSEL’S INVESTIGATION THROUGH TO ITS CONCLUSION. THANK YOU, ROD. I’D ALSO LIKE TO THANK SPECIAL COUNSEL ROB MUELLER FOR HIS SERVICE AND THOROUGHNESS OF THE INVESTIGATION, PARTICULARLY HIS WORK OF EXPOSING THE NATURE OF RUSSIA’S ATTEMPTS TO INTERFERE IN OUR ELECTORAL PROCESS. AS YOU KNOW ONE OF THE PRIMARY PURPOSES OF THE SPECIAL INVESTIGATION WAS TO DETERMINE WHETHER PRESIDENT TRUMP’S CAMPAIGN, OR ANY INDIVIDUAL ASSOCIATED WITH IT, CONSPIRED OR COORDINATED WITH THE RUSSIAN GOVERNMENT TO INTERFERE IN THE 2016 ELECTION. VOLUME ONE OF THE SPECIAL COUNSEL’S REPORT DESCRIBES THE RESULTS OF THAT INVESTIGATION. AS YOU WILL SEE THE SPECIAL COUNSEL’S REPORT STATES THAT HIS, QUOTE, INVESTIGATION DID NOT ESTABLISH THAT MEMBERS OF THE TRUMP CAMPAIGN CONSPIRED OR COORDINATED WITH THE RUSSIAN GOVERNMENT IN ITS ELECTION INTERFERENCE ACTIVITIES. I AM SURE THAT ALL AMERICANS SHARE MY CONCERN ABOUT THE EFFORTS OF THE RUSSIAN GOVERNMENT TO INTERFERE IN OUR PRESIDENTIAL ELECTION. AS THE SPECIAL COUNSEL REPORT MAKES CLEAR, THE RUSSIAN GOVERNMENT SOUGHT TO INTERFERE IN OUR ELECTION PROCESS, BUT THANKS TO THE SPECIAL COUNSEL’S THOROUGH INVESTIGATION, WE NOW KNOW THAT THE RUSSIAN OPERATIVES WHO PERPETRATED THESE SCHEMES DID NOT HAVE THE COOPERATION OF PRESIDENT TRUMP OR THE TRUMP CAMPAIGN OR THE KNOWING ASSISTANCE OF ANY OTHER AMERICAN FOR THAT MATTER. THAT IS SOMETHING THAT ALL AMERICANS CAN AND SHOULD BE GRATEFUL TO HAVE CONFIRMED. THE SPECIAL COUNSEL REPORT OUTLINES TWO MAIN EFFORTS BY THE RUSSIAN GOVERNMENT TO INFLUENCE THE 2016 ELECTION. FIRST, THE REPORT DETAILS EFFORTS BY THE INTERNET RESEARCH AGENCY, A RUSSIAN COMPANY WITH CLOSE TIES TO THE RUSSIAN GOVERNMENT TO SOW SOCIAL DISCORD WITH AMERICAN VOTERS THROUGH DISINFORMATION AND SOCIAL MEDIA OPERATIONS. FOLLOWING A THOROUGH INVESTIGATION OF THIS DISINFORMATION CAMPAIGN, THE SPECIAL COUNSEL BROUGHT CHARGES IN FEDERAL COURT AGAINST SEVERAL RUSSIAN NATIONALS AND ENTITIES FOR THEIR RESPECTIVE ROLES IN THIS SCHEME. THOSE CHARGES REMAIN PENDING AND THE INDIVIDUAL DEFENDANTS REMAIN AT LARGE. BUT THE SPECIAL COUNSEL FOUND NO EVIDENCE THAT ANY AMERICAN, INCLUDING ANYONE ASSOCIATED WITH THE TRUMP CAMPAIGN, CONSPIRED OR COORDINATED WITH THE RUSSIAN GOVERNMENT OR THE I.R.A. IN THIS ILLEGAL SCHEME. INDEED AS THE REPORT STATES, QUOTE, THE INVESTIGATION DID NOT IDENTIFY EVIDENCE THAT ANY U.S. PERSON KNOWINGLY OR INTENTIONALLY COORDINATED WITH THE I.R.A.’S INTERFERENCE OPERATION, UNQUOTE. PUT ANOTHER WAY, THE SPECIAL COUNSEL FOUND NO COLLUSION BY ANY AMERICANS IN I.R.A.’S ILLEGAL ACTIVITIES. SECOND, THE REPORT DETAILS EFFORTS BY THE RUSSIAN MILITARY OFFICIALS ASSOCIATED WITH THE GRU, THE RUSSIAN MILITARY INTELLIGENCE ORGANIZATION, TO HACK INTO COMPUTERS AND STEAL DOCUMENTS AND E-MAILS FROM INDIVIDUALS ASSOCIATED WITH DEMOCRATIC PARTY AND HILLARY CLINTON’S CAMPAIGN FOR THE PURPOSE OF EVENTUALLY PUBLICIZING THESE DOCUMENTS. OBTAINING SUCH UNAUTHORIZED — FOLLOWING A THOROUGH INVESTIGATION OF THESE HACKING OPERATIONS, THE SPECIAL COUNSEL BROUGHT CHARGES, RUSSIAN MILITARY OFFICERS FOR THEIR RESPECTIVE ROLES IN THESE ILLEGAL HACKING OPERATIONS. THOSE CHARGES ARE STILL PENDING AND THE DEFENDANTS REMAIN AT LARGE. BUT AGAIN, THE SPECIAL COUNSEL’S REPORT DID NOT FIND ANY EVIDENCE THAT MEMBERS OF THE TRUMP CAMPAIGN OR ANYONE ASSOCIATED WITH THE CAMPAIGN CONSPIRED OR COORDINATED WITH THE RUSSIAN GOVERNMENT IN THESE HACKING OPERATIONS. IN OTHER WORDS, THERE WAS NO EVIDENCE OF THE TRUMP CAMPAIGN COLLUSION WITH THE RUSSIAN GOVERNMENT’S HACKING. THE SPECIAL COUNSEL’S INVESTIGATION ALSO EXAMINED RUSSIAN EFFORTS TO PUBLISH STOLEN E-MAILS AND DOCUMENTS ON THE INTERNET. THE SPECIAL COUNSEL FOUND THAT AFTER THE GRU DISSEMINATED SOME OF THE STOLEN DOCUMENTS TO ENTITIES THAT IT CONTROLLED, D.C. LEAKS AND GUCCIFER 2, THE GRU TRANSFERRED SOME OF THE STOLEN MATERIALS TO WIKILEAKS FOR PUBLICATION. WIKILEAKS THEN MADE A SERIES OF DOCUMENT DUMPS. THE SPECIAL COUNSEL ALSO INVESTIGATED WHETHER ANY MEMBER OR AFFILIATE OF THE TRUMP CAMPAI ENCOURAGED OR OTHERWISE PLAYED A ROLE IN THESE DISSEMINATION EFFORTS. UNDER APPLICABLE LAW, PUBLICATION OF THESE TYPES OF MATERIAL WOULD NOT BE CRIMINAL UNLESS THE PUBLISHER ALSO PARTICIPATED IN THE UNDERLYING HACKING CONSPIRACY. HERETO, THE SPECIAL COUNSEL’S REPORT DID NOT FIND ANY PERSON ASSOCIATED WITH THE TRUMP CAMPAIGN ILLEGALLY PARTICIPATED IN THE DISSEMINATION OF THE MATERIALS. FINALLY THE SPECIAL COUNSEL INVESTIGATED A NUMBER OF LINKS OR CONTACTS BETWEEN THE TRUMP CAMPAIGN OFFICIALS AND INDIVIDUALS CONNECTED DURING THE 2016 PRESIDENTIAL CAMPAIGN. AFTER REVIEWING THESE CONTACTS, THE SPECIAL COUNSEL DID NOT FIND ANY CONSPIRACY TO VIOLATE U.S. LAW INVOLVING RUSSIAN-LINKED PERSONS AND ANY PERSONS ASSOCIATED WITH THE TRUMP CAMPAIGN. SO THAT’S THE BOTTOM LINE. AFTER NEARLY TWO YEARS OF INVESTIGATION, THOUSANDS OF SUBPOENAS, HUNDREDS OF WARRANTS AND WITNESS INTERVIEWS, THE SPECIAL COUNSEL CONFIRMED THAT THE RUSSIAN GOVERNMENT SPONSORED EFFORTS TO ILLEGALLY INTERFERE WITH THE 2016 PRESIDENTIAL ELECTION BUT DID NOT FIND THAT THE TRUMP CAMPAIGN, OR OTHER AMERICANS, COLLUDED IN THOSE EFFORTS. AFTER FINDING THOUGH UNDERLYING COLLUSION WITH RUSSIA, THE SPECIAL COUNSEL’S REPORT GOES ON TO CONSIDER WHETHER CERTAIN ACTIONS OF THE PRESIDENT COULD AMOUNT TO OBSTRUCTION OF THE SPECIAL COUNSEL’S INVESTIGATION. AS I ADDRESSED IN MY MARCH 24th LETTER, THE SPECIAL COUNSEL DID NOT MAKE A TRADITIONAL PROSECUTORIAL JUDGMENT REGARDING THIS ALLEGATION. INSTEAD THE REPORT RECOUNTS 10 EPISODES INVOLVING THE PRESIDENT AND DISCUSSES POTENTIAL LEGAL THEORIES FOR CONNECTING THOSE ACTIVITIES TO THE ELEMENTS OF AN OBSTRUCTION OFFENSE. AFTER CAREFULLY REVIEWING THE FACTS AND LEGAL THEORIES OUTLINED IN THE REPORT, AND IN CONSULTATION WITH THE OFFICE OF LEGAL COUNSEL AND OTHER DEPARTMENT LAWYERS, THE DEPUTY ATTORNEY GENERAL AND I CONCLUDED THAT THE EVIDENCE DEVELOPED BY THE SPECIAL COUNSEL IS NOT SUFFICIENT TO ESTABLISH THAT THE PRESIDENT COMMITTED AN OBSTRUCTION OF JUSTICE OFFENSE. ALTHOUGH THE DEPUTY ATTORNEY GENERAL AND I DISAGREED WITH SOME OF THE SPECIAL COUNSEL’S LEGAL THEORIES AND FELT THAT SOME OF THE EPISODES EXAMINED DID NOT AMOUNT TO OBSTRUCTION AS A MATTER OF LAW, WE DID NOT RELY SOLELY ON THAT IN MAKING OUR DECISION. INSTEAD WE ACCEPTED THE SPECIAL COUNSEL’S LEGAL FRAMEWORK FOR LEGAL PURPOSES OF OUR ANALYSIS AND EVALUATED THE EVIDENCE AS PRESENTED BY THE SPECIAL COUNSEL IN REACHING OUR CONCLUSIONS. IN ASSESSING THE PRESIDENT’S ACTIONS DISCUSSED IN THE REPORT, IT IS IMPORTANT TO BEAR IN MIND THE CONTEXT. PRESIDENT TRUMP FACED AN UNPRECEDENTED SITUATION. AS HE ENTERED INTO OFFICE AND SOUGHT TO PERFORM HIS RESPONSIBILITIES AS PRESIDENT, FEDERAL AGENTS AND PROSECUTORS WERE SCRUTINIZING HIS CONDUCT BEFORE AND AFTER TAKING OFFICE AND THE CONDUCT OF SOME OF HIS ASSOCIATES. AT THE SAME TIME THERE WAS RELENTLESS SPECULATION IN THE NEWS MEDIA ABOUT THE PRESIDENT’S PERSONAL CULPABILITY. YET, AS HE SAID FROM THE BEGINNING, THERE WAS, IN FACT, NO COLLUSION. AND AS THE SPECIAL COUNSEL’S REPORT ACKNOWLEDGES, THERE IS SUBSTANTIAL EVIDENCE TO SHOW THAT THE PRESIDENT WAS FRUSTRATED AND ANGERED BY HIS SINCERE BELIEF THAT THE INVESTIGATION WAS UNDERMINING HIS PRESIDENCY, PROPELLED BY HIS POLITICAL OPPONENTS, AND FUELED BY ILLEGAL LEAKS. NONETHELESS, THE WHITE HOUSE FULLY COOPERATED WITH THE SPECIAL COUNSEL’S INVESTIGATION, PROVIDING UNFETTERED ACCESS TO CAMPAIGN AND WHITE HOUSE DOCUMENTS, DIRECTING SENIOR AIDES TO TESTIFY FREELY AND ASSERTING NO PRIVILEGE CLAIMS. AND AT THE SAME TIME THE PRESIDENT TOOK NO ACT THAT, IN FACT, DEPRIVED THE SPECIAL COUNSEL OF THE DOCUMENTS AND WITNESSES NECESSARY TO COMPLETE HIS INVESTIGATION. APART FROM WHETHER THE ACTS WERE OBSTRUCTIVE, THIS EVIDENCE OF NONCORRUPT MOTIVES WEIGHS HEAVILY AGAINST ANY ALLEGATION THAT THE PRESIDENT HAD A CORRUPT INTENT TO OBSTRUCT THE INVESTIGATION. NOW, BEFORE I TAKE QUESTIONS, I WANT TO ADDRESS A FEW ASPECTS OF THE PROCESS FOR PRODUCING THE PUBLIC REPORT THAT I AM RELEASING TODAY. AS I SAID SEVERAL TIMES, THE REPORT CONTAINS LIMITED REDACTIONS RELATED TO FOUR CATEGORIES OF INFORMATION. TO ENSURE AS MUCH TRANSPARENCY AS POSSIBLE, THOSE REDACTIONS HAVE BEEN CLEARLY LABELED SO THAT THE READERS CAN TELL WHICH REDACTIONS CORRESPOND TO WHICH CATEGORIES. NOW, TO RECALL THOSE CATEGORIES ARE 6E MATERIAL, GRAND JURY MATERIAL, INFORMATION THAT I.C.E. BELIEVES WOULD DISCLOSE SOURCES AND METHODS, INFORMATION THAT WOULD IMPAIR THE INVESTIGATION AND PROSECUTION OF OTHER CASES THAT ARE UNDER WAY, AND, FINALLY, INFORMATION THAT PRIVACY AND INTEREST OF PERIPHERAL THIRD PARTIES. AS YOU WILL SEE, MOST OF THE REDACTIONS WERE COMPELLED BY THE NEED TO PREVENT HARM TO ONGOING MATTERS AND TO COMPLY WITH COURT ORDERS PROHIBITING THE PUBLIC DISCLOSURE OF INFORMATION BEARING ON ONGOING INVESTIGATIONS IN CRIMINAL CASES, SUCH AS THE I.R.A. CASE AND THE ROGER STONE CASE. THESE REDACTIONS WERE APPLIED BY DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE ATTORNEYS WORKING CLOSELY TOGETHER WITH ATTORNEYS FROM THE SPECIAL COUNSEL’S OFFICE AS WELL AS THE INTELLIGENCE COMMUNITY. AND PROSECUTORS ARE HANDLING THE ONGOING CASES. THE REDACTIONS ARE THEIR WORK PRODUCT. NO REDACTIONS DONE BY ANYBODY OUTSIDE THIS GROUP. THERE WERE NO REDACTIONS DONE BY ANYBODY OUTSIDE THIS GROUP. NO ONE OUTSIDE THIS GROUP PROPOSED ANY REDACTIONS. AND NO ONE OUTSIDE THE DEPARTMENT HAS SEEN THE UNREDACTED REPORT WITH THE EXCEPTION OF CERTAIN SECTIONS THAT WERE MADE AVAILABLE TO THE IC, THE INTELLIGENCE COMMUNITY FOR PROTECTING INTELLIGENCE AND SOURCES. CONSISTENT WITH LONG-STANDING EXECUTIVE BRANCH PRACTICE, THE DECISION WHETHER TO ASSERT EXECUTIVE PRIVILEGE OVER ANY PORTION OF THE REPORT RESTED WITH THE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES. BECAUSE THE WHITE HOUSE HAD VOLUNTARILY COOPERATED WITH THE SPECIAL COUNSEL, SIGNIFICANT PORTIONS OF THE REPORT CONTAIN MATERIAL OVER WHICH THE PRESIDENT COULD HAVE ASSERTED PRIVILEGE, AND HE WOULD HAVE BEEN WELL WITHIN HIS RIGHTS TO DO SO. FOLLOWING MY MARCH 29th LETTER, THE OFFICE OF THE WHITE HOUSE COUNSEL REQUESTED THE OPPORTUNITY TO REVIEW THE REDACTED VERSION OF THE REPORT IN ORDER TO ADVISE THE PRESIDENT ON THE POTENTIAL INVOCATION OF PRIVILEGE, WHICH IS CONSISTENT WITH LONG-STANDING PRACTICE. FOLLOWING THAT REVIEW THE PRESIDENT CONFIRMED IN THE INTEREST OF TRANSPARENCY AND FULL DISCLOSURE TO THE AMERICAN PEOPLE, HE WOULD NOT ASSERT PRIVILEGE OVER THE SPECIAL COUNSEL’S REPORT. ACCORDINGLY THE PUBLIC REPORT I AM RELEASING TODAY CONTAINS REDACTIONS ONLY FOR THE FOUR CATEGORIES THAT I PREVIOUSLY OUTLINED AND NO MATERIAL HAS BEEN REDACTED BASED ON EXECUTIVE PRIVILEGE. IN ADDITION, EARLIER THIS WEEK, THE PRESIDENT’S PERSONAL COUNSEL REQUESTED, AND WAS GIVEN, THE OPPORTUNITY TO READ A FINAL VERSION OF THE REDACTED REPORT BEFORE IT WAS PUBLICLY RELEASED. THAT REQUEST WAS CONSISTENT WITH THE PRACTICE FOLLOWED UNDER THE ETHICS IN GOVERNMENT ACT WHICH PERMITTED INDIVIDUALS NAMED IN A REPORT PREPARED BY AN INDEPENDENT COUNSEL THE OPPORTUNITY TO READ THE REPORT BEFORE PUBLICATION. THE PRESIDENT’S PERSONAL LAWYERS WERE NOT PERMITTED TO MAKE, AND DID NOT REQUEST, ANY REDACTIONS. IN ADDITION TO MAKING THE REDACTED REPORT PUBLIC, WE ARE ALSO WORKING WITH CONGRESS TO ACCOMMODATE THEIR LEGITIMATE OVERSIGHT INTERESTS WITH RESPECT TO THE SPECIAL COUNSEL’S INVESTIGATION. WE HAVE BEEN CONSULTING WITH CHAIRMAN GRAHAM AND CHAIRMAN NADLER THROUGH THIS PROCESS, AND WE WILL CONTINUE TO DO SO. GIVEN THE LIMITED NATURE OF THE REDACTIONS, I BELIEVE THAT THE PUBLICLY RELEASED REPORT WILL ALLOW EVERY AMERICAN TO UNDERSTAND THE RESULTS OF THE SPECIAL COUNSEL’S INVESTIGATION. NEVERTHELESS, IN AN EFFORT TO ACCOMMODATE CONGRESSIONAL REQUESTS, WE WILL MAKE AVAILABLE, SUBJECT TO APPROPRIATE SAFEGUARDS, TO A BIPARTISAN GROUP OF LEADERS FROM SEVERAL CONGRESSIONAL COMMITTEES A VERSION OF THE REPORT WITH ALL REDACTIONS REMOVED EXCEPT THOSE RELATING TO GRAND JURY INFORMATION. THUS, THESE MEMBERS OF CONGRESS WILL BE ABLE TO SEE ALL OF THE REDACTED MATERIAL FOR THEMSELVES WITH A LIMITED EXCEPTION OF THAT WHICH BY LAW CANNOT BE SHARED. I BELIEVE THAT THIS ACCOMMODATION, TOGETHER WITH MY UPCOMING TESTIMONY BEFORE THE SENATE AND HOUSE JUDICIARY COMMITTEES, WILL SATISFY ANY NEED CONGRESS HAS FOR INFORMATION REGARDING THE SPECIAL COUNSEL’S INVESTIGATION. ONCE AGAIN, I’D LIKE TO THANK YOU FOR BEING HERE, AND I WILL NOW HAVE A FEW QUESTIONS.>>MR. ATTORNEY GENERAL, WE DON’T HAVE THE REPORT IN HAND, SO COULD YOU EXPLAIN FOR US THE SPECIAL COUNSEL’S ARTICULATED REASON FOR NOT REACHING A DECISION ON OBSTRUCTION OF JUSTICE AND IF IT HAD ANYTHING TO DO WITH THE DEPARTMENT’S LONG-STANDING GUIDANCE ON NOT INDICTING A SITTING PRESIDENT? YOU SAY YOU DISAGREED WITH SOME OF HIS LEGAL THEORIES. WHAT DID YOU DISAGREE WITH HIM ON?>>I’D LEAVE IT TO HIS DESCRIPTION IN THE REPORT, THE SPECIAL COUNSEL’S OWN ARTICULATION OF WHY HE DID NOT WANT TO MAKE A DETERMINATION AS TO WHETHER OR NOT THERE’S AN OBSTRUCTION OFFENSE. BUT I WILL SAY THAT WHEN WE MET WITH HIM, DEPUTY ATTORNEY GENERAL ROSENSTEIN AND I MET WITH HIM ALONG WITH ED O’CALLAGHAN, WHO IS THE PRINCIPLE ASSOCIATE DEPUTY ON MARCH 5th. WE SPECIFICALLY ASKED HIM ABOUT THE OLC DECISION AND WHETHER OR NOT HE WAS TAKING THE POSITION HE WOULD HAVE FOUND A CRIME BUT FOR THE EXISTENCE OF THE OLC DECISION. HE MADE IT VERY CLEAR SEVERAL TIMES THAT WAS NOT HIS POSITION. HE WAS NOT SAYING THAT BUT FOR THE OLC OPINION HE WOULD HAVE FOUND A CRIME. HE MADE IT CLEAR HE HAD NOT MADE THE DETERMINATION THAT THERE WAS A CRIME. >>MR. ATTORNEY GENERAL — >>WHAT DID YOU DISAGREE WITH HIM ON?>>GIVEN THAT WHY DID YOU AND MR. ROSENSTEIN FEEL YOU HAD TO TAKE IT TO THE NEXT STEP TO CONCLUDE THERE WAS NO CRIME SPECIAL GIVEN THAT OLC POLICY. >>GIVEN OUR FUNCTION, POWERS AS PROSECUTOR, POWER TO CONVENE GRAND JURYS AND THE COMPULSORY PROCESS INVOLVED THERE IS FOR ONE PURPOSE AND ONE PURPOSE ONLY, TO DETERMINE YES OR NO. WAS ALLEGED CONDUCT CRIMINAL OR NOT CRIMINAL. THAT IS OUR RESPONSIBILITY AND THAT’S WHY WE HAD THE TOOLS WE HAD. WE DON’T GO THROUGH THIS PROCESS JUST TO COLLECT INFORMATION AND THROW IT OUT TO THE PUBLIC. WE COLLECT THIS INFORMATION. WE USE THAT COMPULSORY PROCESS FOR THE PURPOSE OF MAKING THAT DECISION. BECAUSE THE SPECIAL COUNSEL DID NOT MAKE THAT DECISION, WE FELT THE DEPARTMENT HAD TO. THAT WAS A DECISION BY ME AND THE DEPUTY ATTORNEY GENERAL. >>DID THE SPECIAL COUNSEL INDICATE THAT HE WANTED YOU TO MAKE THE DECISION OR THAT IT SHOULD BE LEFT FOR CONGRESS? AND ALSO, HOW DO YOU RESPOND TO CRITICISM YOU’RE RECEIVING FROM CONGRESSIONAL DEMOCRATS THAT YOU’RE ACTING MORE AS AN ATTORNEY FOR THE PRESIDENT RATHER THAN AS THE CHIEF LAW ENFORCEMENT OFFICER?>>SPECIAL COUNSEL MUELLER DID NOT INDICATE THAT HIS PURPOSE BECAUSE TO LEAVE THE DECISION TO CONGRESS. I HOPE THAT WAS NOT HIS VIEW, SINCE WE DON’T CONVENE GRAND JURYS AND CONDUCT CRIMINAL INVESTIGATIONS FOR THAT PURPOSE. HE DID NOT — I DIDN’T TALK TO HIM DIRECTLY ABOUT THE FACT THAT WE WERE MAKING THE DECISION BUT I AM TOLD HIS REACTION TO THAT WAS THAT IT WAS MY PREROGATIVE AS ATTORNEY GENERAL TO MAKE THAT DECISION.>>ATTORNEY GENERAL BARR, HI THERE. IS THERE ANYTHING YOU CAN SHARE TODAY ABOUT YOUR REVIEW OF THE GENESIS OF THE RUSSIAN INVESTIGATION, WHETHER ASSETS HAVE BEEN PROVIDED TO INVESTIGATE?>>TODAY I’M REALLY FOCUSED ON THE PROCESS OF RELEASING THIS REPORT.>>ASKED FOR ROBERT MUELLER HIMSELF TO TESTIFY. ROBERT MUELLER REMAINS A JUSTICE DEPARTMENT EMPLOYEE AS OF THIS MOMENT. WILL YOU PERMIT HIM TO TESTIFY PUBLICLY TO CONGRESS?>>I HAVE NO OBJECTION TO BOB MUELLER PERSONALLY TESTIFYING. >>MR. ATTORNEY GENERAL, DEMOCRATS HAVE QUESTIONED SOME OF THE PROCESS HERE A REPUBLICAN APPOINTED JUDGE SAID TUESDAY, YOU HAVE CREATED AN ENVIRONMENT THAT CAUSED A SIGNIFICANT PART OF THE AMERICAN PUBLIC TO BE CONCERNED ABOUT THESE REDACTIONS. YOU CLEARED THE PRESIDENT ON OBSTRUCTION. THE PRESIDENT IS FUNDRAISING OFF OF YOUR COMMENTS ABOUT SPYING. HERE YOU HAVE REMARKS THAT ARE QUITE GENEROUS TO THE PRESIDENT, INCLUDING ACKNOWLEDGING HIS FEELINGS AND HIS EMOTIONS. WHAT DO YOU SAY TO PEOPLE ON BOTH SIDES OF THE AISLE WHO ARE CONCERNED YOU ARE TRYING TO PROTECT THE PRESIDENT?>>THE STATEMENTS ABOUT HIS SINCERE BELIEFS ARE RECOGNIZED IN THE REPORT THAT THERE WAS SUBSTANTIAL EVIDENCE FOR THAT. SO I’M NOT SURE WHAT YOUR BASIS IS FOR SAYING I’M BEING GENEROUS TO THE PRESIDENT. >>AN UNPRECEDENTED SITUATION. YOU WENT OUT OF WAY TO ACKNOWLEDGE — >>IS THERE ANOTHER PRECEDENT FOR IT? SO UNPRECEDENTED IS AN ACCURATE DESCRIPTION, ISN’T IT?>>YES. WHAT DO YOU SAY TO PEOPLE WHO SAY YOU ARE TRYING TO PROTECT THE PRESIDENT. >>A LOT OF INTEREST IN THE SPECIAL COUNSEL AND MEMBERS OF HIS TEAM. WAS HE INVITED TO JOIN YOU ON THE PODIUM? WHY WAS HE NOT INVITED? IT WAS HIS REPORT YOU’RE TALKING ABOUT TODAY. >>THE REPORT HE DID FOR ME AS ATTORNEY GENERAL. HE’S PROVIDED ME WITH THE REPORT. I’M HERE TO DISCUSS MY RESPONSE TO THAT REPORT AND DECISION, ENTIRELY DISCRETIONARY TO MAKE IT PUBLIC, SINCE THESE REPORTS ARE NOT SUPPOSED TO BE MADE PUBLIC. THAT’S WHAT I’M HERE TO DISCUSS.>>IMPROPRIETY TO COME OUT AND WHAT SORT OF APPEARS TO BE SPINNING THE REPORT BEFORE THE PUBLIC HAS A CHANCE TO READ IT?>>THANK YOU VERY MUCH. THANK YOU.>>WE’VE BEEN LISTENING TO THE ATTORNEY GENERAL OF THE UNITED STATES WILLIAM BARR ISSUE SOME CONCLUSIONS DESCRIBING THE MUELLER REPORT, WHICH WE NOW EXPECT TO SEE IN A MATTER OF MINUTES OR HOURS. THE 400-PAGE DOCUMENT WILL BE RELEASED. HE DESCRIBED THE CONCLUSIONS THEREOF AND IN REMARKABLE TERMS TALKED ABOUT THE SUBSTANCE OF IT, SAYING THERE WAS NO COLLUSION AND CONSPIRACY AND ASSERTED THAT NO ONE IN THE TRUMP CAMPAIGN COORDINATED WITH ANY RUSSIAN OFFICIAL IN ORDER TO MEDDLE IN OUR ELECTION. QUITE EXTRAORDINARY. AND THE ELECTION. >>CONFIRMED THERE WAS NO OBSTRUCTION, THE WORDS WE’VE HEARD THE PRESIDENT AND HIS FOLKS USE BEFORE. BUT THERE WAS THIS ISSUE WHERE WILLIAM BARR SEEMS TO BE COMING TO THE DEFENSE OF THE PRESIDENT. YOU HEARD THAT, ONE OF THE LAST QUESTIONS BY REPORTERS WHEN HE SAID THE PRESIDENT FACED AN UNPRECEDENTED SITUATION. THERE WAS SUBSTANTIAL EVIDENCE TO SHOW THE PRESIDENT WAS FRUSTRATED AND ANGERED BY THE SINCERE BELIEF THE INVESTIGATION WAS UNDERMINING HIS PRESIDENT. YOU HEARD BARR REFER TO THAT AND SAY HE WAS REFERRING TO THE SPECIAL COUNSEL’S INVESTIGATION. I THINK WE’LL BE HEARING A LOT ABOUT THAT. >>A COUPLE OF HOUSEKEEPING THINGS, HE SAYS THE WHITE HOUSE LAWYERS AND THE PRESIDENT’S PERSONAL LAWYER WERE BOTH GIVEN AN OPPORTUNITY TO REVIEW THE REDACTED, THAT IS PARTIALLY BLACKED OUT VERSION OF THE REPORT, PRIOR TO ITS PUBLIC RELEASE WHICH HAPPENS LATER TODAY. HE ALSO SAID HE WILL AFFORD MEMBERS OF CONGRESS THE CHANCE TO SEE THE ACTUAL REPORT WITHOUT REDACTIONS IN A QUITE LIMITED SETTING. AS WE TURNED TO SOME OF THE EXPERTS WE HAVE ON OUR PANEL HERE, I TURN TO YOU MATT MILLER, YOU WERE A SPOKESPERSON FOR THE DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE FOR MANY, MANY YEARS. YOU’VE HEARD MANY, MANY NEWS CONFERENCES LIKE THIS. I SAW YOUR EYEBROWS WERE RAISED WHEN WE DID HEAR THE ATTORNEY GENERAL INDIANA CHIEF LAW ENFORCEMENT OFFICER OF THIS COUNTRY REACH OUT AND MAKE SOME VERY STRONG FACTUAL ASSERTIONS THAT ARE QUITE BENEFICIAL TO THE PRESIDENT. >>I REALLY THROAT IT WAS AN ASTONISHING PERFORMANCE BY THE ATTORNEY GENERAL. I’VE NEVER SEEN AN ATTORNEY GENERAL, U.S. ATTORNEY, ANY PROSECUTOR FROM THE DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE GIVE A PERFORMANCE LIKE THAT WHERE HE REALLY SOUNDED MORE LIKE THE PRESIDENT’S DEFENSE ATTORNEY. THERE WERE TWO THINGS I THOUGHT WERE REALLY REMARKABLE. ONE, THIS POINT HE RAISED, HE SAID WE NOW KNOW BASICALLY CONCLUSION DOESN’T HAPPEN. THAT’S NOT WHAT THE DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE SAID WHEN IT ENDS INVESTIGATIONS. IT SAYS WE MIGHT NOT HAVE ESTABLISHED BUT TO SAY A CRIME DIDN’T HAPPEN IS NOT THE WAY DOJ TALKS ABOUT IT. TO EXCUSE THE TWO-YEAR LONG ASSAULT ON THE DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE, WHERE HE SAID HE FACED AN UNPRECEDENTED SITUATION WHEN HE TOOK OFFICE. HE WAS UNDER INVESTIGATION, HIS ASSOCIATES UNDER INVESTIGATION. THOSE ASSOCIATES MANY HAVE GONE TO JAIL AS A RESULT OF THAT INVESTIGATION. FOR HIM TO MAKE EXCUSES FOR THE PRESIDENT — IT WOULD BE ONE THING FOR HIM TO COME OUT PREVIOUSLY AND SAY I’VE MADE THE DETERMINATION THE PRESIDENT’S ACTIONS DON’T CONSTITUTE A CRIME. BUT FOR HIM TO ACTUALLY EXCUSE THE PRESIDENT FIRING THE FBI DIRECTOR, ASKING THE FBI DIRECTOR TO BACK OFF OF A LAWFULLY PREDICATED INVESTIGATION, TO ATTACK THE DEPARTMENT PUBLICLY AND PRIVATELY I THOUGHT REALLY WAS AN ASTONISHING THING FOR THE CHIEF LAW ENFORCEMENT OF THE UNITED STATES. >>I WANT TO BRING IN DANNY TO GET THE LEGAL VIEW. AS I MENTIONED, WE ARE WAITING TO SEE THE REPORT. IT LOOKS LIKE IT WILL OCCUR SOMETIME AFTER 11:00 THAT WE’LL GET OUR FIRST LOOK AT THE REPORT. DANNY, ON THE ISSUE OF OBSTRUCTION OF JUSTICE, HIS THINKING AS TO WHY IT BECAME HIS RESPONSIBILITY AFTER THE SPECIAL COUNSEL DEFERRED ON THE ISSUE OF OBSTRUCTION. WAS IT A SOUND LEGAL ARGUMENT AS TO WHY WILLIAM BARR WOULD MAKE THAT DETERMINATION?>>BARR APPEARS TO HAVE MADE THAT DETERMINATION BECAUSE OF, AND HE GAVE A BRIEF SPEECH ABOUT IT, AS A PROSECUTOR IT’S THEIR DUTY TO MAKE A FINAL DETERMINATION. IF YOU READ BETWEEN THE LINES, YOU COULD SEE A SUBTLE JAB AT ROBERT MUELLER FOR SIMPLY AMASSING THE FACTS AND LEAVING THAT FINAL DUTY TO THE ATTORNEY GENERAL TO MAKE THE DETERMINATION BASED ON THIS COLLECTION OF FACTS BECAUSE BARR VIEWS IT AS THE OBLIGATION OF A PROSECUTOR. PROSECUTORS, AS YOU SAY, DON’T JUST AMASS FACTS AND PUT THEM OUT THERE FOR THE PUBLIC TO DIGEST, PROSECUTORS MAKE DECISIONS, PROSECUTORIAL DECISIONS. >>PETE WILLIAMS POINTED OUT THIS IS NOT ANY WOULD BE DEFENDANT, THIS IS PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES WHO COULD NOT BE CHARGED UNDER THE GUIDELINES THAT THE DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE ABIDES BY. SO WAS IT, IN FACT, NECESSARY IN THIS PARTICULAR AND UNIQUE INSTANCE FOR THE ATTORNEY GENERAL TO COME IN AND RENDER THIS LEGAL JUDGMENT WHEN ROBERT MUELLER CHOSE NOT TO. >>THAT’S EXACTLY RIGHT. THE PRESIDENT IS THE ONE PERSON POSSIBLY IN THE WORLD FOR WHICH DIFFERENT RULES APPLY. IF HE CANNOT BE PROSECUTED BECAUSE OF THAT OLC OPINION, THEN MAYBE IT IS RELEVANT FOR THE PUBLIC TO KNOW WHAT FACTS WERE AMASSED ABOUT HIM AND WHAT CONCLUSIONS WERE DRAWN. THOSE ARE CRITICAL BECAUSE, ESPECIALLY IF YOU BELIEVE IN THE UNITARY EXECUTIVE THEORY, THE PRESIDENT IS THE ONE PERSON THAT IF YOU ARREST HIM, YOU ARREST THE ENTIRE EXECUTIVE BRANCH. IT’S FOR THAT REASON AND OTHER REASONS THERE’S THAT LONG STANDING PRINCIPLE A SITTING PRESIDENT CANNOT BE INDICTED. >>LET’S BRING IN CHUCK TODD. CHUCK, YOU’VE BEEN WATCHING THE LAST HALF HOUR, IT SEEMS THE TAKEAWAY WOULD BE A CLEAN BILL OF HEALTH FOR PRESIDENT TRUMP. >>BILL BARR DID, I THINK WENT EVEN FURTHER THAN HIS CRITICS OR SUPPORTERS THOUGHT HE WOULD DO THIS MORNING. I THINK IT’S WORTH NOTING AND I’M CURIOUS OF OUR LEGAL MINDS UP THERE, INCLUDING YOU, SAVANNAH, SOME VERY CAREFULLY WORDED WAYS HE SAID THINGS. I THOUGHT THE WIKILEAKS PORTION OF THIS WAS FASCINATING WHEN HE SAID THIS. IT WAS THE IDEA THE SPECIAL COUNSEL ALSO INVESTIGATED ANY MEMBER OF THE TRUMP CAMPAIGN ENCOURAGED OR OTHERWISE PLAYED A ROLE IN THESE DISSEMINATION EFFORTS, MEANING PUTTING THE E-MAILS OUT THERE. HE SAYS THIS, UNDER APPLICABLE LAW, PUBLICATION OF THESE TYPES OF MATERIALS WOULD NOT BE CRIMINAL UNLESS THE PUBLISHER PARTICIPATED IN THE UNDERLYING HACKING CONSPIRACY. IT LEAVES OPEN THIS IDEA THAT SOMEBODY HELPED WITH THE SORTING OF THE E-MAILS, SOMEBODY HELPED WIKILEAKS WITH THIS, BUT THEY COULDN’T PROVE THAT THE PERSON WHO HELPED NECESSARILY WAS PART OF THE ORIGINAL HACKING IN THERE. I THOUGHT THAT WAS INTERESTING. OBVIOUSLY YOU GUYS HAVE BEEN DIGGING INTO THE VERY CAREFUL WAY HE HAS WORDED THEIR DECISION ON OBSTRUCTION, WHICH THE MORE YOU READ HIS DETAILS, IT DOES SEEM AS IF THEY WERE ESSENTIALLY SAYING ONLY THE PRESIDENT IN THIS CASE YOU WOULD NOT BE BRINGING CHARGES AGAINST. >>I THOUGHT HE REALLY PUT THAT WHOLE ISSUE ASIDE. THIS WHOLE QUESTION OF WHETHER OR NOT A SITTING PRESIDENT CAN BE INDICTED, LET’S TAKE THAT OFF THE TABLE. I THOUGHT WILLIAM BARR WENT VERY FAR IN TRYING TO ESTABLISH THE FACTUAL INNOCENCE UNDER AN OBSTRUCTION STATUTE SAYING ESSENTIALLY THE PRESIDENT DID NOT POSSESS THE REQUISITE MENTAL STATE. THAT IS WHY HE USED THE WORDS, IN ONE REPORTER’S TERMS, SEEMED SO GENEROUS TO THE PRESIDENT’S STATE OF MIND. I THINK, MATT, HE WAS TRYING TO SAY, LOOK, HE COOPERATED WITH THE SPECIAL COUNSEL’S INVESTIGATION. HE MAY HAVE FELT FRUSTRATED BY IT, BUT HIS ACTIONS INTO TO HIS COOPERATION, SO HOW CAN I BRING, AS A PROSECUTOR, AN OBSTRUCTION CASE THAT REQUIRES A CRIMINAL INTENT, A CORRUPT INTENT, WHEN I HAVE THESE FACTS BEFORE ME. SO HE FRAMED IT IN THAT WAY TO EXPLAIN HIS DECISION. BUT TO YOUR POINT, IT SURE COMES ACROSS AS THOUGH HE’S QUITE SYMPATHETIC TO THE PRESIDENT. >>THAT’S RIGHT. THOSE REMARKS ALL TO ME FELT LIKE HE WAS PREEMPTING WHAT WE’LL READ LATER TODAY. HE NOTED 10 ACTS OF OBSTRUCTION BY THE SPECIAL COUNSEL. HE SAID HE DISAGREED WITH SOME OF BOB MUELLER’S REASONING. THAT TELLS ME WHAT HE WAS TRYING TO ACCOMPLISH TODAY IS PUT OUT THIS NARRATIVE BEFORE WE READ THIS REPORT, THE JUSTICE DEPARTMENT CONSTITUTED BY HIMSELF AND DEPUTY ATTORNEY GENERAL DON’T AGREE WITH WHAT YOU’LL READ LATER TODAY. WE DON’T AGREE THESE ACTS MIGHT BE OBSTRUCTION OF JUSTICE. HE’S BOTH TAKING OFF THE TABLE THE IDEA THE PRESIDENT CAN BE INDICTED AND TRYING TO PREEMPT ANY CONCLUSION THAT CONGRESS MIGHT REACH WHEN IT MAKES ITS OWN FACTUAL DETERMINATION WHETHER THE PRESIDENT’S ACTIONS MERITS IMPEACHMENT. >>THE PRESIDENT’S TEAM HAS BEEN PREPARED WITH THIS AND READY WITH THE REBUTTAL. IT MAY COME IN THE FIRST TWEET SINCE THE NEWS CONFERENCE. LET’S GO TO HALLIE JACKSON. HALLIE, TELL US WHAT YOU’VE SEEN. >>THE PRESIDENT CLEARLY LIKED WHAT HE SAW FROM THE ATTORNEY GENERAL. AS WE WERE WATCHING IT, I COULDN’T HELP BUT THINK THE PRESIDENT WOULD BE TWEETED. HE’S TWEETING A RELATIONSHIP OFF OF “GAME OF THRONES” WRITING SIMPLY, GAME OVER. IN THE FONT IN THE TOP, NO COLLUSION, NO OBSTRUCTION, FOR HATERS AND DEMOCRATS, GAME OVER. THIS IS THE PRESIDENT’S PREREPORT RELEASE VICTORY LAP, IF YOU WILL. HIS ADMINISTRATION IS CLEARLY TRYING TO SET WHAT THEY BELIEVE IS THE NARRATIVE FOR THIS EVEN BEFORE ANYBODY, AS YOU ALL HAVE NOTED HERE, THAT HAD THE CHANCE TO SEE THE REPORT ITSELF. THERE IS A COUPLE OF THINGS TO NOTE FROM THIS NEWS CONFERENCE HERE. FIRST, THIS CRITICAL PIECE OF INFORMATION THAT THE WHITE HOUSE COUNSEL’S OFFICE ASKED TO REVIEW THE REDACTED REPORT FOR REASONS OF POTENTIAL EXECUTIVE PRIVILEGE. THEN ACCORDING TO BILL BARR, THE PRESIDENT DECIDED NOT TO ASSERT PRIVILEGE. THERE’S ANOTHER PIECE, THE PRESIDENT’S OUTSIDE ATTORNEYS, RUDY GIULIANI AND OTHERS AT SOME POINT THIS WEEK ALSO ASKED TO REVIEW THE REDACTED COPY AND THE DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE SAID YES. THE ATTORNEY GENERAL SAID HE HAD REASONS TO ALLOW THAT AND THE PRESIDENT’S OUTSIDE LEGAL TEAM DID NOT REQUEST ANY REDACTIONS, NOR, BY THE WAY, WOULD THEY BE ALLOWED TO DO SO. THAT BEING SAID, THIS IS A POLITICAL LAND MINE. ALMOST UNDOUBTEDLY YOU WILL HEAR SOME IN CONGRESS BE FURIOUS SOME HAD A CHANCE TO REVIEW THE REPORT BEFORE THEY HAD A CHANCE TO REVIEW IT AND IT WAS RELEASED TO THE PUBLIC. ON THE PROTECTION OF THE PUBLIC, SAVANNAH NOTED A QUESTION TO THE ATTORNEY GENERAL RELATED TO THE IDEA HE SEEMED TO BE GENEROUS TO THE PRESIDENT. HE REPEATED THIS VERY SPECIFIC PHRASE, NO COLLUSION SEVERAL TIMES. THAT CANNOT BE A COINCIDENCE. THAT IS A PHRASE WE HAVE HEARD FROM THE PRESIDENT REPEATEDLY AGAIN AND AGAIN. KEEP IN MIND, COLLUSION, NO CRIME OF COLLUSION. CONSPIRACY, UNDERMINE UNITED STATES NATIONAL SECURITY. BARR SPECIFICALLY USED THAT PHRASE MULTIPLE TIMES WHICH IS WHAT LED TO QUESTIONS AND CRITICISM ABOUT WHETHER THE ATTORNEY GENERAL IS ACTING MORE LIKE A DEFENSE ATTORNEY, IF YOU WILL, RATHER THAN ATTORNEY GENERAL OF THE UNITED STATES. THE ATTORNEY GENERAL HAD THE OPPORTUNITY TO ANSWER THAT QUESTION A COUPLE OF TIMES AND HE DID NOT. HE INSTEAD WENT AFTER THE QUESTIONER AND THE WAY THE QUESTION WAS FRAMED RATHER THAN, FOR EXAMPLE, ASSERTING HIS INDEPENDENT FROM THE PRESIDENT. I THINK THERE’S A LOT TO UNPACK FROM WHAT WE JUST HEARD FROM THE ATTORNEY GENERAL. REMEMBER, ALL OF IT HAPPENED BEFORE ANYBODY HAS HAD A CHANCE TO SEE ANY MORE THAN 75 WORDS FROM THIS SPECIAL ALL RIGHT. >>HALLIE, KEEP IN MIND, WE’RE WORKING A LITTLE IN THE DARK HERE. WE HAVE NOT SEEN THE REPORT. IT HAS NOT BEEN RELEASED TO THE PUBLIC YET OR CONGRESS, SO WE CAN ONLY TAKE WILLIAM BARR AT FACE VALUE. >>THAT SAID, HE GAVE US A LOT TO CHEW IN. I WANT TO GO TO AN EXPERIENCED PERSON FROM THE DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE FOR MANY, MANY YEARS. WHAT DID YOU THINK OF WHAT BILL BARR SAID TODAY?>>I THINK, SAVANNAH, YOU MADE AN IMPORTANT POINT EARLIER TALKING ABOUT THE LEVEL OF INTENT WHEN A CRIME OCCURS SUCH AS OBSTRUCTION. BILL BARR EXPLAINED TODAY THE PRESIDENT, AND I THOUGHT THIS WORDING WAS ODD, HAD A SINCERE BELIEF THAT HIS PRESIDENCY WAS BEING UNDERMINED BY POLITICAL OPPONENTS. IN ORDER TO HAVE A SINCERE BELIEF, YOU HAVE TO HAVE EVIDENCE THERE’S SINCERE BELIEF, PERHAPS THE BEST WAY TO DO THAT WOULD BE TO TALK TO THE PRESIDENT. BUT WE’RE PRETTY SURE THAT NEVER HAPPENED. ONE LINGERING QUESTION FOR ME REGARDING INTENT, SAVANNAH, IS HOW DO YOU DETERMINE SOMEONE HAS A SINCERE BELIEF SOMETHING HAPPENED WHEN YOU NEVER HAD A CHANCE TO INTERVIEW THAT PERSON. THAT TROUBLES ME. THAT’S WHY I WANT TO SEE THAT REPORT. BOOK REVIEWS ARE INTERESTING BUT THE BOOK IS ALWAYS MORE INTERESTING. >>THE BOOK IS COMING IN A MATTER OF MINUTES, CHUCK. IT IS INTERESTING WHEN YOU DRILL DOWN AND LOOK AT WHAT HE SAID ON THIS ISSUE OF OBSTRUCTION AND THE PRESIDENT’S STATE OF MIND. HE DID INCLUDE FACTS FAVORABLE TO THE PRESIDENT’S STATE OF MIND AND FACING AN UNPRECEDENTED SITUATION, THAT HIS CONDUCT WAS SCRUTINIZED, RELENTLESS SPECULATION. HE DID NOT INCLUDE, IN THE INTEREST OF COMPLETENESS, THE OTHER FACTS NOT AS FAVORABLE AS TO HIS CONDUCT. DID THAT CATCH YOUR ATTENTION?>>IT DID. WHEN WE AS PROSECUTORS ARE TRAINED, ONE THING WE’RE TRAINED TO DO IN OPENING STATEMENTS TO A JURY DURING TRIAL IS DRAW A STING. WE FRONT ANY WEAKNESSES IN OUR CASE TO THE JURY. IT’S AN APPROPRIATE THING TO DO BECAUSE YOU WANT TO TELL THE JURY, IN YOUR OWN WORDS, WHAT IS LACKING AND NOT LEAVE IT TO THE DEFENSE ATTORNEY TO DO THAT IN HER OPENING STATEMENT. WHAT BARR SEEMED TO BE DOING TODAY WAS DRAWING THE STING BUT IN THE OPPOSITE WAY. HE WAS TALKING ABOUT ALL THE THINGS THAT FAVORED THE PRESIDENT AND DIDN’T PROVIDE TO THE PRESS OR PUBLIC ANYTHING THAT DISFAVORED THE PRESIDENT. SO IT DIDN’T SEEM TO ME TO BE A STRAIGHT AHEAD FAIR RECITATION OF WHAT WE’RE GOING TO SEE LATER TODAY. HE WAS DRAWING THE STING FOR THE PRESIDENT AND THAT TROUBLES ME. >>CHUCK, LET’S LOOK AHEAD HERE. WE’RE LOOKING THE TERM HE WAS GENEROUS TOWARD THE PRESIDENT. ANY OF THE STATEMENTS HE MADE, WILL THEY PROVIDE A DEFENSE OR SOME CUSHION FOR PRESIDENT TRUMP VIS-A-VIS WHAT’S HAPPENING IN THE SOUTHERN DISTRICT OF NEW YORK, THOSE CASES THAT ARE STILL GOING FORWARD?>>PERHAPS POLITICALLY, LESTER, BUT NOT LEGALLY. IN THE END PROSECUTORS ARE DETERMINED BY FACTS AND LAW. MR. BARR’S CHARACTERIZATION OF WHAT THE PRESIDENT DID OR THOUGHT OR FELT OR BELIEVED REALLY DOESN’T MATTER VERY MUCH. AND TO THE EXTENT THE ONGOING CASES IN THE SOUTHERN DISTRICT OF NEW YORK, AND I CONTINUE TO MAINTAIN, BY THE WAY, THAT THAT IS REALLY IMPORTANT STUFF FOR US TO KEEP OUR EYE ON, THOSE CASES WILL RUN THEIR OWN COURSE BASED ON THEIR OWN FACTS AND THE LAW THAT APPLIES TO THOSE FACTS AND NOT ON ANYBODY’S CHARACTERIZATION OF THEM. >>THANK YOU VERY MUCH. SAVANNAH, WE’RE GOING TO HAVE A BUSY DAY HERE. WE HAVE NOT SEEN THE REPORT BUT WE ARE GOING TO SEE IT TODAY, WE’RE ASSURED. 400 PAGES. WE’LL HAVE TEAMS IN PLACE GOING THROUGH THAT. WE’LL COME BACK ON THE AIR. THAT’S GOING TO WRAP UP OUR COVERAGE FOR THIS HOUR RIGHT NOW. BUT THERE’S MUCH MORE AT NBCNEWS.COM AND ON MSNBC. >>WE’LL BE RIGHT BACK ON THE AIR LIVE AS SOON AS THE MUELLER REPORT IS RELEASED AND PUBLICIZED. IT WS HERE, A PIECE OF ARTWORK. THERE YOU HAVE IT. NO COLLUSION, NO OBSTRUCTION FOR THE HATERS AND THE RADICAL LEFT DEMOCRATS GAME OVER. NICOLLE, THAT’S YOUR PRESIDENT. >>THIS IS FROM FOX NEWS, CHRIS WALLACE OF FOX NEWS WATCHING THE SAME LIVE EVENT. CHRIS WALLACE ON FOX NEWS SAID THIS, QUOTE, THE ATTORNEY GENERAL SEEMED ALMOST TO BE ACTING AS THE COUNSELOR FOR THE DEFENSE, THE COUNSELOR FOR THE PRESIDENT RATHER THAN THE ATTORNEY GENERAL, TALKING ABOUT HIS MOTIVES, HIS EMOTIONS. REALLY, AS I SAY, MAKING A CASE FOR THE PRESIDENT. THAT’S FOX NEWS IAN ANALYSIS I DON’T KNOW HOW INVOLVED THE PRESIDENT GETS AND THE SUBTITLES — IT LOOKED LIKE A COPY RIGHT INFRINGEMENT. I’M NOT A “GAME OF THRONES” GEEK I THINK THE IDEA THAT THEY’RE GOING TO TRY TO BULLY THE ANALYST IS SO TRUMPIAN YOU GO BACK TO DONALD TRUMP STANDING AT A PODIUM SAYING DON’T BELIEVE YOUR EYES, DON’T BELIEVE YOUR EARS. YOU TAKE THE DYSTOPIAN ELEMENTS OF THE TRUMP PRESIDENCY AND YOU WONDER, AM I NUTS OR IS THIS REALLY WHAT I’M SEEING THEY DON’T WANT YOU TO BELIEVE YOUR EYES AND EARS WHAT JUST HAPPENED WAS PLAIN AS DAY. THE COUNTRY’S ATTORNEY GENERAL IS NOW IN THE WORDS OF FOX NEWS’ CHIEF POLITICAL ANCHOR CHRIS WALLACE FUNCTIONING AS DONALD TRUMP’S DEFENSE ATTORNEY. >>IT’S NOT JUST NOT BELIEVING EYES AND EARS. THERE’S A MISDIRECTION GOING ON. ANY ATTORNEY GENERAL THAT I’VE EVER KNOWN IN THE PAST, AND THEY HAD THE RESPONSIBILITY AT A PRESS CONFERENCE, IF YOU HAD A REPORT THAT SAID THE RUSSIANS INTERFERED WITH OUR ELECTION, DON’T YOU THINK YOU WOULD HAVE SAID SOMETHING ABOUT WHAT DONALD TRUMP SAID ABOUT THAT, THAT IT WASN’T RUSSIA, IT MIGHT HAVE BEEN A 400-POUND GUY HE ALSO TWEETED ONCE THE MUELLER PROBE SHOULD NEVER HAVE BEEN STARTED, THERE WAS NO COLLUSION, NO CRIME TRUMP WAS WRONG ABOUT THOSE THINGS THAT’S WHAT THE MUELLER REPORT AFTER 22 MONTHS SAID THE ATTORNEY GENERAL NEVER SAID A WORD ABOUT THAT.>>NEAL, SINCE WHEN DO WE TALK ABOUT THE FEELINGS AND EMOTIONS OF THE SUBJECT OF AN INVESTIGATION THE DAY THE REPORT IS ISSUED?>>NOT JUST THE DAY OF IMAGINE A PROSECUTOR, IF A PROSECUTOR SAID, OH, THAT DEFENDANT I’M INVESTIGATING OR FBI AGENT YOU’RE INVESTIGATING, THEY SEEM FRUSTRATED, I DON’T THINK YOU SHOULD BRUNG CURVEBALL CHARGES. THAT WOULD BE RIDICULOUS I CAN’T THINK OF ANYTHING MORE DEMORALIZING THAN HAVING THE PROSECUTOR MAKE EXCUSE AFTER EXCUSE OF WHAT HAPPENED.>>ESPECIALLY WHEN ROBERT MUELLER DIDN’T GET A CHANCE TO EVALUATE THE PRESIDENT’S STATE OF MIND. ROBERT MUELLER NEVER GOT TO INTERVIEW THE PRESIDENT AND THE PRESIDENT DIDN’T RESPOND TO WRITTEN QUESTIONS ABOUT THE OBSTRUCTION INVESTIGATION. WHAT DID BARR KNOW ABOUT THE PRESIDENT’S STATE OF MIND THAT ROBERT MUELLER NEVER HAD ACCESS TO AND HOW DID HE KNOW IT?>>WE HAVE 45 MORE MINUTES BEFORE MEMBERS OF CONGRESS AND OF COURSE THE MEMBERS OF THE PUBLIC ARE ALLOWED TO SEE THE CD ROM OF THIS REPORT>>I FEEL LIKE IT’S JUST THEATER GOING ON THERE IS NO REASON WHATSOEVER WHY THE REPORT SHOULDN’T HAVE BEEN GIVEN FIRST BEFORE THE BARR PRESS CONFERENCE EXCEPT SO THAT BARR COULD GET OUT HIS TALKING POINTS AND TRY TO INFLUENCE THE DIRECTION OF THE COUNTRY FIRST AND GET OUT AHEAD OF THE STORY I SUSPECT WHAT’S GOING ON NOW IS A LONG TWIDDLING OF THUMBS IT’S NOT LIKE THEY’RE REDACTING NOW. THEY’RE DONE. >>I THINK THAT’S TOO CEREBRAL I THINK THEPRESIDENT VIEWS THE E PRESIDENCY AS A TV SHOW. WHEN YOU BOMB IN THE VIEW OF CHRIS WALLACE ON FOX NEWS, WHEN YOU GO SO FAR THAT, AS THE PRESIDENT IS WATCHING ALL THIS ON FOX NEWS GETS A NEGATIVE REVIEW, THAT’S HOW THE PRESIDENT PROCESSES EVERY EVENT OF HIS PRESIDENCY, HOW FOX NEWS AND THE IMMEDIACIES IT I THINK THE PRESIDENT HAD TO HAVE LOVED, LOVED WHAT HE SAW OUT OF A.G. BARR I IMAGINE THE PRESIDENT IS FRUSTRATED THAT EVEN FOX NEWS WASN’T BUYING ALL THAT SPIN.>>AFTER A LONG CAREER IN THE LAW, THE ATTORNEY GENERAL WOULD HAVE TO RECONCILE HIMSELF TO THE FACT THAT THIS WILL BE HOW HIS REPUTATION IS SET IN LEGAL HISTORY AGAIN AT THE AGE OF 68 HE MADE CLEAR IN HIS CONFIRMATION HEARING HE WAS LOOKING FORWARD TO LIFE OF LEISURE AND A LIFE OF RETIREMENT AND HE WASN’T LOOKING TO GET BACK IN THE GAME, DID NOT SEEK THIS JOB OTHERS HAVE DISAGREED WITH THAT WITH THE UNSOLICITED MEMO HE SUBMITTED ON THE SCOPE OF PRESIDENTIAL POWER WE’RE LOOKING FORWARD TO TALKING TO OUR TWO FOLKS WHO WERE INSIDE THAT NEWS CONFERENCE AND THAT’S PETE WILLIAMS AND JULIA AINSLEY TO GET SOME OF THE FLAVOR OF THAT EVENT YOU’LL KNOW HARDLY EVERY QUESTION WAS ANSWERED, ESPECIALLY SOME OF THE MORE NEGATIVE QUESTIONS THE A.G. BLUSHED PAST OUR OWN CAROL LEE CONTINUES TO WATCH AND LISTEN CAROL?>>BRIAN, LOOK, I THINK THERE’S NO OTHER WAY TO SAY IT THE ATTORNEY GENERAL WENT IN, MADE A CONSCIOUS DECISION THAT HE WAS NOT GOING TO LET THIS REPORT SPEAK FOR ITSELF. I THINK NICOLLE MAKES A REALLY IMPORTANT POINT. THERE IS A QUESTION OF WHETHER HE WENT TOO FAR. IF EVERYTHING HE SAID IS TRUE, THEN WOULD IT HAVE BEEN MORE BENEFICIAL FOR HIM TO LET THE REPORT COME OUT AND THEN SAY WHAT HE HAD TO SAY IF YOU LOOK AT THE THINGS HE SAID, HE SAID MORE THAN A DOZEN TIMES IN ONE WAY OR ANOTHER THAT THERE WAS NO COLLUSION HE WENT THROUGH AND DEFENDED THE PRESIDENT IN WAYS THAT I’M GUESSING THE WHITE HOUSE PROBABLY DIDN’T THINK HE WOULD GO SO FAR TO DEFEND HIM, PARTICULARLY ON THE OBSTRUCTION PIECE OF THINGS. AND HE DIDN’T LEAVE A LOT OF WIGGLE ROOM IN TERMS OF THINGS — FOR THINGS THAT WE MAY COME TO LEARN. HE ALMOST SORT OF PRESENTED IT AS A FAIT ACCOMPLI THAT THERE WASN’T GOING TO BE ANYTHING WORTH DIGGING THROUGH IN THIS REPORT YET THERE’S ONE THING, AND JEREMY BASH TOUCHED ON THIS A LITTLE EARLIER, THAT HE DID LEAVE THIS BREAD CRUMB OUT HERE, THAT I’LL BE CURIOUS TO SEE WHAT THE REPORT ACTUALLY SAYS AND THAT’S WHEN IT COMES TO THE WIKILEAKS INFORMATION AND WHETHER OR NOT THERE WAS ANY EFFORTS BY THE TRUMP — INDIVIDUALS IN THE TRUMP ORBIT TO WORK WITH THEM ON THE DISSEMINATION OF THAT INFORMATION. HE SAID THERE WAS NO ONE WHO ILLEGALLY PARTICIPATED, AND THAT SEEMED TO BE THE ONLY PART OF EVERYTHING THAT HE SAID THAT LEFT OPEN THE POSSIBILITY THAT WE WILL READ THIS REPORT AND SEE SOMETHING IN THERE THAT PERHAPS ISN’T SEEN AS AN ENTIRE VINDICATION OF THE PRESIDENT’S TEAM IN TERMS OF KNOW COLLUSION. BUT HE SPECIFICALLY SAID THERE WAS NOTHING ILLEGALLY HAPPENING THERE.>>CAROL LEE, THANK YOU. CHUCK ROSENBERG, FORMER U.S. ATTORNEY, FORMER SENIOR FBI OFFICIAL IS AMONG THE FOLKS WE’LL BE ABLE TO TALK TO TODAY CHUCK, YOU RECOGNIZED ATTACK TICK AT WORK HERE TODAY.>>I DID BRIAN THAT’S A GOOD WORD FOR IT. THE TACTIC IS SOMETHING WE CALL AS PROSECUTORS DRAWING THE STING. AND WE USE THAT IN OPENING STATEMENTS TO A JURY DURING TRIAL. PROSECUTORS GO FIRST BECAUSE WE HAVE THE BURDEN OF PROOF SO WE TELL THE JURY THE WEAKNESSES IN OUR CASE WE ALSO TELL THEM THE STRENGTHS OF COURSE, BUT WE TELL THEM THE WEAKNESSES SO THEY HEAR IT FROM US AND NOT FROM THE DEFENSE ATTORNEY WHEN SHE GOES NEXT. WHAT STRUCK ME AS ODD HERE TODAY IS THAT THE ATTORNEY GENERAL DREW THE STING HE TALKED ABOUT THINGS FAVORABLE TO THE PRESIDENT, BUT HE DIDN’T ADD THAT SECOND PIECE. WE KNOW THERE’S INFORMATION IN THAT REPORT DAMAGING TO THE PRESIDENT, PARTICULARLY ON OBSTRUCTION. THERE ARE TEN EPISODES WE’RE TOLD, YET THE ATTORNEY GENERAL ONLY TALKED ABOUT STUFF FAVORABLE TO THE PRESIDENT, AND THAT STRUCK ME AS ODD AND IT DID STRIKE ME AS A TACTIC. IT MEANS WE HAVE TO READ THE BOOK BOOK REVIEWS MAY BE INFORMATIVE, BUT THE BOOK IS WHERE IT’S ADD WE NEED TO SEE WHAT MULEer SAID, NOT THE CHARACTERIZATION OF WHAT MUELLER SAID BY THE ATTORNEY GENERAL. THAT WAS A TACTIC. HE DID EMPLOY IT IT’S DISAPPOINTING TO ME, BUT NOT TERRIBLY SURPRISING.>>I WAS JUST GOING TO SAY ARE YOU SURPRISED AT THIS. LET ME TAKE ANOTHER SWING AT THIS ARE YOU SURPRISED GIVEN HIS BODY OF WORK AND HIS LIFE IN THE LAW AND WHAT HERETOFORE WAS HIS REPUTATION>>I AM. I MENTIONED THIS ON NICOLLE’S SHOW THE OTHER DAY I STARTED OFF BELIEVING THAT BILL BARR WAS A PRINCIPLED INSTITUTIONALIST OVER THE PAST SEVERAL WEEKS I’VE SEEN DATA COMING OVER THE TRANSOM THO SUGGEST HE’S NOT WHA I THOUGHT HIM TO BE. I THINK THERE’S STILL HOPE, A CHANCE, MAYBE PERHAPS THAT HE IS THE BILL BARR WE KNEW FROM THE DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE 30 YEARS AGO. BUT WHAT HE SEEMS TO BE DOING — AND THIS WAS PARTICULARLY TROUBLESOME WHEN HE TALKED ABOUT THE, QUOTE, UNQUOTE, SPYING BY THE FBI WHICH IS JUST A LUDICROUS TERM TO USE TO DESCRIBE COURT-AUTHORIZED SURVEILLANCE, THAT BARR HAS GONE TOO FAR INTO THE TANK FOR THE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES SO I AM DISAPPOINTED, I AM SHAH GLYNED AND I FRANKLY, LIKE I AM MANY TIMES IN MY LIFE MAY BE FLAT OUT WRONG ABOUT BILL BARR BEING A PRINCIPLED INSTITUTIONALIST>>CHUCK, WE HAD THAT CONVERSATION AND YOUR WORDS HAVE HAUNTED ME EVER SINCE. WE ARE NOW IN A POSITION OF COVERING THE TWO BIG STORIES, THE EVOLUTION OR DEVOLUTION OF WILLIAM BARR AS OUR COUNTRY’S ATTORNEY GENERAL FOR THE VERY FIRST TIME WE’RE ABOUT TO SEE TEN INSTANCES OF WHAT ROBERT MUELLER EXAMINED AS OBSTRUCTION OF JUSTICE THEY TALKED ABOUT SEEING EVIDENCE ON BOTH SIDES DO YOU DEDUCE FROM WHAT YOU’VE HEARD AT THIS POINT THAT THEY BUILD THEIR OBSTRUCTION CASE AND IT WILL BE IN THE OBSTRUCTION REPORT CAN YOU IMAGINE ANY CASE LAW BEING CITED. DO YOU IMAGINE THEY ARGUED FOR OR TRIED TO BRING AN OBSTRUCTION CASE WHAT DO YOU THINK WE’LL SEE?>>I IMAGINE WE’LL SEE A PRETTY COMPELLING PATTERN OF OBSTRUCTIVE CONDUCT. IF MUELLER LOOKED AT TEN EPISODES AND IF IT INCLUDES STUFF WE DON’T KNOW ABOUT — AND THE STUFF WE ALREADY DO KNOW ABOUT IS FAIRLY COMPELLING, I IMAGINE THERE’S A STRONG CASE FOR OBSTRUCTION. I WILL SAY THIS AND WE’VE BEEN HINTING AT IT, IN ORDER TO DETERMINE THAT THE PRESIDENT HAD A SINCERE BELIEF, NICOLLE, YOU’RE SPOT ON IN ORDER TO DETERMINE THAT THE PRESIDENT HAD A SINCERE BELIEF THAT HIS PRESIDENCY WAS WAS FRUSTRATED AND ANGRY, WOULDN’T YOU NEED TO TALK TO HIM? TO CHARACTERIZE IT THAT WAY TO ME IS TROUBLING. I WOULD LOVE TO SEE THE MUELLER REPORT, THE ACTUAL BOOK AND NOT THE BOOK REVIEW TO MAKE THAT DETERMINATION FOR MYSELF. >>WHAT DO YOU THINK WE’LL SEE, CHUCK, IN TERMS OF EXPLAINING THE NON-CONCLUSION NO MENTION FROM WILLIAM BARR ABOUT THE WAY THE OBSTRUCTION INVESTIGATION ENDED. IT DIDN’T END THE WAY BARR SAYS IT ENDED HE CHANGED THE ENDING LIKE AN UNSUCCESSFUL PILOT IT DID NOT END IN EXONERATION, IN A DECLINATION LETTER, IT READ IN A SPECIAL COUNSEL VERSION OF A HUNG JURY RI. >>WHICH SEEMS UNFILLING I ALWAYS THOUGHT THE REASON THEY DIDN’T REACH A CONCLUSION IS BECAUSE POLICY PRECLUDES CHARGING A SITTING PRESIDENT AND FOR GOOD REASON I THINK, ANY SITTING PRESIDENT WOULD BE UNNECESSARILY, PERHAPS IMPROPERLY BURDENED WITH A STIGMA THAT ATTACHES TO CRIMINAL CHARGES AND WOULD HAVE DIFFICULTY DEFENDING THEMSELF WHILE IN OFFICE. POLITICALLY IT WOULD BECOME UNTENABLE. I’M NOT SAYING THAT BECAUSE I PARTICULARLY FAVOR MR. TRUMP THAT JUST STRIKES ME AS SOUND POLICY IF THAT’S THE POLICY, MAYBE IT’S ALSO STIGMATIZING AND BURDENSOME TO RECOMMEND CHARGING A SITTING PRESIDENT. THAT’S ALWAYS BEEN MY WORKING THEORY ABOUT WHY THE MUELLER TEAM CAME UP A STEP SHORT IN ITS RECOMMENDATION I AM VERY ANXIOUS TO READ THAT PART OF THE REPORT>>CHUCK, WE DID HEAR THE ATTORNEY GENERAL SAY THAT HE THOUGHT IT WOULD BE FINE IF MUELLER TESTIFIED. DID MUELLER NEED HIS APPROVAL AT ALL? WE WERE KIND OF OPERATING UNDER THE ASSUMPTION THAT MUELLER WOULD GO AHEAD AND APPEAR BEFORE, AMONG OTHERS, HOUSE JUDICIARY.>>GENERALLY SPEAKING — BY THE WAY, I’M SURE MUELLER IS JUST THRILLED THAT BILL BARR OFFERED HIM UP NOTHING HE’D RATHER DO I’M CERTAIN. BUT GENERALLY SPEAKING, BRIAN, SUB BORED NATS WITHIN THE DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE AND EVERYBODY IS SUBORDINATE TO THE ATTORNEY GENERAL TESTIFIES ESSENTIALLY WITH THE PERMISSION OF THE ATTORNEY GENERAL. THERE’S AN EXPECTATION THAT SENIOR OFFICIALS THAT RUN AGENCIES LIKE FBI, ATF, DEA, WILL TESTIFY ON BEHALF OF THEIR AGENCIES MUELLER IS A SUBORDINATE OFFICIAL IT’S APPROPRIATE FOR BILL BARR TO MAKE THAT CALL. I’M GLAD TO HEAR HE’S GOING TO PERMIT IT. MUELLER IS THE STRAIGHTEST STRAIGHT SHOOTER I’VE MET IN MY DECADES OF THE DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE. AND I’D LIKE TO HEAR WHAT HE HAS TO SAY ABOUT THE MUELLER REPORT.>>PRESUMABLY WE’LL FIND OUT IF MR. MUELLER FOUND THESE FOUR MENTIONS OF NO COLLUSION IN TODAY’S STATEMENT TO BE EXCESSIVE. NEAL>>IT MIGHT LOOK LIKE A GOOD THING THAT BARR DID, AND IT IS GOOD, SAYING HE HAS NO OBJECTION TO MUELLER TESTIFYING IS REALLY LOW-HANGING FRUIT. CHUCK, ONE SLIGHT TWEAK ON WHAT CHUCK SAID, MUELLER IS A SPECIAL COUNSEL. HE’S FROM OUTSIDE THE JUSTICE DEPARTMENT AND INDEED WILL BE A NON-JUSTICE DEPARTMENT EMPLOYEE VERY SOON. THAT WAS DONE WHEN WE WROTE THE REGULATIONS FOR A VERY IMPORTANT REASON, THE KIND OF FAIL-SAFE BREAK GLASS THING IS IF THE ATTORNEY GENERAL IS PREVENTING THE SPECIAL COUNSEL FROM PROVIDING THE TRUTH TO THE AMERICAN PEOPLE. WE WENT AND PICKED SOMEONE FROM OUTSIDE THE DEPARTMENT TO BE THE SPECIAL COUNSEL FOR EXACTLY THAT REASON, SO THAT THEY’RE OUTSIDE THE CHAIN OF COMMAND AND COULD TESTIFY. SO BARR KNOWS THAT BARR KNOWS THERE IS NO WAY TO STOP MUELLER FROM TESTIFYING BECAUSE HE WON’T BE A JUSTICE DEPARTMENT EMPLOYEE. SO HE GAVE THAT UP, BUT HE’S NOT GIVING UP VERY MUCH.>>TO CHUCK’S POINT, WE KNOW HOW MUCH MUELLER LOVES PUBLIC APPEARANCES.>>EXACTLY. >>JOYCE VANCE IS WATCHING ALONG WITH US, AS SHE HAS FOR THESE PRIOR 22 MONTHS, FORMER U.S. ATTORNEY, THESE DAYS A PROFESSOR AT THE UNIVERSITY OF ALABAMA LAW SCHOOL JOYCE, WE HAVE YET TO GET YOU ON THE RECORD WHAT WE JUST WITNESSED AT THE DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE.>>IT WAS A VERY SOBERING PRESS CONFERENCE FOR PEOPLE WHO HAVE WATCHED ATTORNEY GENERALS TALK ABOUT SERIOUS CASES. THIS FELT A LOT LIKE WHAT WE HEARD PRESIDENT TRUMP’S DEFENSE LAWYER EXPLAINING MUELLER’S CASE TO US. IT DID NOT FEEL LIKE A SITTING ATTORNEY GENERAL AS I WROTE NOTES, MADE NOTES OF WHAT BARR WAS SAYING, I REACHED A POINT WHERE I JUST WROTE BARR CONTINUES TO SHILL FOR THE PRESIDENT. IT FELT LIKE THAT IS EXACTLY WHAT WAS GOING ON. HE TALKED ABOUT HOW WELL, HOW FLUIDLY THE WHITE HOUSE HAD COOPERATED WITH MUELLER AND HE LISTED DOCUMENTS AND THE VABLTD OF SENIOR WITNESSES WITHOUT EVER COMMENTING ON THE FACT THAT THE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES REFUSED TO PRESENT HIMSELF FOR AN INTERVIEW WITH THE SPECIAL COUNSEL DESPITE REPEATED REQUESTS THAT’S NOT COOPERATION THAT’S JUST SPIN FROM BARR, AND AT THE END OF THE PRESS CONFERENCE IN RESPONSE TO A QUESTION, BARR GOT A LITTLE INDIGNANT WHEN HE WAS ASKED ABOUT THE REPORT AND MADE THE POINT THAT MUELLER WROTE THE REPORT FOR HIM, AND THAT’S JUST NOT TRUE MUELLER IS THERE, IS IN PLACE BECAUSE OF CONFLICTS INSIDE OF DOJ WHICH WORKS FOR THE PRESIDENT AT THE END OF THE DAY. THIS ENTIRE NOTION THAT BAR IS SOMEHOW SUPPLANTING MUELLER’S INDEPENDENT ROLE I THINK CHARACTERIZES WHAT WE SAW THIS MORNING PERFECTLY.>>JOYCE, IT’S ALREADY BEEN MENTIONED AROUND HERE, IT WOULD HARKEN BACK TO A CONFLICT DECADES AGO, WE WOULD NOT BE SURPRISED IF SOME HEADLINE WRITER CAME UP SOMEWHERE BAGDAD BILL BARR FOR WHAT WE SAW TODAY. I’LL READ YOU FOUR DIFFERENT QUOTES PUT ANOTHER WAY, THE SPECIAL COUNSEL FOUND NO COLLUSION BY ANY AMERICANS. QUOTE TWO, IN OTHER WORDS, THERE WAS NO EVIDENCE OF TRUMP CAMPAIGN COLLUSION WITH THE RUSSIAN GOVERNMENT HACKING QUOTE THREE, AFTER FINDING NO UNDERLYING COLLUSION WITH RUSSIA, THE SPECIAL COUNSEL’S REPORT GOES ON TO CONSIDER WHETHER CERTAIN ACTIONS OF THE PRESIDENT COULD AMOUNT TO OBSTRUCTION. QUOTE FOUR, YET AS HE, DONALD TRUMP, SAID FROM THE BEGINNING THERE WAS, IN FACT, NO COLLUSION. YOU AND OTHERS HAVE POINTED OUT THIS WORD COLLUSION IS NOT A TERM IN THE LAW.>>IT’S NOT A TERM IN THE LAW, BUT IT’S CLEAR THAT AS THE ATTORNEY GENERAL BILL BARR KNOWS HOW TO SPEAK THE PRESIDENT’S LANGUAGE AND IS SPEAKING TO AN AUDIENCE LARGER THAN AN AUDIENCE OF ONE BUT THIS CERTAINLY RESONATES WITH THE PRESIDENT IT’S VERY DIFFICULT TO SEE AN ATTORNEY GENERAL DOING THIS. SO MANY OF US HAD HOPED THAT ONCE BILL BARR RETURNED TO THAT BUILDING ON PENNSYLVANIA AVENUE HE WOULD FEEL GRAVITATIONAL PULL INSIDE DOJ AND DO THE RIGHT THING. DURING THE CONFIRMATION PROCESS, A WROTE A PIECE FOR SLATE AND POINTED OUT THAT, BECAUSE HE HAD WRITTEN THIS 19-PAGE AUDITION LETTER TO GET THE PRESIDENT TO HIRE HIM, THE PEOPLE OF THE UNITED STATES WOULD PROBABLY LACK CONFIDENCE IN HIS OUTCOME AND THAT SEEMED TO BE DISQUALIFYING FOR HIM AS AN ATTORNEY GENERAL I THINK THAT’S EVEN MORE TRUE TODAY INSTEAD OF BRINGING THIS EPISODE TO A CLOSE, BARR’S PARTICIPATION WILL IN MANY WAYS MAKE PEOPLE LESS CERTAIN ABOUT THIS OUT COME AND IT IS A SAD DAY FOR ALL OF US.>>IT’S BEEN SAID BEFORE, THE QUESTIONS ARE OUT THERE WHETHER OR NOT HE VIEWS THE PRESIDENT AS HIS CLIENT OR THE PEOPLE OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA JOYCE, THANK YOU ARI MELBER WAS AMONG THOSE HIGHLIGHTING THIS, THE PORTION OF BARR’S PRESENTATION ABOUT OBSTRUCTION, THE NATURAL QUESTION IS HOW CAN YOU PROVE OR DISPROVE OBSTRUCTION IF YOU DIDN’T HAVE AN IN-PERSON INTERVIEW WITH THE PRESIDENT HERE, NONETHELESS, IS THAT PORTION.>>AFTER FINDING NO UNDERLYING COLLUSION WITH RUSSIA, THE SPECIAL COUNSEL’S REPORT GOES ON TO CONSIDER WHETHER CERTAIN ACTIONS OF THE PRESIDENT COULD AMOUNT TO OBSTRUCTION OF THE SPECIAL COUNSEL’S INVESTIGATION. AS I ADDRESSED IN MY MARCH 24th LETTER, THE SPECIAL COUNSEL DID NOT MAKE A TRADITIONAL PROSECUTORIAL JUDGMENT REGARDING THIS ALLEGATION. INSTEAD THE REPORT RECOUNTS TEN EPISODES INVOLVING THE PRESIDENT AND DISCUSSES POTENTIAL LEGAL THEORIES FOR CONNECTING THOSE ACTIVITIES TO THE ELEMENTS OF AN OBSTRUCTION OFFENSE. AFTER CAREFULLY REVIEWING THE FACTS AND LEGAL THEORIES OUTLINED IN THE REPORT AND IN CONSULTATION WITH THE OFFICE OF LEGAL COUNSEL AND OTHER DEPARTMENT LAWYERS, THE DEPUTY ATTORNEY GENERAL AND I CONCLUDED THAT THE EVIDENCE DEVELOPED BY THE SPECIAL COUNSEL IS NOT SUFFICIENT TO ESTABLISH THAT THE PRESIDENT COMMITTED AN OBSTRUCTION OF JUST DISSOLVE OFFENSE. ALTHOUGH WE DISAGREED ON THE LEGAL THEORIES AND FELT SOME OF THE EPISODES EXAMINED DID NOT AMOUNT TO OBSTRUCTION AS A MATTER OF LAW, WE DID NOT RELY SOLELY ON THAT ON MAKING THAT DECISION. >>AGAIN, SO NOTABLE THERE THAT THERE WAS DISAGREEMENT, IF YOU LOOK AT ROSENSTEIN AND BARR AS TEAM A, DISAGREEMENT WITH THE LEGAL THEORIES SETTLED UPON BY ROBERT MUELLER ANDREA MITCHELL, WATCHING AND LISTENING WITH US. ANDREA>>I WAS SO STRUCK BY THAT BECAUSE WHAT THE ATTORNEY GENERAL SEEMS TO BE SAYING AND GOING OUT OF HIS WAY IS TO SAY THERE WAS NO INTENT. HOW DO WE KNOW THERE WAS NO INTENT WITHOUT AN INTERVIEW? IT SEEMS TO ME THE WHITE HOUSE LAWYERS, PERSONAL LAWYERS OF THE PRESIDENT WERE BRILLIANT IN ONE REGARD IN PARTICULAR, IN DEMANDING THAT THERE BE NO INTERVIEW AND THEY ONLY SUBMIT WRITTEN ANSWERS TO QUESTIONS, BECAUSE THERE’S NO WAY THAT MUELLER COULD FOLLOW UP AND TRY TO DETERMINE THE INTENT. TO SAY THAT THERE WAS NO INTENT BASED ON WHAT THE ATTORNEY GENERAL SAYS WERE EXTRAORDINARY UNPRECEDENTED CIRCUMSTANCES, THE CONTEXT, AND THEN TO GO OUT OF HIS WAY, AS THOUGH HE WAS A DEFENSE LAWYER, TO EXPLAIN THE PRESSURE THAT THE PRESIDENT WAS UNDER COMING INTO OFFICE WITH ALL OF THE ALLEGATIONS AGAINST HIM REGARDING RUSSIA AND ALLEGED CONSPIRACY OR COLLUSION, IF YOU WILL, THAT IS NOT HIS ROLE IF YOU EVEN COMPARE IT TO WHAT JAMES COMEY DID IN THAT HIGHLY CRITICIZED PRESENTATION AGAINST HILLARY CLINTON, HE DID NOT TALK ABOUT HER STATE OF MIND, HE DID NOT TALK ABOUT HER INTEND. HE JUST SAID SHE WAS EXTRAORDINARILY CARELESS AND HE DECIDED THERE WAS NO BASIS TO PROSECUTE. HERE THE ATTORNEY GENERAL IS GOING WELL BEYOND THAT EVEN IN CLEARING THE PRESIDENT I THINK THIS IS, AS CHUCK ROSENBERG SAID, GOING TO BE A REAL BLACK MARK ON HIS LONG AND PREVIOUSLY DISTINGUISHED CAREER, BECAUSE HE HAS GONE WAY OUTSIDE THE BOUNDS OF WHAT THE ATTORNEY GENERAL SHOULD HAVE BEEN PRESENTING, EVEN IF YOU CONCEDE THAT HE SHOULD HAVE PRE BUTTED OR PREEMPTED THE REPORTED BEFORE HAVING THIS NEWS CONFERENCE WHICH I THINK WAS EXTRAORDINARY AND REALLY OBJECTIONABLE ALREADY YOU SEE DEMANDS FOR ROBERT MUELLER TO TESTIFY. NADLER HAS MADE THAT DEMAND FROM THE HOUSE SIDE AMY KLOBUCHAR, ONE OF THE CANDIDATES AND A KEY MEMBER OF THE JUDICIARY COMMITTEE, SAID YOU WON’T HEAR THAT FROM THE SENATE REPUBLICAN CHAIRMAN, BUT CERTAINLY FROM CHUCK SCHUMER AND OTHER MEMBERS OF THE DEMOCRATS IN THE SENATE, THAT MUELLER IS GOING TO HAVE TO BE FRONT AND CENTER YOU DID HEAR BARR SAY HE HAS NO OBJECTION TO MUELLER BUT HE WOULDN’T BE ABLE TO OBJECT BECAUSE MUELLER AFTER TODAY IS NO LONGER HERE IS LESTER HOLT AND SAVANNAH GUTHRIE.>>GOOD DAY. WE’RE BACK ON THE AIR WITH WORD THAT THE MUELLER REPORT, THE REDACTED MUELLER REPORT IS NOW PUBLIC. IT’S BEEN POSTED ON THE DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE WEBSITE.>>400 PAGES IN LENGTH, NOT COUNTING EXHIBITS AND OTHER DOCUMENTS. IT’S NOW LIVE. IT’S PUBLIC. WE WILL PUT IT ON NBCNEWS.COM. AS WE GO ALONG, WE WILL READ IT ALONG WITH YOU. WE KNOW THE TOP LINE LEGAL CONCLUSIONS HERE. NUMBER ONE, THERE WAS NO FINDING OF CONSPIRACY ON THE PART OF THE TRUMP CAMPAIGN OR PRESIDENT TRUMP HIMSELF TO CONSPIRE WITH THE RUSSIANS TO MEDDLE IN OUR ELECTIONS AND WE KNOW THE ATTORNEY GENERAL TOOK THE EVIDENCE THAT WAS PROVIDED BY ROBERT MUELLER AND MADE A LEGAL CONCLUSION THAT THERE WAS NO SUFFICIENT EVIDENCE FOR OBSTRUCTION OF JUSTICE. EARLIER TODAY, WE HEARD FROM THE ATTORNEY GENERAL AS HE DISCUSSED SOME OF THE REASONS FOR HIS FINDINGS. HE TALKED ABOUT SOME OF THE REDACTIONS, WHICH IS A FANCY LEGAL TERM FOR SAYING SOME OF THIS REPORT WILL BE BLACKED OUT FOR A VARIETY OF REASONS, INVESTIGATIONS, CLASSIFIED INVESTIGATION, GRAND JURY MATERIAL. HE SOUGHT TO RELEASE AS MUCH AS POSSIBLE. NOW THE REPORT IS BEING RELEASED PUBLICALLY. IT’S GOING TO CAPITOL HILL.>>WHAT IS HAPPENING IN THIS NEWS CONFERENCE TODAY, WILLIAM BARR LAYING OUT A STRONG CASE OF VINDICATION FOR PRESIDENT TRUMP. IF YOU JUST BASE IT ON HIS WORDS AND WHAT HE TALKED ABOUT TODAY. NOW COME THE DETAILS, WE WILL HAVE A LOOK INSIDE AS TO WHAT THE MUELLER REPORT SAYS TO THE EXTENT WE CAN, WITH THE KNOWLEDGE THAT SOME IS REDACTS FOR VARIOUS REASONS. WE WILL PARTICULARLY WANT TO HONE IN ON THE DECISION NOT TO PURSUE OBSTRUCTION OF JUSTICE CHARGES. WE UNDERSTAND THIS DOCUMENT WILL LIST SOME OF THE AREAS THAT WOULD POINT TO POTENTIALLY OBSTRUCTION OF JUSTICE AND THE VIEW FROM THE SPECIAL COUNSEL ON WHY HE COULDN’T COME TO THE DECISION — >>A LOT OF OPEN QUESTIONS. WE HAVE THOSE TOP LINE LEGAL CONCLUSIONS. WE DON’T KNOW WHY ROBERT MUELLER CHOSE NOT TO RENDER LEGAL JUDGMENT. THERE WERE 23 MONTHS, 500 SEARCH WARRANTS, SEVERAL GUILTY PLEAS, TRIALS STEMMING FROM THE REPORT. WE WILL FIND OUT WHAT THE EVIDENCE IS. I BELIEVE KRISTEN WELKER IS AT THE WHITE HOUSE. THE PRESIDENT IS GETTING READY TO HAVE AN EVENT UNRELATED TO THIS. HE MAY MAKE REMARKS ON THIS. WHAT IS THE WHITE HOUSE VIEW OF WHAT THEY HEARD SO FAR FROM THE ATTORNEY GENERAL?>>Reporter: SO FAR, YOU HAVE THE PRESIDENT ESSENTIALLY CLAIMING VICTORY, SAVANNAH. HE TWEETED OUT, GAME OVER, AGAINST A GAME OF THRONES BACKDROP. THE REASON FOR THAT IS BECAUSE YOU HAVE THE ATTORNEY GENERAL BILL BARR WHO HELD THAT PRESS CONFERENCE AND ESSENTIALLY SAID THAT THERE WAS NO DETERMINATION OF — THERE WAS NO COLLUSION BETWEEN THE TRUMP CAMPAIGN AND RUSSIA. NO EVIDENCE OF CRIMINAL OBSTRUCTION. FROM PRESIDENT TRUMP’S PERSPECTIVE HE WILL ARGUE THAT’S TOTAL VINDICATION. THE PRESIDENT’S LEGAL TEAM ALREADY OUT SAYING THAT THIS IS ESSENTIALLY A SLAM DUNK FOR THEM. BUT, OF COURSE, THE DEVIL IS GOING TO BE IN THE DETAILS. BARR ALSO SAID THAT MUELLER WAS LOOKING AT TEN POTENTIAL EXAMPLES OF POSSIBLE OBSTRUCTION. SO I HAVE BEEN TALKING TO SOME OF THE PRESIDENT’S ALLIES WHO SAY THAT’S WHERE THEIR FOCUS IS GOING TO BE. I KNOW THE PRESIDENT IS ABOUT TO START TALKING.>>HE IS MAKING REMARKS AT THIS WOUNDED WARRIOR EVENT. LET’S SEE IF HE TALKS ABOUT IT.>>THRILLED TO HOST THE WOUNDED WARRIOR PROJECT. IT’S BEEN A LONG RELATIONSHIP I’VE HAD. THE SOLDIER RIDE IS SOMETHING VERY SPECIAL. FEW PEOPLE COULD DO IT. INCLUDING ME. I HATE TO ADMIT IT. I HATE TO ADMIT THAT, GENERAL. BUT CLUTDING ME. WE’RE DEEPLY HONORED TO BE IN THE PRESENCE OF TRUE AMERICAN HEROES. I WANT TO THANK — >>WE WILL LISTEN TO THIS EVENT. IF HE REMARKS ANYTHING ABOUT THE MUELLER REPORT, WE WILL CERTAINLY BRING IT TO YOU. AS MENTIONED, THE DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE AT LONG LAST HAS PUT ON ITS WEBSITE THIS ACTUAL REPORT. OUR CORRESPONDENT PETE WILLIAMS HAS BEEN LOOKING AT IT. I HOPE YOU ARE A SPEED READER. WHAT ARE YOU SEEING SO FAR?>>Reporter: LET ME START WITH A DRAMATIC MOMENT, ACCORDING TO THE SPECIAL COUNSEL REPORT, WHEN THE PRESIDENT WAS TOLD ON MAY 17 THAT THIS WHOLE PROCESS OF SPECIAL INVESTIGATION WOULD BE STARTED WITH THE APPOINTMENT OF ROBERT MUELLER. I’M GOING TO READ FROM A PORTION OF THE REPORT THAT DESCRIBES THAT MOMENT IN THE OVAL OFFICE. IT SAYS, WHEN THE PRESIDENT WAS TOLD A SPECIAL COUNSEL HAD BEEN APPOINTED, THE PRESIDENT SLUMPED BACK IN HIS CHAIR AND SAID, OH, MY GOD, THIS IS TERRIBLE, THIS IS THE END OF MY PRESIDENCY, I AM — THEN HE USED A FORM OF A WORD THAT BEGINS WITH F. I AM F-ED. THE PRESIDENT BECAME ANGRY AND LAMBASTED THE ATTORNEY GENERAL FOR HIS DECISION TO RECUSE FROM THE INVESTIGATION SAYING TO JEFF SESSIONS, ACCORDING TO THIS SUMMARY, HOW COULD YOU LET THIS HAPPEN, JEFF? YOU WERE SUPPOSED TO PROTECT ME. THEN, ACCORDING TO THE SUMMARY FROM ROBERT MUELLER, HE SAID THE PEOPLE IN THE ROOM — EVERYONE TELLS ME IF YOU GET ONE MUCH THESE INDEPENDENT COUNSELS IT RUINS YOUR PRESIDENCY. IT TAKES YEARS AND I WON’T BE ABLE TO DO ANYTHING. THIS IS THE WORST THING THAT EVER HAPPENED TO ME. CLOSED QUOTE, ACCORDING TO THE MUELLER REPORT. THE PRESIDENT THEN TOLD SESSIONS ACCORDING TO THE REPORT THAT HE SHOULD RESIGN AS ATTORNEY GENERAL AND, IN FACT, ACCORDING TO THE INVESTIGATION, JEFF SESSIONS DID SUBMIT A LETTER OF RESIGNATION BUT THAT WAS NEVER ACCEPTED BY THE PRESIDENT. THE REPORT GOES ON TO SAY THAT AT ONE POINT THERE WERE PRESS REPORTS THAT THEN WHITE HOUSE COUNSEL DON McGAHN WAS DIRECTED TO FIRE THE SPECIAL COUNSEL ROBERT MUELLER AND THAT THE PRESIDENT URGED WHITE HOUSE OFFICIALS TO TELL McGAHN TO DENY THIS. BUT ACCORDING TO WHAT WAS SAID IN THIS REPORT, McGAHN SAID HE WOULDN’T DO THAT AND SAID — McGAHN SAID THE MEDIA REPORTS WERE ACCURATE IN STATING THE PRESIDENT DIRECTED McGAHN TO HAVE THE SPECIAL COUNSEL REMOVED. OF COURSE, OBVIOUSLY, THAT NEVER HAPPENED. LET ME GIVE YOU SOME OVERALL — STEP BACK FROM THAT DRAMATIC THING A LITTLE BIT AND GIVE YOU SOME OVERALL SENSE OF HOW THE SPECIAL COUNSEL REPORT IS PUT TOGETHER. I’M GOING TO DIRECT YOU TO — IT’S IN TWO VOLUMES. WE HAVE BEEN HANDED THESE TWO VOLUMES IN THREE-RING BINDERS. I THINK ONE QUESTION THAT PEOPLE MAY HAVE IS, HOW HEAVILY REDACTED IS THE REPORT? SECTION TWO, WHICH DEALS WITH THE INVESTIGATIONS OF POTENTIAL OBSTRUCTION OF JUSTICE, AS YOU CAN SEE, IS VERY LIGHTLY REDACTED. THE OTHER THREE-RING BINDER WE HAVE BEEN GIVEN, SECTION ONE, DOES HAVE MORE EXTENSIVE REDACTIONS. HERE, EXAMPLE, IS A PAGE OF WHAT ONE OF THE PAGES LOOKS LIKE. THE SECTION ONE PART, ABOUT THE INVESTIGATION OF RUSSIAN MEDDLING INTO THE ELECTION, HAS MORE REDACTIONS. THEY RELATE TO, IN MANY CASES, HARM — THEY SAY HARM TO AN ONGOING MATTER. AS YOU MAY RECALL, THIS IS ONE OF THE CATEGORIES THAT ATTORNEY GENERAL WILLIAM BARR HAD SAID WOULD BE USED TO REDACT SOME OF THE REPORT THAT’S GOING TO THE PUBLIC. ALTHOUGH, HE SAID THIS MORNING THAT MEMBERS OF CONGRESS WOULD BE ABLE TO SEE THAT. ON THE QUESTION OF OBSTRUCTION OF JUSTICE, THE REPORT SAID THAT IT LOOKED AT SEVERAL ACTIONS BY THE PRESIDENT AS POTENTIAL ACTIONS OF OBSTRUCTION OF JUSTICE. MANY OF THEM WE WERE FAMILIAR WITH. THE DINNER WITH COMEY, THE FIRING OF COMEY, THE DINNER WHICH HE ASKED FOR COMEY’S LOYALTY IN JANUARY OF 2017, THE MEETING IN WHICH HE ASKED COMEY TO GO EASY ON FLYNN. THE REPORT SAYS THAT THE PRESIDENT DID NOT KNOW ABOUT FLYNN’S DISCUSSIONS WITH THE RUSSIAN AMBASSADOR AT THE TIME THEY WERE MADE. WAS ONLY TOLD WHEN THE JUSTICE DEPARTMENT TOLD THE WHITE HOUSE WHAT HE WAS UP TO. IT ALSO SAID THAT AS THEY ANALYZE THAT ISSUE, AS A POTENTIAL OBSTRUCTION OF JUSTICE, JUST TO GIVE YOU AN INDICATION OF THE KIND OF THINKING THAT MUELLER SAYS WENT INTO HIS DECISIONS ABOUT WHETHER TO SAY ACTIONS CONSTITUTED OBSTRUCTION OF JUSTICE, THE REPORT SAYS THE PRESIDENT NEVER CONNECTED IN HIS MIND FLYNN’S DISCUSSION WITH THE RUSSIAN AMBASSADOR WITH WHAT THE PRESIDENT CALLED, ACCORDING TO THE REPORT, THE RUSSIA THING. IN OTHER WORDS, THE SPECIAL COUNSEL’S INVESTIGATION OF THE PRESIDENT’S CONDUCT AND THE CAMPAIGN’S CONDUCT. IT ALSO TALKS ABOUT THE MUELLER TEAM LOOKED AT THE PRESIDENT’S REQUEST TO COMEY REPEATEDLY TO SAY THE PRESIDENT WAS THE SUBJECT OF AN FBI INVESTIGATION AND TO LIFT WHAT THE PRESIDENT REGARDED AS A CLOUD. I SHOULD SAY THE REPORT BASICALLY ABSENS — ACCENTS HIS INTERACTIONS WITH THE PRESIDENT THAT WAS MEMORIALIZED. IT TALKS ABOUT ANOTHER POTENTIAL ISSUE OF OBSTRUCTION OF JUSTICE THAT WAS INVESTIGATED BY MUELLER WAS THE PRESIDENT’S OUTREACH TO THE INTELLIGENCE COMMUNITY, TO THE DIRECTOR OF NATIONAL INTELLIGENCE, THE DIRECTOR OF THE NSA AND THE CIA ABOUT THE RUSSIA INVESTIGATION. THE PRESIDENT’S RATIONALE FOR FIRING COMEY AND THE PRESIDENT’S INVOLVEMENT IN ISSUING A STATEMENT — THIS HAS BEEN MUCH REPORTED AND DEBATED ABOUT THE INFAMOUS JUNE 9, 2016 MEETING IN TRUMP TOWER BETWEEN RUSSIANS AND SENIOR TRUMP CAMPAIGN OFFICIALS. YOU WILL RECALL THAT THE PRESIDENT WAS INVOLVED IN SETTING UP AN E-MAIL ABOUT THAT THAT WAS SUPPOSEDLY ABOUT ADOPTION AND ADMITTED THE FACT THAT THE RUSSIANS OFFERED TO PROVIDE THE TRUMP CAMPAIGN WITH WHAT THEY CALLED DIRT ON HILLARY CLINTON. SOME OTHER FACTS THAT WERE IN THE MUELLER REPORT IS THE DISCUSSION HERE ABOUT WHY THEY DECIDED TO LEAVE IT OPEN ABOUT WHETHER THESE ACTIONS AMOUNTED TO OBSTRUCTION OF JUSTICE. AMONG THE FACTORS THEY CONSIDERED, THE PRESIDENT HAD THE AUTHORITY TO FIRE JAMES COMEY BECAUSE HE IS THE HEAD OF THE EXECUTIVE BRANCH. HE COULD DO THAT. SOME EVIDENCE THE REPORT SAYS INDICATES THAT THE PRESIDENT WANTED TO PROTECT HIMSELF FROM AN INVESTIGATION OF HIS CAMPAIGN, BUT THE REPORT SAYS, THE EVIDENCE DOES NOT ESTABLISH THAT THE FIRING WAS INTENDED TO COVER UP ANY KIND OF CONSPIRACY BETWEEN THE TRUMP CAMPAIGN AND RUSSIA. A COUPLE OF OTHER NOTES. LET ME PAUSE AND CATCH MY BREATH. MUELLER BELIEVED THAT HE HAD THE AUTHORITY TO SUBPOENA THE PRESIDENT. HE CONCLUDED THAT WAS A LEGAL QUESTION ABOUT WHETHER SOMEBODY IN HIS POSITION COULD, IN FACT, LEGALLY PUT THE PRESIDENT TO A SUBPOENA AND CONCLUDED THAT HE DID HAVE THE LEGAL AUTHORITY TO DO SO. BUT DECIDED THAT IT WOULD — THE NEGOTIATIONS WERE SO PROTRACTED IT HAPPENED AT A VERY LATE STAGE AND BY THEN, THE INVESTIGATION ALREADY KNEW ENOUGH BASED ON WHAT HAD BEEN PUBLICALLY STATED. THERE WAS AN APPENDIX TO THOSE TWO NOTEBOOKS I SHOWED YOU. THIS APPENDIX THAT WE GOT IN OUR COPY OF THE BINDER AND ONE OF THE THINGS IT HAS IN IT IS THE PRESIDENT’S WRITTEN ANSWERS TO THE QUESTIONS FROM MUELLER. I HAVEN’T HAD A CHANCE TO GO THROUGH THAT YET. WE ARE GOING TO GET THE FULL COPY OF THE WRITTEN ANSWERS TO THE QUESTIONS THAT THE PRESIDENT GAVE HIM.>>PETE, LET ME ASK YOU — LET YOU CATCH YOUR BREATH. THISS AMAZING, YOU ARE ABLE TO DIGEST THIS SO QUICKLY. THERE’S NO INTERVIEW WITH THE PRESIDENT. THEY THOUGHT THEY HAD THE RIGHT TO SUBPOENA AND DIDN’T. IS THERE ANY TALK ABOUT HOW THEY GLEANED INTENT OR NO INTENT?>>YES. BASED ON HIS CONVERSATIONS WITH OTHER PEOPLE, HIS ACTIONS. THEY SAY, FOR EXAMPLE, LESTER, THAT HIS ACTIONS TOWARD THE SPECIAL COUNSEL SHIFTED AFTER HIS EARLY ALARM THAT I READ YOU THAT VERY DRAMATIC ACCOUNT ABOUT, AFTER HE WAS INITIALLY TOLD ABOUT THE SPECIAL COUNSEL, HE SORT OF LAID BACK AND LET MUELLER DO HIS THING. BUT THEN WHEN IT BECAME CLEAR TO THE PRESIDENT THAT HE HIMSELF WAS UNDER INVESTIGATION FOR OBSTRUCTION OF JUSTICE, THE REPORT SAYS THE PRESIDENT’S TONE CHANGED. HE BEGAN TO TWEET ABOUT MUELLER AND ABOUT HIS INVESTIGAINVESTIG CRITICIZE THE ATTACK. THAT’S THE BEGINNING OF THE INFAMOUS ATTACK. THAT’S ONE FACTOR. WHAT THEY CAME DOWN — THEY SAID, FOR EVERYTHING THAT THEY LOOKED AT, THE PRESIDENT EITHER HAD THE AUTHORITY TO DO IT OR THE INTENT WASN’T CLEAR ENOUGH. THEY HANG THEIR HAT A LOT ON THE FACT THAT IT DIDN’T APPEAR HE WAS TRYING TO COVER UP SOME CRIME. IN OTHER WORDS, HAVING CONCLUDED THAT THERE WAS NO COLLUSION BETWEEN THE TRUMP CAMPAIGN AND RUSSIA, HAVING CONCLUDED THAT THE PRESIDENT DIDN’T DO ANYTHING WRONG, THEY SAID THAT’S A FACTOR WE HAVE TO CONSIDER. THERE’S AN INTERESTING DISCUSSION — LET ME SEE IF I CAN FIND IT. THERE’S AN INTERESTING DISCUSSION, I THINK, IN SOME OF THE LOOSE PAGES I PULLED OUT OF THERE, CHARLIE, ABOUT THE FACT THAT THEY LOOKED AT WHETHER THEY COULD CHARGE THE PRESIDENT WITH OBSTRUCTION. I DON’T FIND IT RIGHT HERE. BUT MY RECOLLECTION IS THAT THEY CONCLUDED THAT THEY ACTUALLY PROBABLY COULD CHARGE THE PRESIDENT WITH OBSTRUCTION, BECAUSE IT WAS NOT A CRIME THAT WAS DIRECTED AT HIS ABILITY TO DO THE JOB OR HIS OFFICIAL FUNCTIONS IN OFFICE. THEY BASICALLY SAY THAT IT WAS NOT A SHOW STOPPER FOR THEM, THE POLICY UNDER REPUBLICANS AND DEMOCRATS THAT YOU CAN’T INDICT A SITTING PRESIDENT, THAT THEY SAY WAS NOT A CONCERN, BECAUSE THEY ACTUALLY NOT ONLY GOT PAST THAT CONSTITUTIONAL PROBLEM BUT DECIDED THEY PROBABLY COULD CHARGE THE PRESIDENT WITH OBSTRUCTION, IF THEY THOUGHT THE EVIDENCE WAS THERE.>>PETE, JUST SO PEOPLE UNDERSTAND, I WANT TO PAUSE RIGHT THERE. I DON’T WANT PEOPLE TO UNDERSTAND. THEY ARE SAYING, WE KNOW THE DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE HAS A RULE THAT SAYS YOU CAN’T INDICT A SITTING PRESIDENT. WHAT YOU READ IN THE REPORT IS THAT THE MUELLER TEAM FOUND THAT WAS NOT AN IMPEDIMENT. IF THEY HAD THE FACTUAL BASIS, THEY WOULD HAVE GONE AHEAD AND CHARGED, AS I UNDERSTAND YOU SAYING IT, BUT THEY FOUND THEY DID NOT HAVE SUFFICIENT FACTUAL BASIS. IS THAT CORRECT?>>Reporter: CORRECT. THAT WAS — IN OTHER WORDS, IT WASN’T THAT THEY THOUGHT — IF IT WAS ANYBODY ELSE, THEY COULD HAVE CHARGED HIM WITH A CRIME. BECAUSE HE IS THE PRESIDENT, THEY COULDN’T, THAT WAS NOT THE THINKING.>>I’M LOOKING — WE ARE TRYING TO READ ALONG WITH YOU, SO YOU CAN CATCH YOUR BREATH. I’M NOTICING THAT WITH REGARD TO THE COLLUSION PART, THE CONSPIRACY PART OF THIS REPORT, IT DOES SAY THAT THERE’S NOT SUFFICIENT EVIDENCE TO ESTABLISH A CRIME. IT DOES SAY THAT THERE WERE — INVESTIGATION IDENTIFIES NUMEROUS LINKS BETWEEN INDIVIDUALS WITH TIES TO THE RUSSIAN GOVERNMENT AND INDIVIDUALS ASSOCIATED WITH THE TRUMP CAMPAIGN. IT SAYS THE EVIDENCE WAS NOT SUFFICIENT TO SUPPORT CRIMINAL CHARGES. THEN IT GETS INTO SOME OF THE TECHNICAL/LEGAL STATUTES. WHAT THE PROSECUTOR IS ASKED TO DO. TO SEE IF THERE’S A CRIME THAT COULD BE ESTABLISHED BY THOSE FACTS, IF THEY MEET THE TECHNICAL ASPECTS OF THE STATUTE. WE’RE ALL GOING TO LAW SCHOOL TODAY. GO AHEAD, PETE.>>Reporter: LET ME BACK UP ON THE SECTION WE TALKED ABOUT. I FOUND THE SECTION THAT DISCUSSES THIS. IT SAYS, THE DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE AND THE PRESIDENT’S COUNSEL HAVE RECOGNIZED THAT THE PRESIDENT IS SUBJECT TO STATUTES THAT PROHIBIT OBSTRUCTION OF JUSTICE BY BRIBING A WITNESS OR SUBORNING PERJURY BECAUSE THAT DOES NOT IMPLICATION HIS CONSTITUTIONAL AUTHORITY. IN OTHER WORDS, IT WAS DOUBLY NOT A SHOW STOPPER FOR THEM, NOT ONLY DID THEY — WERE THEY AWARE OF THE JUSTICE DEPARTMENT POLICY, BUT THEY ALSO SAID THEY SEPARATELY CONCLUDED AND THE PRESIDENT’S COUNSEL AGREED THAT A PRESIDENT COULD BE SUBJECT TO A CHARGE OF OBSTRUCTION OF JUSTICE. THEY FOUND THE EVIDENCE DIDN’T MEET IT. A COUPLE OF OTHER TIDBITS FROM THE REPORT I HAVE SEEN IN THE BRIEF TIME I HAVE HAD TO LOOK THROUGH IT. YOU WILL RECALL THAT THERE WAS — THIS REMAINS CONTROVERSIAL TO THIS DAY. EARLY ON IN THE INVESTIGATION, THE FBI GOT THIS DOSSIER FROM A PERSON WHO HAD DONE WORK FOR BRITISH INTELLIGENCE. ONE OF THE ALLEGATIONS IN IT WAS THAT THERE WAS A COMPROMISING, SALACIOUS VIDEOTAPE — THIS WAS THE ALLEGATION — THAT WAS MADE WHEN THE PRESIDENT WAS IN A HOTEL ROOM IN MOSCOW, A CONDUCT THAT INVOLVED SOME WOMEN. ACCORDING TO THE REPORT, A RUSSIAN BUSINESSMAN TOLD MICHAEL COHEN, WHO WAS THEN AT THAT TIME THE PRESIDENT’S WELL-REGARDED PERSONAL LAWYER, ABOUT THE MOSCOW TAPES. THIS RUSSIAN BUSINESSMAN TOLD THE INVESTIGATORS THAT THE TAPES WERE FAKE BUT HAD NEVER TOLD COHEN ABOUT THAT.>>PETE, I WANT TO GO BACK TO SOMETHING THAT WILLIAM BARR SAID. HE SAYS, THE SPECIAL COUNSEL’S REPORT ACKNOWLEDGES THAT THERE’S EVIDENCE THE PRESIDENT WAS FRUSTRATED BY HIS BELIEF THAT THE INVESTIGATION WAS UNDERMINING HIS PRESIDENCY. WERE THOSE BARR’S WORDS? WERE THEY REFERRED TO IN THIS REPORT?>>THAT IS A SUMMARY. I HAVE TO SAY THAT THE WAY BARR DESCRIBED WHAT HE CALLED THE TOP LINE OR BOTTOM LINE CONCLUSIONS OF THE MUELLER INVESTIGATION TRACKS VERY CLOSELY WITH WHAT I HAVE BEEN ABLE TO READ. HIS SUMMARY OF WHAT THE INVESTIGATION SAYS IS PRETTY MUCH ON POINT HERE, I THINK. YOU COME UP IN THIS REPORT BECAUSE ONE OF THE THINGS THAT MUELLER LOOKED AT AS IS WELL-KNOWN IS THE INTERVIEW THE PRESIDENT GAVE WITH YOU IN WHICH HE SAID THAT ONE OF HIS MOTIVATIONS FOR FIRING JAMES COMEY WAS THE RUSSIA THING. THAT WAS ONE OF THE FACTORS THAT THE INDEPENDENT COUNSEL — OR THE SPECIAL COUNSEL LOOKED AT.>>PETE, HANG THERE. I KNOW YOU WILL CONTINUE TO READ. WE HAVE THE BENEFIT OF SOME GREAT LEGAL ANALYSTS AT OUR TABLE. I KNOW YOU BOTH ARE LOOKING AT IT. I SEE IT ON YOUR SCREEN. WHAT POPS OUT SO FAR?>>IT’S BEEN 22 MINUTES SINCE THE REPORT HAS COME OUT. I DO THINK THAT’S IMPORTANT. THIS IS A 400-PAGE REPORT. ALL AMERICANS NEED TO PAUSE, READ THE THING AND THEN DISSECT IT. THERE ARE A COUPLE OF THINGS THAT STAND OUT TO ME. NUMBER ONE, MUELLER GOES THROUGH TEN DIFFERENT EPISODES OF POSSIBLE OBSTRUCTION OF JUSTICE. SO FAR, I HAVEN’T READ ANYTHING THAT SAID HE CONCLUDED THERE WAS NOTHING THERE, THAT THERE WAS NO CRIME OR ANYTHING LIKE THAT. RATHER, AFTER DISCUSSING THE TEN EPISODES, MUELLER THEN GOES THROUGH A WHOLE EXPLANATION OF WHY THE PRESIDENT’S LEGAL THEORIES ARE WRONG. HE SAYS THEY, QUOTE, LACK MERIT AND THAT THEY ARE CONTRARY TO THE LITIGAING DEPARTMENT OF THE DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE. WHEN IT COMES TO THATKEY OBSTRUCTION OF JUSTICE INVESTIGATION, MUELLER COULDN’T RESOLVE IT BECAUSE HE WANTED CONGRESS TO. THAT’S WHAT HIS PREDECESSORS DID.>>IS IT CLEAR HE WANTED — >>HE DOESN’T SAY ANYTHING ONE WAY OR OTHER. WHEN YOU ARE WRITING THIS REPORT, IF YOU ARE A SPECIAL COUNSEL AND YOU KNOW, WHAT HAVE MY PREDECESSORS DONE? THEY HAVEN’T RESOLVED IT WITH NIXON WHERE THE EVIDENCE WAS OVERWHELMING. MUELLER IS WRITING AGAINST THE BACKDROP OF THAT HISTORY. HE DOESN’T RESOLVE IT. HE LEAVES IT FOR CONGRESS. IT’S BARR WHO COMES IN AND INSERTS HIMSELF INTO THE PROCESS AND FLIPS IT.>>IS IT POSSIBLE THAT MUELLER OPERATING UNDER DIFFERENT STATUTES THAN THOSE OTHER COUNSELS SOUGHT THE ATTORNEY GENERAL — HE IS LEAVING IT FOR SOMEBODY TO DECIDE. IT’S NOT HIM. OPERATING UNDER THE STATUTE THAT I BELIEVE YOU HELPED WRITE. IS IT POSSIBLE HE THOUGHT, THE ATTORNEY GENERAL SHOULD RENDER THIS JUDGMENT?>>I DON’T THINK SO. THE SPECIAL COUNSEL REGULATIONS THAT WE WROTE IN 1999, WERE PATTERNED ON LEON JAWORSKI. IF MUELLER IS WRITING THIS, HE WILL SAY THE MOST OBVIOUS PRECEDENT IS WHAT MY PREDECESSORS HAVE DONE. >>FROM A LEGAL STANDPOINT, TEN ITEMS OF POTENTIAL OBSTRUCTION, DOES THE NUMBER CHANGE THE ULTIMATE CONCLUSION, FIVE, SIX, SEVEN, EIGHT, NINE, TEN?>>LEGALLY, I DON’T THINK IT DOES. I THINK PRACTICALLY, IT DOES. THIS IS A REALLY REMARKABLE THING TO HAVE A SITTING PRESIDENT HAVE TEN DIFFERENT EPISODES OF POSSIBLE OBSTRUCTION OF JUSTICE. THAT JUST SHOWS WHERE THE BAR HAS MOVED AWAY FROM PAST PRESIDENTS.>>AGAIN, THE QUESTION OF INTENT LOOMS LARGE. >>ABSOLUTELY. UNDER AN OBSTRUCTION OF JUSTICE INVESTIGATION, YOU HAVE TO PROVE A CORRUPT INTENT. WHAT IT LOOKS LIKE — WE’RE STARTING TO LOOK AT THIS. IT LOOKS LIKE BARR DECIDED, YOU HAVE TO HAVE SOME SORT OF UNDERLYING CRIME IN ORDER FOR THERE TO BE OBSTRUCTION OF JUSTICE. IT CAN’T BE YOU OBSTRUCT SOMETHING, AN INVESTIGATION INTO SOMETHING UNRELATED, THAT ISN’T A CRIME. >>WE SHOULD NOTE THAT A LOT OF OUR PAGES LOOK LIKE THIS. PROBABLY NOT AS HEAVILY REDACTED AS MANY PEOPLE EXPECTED.>>I THINK PETE POINTED OUT — IT SEEMS TO BE THE CASE — THE FIRST PART OF THE REPORT, WHICH HAS TO DO WITH THIS ISSUE OF CONSPIRACY AND ALSO THE RUSSIANS’ EFFORTS TO MEDDLE IN OUR ELECTION, THOSE SEEM TO BE MORE REDACTED. YOU ARE MORE LIKELY TO SEE CLASSIFIED INFORMATION.>>THEY LIST THEM. HARM TO AN ONGOING MATTER.>>DANNY, YOU ARE READING IT THERE. WHAT POPS OUT?>>WHAT POPS OUT IS AS MANY SUSPECTED, FROM THE EARLY PARTS OF THE INVESTIGATION, MUELLER CONCLUDED THAT HE CANNOT CHARGE A SITTING PRESIDENT, BASED ON THAT OLC OPINION. THAT GUIDED HIS DECISION TO NOT MAKE A PROSECUTING DECISION. PROSECUTORS ALLEGE PEOPLE COMMITTED A CRIME. THEN WE HAVE AN ADVERSARIAL PROCESS THAT ALLOWS THEM TO TELL THEIR SIDE OF THE STORY. THAT NEVER WOULD HAVE BEEN AVAILABLE HERE. CONSEQUENTLY, BECAUSE PRESIDENT TRUMP WOULD NOT HAVE THE OPPORTUNITY TO DEFEND HIMSELF IF MUELLER SIMPLY MADE A CONCLUSION THAT HE COMMITTED A CRIME WITHOUT BEING ABLE TO CHARGE HIM, THAT JUSTIFIED NOT MAKING A DECISION. >>IT’S INTERESTING. I DON’T KNOW IF PETE IS STILL WITH US. I THOUGHT PETE SAW IN A SECTION THAT THAT WASN’T NECESSARILY THE DETERMINING ISSUE, THAT ACTUALLY THEY HAD KIND OF OVERCOME THAT HURDLE, SO TO SPEAK. PETE, THIS ISSUE OF THE OLC GUIDANCE. I’M CONFUSED.>>THAT’S MY READING OF IT.>>YOU KNOW WHAT? PROFESSOR, YOU DO HAVE TO ACTUALLY READ THE REPORT. WE’RE ALL IN THIS TOGETHER TRYING TO PIECE IT TOGETHER. AS BEST WE CAN. TO DETERMINE WHAT IT WAS. THERE IS THIS GUIDANCE OUT THERE THAT THE DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE AND ROBERT MUELLER BEING AN EMPLOYEE OF THE DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE WOULD HAVE ABIDED BY. PETE HAS READ A SECTION OF THE REPORT THAT SUGGESTS THAT THEY FELT IT DOES NOT EXTEND TO AN OBSTRUCTION CRIME, IT CAN’T MEAN THAT. IT SEEPS LIKE THAT WAS A LEGAL JUDGEMENT THEY MADE. >>ABSOLUTELY. THE PRESIDENT’S LAWYERS EVIDENTLY WENT TO MUELLER AND SAID, YOU CAN’T APPLY THE OBSTRUCTION OF JUSTICE STATUTES TO US AS A CONSTITUTIONAL MATTER. YOU WILL RESTRICT THE PRESIDENT’S POWER. THAT WAS THE ARGUMENT MADE IN THE ARGUMENT THAT BILL BARR WROTE LAST SUMMER. THE MUELLER TEAM REJECTED THAT. THAT’S ONE THING THAT’S IN THE REPORT IN WHICH THEY SAY, A PRESIDENT CAN OBSTRUCT JUSTICE. IT’S NOT INTERFERING WITH HIS CONSTITUTIONAL RESPONSIBILITY. >>I’M LOOKING AHEAD HERE. THEY TALK ABOUT THE TRUMP TOWER MEETING. THEY SPOKE WITH EVERY PARTICIPANT EXCEPT SKYA AND DONALD TRUMP JUNIOR WHO DECLINED TO BE VOLUNTARILY INTERVIEWED.>>THAT’S ONE OF THE QUESTIONS THAT LOOMED OVER THIS, WHO HAD BEEN INTERVIEWED, WHO ASSERTED THEIR FIFTH AMENDMENT, WHO WAS NOT SUBPOENAED. OF COURSE, THE BIGGEST QUESTION WAS — PERHAPS ANSWERED IN THESE PAGES — WHY MUELLER DID NOT PURSUE A SIT-DOWN INTERVIEW WITH PRESIDENT TRUMP. HE DID ACCEPT WRITTEN ANSWERS TO QUESTIONS BUT CHOSE NOT TO SUBPOENA HIM AND GO INTO THE LEGAL FIGHT THAT WOULD HAVE ENSUED. >>THAT’S WHAT I FOUND SO INTERESTING ABOUT BARR’S PRESS CONFERENCE EARLIER, WHICH IS A VERY UNUSUAL THING FOR A SITTING ATTORNEY GENERAL TO DO IN ADVANCE OF THE REPORT COMING OUT. HE SAID, WELL, I DON’T THINK THERE WAS INTENT BECAUSE DONALD TRUMP WAS FRUSTRATED. THAT’S NOT THE WAY YOU HEAR CRIMINAL PROSECUTORS TALK. IT’S NOT IF YOU HAVEN’T ACTUALLY INTERVIEWED THE PRESIDENT. THAT DIDN’T HAPPEN HERE. HOW BARR MADE THAT DETERMINATION IS SOMETHING THAT I THINK ALL AMERICANS WILL BE ASKING.>>LET’S GO BACK TO PETE WILLIAMS WHO HAS CONTINUED TO READ AHEAD OF US. WE NEED A BREATH HERE FOR A SECOND. WHAT MORE DO YOU SEE THERE?>>Reporter: LET’S DIP INTO VOLUME ONE A LITTLE BIT, WHICH IS THE INVESTIGATION AND WHETHER ANY MEMBERS OF THE TRUMP CAMPAIGN ILLEGALLY WERE INVOLVED IN THE RUSSIANS IN HELPING THEM MEDDLE. THE CONCLUSION WAS THEY DIDN’T. LET ME READ A LITTLE TO YOU. THE INVESTIGATION IDENTIFIED NUMEROUS LINKS BETWEEN INDIVIDUALS — IF YOU WANT TO FOLLOW ALONG, I WILL TELL YOU, THIS IS VOLUME ONE, PAGE NINE. THIS IS THE THIRD FULL PARAGRAPH. INDIVIDUALS ASSOCIATED WITH THE TRUMP CAMPAIGN, THE EVIDENCE WASN’T SUFFICIENT TO SUPPORT CRIMINAL CHARGES. FOR EXAMPLE, IT SAYS, THE EVIDENCE WASN’T SUFFICIENT TO CHARGE ANY CAMPAIGN OFFICIAL AS AN UNREGISTERED AGENT OF THE RUSSIAN GOVERNMENT OR ANY OTHER RUSSIAN PRINCIPAL. AS FOR THAT JUNE 9, 2016 MEETING AND THE WIKILEAKS RELEASES OF HACKED MATERIAL, THE EVIDENCE WASN’T SUFFICIENT TO CHARGE A CRIMINAL CAMPAIGN FINANCE VIOLATION. IT SAYS ALSO, THE EVIDENCE WASN’T SUFFICIENT TO CHARGE THAT ANY MEMBER OF THE TRUMP CAMPAIGN CONSPIRED WITH REPRESENTATIVES OF THE RUSSIAN GOVERNMENT TO INTERFERE IN THE 2016 ELECTION. THAT’S A KEY SENTENCE OUT OF VOLUME ONE. IT DOES GO ON TO SAY THAT SEVERAL PEOPLE IDENTIFIED WITH THE TRUMP CAMPAIGN LIED TO THE SPECIAL COUNSEL AND LIED TO CONGRESS ABOUT THEIR INTERACTIONS WITH RUSSIAN TO AFFILIATED PEOPLE. WE’RE FAMILIAR WITH THE ONES CHARGES. MOST RECENTLY, ROGER STONE.>>STANDBY THERE. WE HAVE THE PRESIDENT’S PERSON ATTORNEY WHO HAS THEEEED A — T ADVANTAGE OF HAVING SEEN THIS. WHAT’S DID MUELLER DETERMINE ON OBSTRUCTION AND THE REASON HE FELT HE COULD NOT MAKE THAT JUDGMENT CALL?>>BECAUSE THEY HAD THE INSUFFICIENCY OF THE EVIDENCE THAT THEY HAD COULD NOT REACH THE STANDARD NECESSARY FOR AN OBSTRUCTION CHARGE. THE WAY THEY PUT THE REPORT OUT — YOU WILL GET TO IT AS YOU READ IT. THEY WILL TALK ABOUT A PARTICULAR ACT. AS IT RELATES, FOR INSTANCE, THERE WAS — REMEMBER THE QUESTIONS SURROUNDING GENERAL FLYNN. WHEN THEY WENT TO LOOK AT THE GENERAL FLYNN COMMENTS, WHAT HAPPENS IS THEY MAKE THE DETERMINATION THAT THERE WAS NOT EVIDENCE THAT THE PRESIDENT KNEW THAT FLYNN HAD DISCUSSED SANCTIONS, AND THERE WAS NOT AN IMPEDIMENT TO THE ONGOING INVESTIGATION OF GENERAL FLYNN. SO THOSE WERE TWO CONCLUSIONS THAT THEN PREVENT YOU FROM MAKING A DETERMINATION. REMEMBER WHAT THEY SAY AT THE END WHERE THEY SAY, WE DON’T EXONERATE HIM, BUT WE DON’T FIND CRIMINAL CONDUCT EITHER. GENERALLY, A PROSECUTOR’S JOB IS NOT AN EXONERATION. THIS IS NOT THE WAY IT WOULD NORMALLY BE WRITTEN UNDER THE JUSTICE DEPARTMENT MANUAL. WHAT BILL BARR SAID TODAY IS IMPORTANT. EVEN THOUGH THEY DISAGREED WITH THE LEGAL THEORY THAT WAS BEING ADVOCATED BY BOB MUELLER’S TEAM, BY THE SPECIAL COUNSEL, EVEN LOOKING AT IT THROUGH THAT LENS, THEY FOUND NO OBSTRUCTIVE ACTS. >>A BIG QUESTION HERE, OF COURSE, REGARDS THE PRESIDENT’S INTENT. ONE THING THE MUELLER TEAM DID NOT HAVE THE ADVANTAGE OF WAS A SIT-DOWN INTERVIEW WITH PRESIDENT TRUMP. THEY ASKED AND DID THE PRESIDENT DECLINE TO SIT DOWN AND BE INTERVIEWED?>>THE PRESIDENT TOOK THE ADVICE OF HIS LAWYERS, WHICH WAS WE PRODUCED DOZENS OF WITNESSES, 1.5 MILLION PAGES OF MATERIAL, COUNTLESS HOURS OF TESTIMONY. NO EXECUTIVE PRIVILEGE WAS ASSERTED. THE PRESIDENT RESPONDED IN WRITING TO A SERIES OF QUESTIONS THAT WE THOUGHT WERE APPROPRIATE FOR THE PRESIDENT RESPONDING TO. OUR ADVICE TO THE PRESIDENT WAS THAT THEY DID NOT — THE THRESHOLD ON THE ESPY TEST TO HAVE AN IN-PERSON INTERVIEW.>>DID THE WRITTEN QUESTIONS THAT HE ANSWERED, DID THEY HAVE TO DO WITH THE ISSUE OF CONSPIRACY OR COLLUSION? DID IT HAVE TO DO WITH THESE OBSTRUCTION MATTERS?>>WE ANSWERED QUESTIONS RELATED TO THE ORIGINAL MANDATE OF THE PROCEEDING, OF THE INQUIRY, THE RUSSIAN COLLUSION PORTION. OF COURSE, THE CONCLUSION ON THAT IS THAT THE INVESTIGATION DID NOT ESTABLISH MEMBERS OF THE TRUMP CAMPAIGN COORDINATED WITH THE RUSSIAN GOVERNMENT IN ITS ELECTION ACTIVITIES. THE COLLUSION ASPECT PREDATED THE PRESIDENCY. SO YOU DIDN’T HAVE THE SAME DEGREE OF ARTICLE 2 ISSUES THAT YOU WOULD HAVE HAD ON ISSUES ONCE THE PRESIDENT WAS SWORN INTO OFFICE. EVEN BECAUSE WE HAVE A TRANSITION ACT, EVEN DURING THE TRANSITION ISSUE. YOU ARE IN THE REPORT, LESTER.>>THANK YOU.>>WE HAVE HEARD.>>LOOKING AT THE OBSTRUCTION OF JUSTICE QUESTION, YOU SAID ON ADVICE OF COUNSEL, THE PRESIDENT DID NOT TESTIFY PERSONALLY. WHY WAS THAT? WHY WOULD HE BE GIVEN THAT ADVICE? WAS THERE A FEAR OF POTENTIAL PERJURY?>>NO. THE REALITY — THIS WAS THE OPPOSITE OF THE WAY THE CLINTON INQUIRY WENT. THEY WERE FIGHTING OVER EVERY DOCUMENT AND WITNESS. WE DECIDED THERE WOULD BE A COMPLETE TRANSPARENCY AND COOPERATION. THAT TRANSPARENCY AND COOPERATION WITH TENDERING OF THOSE DOCUMENTS, INCLUDING SENIOR WHITE HOUSE OFFICIALS, ONCE THAT WAS DONE, UNDER THE GOVERNING LAW OF THE D.C. CIRCUIT, THEY DID NOT MEET IN OUR VIEW THE STANDARD UPON WHICH THEY WOULD BE ENTITLED TO AN INTERVIEW OF THE PRESIDENT.>>THERE IS ENTITLED LEGALLY AND THERE’S A MATTER OF BEING FORTHCOMING AND ON THE PART OF THE WHITE HOUSE SAYING, WE GAVE ALL THOSE DOCUMENTS AND THERE’S NO DISPUTE ABOUT THAT. WHY NOT HAVE HIM JUST COME DOWN AND SIT DOWN AND CLEAR IT UP AND ANSWER THOSE QUESTIONS? IT SOUNDS LIKE PART OF THE REASON MUELLER SAYS HE CAN’T DECIDE IS BECAUSE HE DIDN’T HAVE THE BENEFIT OF THAT CONVERSATION.>>HERE IS WHAT YOU’VE GOT. BOB MUELLER STATES THAT THEY DID NOT SEEK A SUBPOENA. THEY SAID THEY THOUGHT THEY WOULD BE ENTITLED TO IT. THEY DIDN’T SEEK IT BECAUSE THEY RECEIVED ALL THIS INFORMATION FROM WITNESSES WE PROVIDED AND DOCUMENTS WE PROVIDED. WHAT’S INTERESTING ABOUT THAT, UNDER THE LAW IN THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA, ONCE YOU HAVE GIVEN THAT INFORMATION, WITHOUT ANY HINDRANCE, IT WAS GIVEN TO THEM, THAT THEY ARE NOT ENTITLED TO SIT DOWN WITH THE CHIEF EXECUTIVE, WITH THE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES. WE FOLLOWED THE LAW. NOT JUST FOR THIS PRESIDENT BUT FOR ANY FUTURE PRESIDENT. AT THE END OF THE DAY, WHAT THIS BECAME ABOUT WAS THIS RUSSIAN COLLUSION INVESTIGATION, THAT’S WHAT STARTED THIS. IT STARTED UNDER THE CROSSFIRE HURRICANE IN 2016. WHEN YOU GO THROUGH THE MAIN ISSUES THAT YOU HAVE TALKED ABOUT ON AIR AND HAVE COVERED, THE SITUATION WITH THE TRUMP TOWER MEETING IN JUNE OF 2016, READ THAT IN THE REPORT AND READ THE CONCLUSION. THE LESTER HOLT INTERVIEW. BECAUSE WE WERE ABLE TO PROVIDE — YOU GAVE ACCESS TO THE TRANSCRIPTS OF THE — YOU PUT THEM ON THE WEBSITE OF THE ENTIRE INTERVIEW. THE PRESIDENT SAID, IF I FIRE JAMES COMEY, I REALIZE IT’S GOING TO EXTEND THE INVESTIGATION. EVERYBODY WAS CLIPPING THAT OUT. WE PUT THAT IN. THEY DREW THAT CONCLUSION THAT THAT WAS NOT FOR THAT REASON ALONE, THAT WAS NOT AN OBSTRUCTION. THE REASON YOU HAVE A DECISION TO BE MADE OF WHETHER A WITNESS OR CLIENT SITS DOWN TO TALK TO THE PROSECUTOR IS BASED ON THE EVIDENCE PRESENTED. WE’RE GOVERNED BY OUR CANNON OF ETHICS AND D.C. BAR RULES AS WELL AS THE — >>JAY, LET ME ASK THIS QUESTION AS THE ONLY NON-LAWYER IN THIS CONVERSATION. THIS APPEARS BASED ON WHAT WE HAVE SEEN A GOOD DAY FOR THE PRESIDENT HERE. LET’S TALK ABOUT THE AMERICAN PUBLIC. GIVEN THOSE TEN ITEMS LISTED, I THINK MORE THAN TEN, OF POTENTIAL OBSTRUCTION OF JUSTICE, SHOULD WE FEEL BETTER OR WORSE ABOUT OUR PRESIDENT TODAY?>>BETTER. NUMBER ONE, EVERY AMERICAN SHOULD BE GLAD TO KNOW THAT THERE WERE NO ATTEMPTS BY THE PRESIDENT OR PEOPLE THAT WERE WITH HIS CAMPAIGN TO INTERFERE AS THE RUSSIANS WERE DOING IN THE ELECTION. THAT’S CLEAR. WITH REGARD TO THE OBSTRUCTION, REMEMBER THE BASIS UPON WHICH THE PRESIDENT WAS RESPONDING TO EACH OF THE ACTS THAT ARE DISCUSSED IN THIS REPORT. HE IS RESPONDING BASED ON THE FACT THAT HE WAS UNDER AN INVESTIGATION THAT HE KNEW WAS NOT RIGHT AND WAS — LET’S BE REALISTIC, IRREGULAR FROM THE OUTSET. WE DON’T HAVE TO REHEARSE THOSE FACTS. WHAT HE DID — THIS IS WHAT’S APPROPRIATE. HE RESPONDED. LOOK WHAT HAS HAPPENED. BOB MUELLER COMPLETED AND DELIVERED HIS REPORT. THE FBI CONCLUDED ITS INVESTIGATION. THE PROCESS WENT FORWARD AND WAS COMPLETED. >>REAL QUICKLY — >>THERE WAS NO OBSTRUCTION. >>FAIR ENOUGH. WE’RE LOOKING AT THE DOCUMENT. IT SAYS THAT EXACT THING. THE QUESTION I ALWAYS WONDER WHEN I THINK ABOUT THIS AND THIS TWO-YEAR ORDEAL, DO YOU THINK THE PRESIDENT MADE THINGS HARDER ON HIMSELF BY BEING SO VOCAL, BY FIRING JAMES COMEY, TRYING TO FIRE THE SPECIAL COUNSEL AS IS ESTABLISHED IN THIS REPORT, BY RAILING AGAINST BOB MUELLER, BY CALLING IT A WITCH HUNT AND HOAX? CAN YOU IMAGINE IN WHICH HE JUST SAID, IF THERE WAS RUSSIAN COLLUSION, I’M GOING TO GET TO THE BOTTOM OF IT, I WANT OUR LAW ENFORCEMENT TO DO THAT, I WILL WAIT FOR THEIR JUDGEMENT BECAUSE I’M CONFIDENT IN THEIR BEHAVIOR AND THAT OF MY CAMPAIGN. DIDN’T HE BRING THIS UPON HIMSELF IN A WAY?>>I DON’T THINK SO. THE PRESIDENT KNEW THIS INVESTIGATION FROM THE OUTSET WAS NOT JUSTIFIED. HE WAS BEING TREATED UNFAIRLY. LOOK WHAT WAS LEARNED DURING THE COURSE OF THIS INVESTIGATION. EVEN UNDER BOB MUELLER’S WATCH, THE IRREGULARITY ARE INCREDIBLE. ALL OF THESE ISSUES. IF YOU ARE THE CLIENT UNDER THAT SCENARIO, YOU ARE GOING TO RESPOND HOW THE PRESIDENT DID. HE HAD THE RIGHT DO IT.>>BY THE WAY — >>THERE WERE NUMEROUS CAMPAIGN CONTACTS WITH RUSSIANS. YOU ADMIT IT WAS A FAIR SUBJECT MATTER BY OUR FBI. >>HERE IS WHAT I’M GOING TO TELL YOU. THIS INVESTIGATION WAS GOING ON SINCE 2016. THERE IS NO THERE THERE WAS SAID MONTHS AFTER IT STARTED. THEY KNEW THERE WAS NOTHING THERE. THEY MORPHED THIS INTO AN OBSTRUCTION CASE. IT ENDED UP BEING NO OBSTRUCTION. >>THE PRESIDENT AGAIN CALLING THIS A HOAX.>>I HOPE IT DOESN’T TO ANOTHER PRESIDENT.>>CAN YOU CALL IT VINDICATION AND GREAT FOR US AT CALL IT A HOAX?>>IT IS. THE BASIS UPON WHICH THIS INVESTIGATION TOOK PLACE, INCLUDING THE WARRANTS WERE IRREGULAR, ILLEGAL. AMERICAN CITIZENS SHOULDN’T BE PUT THROUGH THIS. OF COURSE, THE PRESIDENT HAS BEEN VINDICATED, BECAUSE NOT ONLY HAS THE — IT’S VERY IMPORTANT HERE. NOT ONLY HAS BOB MUELLER CONCLUDED THAT THERE WAS NO COLLUSION WITH THE RUSSIANS, WHICH WAS THE BASIS UPON WHICH THIS STARTED. I’M HOPEFUL THAT EVERY AMERICAN IS GLAD TO KNOW THAT. NUMBER TWO, I THINK EQUALLY IMPORTANT HERE, THAT EVEN UNDER A TWISTED THEORY OF OBSTRUCTION, I CALL IT OBSTRUCTION BY TWEET, EVEN UNDER THAT TWISTED THEORY, THEY COULD NOT WRITE UP A REPORT ON OBSTRUCTION. IT’S A LENGTHY, RELUCTANT DECLINATION LETTER.>>THANK YOU.>>WE CONTINUE TO READ ON THIS REPORT. YOU LISTENED TO THE INTERVIEW –>>WAIT A MINUTE.>>YOU ARE SEEING THE SAUSAGE MAKING.>>HE HAS ANOTHER APPOINTMENT?>>THE ATTORNEYS DO A ROUND ROBIN OF THE NETWORKS. WHAT DID YOU THINK?>>I THINK THE SPIN IS BEGINNING. WE JUST STARTED TO HEAR IT. FOUR THINGS THAT I THOUGHT HE HAD PROBLEMS WITH. YOUR QUESTION, WHY DIDN’T TRUMP JUST GO AND TALK TO MUELLER AND CLEAR ALL OF THIS UP? AFTER ALL, TRUMP TODAY AND FOR TWO YEARS HAS BEEN SAYING, I DID NOTHING WRONG, IT’S A HOAX. WHY DIDN’T HE EVER SAY THAT UNDER OATH TO MUELLER? THERE’S NO ANSWER TO THAT THAT HE GAVE EXCEPT HIDING MIND SOME D.C. CIRCUIT CASE. AS A MATTER OF PRUDENCE, YOU WOULD EXPECT A PRESIDENT TO CLEAR THIS UP. NUMBER TWO, HE SAID, WE ONLY — TRUMP ONLY TALKED TO MUELLER OR GAVE WRITTEN ANSWERS ABOUT THE ORIGINAL MANDATE, WHICH HE SAID WAS THE RUSSIA INVESTIGATION. THAT IS FLATLY WRONG. THE ORIGINAL MANDATE THAT MUELLER HAD WAS THE RUSSIA INVESTIGATION AS WELL AS OBSTRUCTION OF JUSTICE. THE SPECIAL COUNSEL REGULATIONS SAY WHENEVER YOU GIVE THE MANDATE TO THE SPECIAL COUNSEL, YOU ALSO GIVE AN OBSTRUCTION MANDATE. IT’S PART AND PARCEL OF THAT. NUMBER THREE, MOST IMPORTANTLY, HE TRIED TO MAKE IT THE PRESIDENT IS SAYING THIS SHOWS IT’S A HOAX, TOTAL EXONERATION. QUOTE, 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. THEY POINTEDLY DON’T. THIS IS NOT SOME SORT OF EXONERATION MEMO FOR THE PRESIDENT. BOTTOM LINE CONCLUSION IS THEIRS. FOURTH AND FINALLY, MUELLER COMES OUT VINDICATED. YOU HEARD HIM SAY, THE PRESIDENT SAID THIS WAS A BOGUS INVESTIGATION. THERE’S EVIDENCE THAT SHOWS TEXT MESSAGES AND SO ON. MUELLER HAS PAGE AFTER PAGE SHOWING THE RUSSIANS INTERFERED WITH THE ELECTION. THAT’S EXACTLY WHAT THE PRESIDENT SAID DIDN’T HAPPEN, THIS WAS A HOAX. IT MIGHT HAVE BEEN A 400 PEOPLE PERSON ON THE LAPTOP. THIS IS A DEVASTATING REPORT THAT SHOWS THE RUSSIANS DID INTERFERE. >>THE ATTORNEY GENERAL SAID THAT AS WELL. WE HAVE A PIECE OF THE REPORT. GOING TO THIS ISSUE OF OBSTRUCTION. IT SAYS, SUBSTANTIAL EVIDENCE SUPPORTS THE CONCLUSION THAT THE PRESIDENT WENT FURTHER AND IN FACT DIRECTED WHITE HOUSE COUNSEL DON McGAHN TO CALL ROSENSTEIN AND HAVE THE SPECIAL COUNSEL REMOVED. THE PRESIDENT DIRECTED HIM TO TELL ROSENSTEIN NOT ONLY THAT CONFLICTED EXISTED THAT MUELLER HAS TO GO. HE IS A CREDIBLE WITNESS WITH NO MOTIVE TO LIE OR EXAGGERATE GIVEN THE POSITION HE HELD IN THE WHITE HOUSE. THIS HAD TO DO WITH WHAT THE EVIDENCE IS IN THE REPORT OF WHETHER OR NOT THE PRESIDENT HAD TRIED TO HAVE THE SPECIAL COUNSEL FIRED.>>DOES THIS PUT THIS TO REST? DOES THIS SIT OUT THERE FOR A NEW ADMINISTRATION, A NEW ATTORNEY GENERAL TO PICK UP?>>IT DOES NOT PUT ANYTHING TO REST. AS WE ALL STUDY THESE PAGES OVER THE NEXT SEVERAL DAYS, THERE ARE GOING TO BE MANY THINGS IN THERE, THINGS — AS WE SIT HERE, THAT WE HAVE NOT SEEN BECAUSE THERE’S SO MUCH IN THIS REPORT. BUILDING ON WHAT NEIL SAID. THAT STATEMENT BY MUELLER THAT IF WE CLEARLY SAW THERE WAS NO CRIME, WE WOULD SO STATE, IS UNUSUAL. THEY DON’T WRITE EXONERATION REPORTS. THE FACT THAT THEY SAID WE WOULD HAVE EXONERATED HIM BUT WE CHOSE NOT TO DO SO IS VERY TELLING. THE STANDARD FOR DOJ IS MORE THAN JUST PROBABLE CAUSE. THE DOJ MANUAL SAYS SO. THEY HAVE TO BELIEVE THAT THEY CAN PROVE THE CRIME BEYOND A REASONABLE DOUSE. THAT LEAVES A GIGANTIC SPECTRUM OF EVIDENCE IN BETWEEN WHERE SOMEBODY MAY NOT BE CHARGED, MAYBE NOT BE EXONERATED, BUT THEY DID SOMETHING. THAT’S WHAT WE’RE GOING TO SEE IN THIS REPORT. >>I THINK THAT’S A REALLY GOOD PLACE FOR US TO PAUSE FOR A MOMENT. IN FAIRNESS THIS BIG REPORT ULTIMATELY CONCLUDES THE TRUMP CAMPAIGN AND ITS ASSOCIATES DID NOT INCLUDE WITH RUSSIA’S EFFORTS, WHICH IT ESTABLISHES, TO MEDDLE IN THE ELECTION. YES, RUSSIA TRIED TO MEDDLE IN OUR ELECTION. NO, THE TRUMP CAMPAIGN OR ITS ASSOCIATED CAN’T BE PROSECUTED FOR HELPING THEM DO SO. IT DOESN’T RENDER WHETHER THESE AMOUNT TO OBSTRUCTION. THAT IS THE STATE OF THE CASE. THAT’S WHAT THIS REPORT ESTABLISHES. THE DETAILS WE POUR OVER AS WE SPEAK, GO TO, WHAT WAS THE EVIDENCE? IS IT THIS CLOSE, JUST THIS SIDE, JUST BARELY ABLE TO BE PROSECUTED? IS IT FAR, FAR AWAY FROM A CRIME THAT COULD BE PROSECUTED. I THINK THAT’S WHERE OUR DISCUSSION IS RIGHT NOW. HOW CLOSE DID IT COME TO A CRIME? WAS IT A MILE AWAY OR WAS IT JUST ON THE VERY EDGE? FOR PEOPLE AT HOME WATCHING, WANT TO UNDERSTAND ARE WE NITPICKING? I THINK THAT’S WHERE THE DISCUSSION HAS TO BE AS YOU TRY TO POUR OVER THIS REPORT. >>THERE ARE THREE AUDIENCES. ONE IS THE PROSECUTING COMMUNITY. THEY ARE ABSOLUTELY — THIS IS A BEYOND A REASONABLE DOUBT STANDARD, A HIGH STANDARD. IT’S SAYING, WE COULDN’T COMMIT A CRIME — WE COULDN’T FIND A CRIME WITH RESPECT TO COLLUSION. THERE’S TWO OTHER AUDIENCES. THE AMERICAN PUBLIC, THEY DON’T WANT A PROBLEM WHO SKATES BY IT’S NOT BEYOND A REASONABLE DOUBT. THAT’S NOT AN APPROPRIATE PLACE FOR ANY PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES TO BE. THIRD AND MOST IMPORTANTLY IS THE CONGRESS. THESE OBSTRUCTION INQUIRIES IN THE PAST HAVE ALWAYS BEEN RESOLVED BY THE CONGRESS. I SUSPECT THAT WITH THESE TEN EPISODES, WITH THE ONE WE SAW ON THE SCREEN ABOUT McGAHN SAYING YOU TRIED TO FIRE THE SPECIAL COUNSEL, THAT’S SOMETHING CONGRESS IS GOING TO HAVE TO LOOK AT. >>THE PRESIDENT IS RESPONDING. HE STARTED THE DAY OFF WITH SEVERAL TWEETS. NOW IN REACTION TO THE NEWS, HE WAS AT AN EVENT AND SPOKE ABOUT THIS REPORT. HERE IS WHAT HE HAD TO SAY.>>I’M HAVING A GOOD DAY, TOO. NO COLLUSION, NO OBSTRUCTION. THIS SHOULD NEVER HAPPEN TO ANOTHER PRESIDENT AGAIN, THIS HOAX, IT SHOULD NEVER HAPPEN TO ANOTHER PRESIDENT AGAIN.>>NOTABLE THAT NO COLLUSION HAS BEEN HIS MANTRA FOR THE LAST SEVERAL MONTHS. WE HEARD THAT REPEATED SEVERAL TIMES BY THE ATTORNEY GENERAL IN HIS REMARKS ABOUT AN HOUR OR SO BEFORE WE GOT THIS REPORT. I WANT TO GO BACK TO PETE WILLIAMS RIGHT NOW WHO HAS BEEN DIGESTING JUST AS MUCH AND AS QUICKLY AS HE CAN THIS REPORT. PETE?>>Reporter: BACK TO SAVANNAH’S POINT ABOUT HOW MUCH OF THIS OBSTRUCTION STUFF IS RIGHT ON THE EDGE. LET ME GIVE YOU AN EXAMPLE OF — IF YOU WANT TO FOLLOW ALONG IN YOUR SOUVENIR PROGRAM, IT’S PAGE 132 OF VOLUME 2. THEY TALK ABOUT THE PRESIDENT’S PUBLIC STATEMENTS AND SOME OF HIS PRIVATE COMMUNICATIONS WITH EITHER PAUL MANAFORT OR HIS LAWYERS. IT SAYS THAT — THIS IS LOOKING AT WHETHER HE WAS TRYING TO INFLUENCE MANAFORT BY DANGLING PARDONS, TALKING ABOUT THE PROSECUTION. IT SAYS EVIDENCE CONCERNING THE PRESIDENT’S CONDUCT TOWARD MANAFORT INDICATES THAT THE PRESIDENT INTENDED TO ENCOURAGE MANAFORT NOT TO COOPERATE WITH THE GOVERNMENT. THE REPORT NOTES THAT THE PRESIDENT CALLED HIM A BRAVE MAN, SAID HE WAS REFUSING TO BREAK, SAID THIS IDEA OF PLEADING GUILTY IN EXCHANGE FOR REDUCED CHARGES, WHICH THE PRESIDENT CALLED FLIPPING, WHICH PROSECUTORS CALL FLIPPING, SHOULD BE OUTLAWED. THE REPORT SAID THE PRESIDENT INTENDED MANAFORT TO BELIEVE THAT HE COULD RECEIVE A PARDON, WHICH WOULD MAKE ANY COOPERATION WITH THE GOVERNMENT AS A MEANS OF GETTING A LESSER SENTENCE UNNECESSARY. NONETHELESS, IT SAYS, THERE ARE ALTERNATIVE EXPLANATIONS FOR THE PRESIDENT’S COMMENTS, INCLUDING THAT HE GENUINELY FELT SORRY FOR MANAFORT OR THAT HIS GOAL WAS NOT TO INFLUENCE THE JURY BY MAKING THESE STATEMENTS BUT TO INFLUENCE PUBLIC OPINION. THE PRESIDENT’S COMMENTS ALSO COULD HAVE BEEN INTENDED TO CONTINUE SENDING A MESSAGE TO MANAFORT THAT A PARDON WAS POSSIBLE AS DESCRIBED EARLIER. THE PRESIDENT MADE COMMENTS ABOUT MANAFORT BEING A GOOD PERSON AFTER DECLINING TO ANSWER A QUESTION ABOUT WHETHER HE WOULD PARDON MANAFORT. THAT’S ONE SLICE ON WHETHER THE PRESIDENT’S ACTIONS WERE INTENDED TO INFLUENCE THE JUSTICE SYSTEM AND CONSTITUTE OBSTRUCTION.>>WHAT STRIKES ME ABOUT THAT IS, THE REASON THAT THESE FACTS THAT YOU JUST LAID OUT ARE CAPABLE OF MULTIPLE INTERPRETATIONS ABOUT WHAT WAS THE PRESIDENT’S INTENT IS BECAUSE THERE WAS NO INTERVIEW WITH THE PRESIDENT AND BECAUSE THERE WAS AMBIGUITY TO THAT QUESTION OF HIS INTENT, THAT’S ONE OF THE REASONS WE SEE AS TO WHY MUELLER FELT HE COULDN’T MAKE A CONCLUSION ONE WAY OR THE ANOTHER WHETHER THIS WAS — AMOUNTED TO OBSTRUCTION. THAT’S A KEY STRATEGIC LEGAL DECISION MADE BY THE PRESIDENT’S LAWYER THAT SEEMS TO HAVE BEEN QUITE BENEFICIAL TO HIM FROM A LEGAL PERSPECTIVE.>>Reporter: I THINK THAT THERE ARE SEVERAL QUESTIONS HERE THAT THIS REPORT DOESN’T ANSWER. NUMBER ONE, WHY IS IT — WE UNDERSTAND WHAT THE REPORT SAYS, THAT THE EVIDENCE POINTED IN TWO WAYS. MANY PROSECUTORS OTHER THAN FOLKS AT THE JUSTICE DEPARTMENT HAVE SAID, HE’S THE SPECIAL COUNSEL, IT’S HIS JOB TO MAKE THE DECISIONS, WHY DIDN’T HE? WE HAVE WHAT HE SAYS ABOUT THE EVIDENCE POINTING IN TWO DIRECTIONS. WILLIAM BARR FELT HE COULD MAKE THE CONCLUSION, WHY DIDN’T ROBERT MUELLER FEEL HE COULD MAKE THAT CONCLUSION? WE WILL HAVE TO WAIT UNTIL MUELLER TESTIFIES. WILLIAM BARR SAID HE HAD NO OBJECTION TO MUELLER TESTIFYING TO ANSWER THESE QUESTIONS. THAT’S ONE THING. SECONDLY, WHY DIDN’T THE SPECIAL COUNSEL INSIST ON INTERVIEWING THE PRESIDENT? YOU SEE WHAT THEY SAY IN HERE THAT THEY THOUGHT THEY HAD ENOUGH BASED ON HIS PUBLIC STATEMENTS AND THE STATEMENTS OF OTHER PEOPLE AROUND THE PRESIDENT. THEY DECIDED IT WAS NEAR THE END OF THE INVESTIGATION AND THERE WAS NO POINT IN DRAGGING IT OUT. FINALLY, ON THIS POINT THAT YOU TWO HAVE TALKED ABOUT HERE — FRANKLY, JAY BROUGHT IT UP. THIS UP USUAL STATEMENT BY A PROSECUTOR THAT THEY DIDN’T EXONERATE THE PRESIDENT. MANY FORMER PROSECUTORS HAVE SAID THAT’S AN ODD THING FOR A PROSECUTOR TO SAY. THEY EITHER BRING CHARGES OR THEY DON’T.>>LET ME GO BACK TO THE NOTION OF WHY THEY DECIDED NOT TO PURSUE THE INTERVIEW WITH THE PRESIDENT. YOU SAID THEY HAD WHAT THEY NEED. DID YOU GET THE SENSE THEY FELT THE CLOCK WAS RUNNING OUT, THAT THEY SIMPLY COULDN’T KEEP THIS INVESTIGATION ALIVE ANY LONGER? IN A WORD, YES.>>THAT’S INTERESTING. THERE WASN’T ANY TECHNICAL REASON THAT THEY COULDN’T KEEP GOING. PERHAPS THERE WAS A POLITICAL ONE. >>IT MAKES ME WONDER. THEY WEREN’T LIVING IN A VACUUM. THEY WERE WATCHING US AND A COUNTRY THAT WAS — WHEN IS IT GOING TO COME OUT?>>IT’S INTERESTING HE SAYS THAT. GO AHEAD, PEA.>>Reporter: I WAS GOING TO SAY, WE SHOULD THINK ABOUT HOW EXTRAORDINARY THIS IS. WE HAVE 400 PAGES OF A REPORT THAT WAS — IF YOU READ THE SPECIAL COUNSEL RULES THAT OUR FRIEND NEIL HELPED DRAFT, THEY SAY THAT THE SPECIAL COUNSEL SHOULD SUBMIT A VERY BRIEF REPORT TO THE PRESIDENT ON PROSECUTION AND DECLINATION DECISIONS AND IT WAS NEVER TO BE MADE PUBLIC. THE COMMENTARY ON THE RULES PUBLISHED IS THAT THEY WERE REQUIRED TO SUBMIT A PUBLIC REPORT AND IT TENDED TO MAKE INVESTIGATIONS DRAG ON. THE WORD THEY USED WAS IT MADE PROSECUTORS OVERZEALOUS. CLEARLY, MUELLER’S PEOPLE WROTE THIS WITH THE UNDERSTANDING THAT IT WAS GOING TO BECOME PUBLIC. IT REALLY IS VERY SURPRISING HOW MUCH WE’RE SEEING HERE.>>BACK TO THIS ISSUE OF INTENT. HERE THEY ARE SAY, WE DON’T NEED TO DO AN INTERVIEW, AS I UNDERSTAND IT FROM WHAT PETE IS REPORTING. WE HAVE OTHER INFORMATION THAT SPEAKS TO HIS INTENT. IT’S UNNECESSARY. BUT AT THE SAME TIME, THEY THEN DON’T MAKE THE ULTIMATE DECISION BECAUSE IT’S AMBIGUOUS AS TO WHAT HIS INTEND IS. >>WE EXPECT TO SEE MUELLER IN FRONT OF CONGRESS.>>THEY CALLED FOR HIM. THE DEMOCRATS ARE TRYING TO GET MULER IN FRONT OF CONGRESS. MAYBE HE WILL HAVE A BETTER EXPLANATION. DOES THAT STRIKE YOU?>>IT’S IMPORTANT TO UNDERSTAND THAT OBSTRUCTION CHARGES DON’T REQUIRE AN UNDERLYING CRIME IF YOU ARE DECEIVING FEDERAL AUTHORITIES OR AGENTS. BUT IN THIS PARTICULAR CASE, IT IS RELEVANT TO LOOK AT THE INTENT BEHIND WHY THE STATEMENTS WERE MADE, WHY THIS CONDUCT OCCURRED. IF THERE’S AN INNOCENT EXPLANATION — INNOCENT I USE LOOSELY, THAT’S THE KIND OF THING THAT THIS REPORT WOULD HAVE CONSIDERED. THE CHALLENGE IS WITH THE PRESIDENT. HE IS UNLIKE ANY OTHER POTENTIAL TARGET THAT THE DOJ DEALS WITH. >>LOOSE TALK AND JUST BRAVADO COULD INSULATE YOU FROM A CHARGE?>>YOU COULD GO BACK EARLIER. THE SPECIAL COUNSEL CONCLUDES THIS WAS AN INVESTIGATION INTO OBSTRUCTION THAT BEGAN AND ENDS WITH THE CONCLUSION THAT I CANNOT CHARGE THIS PRESIDENT. SO THAT GUIDED THE INVESTIGATION ALL THROUGHOUT. YOU LOOK AT ALL THESE VERY SUSPICIOUS ACTIVITIES, ULTIMATELY IT’S FOR THE PUBLIC TO DECIDE IF THOSE ARE IMPEACHABLE.>>PETE, YOU WANT TO GET IN ON THIS?>>Reporter: YEAH. IF YOU WANT TO LOOK IN YOUR REPORT, LOOK AT PAGE 13. >>WHICH VOLUME?>>Reporter: VOLUME 2, PAGE 13. THIS IS WHERE IT SAYS, WE DID TRY TO INTERVIEW THE PRESIDENT BUT AFTER MORE THAN A YEAR OF DISCUSSION, THEY SAY, THE PRESIDENT DECLINED TO BE INTERVIEWED. SO THEY SAY, HE DID SUBMIT WRITTEN QUESTIONS. THEN THE SPECIAL COUNSEL SAYS, WE THOUGHT ABOUT ACTUALLY SUBPOENAING THE PRESIDENT. FIRST WE HAD TO DECIDE WHETHER WE HAD THE LEGAL AUTHORITY TO DO THAT. IT SAYS, ULTIMATELY, WHILE WE BELIEVE THAT WE HAD THE AUTHORITY AND THE LEGAL JUSTIFICATION TO ISSUE A GRAND JURY SUBPOENA TO GET THE PRESIDENT’S TESTIMONY, WE CHOSE NOT TO DO SO. WE MADE THAT DECISION IN VIEW OF THE SUBSTANTIAL DELAY THAT SUCH AN INVESTIGATIVE STEP WOULD LIKELY PRODUCE AT A LATE STAGE IN OUR INVESTIGATION AND WE ALSO ASSESSED THAT BASED ON THE SIGNIFICANT BODY OF EVIDENCE WE HAD ALREADY GOTTEN FROM THE PRESIDENT’S ACTIONS, HIS PUBLIC STATEMENTS, HIS PRIVATE STATEMENTS, DESCRIBING THOSE ACTIONS, WE KNEW ENOUGH TO UNDERSTAND THE RELEVANT EVENTS AND MAKE OUR ASSESSMENT. MAKE NO MISTAKE, AS NEIL AND DANNY CAN SAY, IF THEY HAD DECIDED TO START A COURT FIGHT OVER WHETHER THE PRESIDENT CAN BE SUBPOENAED AND FORCED TO TESTIFY BEFORE A GRAND JURY, THAT WOULD HAVE TAKEN MAYBE A YEAR TO RESOLVE. IT WOULD HAVE GONE TO THE SUPREME COURT. IT WOULD HAVE GONE TO DISTRICT COURT, THEN THE COURT OF APPEALS AND THE SUPREME COURT. IT WOULD HAVE TAKEN A LONG TIME IF THEY DECIDED TO DO THAT AND THE WHITE HOUSE RESISTED.>>I STILL HAVE THE SAME QUESTION. WHAT THEY ARE SAYING IS, IT WOULD HAVE BEEN A BIG FIGHT, IT WOULD HAVE TAKEN FOREVER. BUT WE HAD ENOUGH INFORMATION. WE HAVE ALL THIS HIS PUBLIC STATEMENTS. WE HAVE A GOOD SENSE WHAT HAVE HIS INTENT WAS. BUT THEN THEY DON’T MAKE THE ULTIMATE DECISION. THEY DON’T DECIDE — THAT’S THE PART I CAN’T CONNECT.>>I THINK THAT’S BECAUSE WE’RE BEING INFLUENCED BY BARR’S PRESS CONFERENCE IN WHICH HE MADE IT SEEM LIKE THERE WASN’T EVIDENCE FOR INTENT. YOU JUST HEARD THIS. YOU POINTED ON EXACTLY THAT QUESTION. WHAT IS THE EVIDENCE OF INTENT? THIS IS GOING TO REALLY CLEAR THE PRESIDENT. I THINK I’M STARTING TO SEE STUFF IN THE REPORT THAT’S ACTUALLY REALLY BAD DAY FOR THE PRESIDENT. LET ME READ TO YOU PAGE 290. THE PRESIDENT DIRECTED McGAHN, HIS WHITE HOUSE COUNCIL, TO HAVE ROD ROSENSTEIN HAVE THE SPECIAL COUNSEL REMOVED. HERE IS WHAT THE REPORT SAYS, QUOTE, McGAHN — THE PRESIDENT’S LAWYER — SPOKE WITH THE PRESIDENT TWICE AND UNDERSTOOD THE DIRECTIVE THE SAME WAY BOTH TIMES, MAKE IT UNLIKELY HE MISHEARD OR MISINTERPRETED THE PRESIDENT’S RESPONSE. McGAHN DECIDED TO QUIT BECAUSE HE DIDN’T WANT TO PARTICIPATE IN EVENTS HE DESCRIBED SIMILAR TO THE SATURDAY NIGHT MASSACRE, PACKED UP HIS OFFICE, PREPARED TO SUBMIT A RESIGNATION LETTER, SAID THE PRESIDENT ASKED HIM TO DO CRAZY S WORD. THAT IS NOT A GOOD DAY. >>CRIMINAL?>>I THINK IT’S AT LEAST OBSTRUCTION OF JUSTICE IN THE CRIMINAL SENSE AND CERTAINLY IN THE CONGRESSIONAL SENSE.>>SO MUCH OF THIS IS FRAMED LEGALLY. SO MUCH IS FRAMED MORALLY. THAT WILL BE THE JUDGEMENT OF THE AMERICAN PEOPLE, WHETHER IT’S ON A LEGAL BASIS OR AS I ASKED JAY, IS THIS — SHOULD AMERICANS FEEL BETTER ABOUT THEIR PRESIDENT?>>EXACTLY. MORALLY, THIS IS THE PRESIDENT’S OWN LAWYER SAYING, YOU ARE ASKING ME TO DO CRAZY STUFF, THIS IS AKIN TO THE SATURDAY NIGHT MASSACRE IN WATERGATE AND I HAVE TO RESIGN. >>ULTIMATELY, WHAT I KEEP COMING BACK TO IS THAT MUELLER HAD THOSE FACTS, OBVIOUSLY. WE’RE READING FROM HIS REPORT. HE DOESN’T THINK THAT THAT IS SUFFICIENT TO ESTABLISH A CRIME OF OBSTRUCTION OF JUSTICE. I THINK WE UNDERSTAND HIM TO SAY — IT’S NOT JUST BECAUSE HE IS A SITTING PRESIDENT.>>I DON’T KNOW THAT HE CAN’T FIND THE OBSTRUCTION CHARGE. I THINK HE IS SAYING AS HIS PREDECESSORS HAVE, THAT’S THE RESPONSIBLE FOR CONGRESS TO DETERMINE IN THE FIRST INSTANCE WHEN WE ARE TALKING ABOUT A PRESIDENTIAL LEVEL INVESTIGATION.>>I KNOW. IF THAT’S TRUE, I’M GOING, WELL THEN WHY WERE YOU DOING THIS IN THE FIRST PLACE?>>TO FIND THE FACTS. FIRST PLA?>>AT THE TIME IT WAS CONTROLLED BY REPUBLICANS AND THEY WERE INVESTIGATING BEN GOZY, AND THERE WAS ONLY ONE PLACE TO DO THIS.>>YOU THOUGHT THAT HIS JOBS WERE TO FIND THE FACTS, MAR SHALL THE FACTS.>>YEAH, NOW THERE IS SOMEONE ELSE TO CARRY THAT FOOTBALL FOR THEM.>>AND THE NEXT FEW YEARS WILL REFER ULTIMATELY TO THE RUSSIA INVESTIGATION, LET’S GO TO ANDREA MITCHELL FOR THAT.>>THERE IS A NUMBER OF REFERENCES THAT BECAUSE OF ENCONTRIBUTED MESSAGING AND DELETED MESSAGES, THEY COULD NOT GET TO CERTAIN FACTS TO MAKE DECISIONS ABOUT WHAT IS CALLED CONSPIRACY OR COLLUSION. ALSO THE OVERTURES, THE OUTREACH, AT 3:00 A.M. ON COLLECTION NIGHT OR THE MORNING AFTER, TRUMP CAMPAIGN PRESS SECRETARY HOPE HICKS GOT A CALL ON HER PERSONAL CELL FROM A 202 AREA CODE, WASHINGTON DC, SAYING IT WAS A PUTIN CALL, AND THAT THIS CALLER SAID THAT THEY WOULD BE SENDING AN E-MAIL, A MESSAGE FROM PUTIN TO THE NOW PRESIDENT ELECT. HE TRIED TO ASCERTAIN WHO THIS WAS, AND IN THE DAYS THAT FOLLOWED THERE WAS A NUMBER OF OUTREACHES FROM THE AMBASSADOR TO THE NEW PRESIDENT BUT ALSO FROM PRIVATE SECTOR PEOPLE AND THIS LEADS UP TO AN EXTENSIVE DISCUSSION ON WHAT HAS BEEN A VERY SUSPICIOUS CONTACT WITH ERIC PRINCE, A OUTSIDE FUNDRAISER FOR THE TRUMP CAMPAIGN, BUT THE BROTHER OF THE SECRETARY OF EDUCATION, AND HE TRAVELLED AND SAID AT THE TIME THAT THE PUBLIC DAYTIMES WERE THAT HE JUST HAPPENED TO MEET WITH A RUSH SHAP, BUT IT WAS CAREFULLY BRIEFED IN ADVANCE TO A NUMBER OF PEOPLE INCLUDING STEVE BANNON, AND HE WAS GOING TO MEET WITH THE RUSSIAN AT THE HEAD OF THE SOVEREIGN WEALTH FUND, AND THAT HE CAME BACK, WENT TO STEVE BAN NON’S HOME, AND BRIEFED BANNONEXTENSIVELY. THERE WAS A LOT OF SPOKE, BUT THEY COME NOT PROVE SOME OF THESE VERY SPECIAL CONTACTS BETWEEN THE TRUMP ORGANIZATION, THE TRUMP CAMPAIGN, AND THE RUSSIANS.>>THANK YOU, WE TALKED A LOT THIS MORNING ABOUT THIS ISSUE OF OBSTRUCTION. THE REPORT IS DIVIDED INTO TWO VOLUMES, VOLUME ONE HAVING TO DO WITH SKREERS AND COLLUSION, YOU’RE HOLDING THEM, YOUR MUSCLES ARE GROWING AS WE SPEAK. THESE FOREIGN CONTACTS, AND I WANT TO GO TO JEREMY BASH WHO WAS A FORMER CHIEF OF STAFF. AND JER MY, PUT YOUR INTELLIGENCE HAT ON SO FAR, WHAT HAVE YOU GLEAMED ABOUT THE CONTACT AROUND THESE CONTACTS THAT THE SPECIAL COUNCIL SAYS DID OCCUR BETWEEN ASSOCIATES, MEMBERS OF THE CAMPAIGN, AND THE RUSSIANS. WHAT DID IT FIND IN TERMS OF THE EVIDENCE?>>BEGINNING ON PAGE 53 OF THE REPORT THERE IS A LOT OF DETAILED INFORMATION ABOUT HOW JEROME CORSI WAS IN CONTACT WITH WIKILEAKS. MUCH OF IT IS REIMPACTED THERE IS ALSO A SECTION THAT TALKS ABOUT DONALD TRUMP AND WIKILEAKS ITSELF. IN ONE CASE THEY ASKED THAT THEY RESPONDED, AND HE RETWEETED INFORMATION THAT WIKILEAKS SENT HIM AND ASKED HIM TO RETWEET AND PUBLISH. AT THE END OF THE DAY, THEY DETERMINED THEY COULD NOT DETERMINE BEYOND A REASONABLE DOUBT THAT THE DIRT THEY RECEIVED ON HILLARY CLINTON WAS ENOUGH TO SATISFY THE REQUIREMENTS AND THEY KNEW ULTIMATELY THAT IT WAS A FEDERAL CRIME TO RECEIVE THIS DEROGATORY INFORMATION. SO ESSENTIALLY WE KNOW THEY WERE ENGAGING IN THIS UNETHICAL CONDUCT, BUT IT WAS NOT ILLEGAL.>>AND FOR THOSE NOT FAMILIAR, A MEETING WITH THE TOP OF THE TRUMP CAMPAIGN, AND THEY MET WITH SOME RUSSIANS THAT SAID THEY HAD DIRT ON HILLARY CLINTON AND THAT WAS A BIG PART OF WHAT ROBERT MUELLER LOOKED INTO CHUCK, IN 30 MINUTES THE ATTORNEY GENERAL CAME OUT AND GAVE A GLOWING REPORT ON THIS REPORT, USED THE TERM THERE WAS NO COLLUSION SEVERAL TIMES. THAT HAS BEEN THE MANTRA. WE HAVE BEEN GOING PAGE BY PAGE TRYING TO FIND THE STORY. IS THIS A CLEAN WIN FOR THE PRESIDENT?>>NO, DON’T THINK SO, BUT THE WATERS WERE MUDDY BEFORE, AND I THINK IT WILL CHANGE THE LARGER PARAMETERS OF THE POLITICAL DEBATE. BUT YOU KNOW YOU WERE SETTING UP AN INTERESTING BACK AND FORTH THAT THERE IS LEGAL, ETHICAL, AND MORAL. I WANT TO GO TO THE RUSSIAN PART OF THIS WHEN YOU READ, AND THIS IS WHERE HE REALLY CLOSED OVER AND WARPED THE VIEW OF THE REPORT, ESSENTIALLY HE PROVES THAT THE CAMPAIGN WAS CHEERLEADING RUSSIA, WELL AWARE OF WHAT THEY WERE DOING, THEY JUST COULD NOT PROVE THAT THEY HELPED THE RUSIANS DO THIS. THEY WERE PART OF IT AND THEY WERE CHEERLEADING IT. THE FACT THAT THEY’RE SAYING NO COLLUSION, THIS IS GREAT, AND NOT UPSET AT THE MORALITY OF AN AMERICAN PRESIDENTIAL CAMPAIGN CHEERING FOR AN INTERFERENCE. AND MY CONCERN AFTER ALL OF THIS AND THE WAY THAT PARTICULARLY ONE POLITICAL PARTY IS EMBRACING THE CONCLUSIONS OF THIS REPORT IS THAT IT COULD MAIN STREAM THE IDEA OF FOREIGN INTERFERENCE, RIGHT? AND I REAL THIS MUELLER REPORT, AND I’M CURIOUS OF OUR LEGAL MINDS THERE SAYING WE DON’T HAVE LAWS TO DEAL WITH WHEN AMERICAN CITIZENS ARE OPENING THE DOOR FOR FOREIGN INTERFERENCE. THERE IS A CAMPAIGN FINANCE LAW THEY COULD NOT SPECIFICALLY USE, BUT IT IS NOT EXCULPATORY AT ALL WHEN YOU READ THIS. IT IS CLEAR THE TRUMP CAMPAIGN WAS CHEERING ALL OF THIS, HOPING THERE WAS MORE, AND FIGURING OUT WAYS TO GET IT INTO THE ETHER EVEN FASTER.>>THAT IS INTERESTING, IS THAT THE CASE? ARE THE STATUTES JUST NOT BUILT FOR WHAT IS DESCRIBED IN THIS REPORT?>>CHUCK IS EXACTLY RIGHT. SOMETIMES IT TAKES NOTHING AT ALL TO MAKE YOU A COCONSPIRATOR. BUT BEING HAPPY ABOUT SOMETHING BAD HAPPENING DOES NOT BRING YOU SBEEN THE EXPERIENCE, AND WE SAW THAT WITH ROGER STONE, HE WAS CHARGED WITH FALSE STATEMENTS, BUT ALL OF THAT BAD STUFF HE DID HE WAS NOT CHARGED WITH. SO THE TRUMP CAMPAIGN DID JUST ABOUT EVERYTHING EXCEPT CROSS THAT THREAT HOLD INTO CONSPIRACY. THE FACT THAT THEY’RE HAPPY THAT WIKILEAKS WAS HACKED OR THAT IT CAME THROUGH ILLEGAL MEANS, IT NOT ITSELF CRIMINAL.>>JUST THE DISSEMINATION OF THIS INFORMATION, UNLESS YOU CAN ESTABLISH THAT A ACTOR WAS INVOLVED IN THE HACKING OF IT, IT WAS NOT GOING TO BE SUFFICIENT TO CHARGE A CRIME.>>NOT SUFFICIENT, BUT VERY CLOSE. A PHONE CALL, ARRANGING A MEETING, FOR WHATEVER REASON THEY DID NOT FIND THE ACTS NECESSARY TO REACH THAT LEVEL.>>WAS THIS A LONG SHOT FROM THE BEGINNING? I KNOW THERE IS A LOT OF REVISIONISTS LOOKING AT THIS, BUT STANDING BACK, IS THIS A DIFFICULT CASE TO MAKE?>>AS TO THE COLLUSION?>>ALL THEY NEEDED WAS TO COLLECT THE DOTS BETWEEN THE CAMPAIGN, THE INTERMEDIARIES, AND SOME ACT THAT WAS MAYBE A QUID PRO QUO. LEAVING A BAG OF CASH IN EXCHANGE FOR RELEASE OF INFORMATION, OR PARTICIPATING IN SOME WAY. NOT NECESSARILY DOING THE HACKING THEMSELVES BUT ASSISTING THE HACKERS IN SOME WAY, PERHAPS PROVIDING THE MONEY OR THE RESOURCES, SO IN THAT SENSE IF THEY DIDN’T FIND THOSE ACTS THAT WOULD HAVE BEEN A CHALLENGE.>>DID THEY GET CLOSE?>>I THINK WHEN YOU TALK ABOUT REACTING WITH HAPPINESS TO A CRIME BEING COMMITTED, THAT IS CLOSE. IF YOU HAVE SPSHL KNOWLEDGE THAT A CITE IS COMMITTED, THAT ALONE IS NOT CRIMINAL, BUT IT SOUNDS CRIMINAL.>>ONE THING I WANT TO KNOW WHEN I READ THIS IS WHAT EVIDENCE, IF ANY, IS THERE OF THE TRUMP CAMPAIGN OR ANY ASSOCIATES KNOWLEDGE THAT IT WAS THE RUSSIANS BEHIND THIS HACKING AND THE LEAKS. IT’S ONE THING TO CHEER IT ON, WHAT WAS THE LEVEL AND STATUS OF KNOWLEDGE.>>AND I THINK YOU’RE ASKING A CRUCIAL QUESTION AND I REALIZE NOW THERE IS A PART THAT HAS NOT BEEN REPORTED YET THAT PEARS ON THAT. IT’S NOT JUST ABOUT THE STATUTES, CONSPIRACY, OR THE FACTS OF THE RUSSIAN COLLUSION. MUELLER SAYS CLEARLY AT THE BEGINNING OF HIS REPORT THAT HE APPLIED A LEAGUE STANDARD THAT COULD NOT IMPLICATE THE PRESIDENT. HE IS SAYING I WRITE THIS REPORT AND IF I THINK THE PRESIDENT COMMITTED A CRIME, I’M NOT EVEN GOING TO TELL YOU. HE SAID WE CONSIDERED NOT TO APPLY AN APPROACH THAT COULD RESULT IN THE JUDGMENT THAT THE PRESIDENT COMMITTED CRIMES. THE POTENTIAL OF REACHING THAT JUDGMENT WHEN NO CHARGES CAN BE BROUGHT. WHAT I AM READING IS THAT IN THIS REPORT, I’M APPLYING A LEGAL STANDARD THAT EVEN IF I THOUGHT TRUMP COMMITTED CRIMES I WOULD NOT SAY SO IN THIS REPORT AND THAT REALLY PUTS TO THE TEST THAT IT CLEARS THE PRESIDENT. IT IS NOT A GOOD DAY FOR HIM. THERE IS NOTHING IN THAT REPORT, MUELLER SAID I COULD NOT DO THAT.>>IS THAT GOING ONLY TO THE CONSPIRACY OF CONSPIRACY AND CONCLUSION?>>THE WHOLE THING. >>IF THERE WAS OTHER ASSOCIATES THAT CONSPIRED AND MET THE DEFINITION, THEY COULD HAVE BEEN CHARGED.>>AND MANY WERE, SFLIEGT. >>YEAH, THEY WERE CHARGED WITH FALSE STATEMENTS OR MORE WITH EXCEPTION TO PAUL MANAFORT.>>YES, THE STANDARD THAT MUELLER USED — >>DO WE HAVE COMPETE? IS HE UP RIGHT NOW? I WANT TO TALK ABOUT THOSE THAT TRIED TO DISCREDIT MUELLER, THE ATTORNEY GENERAL DROPPED THAT LITTLE GRENADE ABOUT SPYING. IS THERE ANYTHING THAT GETS TO THE ORIGINS OF THIS INVESTIGATION AND THE WAY IT WAS CONDUCTED?>>YES, THERE IS A PREDICATE LAID OUT FOR WHAT GOT THEM HERE IN THE FIRST PLACE. THE MEETING THAT GEORGE PAPADOPULOUS HAD, HE SAID HE COULD GET DIRT ON THE HILLARY CLINTON CAMPAIGN, THAT WAS RELAYED AND THE AUSTRALIANS RAISED THEIR HANDS SAYING YES, WE ADMIT TO HAVING A ROLE IN THIS. SO THE ATTORNEY GENERAL IS TALKING ABOUT THE CONCERN BY SOME REPUBLICANS IN CONGRESS ABOUT THE RELIANCE EARLY ON BY THE FBI IN A, SOME OF THE PEOPLE INVOLVED IN THE MUELLER INVESTIGATION THAT SENT MESSAGES SUGGESTING THEY HAD ANIMOSITY TOWARDS PRESIDENT TRUMP, AND TO THE EXTENT THAT IT INVOLVED FOREIGN SURVEILLANCE ACTS BY CARTER A PAGE. I THINK THE DISFUNCTION HAS TO BE DRAWN BETWEEN THE EARLY DAYS OF THE FBI INVESTIGATION AND THE LATER STAGES WHEN MUELLER CAME INTO IT. >>YEAH, IMPORTANT POINT, PETE, THANKS.>>ONE OTHER POINT I THINK GOING BACK TO THIS QUESTION, IF MUELLER HAD ALL OF THIS EVIDENCE, WHY DOES HE SAY IT POINTS IN BOTH DIRECTIONS. THE REPORT KEEPS COMING BACK AND THEY SAY IT POINTS BOTH WAYS, AND IT HAS BEEN RAISED BY THE DEFENDERS OF THE PRESIDENT, THEY SAY SOME OF WHAT THE PRESIDENT DID SAID HE HAD THE AUTHORITY TO DO. NOW THE REPORT GOES ON TO SAY IF YOU FIRE HIM FOR A CORRUPT REASON THAT’S A PROBLEM. BUT SECONDLY THEY SAY NO COVER UP OF AN UNDERLYING CRIME, AND THEY SAY MANY OF THE PRESIDENT’S ACTIONS WERE PUBLIC. MANY WERE STATEMENT THAT’S HE MADE IN PUBLIC, OR TWEETS HE MADE IN PUBLIC. THAT DOESN’T ABSOLVE THEM OF CRIMINALITY.>>AND THEY LAY OUT THAT HE HAD THE RIGHT TO FIRE COMEY, HE WAS THE ONE THAT BROUGHT UP RUSH THAT, DIDN’T THAT PUT IT IN A WHOLE DIFFERENT CATEGORY OF STATEMENTS AND ACTIONS?>>THAT IS THE DOUBLE HEADEDNESS OF THIS. COMEY DOESN’T EVEN QUESTION IT, BUT THE REPORT SAYS IF IT IS DONE FOR THE WRONG REASON IT CAN BE CORRUPTION, IT CAN BE A CORRUPT ACT, THEY SAY IT POINTS BOTH WAYS.>>PETE WILLIAMS, THIS IS A CHALLENGE TRYING TO READ IT AND — >>IT IS SUCH A CHALLENGE. I WISH THAT WE HAD MORE CLARITY. I MYSELF AM SITTING HERE HEARING A LOT OF DIFFERENT ANSWERS WITH REGARD TO ONE BIG ISSUE, THAT PETE SEEMED TO SAY SOMETHING DIFFERENT, DID ROBERT MUELLER NOT ULTIMATELY CHARGE AN OBSTRUCTION CRIME BECAUSE THE DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE SAYS HE CANNOT DIET A SITTING PRESIDENT OR NOT. BARR SAYS HIS OWN ANALYSIS ON THAT ISSUE HAD NOTHING TO DO WITH THAT CONSTITUTIONAL ISSUE, AND HAD EVERYTHING TO DO WITH THE FACTS, NOT BEING SUFFICIENT TO ESTABLISH OBSTRUCTION OF JUSTICE. SO THAT IS BARR, WHAT ABOUT ROBERT MUELLER, PETE SAID ONE THING, PROFESSOR NEIL SAID SOMETHING ELSE.>>AS I READ THE FIRST FEW PAGES, IT SAYS THE STANDARD THAT HE APPLIED WAS THAT BECAUSE I CAN’T INDICT A SITTING PRESIDENT, IT’S NOT FAIR TO ACCUSE HIM THE CRIMES WHEN HE CAN’T DEFEND HIMSELF IN COURT. IF THAT IS RIGHT, ALL OF THIS STUFF THAT WE’RE HEARING FROM THE PRESIDENT’S LAWYERS AND THE PRESIDENT PRESIDENT ABOUT IT EXONERATING HIM IS BUNKED.>>FOR HIM TO SAY THAT HE CAN’T GO THERE, THAT IS MUCH DIFFERENT THAN SAYING I DIDN’T FIND A CRIME, HOW DO YOU DETERMINE IF THERE WAS NO COLLUSION. EVEN IF THERE WAS INTENT OF OBSTRUCTION.>>MUELLER BELIEVED YOU COULD CHARGE SOMEONE FOR OBSTRUCTION OF JUSTICE EVEN IF THERE IS NOT AN UNDER LYING OFFENSE. NORMALLY YOU DO HAVE AN UNDERLYING OFFENSE. IF YOU ROB A BANK AND THEN DESTROY THE EVIDENCE OF ROBBING A BANK, HE SAYS IT IS STILL A PROSECUTION THAT COULD BE BROUGHT IN ORDINARY CIRCUMSTANCES. BARR APPEARS TO HAVE DISAGREED WITH THAT.>>PETE, YOU WANT IN ON THIS, RIGHT?>>WELL, SO WHAT WE’RE JUST TALKING ABOUT, THIS IS, I THINK, MAYBE A GOOD SUMMARY. HE SAYS IF WE HAD CONFIDENCE AFTER A THOROUGH INVESTIGATION OF THE FACTS THAT THE PRESIDENT CLEARLY DID NOT COMMIT OR INSTRUCTION OF JUSTICE, WE WOULD SAY SO. BASED ON THE FACTS WE CAN’T REACH THAT JUJTS. THE EVIDENCE THAT WE HAVE BRINGS DIFFICULT ISSUES. AND THAT’S WHY THEY SAY WE DON’T CON CLUZ THAT THIS CLON RATES HIM.>>BUT THAT IS ABOUT EXONERATION. THE FIRST PART OF THE REPORT SAYS IF MUELLER WANTED TO IMPLICATE THE PRESIDENT IN A CRIME, I WON’T DO THAT IN THIS REPORT BECAUSE THAT WOULD BE UNFAIR UNDER DOJ POLICY IN WHICH HE WOULD HAVE NO OPPORTUNITY TO DEFEND HIMSELF.>>I THINK DAN ANY THIS IS WHAT YOU WERE SAYING EARLY ON, AND I THINK OUR LAWYERING HERE AGREE THAT MUELLER SAID I CAN’T INDICT, SO I’M NOT EXAMINING THIS ISSUE. MUELLER SAID I CANNOT INDICT, I CANNOT AMASS EVIDENCE. THAT WAS NOT HIS DUTY AS HE SAW IT. A THORNY ISSUE THAT NEIL RAISES IS THAT YES, BARR SEEM TO SAY THAT YES I DIDN’T ADDRESS THE ISSUE BUT IT SEEMS VERY CLEAR THAT HE DID CONSIDER THAT AND IT COLORED HIS DECISION. A RELATED BUT ALMOST THE SAME ISSUE TO WHETHER OR NOT A PRESIDENT CAN BE INDICTED IS CAN A PRESIDENT OBSTRUCT JUSTICE. NOTICEABLY ABSENT WAS HIS QUESTION OF WHETHER OR NOT A PRESIDENT CAN OBSTRUCT JUSTICE. WE KNOW BARR HAS THOUGHTS ON THE FINISH BECAUSE HE AUTHORED A UNSOLICITED 19 PAGE MEMORANDUM ON THE ON IT. SO IT IS AN INTERESTING ISSUE. WAS THIS DELIBERATE? IS BARR SAYING I DIDN’T DEAL WITH WHETHER OR NOT A PRESIDENT CAN BE CHARGED BECAUSE I NEVER HAD TO BECAUSE I ALL RIGHT DON’T THINK WHICH HE OBSTRUCT JUSTICE.>>MAYBE THE PERCEPTION THAT THE ATTORNEY GENERAL IS ACTING AS A LAWYER, THEY ARE COMPLETE AND ACCURATELY WHAT IS IN THE 19 PAGE MEMO.>>ALL RIGHT, LET’S GO TO KASIE HUNT RIGHT NOW, WHAT PLAYS OUT NOW, WHAT HAPPENS NOW? WE SUSPECT A LOT.>>IT DID LAND WITH A THUD, THAT’S RIGHT, BUT I THINK THERE IS AN IMPORTANT PIECE OF THIS RIGHT NOW ABOUT WHAT ROBERT MUELLER THOUGHT ABOUT ALL OF THESE PRECEDENTS AND THE OBSTRUCTION QUESTION AND HOW IT RELATES TO CONGRESS. JUST A FEW PARAGRAPHS ABOVE WHAT PETE WILLIAMS WAS READING, HE WAS TALKING ABOUT HOW THE PRESIDENT IS NOT IMMUNIZED FROM OBSTRUCTING JUSTICE, AND THAT IT PROTECTS PROCEEDINGS AND THAT THE PRESIDENT IS NOT PROTECTED FROM A CORRUPT ACTION DESIGNED TO PROTECT HIMSELF, SO ONE OF THE QUESTIONS WE HAD HERE ON THE HILL WAS WHETHER OR NOT MUELLER WOULD SAY THAT THIS QUESTION ABOUT OB INSTRUCTION OF JUSTICE WAS ONE MORE IMMEDIATINGS IN CONGRESS AND POTENTIALLY IMPEACHMENT PROCEEDINGINGS. AND I THINK FROM IT OO LOT MORE HERE TO WORK WITH AND MORE FINISH FOR DEMOCRATS TO CONTINUE TO INVESTIGATE WHETHER OR NOT THE PRESIDENT OBSTRUCTED JUSTICE. WE KNOW FROM A POLITICAL PERSPECTIVE THERE IS NOT A LOT OF APPETITE FROM THE SPEAKER OF THE HOUSE TO MOVE FORWARD WITH SUCH A PROCEEDING WHICH IS WHERE THIS IS ALL STARTING TO UNFOLD. BUT CONSIDERING THE ACTIONS THAT WE SAW FROM THE ATTORNEY GENERAL TODAY, THE PRESSURE IS ALREADY RAMPING UP ON THE LEFT SIDE OF THE DEMOCRATIC PARTY TO TRY TO TAKE A STRONGER STAND AND SHOW THIS INCREDIBLE NARRATIVE OF WHAT THE PRESIDENT WAS DOING IN THE OVAL OFFICE, AND WHAT HE WAS INSTRUCTING THE PEOPLE AROUND HIM TO DO AND IT IS SOMETHING THEY SHOULD TAKE OFFICIAL ACTION TO DEAL WITH IN CONGRESS.>>WE’RE WORKING ON FIGURING OUT EXACTLY WHAT INFORMATION WE KNOW FROM PETE’S REPORTING ON THE ROGER STONE CASE THAT THEY ARE GOING TO GET SOME ADDITIONAL INFORMATION THAT THE PUBLIC IS THERE IS OTHER COMMITTEES THAT COULD SEE INFORMATION RELATED TO AN ONGOING INFORMATION. A LOT OF PAGES HERE, AND THEY BE SPINNING, LITERALLY, FROM DIFFERENT VIEWPOINTS AND SIDES.>>THE GOOD NEWS IS THAT THIS IS ALL PUBLIC. IT IS IN REDACT D FORM. YOU CAN FIND THE FULL REPORT AT NBC NEWS.COM WE HAVE TO GIVE OUR THANKS TO OUR LEGAL ANALYST, AND YOU’RE GOING TO HAVE ALL OF IT ON NIGHTLY NEWS.>>THAT’S RIGHT.S AND MANUFACTMANAFORT SAID NO ONE USED THAT WORD THE MOB BOSS ISN’T SAYING THE MAGIC WORDS AND COUNSEL IS NOT SAYING I’M GOING TO PARDON YOU BUT YOU’LL BE TAKEN CARE OF. AMERICAN PEOPLE AND CONGRESS NEED TO DECIDE WHETHER THIS IS WHAT WE WANT FROM OUR PRESIDENT. WHETHER DANGLING PARDONS, PROMISING THAT YOU’LL BE TAKEN CARE OF IS ACCEPTABLE CONDUCT. THEN I WANT TO JUST FOLLOW UP ON THE CONGRESSMAN’S STATEMENTS ABOUT BARR AND WHERE WE ARE WITH HIM. IF I’M CHRISTOPHER WREY RIGHT NOW, THE CURRENT DIRECTOR OF THE FBI AND I’M INTERACTING EVERY DAY WITH THIS ATTORNEY GENERAL, I NEED TO ASK MYSELF WILL HE HAVE MY BACK WHEN I PRESENT HIM SENSITIVE CORRUPTION CASES AND ON ANY GIVEN DAY THE FBI IS OPERATING HUNDREDS OF PUBLIC CORRUPTION CASES AT ALL LEVELS ACROSS THE COUNTRY IF I SHARE THAT WITH THE ATTORNEY GENERAL CAN I TRUST THAT’S NOT GOING TO THE WHITE HOUSE OR NOT GOING TO THE REPUBLICAN TARGET OF A CORRUPTION INVESTIGATION SOME HARD QUESTIONS NEED TO BE ASKED ABOUT WHETHER THERE’S CONTINUED EFFECTIVENESS POSSIBLE FROM THIS ATTORNEY GENERAL>>I’M READING ABOUT THE PRESIDENT’S PUBLIC STATEMENTS DURING THE MANAFORT TRIAL. SPEAKING OF STUFF OUT OF A MOVIE, INCLUDING DURING JURY DELIBERATIONS HAD THE POTENTIAL TO INFLUENCE THE TRIAL JURY. QUOTE, THE POTENTIAL TO INFLUENCE JURORS WHO LEARNED OF THE STATEMENTS WHICH THE PRESIDENT MADE JUST AS JURORS WERE CONSIDERING WHETHER TO CONVICT OR QUIT MANAFORT THAT’S A SCREEN PLAY>>THE TIMING OF THIS, THE PUBLIC WATCHING OBSTRUCTION AND TAMPERING TAKE PLACE IN PLAIN VIEW AS THIS PLAYS OUT IS AGAIN IN MY OPINION EVIDENCE OF CRIMINALALTY WE UNDERSTAND THAT ATTORNEY GENERAL TOOK THAT CALL AS HIS OWN AND MADE THE CALL BUT THERE’S INCREASING REASONS AND INCREASING BASIS IN THIS REPORT TO HAVE CONGRESS SAY WE’VE GOT TO TAKE THIS ON OURSELVES AT THIS POINT>>BARRETT, YOU AND I HAVE BEEN READING THE SAME SECTION WHICH IS ABOUT THE FACT THAT MUELLER IS LIMITED TO THE PRESIDENT’S WRITTEN RESPONSES. IT’S BEEN SURMISED PUBLICLY AND DIRECTLY THIS WASN’T THE PRESIDENT UP LATE AT NIGHT IN THE RESIDENCEWRITING OUT HIS RESPONSES. THESE ARE YOUR ATTORNEYS WRITING WHAT YOU WANT TO SAY THERE’S A BIT OF A POWER LISTNESS IN THE REMARKS ON MUELLER REPORT HERE IN THAT THEY WERE LIMITED JUST TO THAT AND THEY COULDN’T ASCERTAIN MORE BECAUSE THERE WAS NO INTERVIEW>>THAT’S RIGHT. IF YOU LOOK AT THE REPORT SPECIAL COUNSEL’S OFFICE SAYS MULTIPLE TIMES THAT THE WRITTEN ANSWERS WERE INADEQUATE, WERE INSUFFICIENT THEY DIDN’T FEEL THEY GOT A FULL ACCOUNTING OF WHAT THE PRESIDENT KNEW FOR THIS. THEY ALSO SAY PRETTY CLEARLY THEY WEIGHED THIS POSSIBILITY OF WHETHER THEY SHOULD GO FORWARD WITH THE SUBPOENA OF THE PRESIDENT BUT THEY DECIDED IT WASN’T WORTH THE DELAY THAT WOULD CAUSE TO THE INVESTIGATION. THEY SAY THERE’S 30 INSTANCES THAT THE PRESIDENT DOESN’T RECALL OR DOESN’T REMEMBER THAT’S THE WORK OF LAWYERS THERE AND IT’S SCRIPTED. IT’S JUST DISHEARTENING THAT THE SPECIAL COUNSEL’S OFFICE HAD TO CONCLUDES THEIR INVESTIGATION WITHOUT GETTING SATISFACTORY ANSWERS ON THESE BASIC QUESTIONS. IT GOES IN DIRECT CONTRADICTION WITH WHAT BARR SAID ABOUT HOW THE KWHOUS WAS FULLY COOPERATING WITH THIS INVESTIGATION. I JUST DON’T KNOW HOW YOU CALL THIS FULL COOPERATION WHEN THE SPECIAL COUNSEL’S OFFICE IS SAYING THE WRITTEN RESPONSES WERE INSUFFICIENT.>>THAT IS A GREAT POINT A GREAT POINT IN SUMMATION>>THAT’S THE WHAT ARE THE I WAS FOCUSING ON IS WHAT WAS RUSSIA UP TO. A COUPLE OF THINGS THAT WERE NOT IMPORTANT IS THE PERSON TO WHOM PAUL MANAFORT GAVE THAT POLLING DATA THAT WE TALKED ABOUT EARLIER. THE SPECIAL COUNSEL SUPPORTS THE FBI’S ASSESSMENT THAT HE WAS AFFILIATED WITH RUSSIAN INTELLIGENCE THEY SAY BASED ON THEIR WITNESS INTERVIEWS AND E-MAILS OBTAINED THROUGH COURT ORDERED SEARCH WARRANTS THEY HAVE CONCLUDED THE FBI’S ASSESSMENT IS CORRECT. HE WAS A MESSENGER OF RUSSIAN INTELLIGENCE EVEN IF WE CAN’T MAKE THE LINK THAT A CONSPIRACY WAS COMMITTED HERE AS A MATTER OF LAW, THAT WE HAVE THE TRUMP CAMPAIGN SHARING POLLING DATA WITH RUSSIAN INTELLIGENCE I THINK THAT’S SOMETHING THAT CONGRESS NEEDS TO CONSIDER VERY SERIOUSLY. HE DIDN’T JUST MAKE THAT STATEMENT TO THE PUBLIC. HE SAID IT REPEATEDLY. MICHAEL FLYNN SAID HE REQUESTED IT OF STAFF AND FLYNN REACHED OUT TO PETER SMITH WHO SET UP A COMPANY AND HIRING SECURITY EXPERTS TO TRY TO OBTAIN ALL OF THESE E-MAILS SO THEY COULD BE WEAPONIZED AND USED AGAINST HER. BUT FOR INCOMPETENCE, PRESIDENT TRUMP WOULD HAVE KPCOMMITTED TH CRIME OF CONSPIRACY.>>IT WASN’T JUST IN RESPONSE TO KATY TUR’S QUESTION IN PUBLIC THAT THE PRESIDENT SAID IN EFFECT RUSSIA, IF YOU’RE ABLE TO FIND THOSE 30,000 E-MAILS.>>YES, ACCORDING TO THE REPORT PAGE 62 OF VOLUME ONE, IT SAYS TRUMP ASKED INDIVIDUALS TO FIND THE DELETED E-MAILS. MICHAEL FLYNN SAID HE MADE THIS REQUEST REPEATEDLY AS A RESULT FLYNN TOOK IT UPON HIMSELF TO CONTACT MULTIPLE PEOPLE IN AN EFFORT TO OBTAIN THE E-MAILS. THEY TOOK IT AS A DIRECTIVE AND ACTED ON IT. FORMING COMPANY AND TAKINGE ING HIRING SECURITY EXPERTS TO FIND THOSE E-MAILS.>>ARE YOU FINDING WHY THE PRESIDENT MAY HAVE TWEETED TEN TIMES BEFORE WE READ THIS?>>I THINK WHAT IS CLEAR, WE TRY TO GO BACK FORTH BETWEEN THE TREES AND THE FOREST THE FOREST THAT’S BEEN CLEAR FOR MANY MONTHS IS EVEN CLEARER NOW. IF THE PRESIDENT WASN’T SWEATING THIS OUT, HE WOULD NOT HAVE ACTED THE WAPY HE ACTED YESTERDAY, OR EVERY MORNING WHERE HE TWEETS NO COLLUSION, EXCLA EXCLAMATION, EXCLAMATION I FIND IT HARD TO BELIEVE THAT THE PRESIDENT HAS A NUANCED UNDERSTANDING OF THE NARROWNESS OF THE QUESTION MUELLER WAS PROBING. IT DOESN’T SUGGEST HE HAD SOME AWARENESS THAT PEOPLE IN HIS CAMPAIGN WERE DOING ALL THINGS WE HAVE BEEN TALKING ABOUT ALL THE THINGS THIS ARE MADE CLEAR IN THIS REDACTED VERSION OF THE MUELLER REPORT. THEY WERE COLLUSION CURIOUS AS SOME REPORTERS HAVE DESCRIBED IT THEY WERE DABBLING THEY WERE OPEN TO COLLUSION. THEY HAD TO KNOWLEDGE THAT THE WIKILEAKS DISSEMINATION WAS NOT SOMETHING THEY WERE FREE OF OR INNOCENT OF BUT IT WASN’T A CRIME. THEY WERE LOOKING FOR THEIR CLIENT TO ESCAPE THESE VERY, VERY HIGH BARS OF CRIMINALALTY ORN CONSPIRACY WITH THE RUSSIANS AND IT WOULD OCCUR HE DID. IT DOES NOT MEAN HIS CAMPAIGN WASN’T DABBLING IN COLLUSION THE ENTIRE TIME. IT DOESN’T MEAN AS AN ADMINISTRATION WE HAVE DONE ANYTHING DIFFERENTLY TO PREVENT SOMETHING THAT LOOKS EXACTLY LIKE THIS FROM HAPPENING IN 2020 MUELLER FOUND HE WAS OBSTRUCTING ALL DAY EVERY DAY AROUND THE ATTEMPTS THE FIRE MUELLER, AROUND THE ATTEMPTS TO GET SESSIONS TO UNRECUSE IT PROVES THOSE THINGS HAPPENED. SEAN HANNITY SAID TWO YEARS AGO THAT RICHARD NIXON WOULDN’T HAVE HAD TO RESIGN IF HE HAD FOX NEWS THAT MIGHT BE TRUE THIS CONDUCT IS AS SORT OF IMPEACHABLE LOOKING IF YOU PUT IT IN A TIME CAPSULE AS NIXON’S CONDUCT. NIXON DIDN’T HAVE AN OVER DRIVE SOCIAL MEDIA DEDICATED TO AMPLIFYING WHAT IS A VERY SUBJECTIVE READ OF A REPORT THAT IN THE END IF IT EXONERATES THEM, WHY ARE THEY SO UPSET BY THE DETAILS>>I WANT TO GO BACK TO THE FORTS INTO THE ONE OF THE TREES BECAUSE THERE’S SOMETHING RATHER REMARKABLE ABOUT WHEN THE PRESIDENT FIRST FINDS OUT ABOUT HOW SERIOUS THE INVESTIGATION IS AND HOW HE FINDS OUT ABOUT IT. ON MARCH 9 OF 2017, COMEY GOES AND BRIEFS THE GANG OF EIGHT LEADERS AND THERE’S BEEN A LOT OF SPECULATION THAT DEVIN NUNES WAS A BACK CHANNEL TO THE WHITE HOUSE. WHAT IT DOES FIND IS THE SENATE INTELLIGENCE RICHARD BURRWAS A BACK CHANNEL HE HAS A MEETING OR PHONE CALL AND INFORMS THEM OF THE TARGETS. THE PRESIDENT IN REACTION TO THAT, POTUS IS IN PANIC, CHAOS TWO THINGS I TAKE FROM THAT. ONE, IT’S A REAL BREACH OF APPROPRIATE BEHAVIOR BY RICHARD BURRWHO WAS THOUGHT WAS BEHAVING RESPONSIBLY.>>A MODEL OF PROPER BEHAVIOR.>>FOR HIM TO GO AND FEED INFORMATION BACK CHANNEL TO THE PRESIDENT IS REALLY INAPPROPRIATE. I THINK HE’S GOING TO HAVE TO ANSWER QUESTIONS ABOUT THAT. SECOND, THAT GIVES YOU SOMETHING ABOUT THIS PRESIDENT’S STATE OF MIND EARLY ON BEFORE HE FIRED JIM COMEY. HE FINDS OUT JUST WHAT THE FBI IS INVESTIGATION AND HE GOES INTO A PANIC AND STARTS TO TAKE THE OBSTRUCTIVE ACTS THAT WE LATER SEE.>>Reporter: THIS IS ANOTHER TIME WE SEE THE REMARKS NOT PANNING OUT. THAT’S ON THE ISSUE OF WHITE HOUSE COOPERATION. THE ATTORNEY GENERAL SAID THE WHITE HOUSE IS FULLY COOPERATIVE. THEY ANSWERED ALL THE QUESTIONS AND THE PRESIDENT WAS EXTREMELY FORTS COMING THAT’S NOT WHAT SPECIAL COUNSEL MUELLER LAID OUT THEY SAID IN DECEMBER THEY INFORMED THE COUNSEL OF INSUFFICIENCY OF THOSE ASPECTS THEY NOTED ON MORE THAN 30 OCCASIONS SAID HE DOES NOT REMEMBER OR HAVE AN INDEPENDENT RECOLLECTION OF INFORMATION THAT THEY SDDS HIM ABOUT. THEY ALSO SAID IN THE INFORMED RESPONSES THEY DO NOT — THEY DEMONSTRATE THE INADEQUACY OF FORMAT THEY WENT BACK AND FORTH AND THEY REQUESTED AN IN PERSON INTERVIEW LIMITED TO CERTAIN TOPICS AND THE PRESIDENT STILL DECLINED THAT SHOWS THERE WAS THIS PUSH AND PULL WE REPORTED ON THIS LAST FALL AND INTO THE HOLIDAY SEASON ABOUT THE HOLIDAY SEASON THAT THE PRESIDENT WAS SO UNWILLING TO SIT DOWN FOR AN INTERVIEW WE KNEW HE WAS DOING THESE WRITTEN RESPONSES. IT’S SOMETHING THE LEGAL TEAM WOULD SUFFICE BUT IT’S CLEAR MUELLER DIDN’T THINK IT WOULD SUFFICE. WHEN YOU’RE TRYING TO PROVE AN OBSTRUCTION CRIME, YOU NEED INTENT OPINION YOU NEED THE INFORMATION AND THE PERSON YOU’RE INVESTIGATING TO TRY TO GIVE YOU A WINDOW INTO THEIR FRAME OF MIND. IT’S CLEAR THE PRESIDENT JUST SHUT DOWN ON THOSE ISSUES.>>WHEN THE PRESIDENT CALLED McGAHN A SECOND TIME TO FOLLOW UP ON THE ORDER TO CALL THE DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE, McGAHN RECALLED THE PRESIDENT WAS MORE DIRECT SAYING SOMETHING LIKE CALL ROD TELL ROD THAT MUELLER HAS CONFLICTS AND CAN’T BE SPECIAL COUNSEL. REMIND OUR AUDIENCE, THIS CONFLICT THAT BECAME SO LARGE IN THE PRESIDENT’S MIND WHERE DID THAT START AND HOW SMALL A LEVEL DID THAT START>>Reporter: WELL, THE CONFLICT, THE IDEA FROM THE VERY BEGINNING THAT THE PRESIDENT WAS UPSET ON THE DAY HE WAS TOLD THEY WOULD APPOINT A SPECIAL COUNSEL. HE WAS FURIOUS OF JEFF SESSIONS FOR RECUSING HIMSELF AND ALLOWING ROD ROSENSTEIN TO BE IN POSITION TO APPOINT ROBERT MUELLER. THAT’S WHERE YOU GET THE HEATED CONVERSATIONS THAT ARE DETAILED ABOUT THE PRESIDENT USING FOUL LANGUAGE LEANING BACK AND SAYING THIS IS THE WORST THING THAT’S EVER HAPPENED TO HIM AND COULD RUIN HIS PRESIDENCY THAT’S WHERE THE KEY TO THAT FRUSTRATION ANDBEGAN HE STARTED THE TAKE IT OUT ON HIS ATTORNEY GENERAL AND HIS LEGAL COUNSEL. HE WANTED THIS TO GO AWAY. HE WAS VERY FRUSTRATED BY THE FACT THERE ARE PROTECTIONS THAT KEEP HIM FROM DOING THAT I THINK YOU SEE THAT AGAIN AND AGAIN AND McGAHN WOULD STAND UP AND TRY TO SAY, I WILL RESIGN OR I’M NOT GOING TO DO THIS I’M NOT GOING TO FOLLOW THROUGH ON THAT ORDER. ANOTHER KEY THAT WAS PIECE IS JOHN KELLY TOLD McGAHN WHEN HE WENT INTO A MEETING WITH THE PRESIDENT AND THE OVAL OFFICE THAT HE COULD NOT RESIGN NO MATTER WHAT HAPPENED YOU NEED TO SIT THERE AND TAKE THIS FROM THE PRESIDENT BECAUSE HE’S VERY UNHAPPY WITH YOU>>THANK YOU>>FIRST OF ALL, FROM MY PERSPECTIVE I’M STRUCK BY PAGE 56 OF VOLUME TWO IN WHICH THE PRESIDENT OPENS HIS DAILY BRIEFS WITH THE INTELLIGENCE LEADERSHIP NOT BY TRYING TO UNDERSTAND THE THREATS FACING OUR COUNTRY AND OUR WORLD BUT BY DIRECTING THEM TO PUT OUR PREZ STSUPPRESS PRES SAYING THERE WAS NO COLLUSION. HE CALLED THE DEPUTY DIRECTOR OF NSA AND THEY SAID IT WAS THE MOST UNUSUAL REQUEST AND CONCERNING REQUEST THEY HAD RECEIVED IN 40 YEARS THEY DOCUMENTED IT AND PUT IT IN SAFE BECAUSE THEY THOUGHT IT WAS SO INAPPROPRIATE FROM THE PRESIDENT. I THINK THAT’S VERY TELLING ABOUT THE PRESIDENT’S STATE OF MIN MIND THE LARGEST ISSUE IN VOLUME TWO IS OPENING SET OF PARAGRAPHS ON PAGE ONE AND TWO WHAT THEY SAY VERY CLEARLY IS NUMBER ONE IS THEY ARE ABIDESING BY THE OLC GUIDANCE THAT YOU CANNOT PROSECUTE A SITTING PROSECUTE. THE PROSECUTORIAL DECISION WAS MADE IN THAT LIGHT SECOND, THAT THEY ARE PRESERVING EVIDENCE BECAUSE PRESIDENTS CAN BE PROSECUTED AFTER THEY LEAVE OFFICE HOW OMINOUS IS THAT. IT WOULD HAVE BEEN UNFAIR THE ALLEGE CRIMES EVEN THOUGH THEY COUNT PROSECUTE THE PRESIDENT BECAUSE THE PRESIDENT IN THIS PROCEEDING COULDN’T DEFEND HIMSELF LIKE A TYPICAL DEFENDANT COULD CLEAR HIS NAME IN COURT. THEY CONCLUDES WE’RE NOT GOING TO JUDGE THE PRESIDENT’S CONDUCT THROUGH THECRIMINALITY WE’RE NOT GOING TO SAY WHETHER THE PRESIDENT ENGAGED IN CRIMES. THAT’S WHIY I SAY IT RAIDS DIFFICULT ISSUE. NO NOT AT ALL. THE SPECIAL COUNSEL IS SAYING THE EXACT OPPOSITE>>TO NICOLE WALLACE>>I HAVE A QUESTION FOR YOU YOU HAVE BEEN PART OF ALL OF THE CONVERSATIONS THAT WE’VE HAD OVER THE LAST TWO YEARS ABOUT THE PRESIDENT’S INCREDIBLY CURIOUS AND UNTIL TODAY EXMY KABL CONTACT AROUND VLADIMIR PUTIN. WHETHER IT’S TROTTING OUT A LINE THAT MOST RUSSIANS DON’T EVEN ACCEPT THE SOVIET INVASION OF AFGHANISTAN WAS NOBLE AND WHATNOT. IS THERE ANYTHING ON THE CONDUCT THAT LED FORMER ACTING FBI DIRECTOR TO OPEN A FULL FIELD INVESTIGATION THAT INCLUDED THE PRESIDENT IN THAT EARLY QUARTER, FIRST QUARTER OF HIS PRESIDENCY. ANY ANSWERS AROUND ANY OF THAT CONTACT THAT SO ALARMED THE FBI THIS THEY ADDED THE PRESIDENT TO AN INVESTIGATION>>GOOD QUESTION LONG BEFORE RUSSIAN HACKING THERE WAS THE TRUMP TOWER OF MOSCOW BDEAL THE DETAILS THE ORIGINS AND THE GREAT LENS THAT WAS GONE THROUGH TO FINALIZE THE DEAL IN DECEMBER 2015, JUST WEEKS BEFORE THE IOWA CAUCUS, THE RUSSIANS SAID SEND US THE PASSPORTS FOR TRUMP AND COHEN. MICHAEL COHEN MADE COPIES, SENT THEM OVER TO RUSSIA. IT WAS ONGOING DIALOGUE. TRUMP ASKED ABOUT IT IN THIS REPORT MICHAEL COHEN REFERS TO IT AS QUOTE BILLION DOLLAR DEAL. IT WOULD HAVE BEEN MOST SIGNIFICANT DEAL IN THE HISTORY OF THE TRUMP ORGANIZATION, THE RECENT HISTORY OF THE TRUMP ORGANIZATION THE FINANCIAL TIES BETWEEN THE TRUMP ORGANIZATION AND THE RUSSIAN FED RATTOUCH UPON>>IT ALSO LEAVES THE SCHIFF INVESTIGATION INTO WHETHER OR NOT THE PRESIDENT WAS COMPROMISED. NOT WHAT MUELLER WAS EXAMINING WHICH IS WHETHER OR NOT HE WAS A WINNING CONSPIRATOR BUT WHETHER OR NOT THE PRESIDENT WAS COMPROMISED BY ALL THOSE FINANCIAL TIES IS THAT STILL A WORTHWHILE OPEN QUESTION MANY OF US THOUGHT IT WOULD BE TO LOOK AT TWO BIG ISSUES. CRIMINALITY AND NATIONAL SECURITY THREATS THE FBI, THE JUSTICE DEPARTMENT DOES PLAY A ROLE IN DEFENDING OUR COUNTRY FROM SECURITY THREATS. THAT’S WHAT THE NATIONAL SECURITY DIVISION DOES THEY ARE PART OF THE INTELLIGENCE COMMUNITY IT SEEMS THAT BOB MUELLER LOOKING AT WHETHER OR NOT CRIMES HAVE BEEN COMMITTED. HE DID THAT. IT LEAVES OPEN THE QUESTION WHICH ARE THE ONGOING THREATS OF NATIONAL SECURITY. WHAT LEVERAGE DOES RUSSIA HAVE AND THAT’S FOR CONGRESS.>>JEREMY, I’M READING JUST PAGE 158. THE END OF PART ONE. PRESIDENT ATTEMPTED TO REMOVE BE SPECIAL COUNSEL. HE SOUGHT TO HAVE THE ATTORNEY GENERAL LIMIT THE INVESTIGATION. HE SOUGHT TO PREVENT PUBLIC DISCLOSURE OF INFORMATION. HE USED PUBLIC FORUMS TO ATTACK PAR POTENTIAL WITNESSES. YOU HEAR ALL THAT AND SAYS THAT SOUNDS SUBSTANTIAL THE LAST SENTENCE IS JUDGMENTS ABOUT THE NATURE OF THE PRESIDENT’S MOTIVE WOULD BE INFORMED BY THE TOTALITY OF THE EVIDENCE THIS JUST IS A SLAP SHOT OVER TO CONGRESS>>IT IS IT’S SAYING TO CONGRESS, IT IS REALLY UP TO YOU TO ANALYZE WHETHER OR NOT THE PRESIDENT ABUSED HIS POWER WHETHER HE CAN BE TRUSTED WITH THAT POWER IT’S A CONSTITUTIONAL QUESTION IT GOES TO THE PRESIDENT’S FITNESS FOR OFFICE WHETHER HE ENGAGED IN CONDUCT PERTAINING TO HIS OFFICE THAT MIGHT BE CON TRUSTRUED TO BE HI CRIMES AND MISDEMEANORS.>>JEREMY BASH, THANKS BECAUSE PEOPLE COME AND GO SO QUICKLY AROUND HERE, WE HAVE BEEN REJOINED BY THE FORMER SOLICITOR GENERAL OF THIS GREAT COUNTRY.>>WHO NEEDS PARENTS WHEN WE HAVE YOU HAVE BRIAN AND I.>>WE HAVE YET TO SPEAK TO YOU SINCE THE ISSUANCE OF THIS I EXPECT YOU HAVE GOTTEN THROUGH QUITE A BIT. YOUR IMPRESSIONS>>I THINK THE MOST IMPORTANT THING IS ON PAGE 2 THE LAST HOUR OF THE DISCUSSION ON THE OTHER NETWORK THAT I WAS ON WAS BASICALLY DOES THIS EXONERATE THE PRESIDENT AND THE PRESIDENT’S LAWYERS ARE GOING AT IT AND SAYING PAGE 2 SAYS SOMETHING REALLY IMPORTANT IT SAYS BARR SAID HE WASN’T RELYING ON WHETHER A SITTING PRESIDENT CAN BE INDICTED. MUELLER RELIES ON IT HE SAYS I’M BOUND BY THAT. I CAN’T INDICT A SITTING PRESIDENT. ON PAGE 2 HE SAYS BECAUSE OF THAT, EVEN IF I THOUGHT THERE WAS EVIDENCE THAT COULD IMPLICATE TRUMP AND CALL HIM A CRIMINAL, I’M NOT GOING TO DO THAT BECAUSE IT WOULD BE UNFAIR. I CAN’T INDICT HIM AND HE WOULD HAVE NO OPPORTUNITY TO DEFEND HIMSELF. THIS IS ENTIRELY A HAND OFF TO CONGRESS THAT’S WHAT THIS DOCUMENT IS ANYONE WHO SAYS THIS IS AN EXONERATION OF THE PRESIDENT IS FLATLY MISREADING WHAT MUELLER HAS SAID IN THIS REPORT.>>THAT SAID, WHEN CONGRESS READS THIS, WHAT’S IN THIS, THAT IF YOU’RE ADVISING HOUSE JUDICIARY YOU WOULD GO AFTER ONE BY ONE>>THE MOST IMPORTANT THING HAS TO DO WITH OBSTRUCTION OF JUSTICE. IN PARTICULAR, WHAT WAS SAID WITH THE PRESIDENT SAID, WHAT THE PRESIDENT TOLD McGAHN TO FIRE THE SPECIAL COUNSEL AND McGAHN IS THE PRESIDENT’S LAWYER IT’S LIKE ONE STEP UNDER GOD LIKE THE TOP LAWYER FOR THE EXECUTIVE BRANCH McGAHN SAYS I’M GOING TO RESIGN. IT’S QUITE ASTOUNDING.>>THAT GOES OF A PREVIOUS ADMINI ADMINISTRATION>>IT DOES WHEN YOU LOOK AT THIS AND CONGRESS LOOKS AT IT, THEY HAVE TO SAY IS THIS SOMEONE DISCHARGING HIS OATH TO FAITHFULLY EXECUTE THE LAWS.>>CONTROL ROOM IS TELLING ME THEY CAN PUT THIS PORTION UP ON THE SCREEN AND WE CAN READ IT. SESSIONS TOLD THE PRESIDENT THAT A SPECIAL COUNSEL HAD BEEN APPOINTED. THE PRESIDENT SLUMPED BACK IN HIS CHAIR AND SAID OH, MY GOD. THIS IS TERRIBLE THIS IS THE END OF MY PRESIDENCY I’M — USE YOUR IMAGINATION.>>STARTING WITH AN F.>>THAT’S THE MOMENT>>THERE’S THAT. THERE’S THE STUFF McGAHN SAID. THERE’S A LOT OF STUFF IN HERE I THINK IT IS NOT A GOOD DAY FOR THE PRESIDENCY OR THE PRESIDENT.>>YET, THE ATTORNEY GENERAL SEEMED RATHER UPBEAT THIS MORNING.>>YOU’RE LOOKING AT THE ATTORNEY GENERAL AND THINKING TO MYSELF, THIS IS PROBABLY THE ONLY GOOD INVESTMENT TRUMP HAS EVER MADE. IT’S PAYING OFF IN PUTTING HIS WEIGHT BEHIND THIS ATTORNEY GENERAL. I THINK THE ATTORNEY GENERAL SEQUENCED THE STUFF IN A WAY TO MAKE IT AND TAKE SOME OF STING OUT OF THE REPORT. WHAT HE DID TWO WEEKS AGO HEN HE SAID I’M NOT RELYING ON WHETHER A SITTING PRESIDENT CAN BE INDICTED OR NOT. HE MAY NOT HAVE BEEN RELYING ON IT BUT MUELLER WAS AND WRITING THIS REPORT AND THEN BARR MAKES A LEGAL CONCLUSION THAT SAYS, OH, I DON’T THINK THERE’S ENOUGH HERE WELL, MUELLER HIMSELF SAID I’M NOT EVEN GOING TO TELL YOU WHETHER OR NOT CRIME WAS COMMITTED.>>HOW MUCH DID THAT DETERMINE — IT’S MY UNDERSTANDING FROM NEWS ACCOUNTS THAT JOHN DODD WHO WAS THREE LAWYERS AGO WAS MADE AWARE OF MUELLER’S DECISION TO ADHERE TO DOJ POLICY THE WHOLE TIME THEY WERE GO NEGOTIATING RESPONSES, THEY KNEW IT WOULDN’T END IN AN INDICTMENT WHAT DO YOU MAKE OF THEY DETAIL IN THIS REPORT AROUND CONSIDERING A SUBPOENA AND ULTIMATELY DECIDING IT WOULD TAKE TOO LONG AND GIVING UP ON THE IDEA OF INTERVIEWING THE PRESIDENT.>>THERE WAS ALREADY A FAIR AMOUNT OF EVIDENCE THAT THE PRESIDENT EVIDENCE, YOU KNOW, THAT THE PRESIDENT OBSTBSTRUCTE JUS JUSTICE, YOU COULD SEE A PROSECUTOR SAYING, LOOK, IT’S MUCH MORE IMPORTANT FOR ME TO GET THIS INFORMATION OUT TO THE AMERICAN PEOPLE AND THE CONGRESS, RATHER THAN TO FIGHT FOR ONE OR TWO YEARS IN THE COURTS ABOUT WHETHER A SITTING PRESIDENT COULD BE SUBPOENAED OR NOT. AND FROM TRUMP’S LAWYER’S PERSPECTIVE, ONCE THEY KNOW THE PRESIDENT CAN’T BE INDICTED, THEN THEY’RE LIKE, AH, PARTY’S ON, I CAN DO WHAT I WANT, WE DON’T HAVE TO SHOW UP, WE DON’T HAVE TO VOLUNTARILY, YOU KNOW, ANSWER ANY QUESTIONS WE DON’T WANT TO. AND JAY SEKULOW WAS JUST ON TV SAYING, OH, THE PRESIDENT ANSWERED VOLUNTARILY EVERY QUESTION THAT WAS GIVEN TO HIM THAT WAS WITHIN THE SPECIAL COUNSEL’S ORIGINAL MANDATE ABSOLUTELY NOT THE ORIGINAL MANDATE OF MUELLER INCLUDED NOT JUST THE RUSSIA PIECE BUT ALSO OBSTRUCTION OF JUSTICE THAT WAS IN THE ORIGINAL MANDATE. IT’S EXPRESSLY IN THE LETTER, IT INVOKES THOSE PARTS OF THE SPECIAL COUNSEL REGULATIONS.>>HERE’S WHAT I WAS TRY TO GET AT WITH JULIA AINSLEY. THE PRESIDENT — THE ANGRY DEMOCRAT TWEETS WE LIVED THROUGH, WHEN THE PRESIDENT TALKS ABOUT THE DEEPLY CONFLICTED ROBERT MUELLER DOESN’T THAT GO BACK TO A DEAL WHERE HE THINKS MUELLER WAS TRYING TO BECOME A MEMBER OF A TRUMP CLUB AND THE DEAL COLLAPSED BUT ISN’T THAT THE DERIVATION OF THAT>>THAT’S THE WHOPPING EVIDENCE FOR THE DEEPLY CONFLICTED ROBERT MUELLER.>>PLAYED AT HIS GOLF CLUB OR SOMETHING. GOLF CLUB. COME ON.>>WOW FRANK FIGLIUZZI HAS ANOTHER CONTRIBUTION HAVING READ ON AHEAD OF US. FRANK?>>YEAH, I WANT TO KEEP PULLING ON TWO THREADS, BRIAN, THAT WE’VE ALREADY SURFACED ONE IS THIS NOTION THAT A QUESTION OF WHETHER OR NOT THE ATTORNEY GENERAL IS ACCURATELY PORTRAYING THE LEVEL OF COOPERATION BY THE PRESIDENT AND THOSE AROUND HIM AND THEN THE OTHER IS THIS QUESTION OF WHETHER BECAUSE SOMETHING IS NOT CRIMINAL IT MEANS THAT WE CAN’T HAVE IT GO TO CONGRESS OR THAT IT’S ACCEPTABLE CONDUCT BY OUR PRESIDENT. SO I’M ON PAGE 153 THIS ALL PERTAINS TO COHEN AND WE READ, “THERE IS EVIDENCE DESCRIBED BELOW THAT THE PRESIDENT KNEW COHEN PROVIDED FALSE TESTIMONY TO CONGRESS ABOUT THE TRUMP TOWER MOSCOW PROJECT. SO THAT’S NOT A COOPERATIVE PRESIDENT. THAT’S A PRESIDENT SAYING, I HAVE KNOWLEDGE THAT SOMEONE’S PROVIDED FALSE TESTIMONY, MY ATTORNEY HAS PROVIDED FALSE TESTIMONY TO CONGRESS AND I’M NOT DOING ANYTHING ABOUT IT. WE HAVE TO ASK OURSELVES WHETHER THAT’S ACCEPTABLE AND WHETHER THAT’S COOPERATION NEXT PAGE, THE PRESIDENT’S PERSONAL COUNSEL DECLINED TO PROVIDE US WITH HIS ACCOUNT OF HIS CONVERSATION WITH COHEN. I THINK THAT’S FAR LESS THAN COOPERATION. AS HAS BEEN CHARACTERIZED BY THE ATTORNEY GENERAL AND THEN THE VERY NEXT PAGE, “THERE IS EVIDENCE THAT COULD SUPPORT THE INFERENCE THAT THE PRESIDENT INTENDED TO DISCOURAGE COHEN FROM COOPERATING WITH THE GOVERNMENT BECAUSE COHEN’S INFORMATION WOULD SHED ADVERSE LIGHT ON THE PRESIDENT’S CAMPAIGN-PERIOD CONDUCT AND STATEMENTS.” SO WE HAVE TO ASK OURSELVES, IS THIS COOPERATION AS CHARACTERIZED BY THE ATTORNEY GENERAL? AND SECONDLY, IS THIS CONDUCT ACCEPTABLE FROM AN AMERICAN PRESIDENT?>>IT’S A MOB MOVIE, AS YOU HAVE SAID SO MANY TIMES, FRANK FIGLIUZZI. OUR THANKS OVER TO ARI MELBER ARI?>>A COUPLE POINTS, IDEBEEN LISTENING TO YOUR COVERAGE WITH GREAT INTEREST INCLUDING NEAL KATYAL I WANT TO ECHO THIS. THE MOST IMPORTANT WORDS OUT OF THIS REPORT AT A BASIC LEVEL IS WHAT MR. KATYAL WAS DISCUSSING WHICH IS, QUOTE, NO CHARGES CAN BE BROUGHT AGAINST THE PRESIDENT. NO CHARGES CAN BE BROUGHT. TRANSLATION, BILL BARR WAS WRONG, WAS INCORRECT, WAS MISLEADING, IN HIS LETTER SAYING OTHERWISE ABOUT MUELLER. NOW, THEY MAY DISAGREE ABOUT THIS WHAT BARR WROTE IN HIS LETTER, THIS IS SOMEONE OF THE TIMES I’LL SHOW YOU, BRIAN, WHY WE HAVE SO MUCH PAPER I HAVE THE ORIGINAL BARR LETTER HERE THAT SAYS, “MUELLER LEAVES IT, QUOTE, TO THE ATTORNEY GENERAL TO DETERMINE WHETHER THERE WERE CRIMES. NOW AS MR. KATYAL AND OTHERS NOTED, THIS MAY BE ONE OF THE MOST IMPORTANT THINGS YOU LEARN OUT OF THE REPORT TODAY, THAT’S NO WHAT MUELLER DID. MUELLER SAID DOJ POLICY PREVENTS HIM, BOB MULELMUELLER, THE ATTO GENERAL, ANYONE, FROM PROSECUTING A SITTING PRESIDENT AND THE REPORT WAS WRITTEN WITH THE PREMISE TO PROVIDE WHATEVER WORKS IN THE JUSTICE SYSTEM POTENTIALLY FOR CONGRESS SO THAT’S A BRIGHT, BRIGHT SIREN HERE THAT MR. BARR’S MISREPRESENTATION OF THE MUELLER REPORT BEGAN ON THAT CORE ISSUE IN HIS LETTER. THAT’S EVEN BEFORE THE CONTROVERSIAL PRESS CONFERENCE I WANT TO ECHO THAT WITH THAT REPORTING. I ALSO WANT TO FELL YOU SOME MORE OF WHAT WE’RE FINDING IN THIS REPORT. YOU, BRIAN, WERE TALKING ABOUT SOME OF THE MORE, SHALL WE SAY, SPICY QUOTES THAT MUELLER UNEARTHED. I WANT TO PUT A FEW MORE UP FOR CONTEXT. I THINK THIS WILL HELP PEOPLE UNDERSTAND WHAT WAS UNEARTHED HERE AS WE MENTIONED, DONALD TRUMP’S INITIAL REACTION TO THIS, “I’M F’D. McGAHN’S VIEW OF WHAT TRUMP WAS TRYING TO DO WAS, “CRAZY S.” RHYMES WITH HIT. HE WAS TRYING TO PROTECT PEOPLE FROM HEARING WORSE DETAILS THAN SWEAR WORDS. TRUMP SAYING, “MUELLER HAS TO GO.” HE WANTED TO KNOCK OUT MUELLER H THIS WHOLE THING HE HAD TO FIGHT, ANALYZE POTENTIAL CORRUPTION, IT COULD SPELL, QUOTE, THE END OF THIS PRESIDENCY BRIAN, THE SATURDAY NIGHT MASSACRE TERM A REFERENCE TO A FIRING OF A DIFFERENT PROSECUTOR THAT ULTIMATELY LED TO THE END OF THE NIXON PRESIDENCY. THE END OF THE PRESIDENCY. TAKE THAT ALL TOGETHER, YOU SEE WHAT’S ON YOUR SCREEN ARE SOME HEADLINES, STORY LINES THAT MUELLER UNEARTHED. I HAVE ONE MORE NEW THING IF WE HAVE TIME, THAT IS WIKILEAKS ONE OF THE MOST REDACTED SECTIONS AS I GO THROUGH THIS REPORT IS THE WIKILEAKS SECTIO

100 thoughts to “Live Coverage: Analysis As Redacted Mueller Report Is Released | NBC News”

  1. NOW WERE DOES BLEACHBIT AND SMASHING CELL PHONES FIT N HERE!! NO OBSTRUCTION THERE WAS THERE!!! BAHAHAHA BAHAHAHA HYPOCRITES!!

  2. EX CIA DIRECTOR AN COMMUNISTS BRENNAN IS CRYING RIGHT NOW ON MSNBC. HA HA HA WHAT A FOOL. .
    CNN AND MSNBC IS AT THE END OF THE ROAD. THEY LIED FOR YEARS. NO LONGER NEWS ORGANIZATIONS BUT A RIGHT ARMS OF THE DEMOCRAT PARTY AND A DEMOCRAT ADVOCATES, NEWS IS DEAD WITH THESE CLOWNS.

  3. Presidential powers have been way to broadened. Now essentially the president is above the law. Laws need to be changed!

  4. nbc give it up will you … ''The AG seems to favour the POTUS'' …. Barr follows the law & the POTUS didn't collude or obstruct …. you as bad as or even worse than cnn.

  5. Breakings news!  The U.S. colludes with every single country in the WORLD, but that's just business as usual.  We give mexico 10billion dollars to 'strengthen' their government, but apparently that's not collusion or medleying it's just what we do.  Imagine if Russia gave the U.S. 10 billion.  FFS!!!!!

  6. It's a sad day in any country when the "news" media are practically in tears because their president is proven beyond a shadow of a doubt to NOT be a crook.

  7. UGH WE ALREADY KNEW THERE WAS COLLUSION!! The trump tower meeting and Manafort giving polling data. That is collusion, maybe not enough to charge conspiracy, but still collusion. Do not play the right-wing media's game and help them spread their propaganda. Facts and logic might be lost to Fox News but we have to fight back against this ignorance!!

  8. The bottom line: there is no collusion, and there is inadequate evidence to conclude that there was obstruction.

  9. Congratulations to Julian Assange for winning the 2019 GUE/NGL Award for Journalism! It was accepted on his behalf by Nobel Prize Winner Mairead Maguire. No matter where we go with our life, we all come back around to the truth.
    #UNITY4J #PROTECTJULIAN
    https://veteransforpeace.org

  10. This is ridiculous this man is getting paid by Trump to do this crap he got onto attorney general by Trump he can't get fired why is this guy giving a b***** report it's edited. This is some b***** there's no point in even having this guy talk, just submit the Mueller report nobody wants to hear your b*****

  11. There was conclusive acts among the Russian and Republican parties to
    get Trump into Office. What makes the report claim "insufficient
    evidence"? Simple. Every investigation ended because encrypted
    communications among Trump supporters and Russian sleeper cells.
    Breadcrumbs were definitely found but later faded from being detected.
    The Democratic Party was always correct stating that Trump and his
    supporters are puppets and the report seemingly proves that Trump was
    intentionally inputed by Russian forces and not the American people. The
    Republican party can rejoice all they want, the release of this report
    DOES state "no collusion", but the report clearly states Trump is a
    Trojan Horse brought to us by the GRU, but lays innocent because Trump
    did not know and thought he became President of the US on his own.
    There, saved you time.

  12. Bye-bye, Donald Trump and Mike Pence. You're history. Enjoy prison now. The first President and Vice President ever to be impeached and removal from office since Prime Minister of Thailand, Yingluck Shinawatra, President of the Federative Republic of Brazil, Dilma Rousseff and Park Geun-Hye, President of the Republic of Korea.

  13. This just in …… a politician trying to squelch the truth to save their political and legal hides or advance their own power? Sadly, this is our country's history.

  14. Poor, Poor NBC News , , ,
    2 full years of lies and slander supporting this "Mueller Russian Collusion Probe" Hoax
    only to watch it crash & burn into nothing but partisan lies.
    .
    ~ NBC News;
    You are a stain on the credibility of American Journalism.
    .

  15. Where Are the Investigations into Hillary Emails, Clinton Foundation, Uranium One, AGT Intl, Obama FBI and DOJ Crimes?!?

  16. Ok so, America's 2016 election was interfered with. Let's have a snap election now as Trump was aided into power by a foreign power.

  17. So AWESOME to see NBC and the other fake news outlets suffering today. All today's news videos have more dislikes than likes. I can see why the fake news stations no longer allow comments on their websites! Can't handle the truth, can ya newsies?!

  18. Time to stop the Witch Hunt Media and your guest on The President Of The United States Of America Donald Trump and his family and his kids, shame on you. The important stuff America First = the economy + Legal immigration + Better trade laws to benefit the American Worker + Jobs of every sort for all Americans, steel, manufacturing, machinery, furniture , clothes, shoes, dishware ect.. not everyone wants to go to college, and for those that do want to go to college hire American students help American citizens out. Jobs for all abilities and talents instead of welfare or Government earned income, not needed with better pay. Supporting American Made, Fair and livable Made In The USA.

  19. Fyi. Note: Barr said he is going to to give certain congressmen and Senate folks an unedited report with exception to grand jury stuff.
    I just looked at it. Most of it isn't blacked out as Dems want all to think.
    It's a pretty clear report.

  20. If you people actually cared about rights, then why don't you hold Trump accountable for propping up the coup in Venezuela, supporting civil asset forfeiture, or continuing to support illegal regime change wars that get nothing as far as benefits go for the American people? I'll tell you why…it's because you think we will be stupid and not notice this?

  21. There's nothing to redact because the whole thing is a lie to convince the America public that the DOJ hasn't been running Trump from day one. Trump is being used to do the dirty work. Proof and purpose to the weaponized propaganda leaked in my profile.

  22. Democrats are urged to keep their TIN FOIL HATS
    for the followup Conspiracy of the Muellar Report
    to save on the carbon footprint required to melt down
    and reproduce new TIN FOIL HATS.

    Watch Lester Holt for details

  23. LOLOLOL. As a Canadian I have been able to sit back and enjoy the show America has created for the world.  Let me summarize what is so incredibly transparent for us who have at least half a brain.  This entire thing was a scheme to go after a guy who many people did not like and attempt to find something. Anything they could find to remove him from the presidency.  This was "the insurance policy" Andy McCabe spoke about.  After 2 years of attempts, they found nothing they could use.  Do not be so ignorant to think the media didn't also know this. They simply lied repeatedly, day after day to you American's and the world, suggesting there was collusion.  Now they are going to hinge their attempts to at least disrupt this man to the laughable notion that he tried to obstruct an investigation into a crime he never committed.  The media will continue to lie, and the morons in your country will continue to follow those lies.  Too entertaining to be missed.

  24. Watching these liberals reach for anything to substantiate their Russian Collusion Hoax is beautiful!!! CNN has lost 40% of their viewership overnight. MSNBC lost 30% of their viewership overnight!!! Beautiful

    Democrats have been caught with their pants down, and they look like idiots right now!!! They need to take a page out of yahoo's book. Don't publish anything regarding the, "Mueller Report." Yahoo has chosen to NOT add wood to the fire anymore by simply ignoring any coverage of the report.

    The best thing you all can do is NOT talk about this anymore however, as a Republican I hope you all continue to harp on about this subject. YOU ARE HANDING US 2020!!!!!

    Source: https://dailycaller.com/2019/04/09/msnbc-cnn-rachel-maddow-ratings-drop-april/

    Source: https://www.theepochtimes.com/cnn-ratings-continue-to-plummet-to-all-year-low_2883573.html

  25. This is like a bad call by Refs in Football! One team dancing around touting they won! The Replay ( Mueller Report ) will show the TRUTH!

  26. Watching the reaction and analysis from the media is so disturbing.  They are completely ignoring the reality that this was a fraudulent case that was instigated to disrupt a duly elected President of the United States.  They are seriously trying to imply that even though this is as clear as day, they still want to claim he handled it inappropriately if not criminally by not cooperating with an illegal investigation.

  27. Trump thought He was "F***d" . But as it turns out Democrats and Fake News got F***D every which way instead. Ha Ha Ha Ha !!!!!!!!

  28. FAT BOY IS A GREASY CRIMINAL…HE BEGGED FOR THE JOB LIKE A DESPERADO…HE IS A TRASH MAN WHO COVERS CRIMES…ALL SMART AMERICANS KNOW THIS GUY IS A STOOGE AND TRAITOR TO AMERICA.

  29. The font has a copyright and donald may not have obtained written permission from the owner of the copyright before him using it! Now donald can be sued for copyright infridgement when he leaves office!
    Yet another strike against donald!!!!

  30. MUELLER gave 4 reasons that prevented him from accusing Trump of a crime, even if Trump clearly committed one and they could prove it. Neil Catyal only gave the one reason about "fairness." ALL of them are on Page 2, which Mueller clearly spelled out BEFORE the rest of the report, so when anyone should read the report, they would understand from the beginning that Mueller was NOT going to accuse Trump of any crime, nor was he going to indict him, even if he could clearly prove it. READ the report, especially Page One and Two. Too many reporters today are talking poo-poo because they clearly have not read Mueller's most important first couple of pages in the whole report. READ it from the beginning, please, so you stop misleading the public. That only makes Barr's statements confusing, when they're clearly total BS… and have been for more than a month. Disgusting. He should resign now.

  31. Seems to me no matter what the Dems mantra of going to get that Trump is going to continue due to them being buttsore over their tin god Hillary not getting elected

  32. Thank God media doesn't run the country! They always have a negative critique of President Trump.. Media need to stop being a political weapon for the democrats. I wish Media would stop with the Identity Politics.. On sided debate..

  33. Will NBC be covering the future indictments of all of the corrupt Obama officials who perpetrated
    the Russia collusion hoax with as much vigor?
    BTW, where was your coverage last week of Obama's WH lawyer who was indicted?

  34. You guys are really celebrating a report with a bunch of black spots around words thar you can's see. Pyscho's in here!

  35. The truths will come out. Barr lied up there again for Trump! The truths will come out!1 Give it days into weeks and weeks into months. The truths will come out!!

  36. Did Fox News read a different report? They seem to think Trump has been vindicated. My Dad remembers WWII, he told me today that Trump acts exactly the same way Hitler did. This is completely unacceptable, Trump needs to be Impeached. America deserves a Government that follows the law instead of holding themselves above it!

  37. TRUMP~~ THE PRESIDENT FULL OF MIRACLES ~~ hold onto your hats, as Trump said, he's not worried!! SOoooo look out dumb demo, Trump is coming for YOU!!!
    🔴👍👍🔴👍👍🔴👍👍🔴👍👍🔴👍👍🔴

  38. The backstory on William Barr and why Trump snagged Barr out of retirement .
    The most significant single act of Barr’s career in the Department of Justice was to advise President George H.W. Bush to pardon six officials from Ronald Reagan’s administration for crimes associated with the Iran-Contra affair. The investigation led by independent prosecutor Lawrence Walsh was closing in on the president himself. Issuing the pardons killed Walsh’s investigation — and saved Bush. When the targets of the investigation were off the hook, Walsh had no leverage to continue.The architect of this pardon strategy was William Barr.

    The special counsel did not "exonerate" President Trump and implied that Congress should decide his fate.
     https://www.scribd.com/document/406729850/Redacted-Mueller-Report#from_embed

  39. MUCH ADO ABOUT NOTHING! The media (on the Left anyway) will draw this out forever – for one reason, and one reason only: ratings. That's it. If you think the all the fuss about the released report is about ANYTHING else but TV ratings, you are being played.

  40. Don't be stupid moron. There weren't any collusion. You people "Fate News" are haters. The Democrat are finish and that go alone with your fate news people.

  41. Fate News are very negative and untrustworthy for future references. American people do not trust these Fate News outlets. They're all work for George Soros.

  42. Barr is good but he is not GOD this man has known all along that the mulleur report will not hurt Trump it's going to help him and that's that

  43. Now Trump is going after the illegals that is coming into this country if you ask me I would tell not to come because this is not 💯 a good place to be it's not a place that I want to be here anymore for this is a country that you can get away with anything if you have money

  44. Reporters are such desperate idiots. They wanna be the Enemy of the People and lie lie lie. Shove the lies down our throats. There’s no collusion except by The Democrats!!!!

  45. No one man becomes a tyrant without his committed enablers.

    American citizens ELECT their representatives to Congress to make laws for them so their lives may be defined and protected by the rule of law. Some monarchical revisionist(s), not voted for by any citizen, sat at a corner office and thwarted that collective aspiration by putting in place a policy that puts the President above the law: The DOJ Rule!. You can't accuse the president and you can't indict a Seating President? What a distorted paradigm? So some Revisionist political hacks at the Department of Justice, (DOJ), for all practical purposes, have effectively taken us back to the era when the king was above the law, and could do NO WRONG. With the benefit of history, we know how that worked out.

    Now, this "coupe d' law" becomes the default by which we are negotiating these serious issues of corruption, felonies, abuse of power/office, obstruction of justice and treasonous actions of the president, his cronies and henchmen. And even after all the struggles to hold him accountable, he can pardon himself and his henchmen? This distorted logic has no place in a civilized world if America were a democracy. That's NOT how to hold as self-evident the TRUTH that all men are created equal; And that no one is above the law.

    Deal With This Vexing Issue of DOJ Rules Or Wave Bye-Bye To The Idea of American Democracy and Equality Before The Law. Q.E.D!!!

  46. "Rachel 'Mad Dog' Maddow is the Lezzy Borden of the 21st Century. He/she/it hates Trump and that's mucho bueno!"
    —Sheikh Raz-Matazz, Emir of Bootystan
    Director, U.N. Supreme High Commissioner for Titz and Twotz

  47. I love to watch the MSM these days. They basically look like headless chickens chasing geese in the yard. There is no collusion, so they decided to chase the obstruction narrative. They do not seem unaware that FISA warrants will be up next and will expose Comey`s crimes, thus validating his dismissal by President Trump. Comey was a bad cop working to unsit an elected president. What you are hearing now will fall apart just as everything else they spoke on Russia collusion for the past two years. Everything you heard on the Russia collusion was a waste of time, wasn`t it?

  48. First of all, and to make it clear, I do NOT have a dog in this fight. That been said it is ridiculous how all of this people ( fake news and minions ) accuse the AG of biased towards the US President. Mind boggling stuff. It is more than obvious that is something to celebrate the innocence of an innocent person. My guess, logic, its what lacks to all of you, the delusional, the biased, the narrowed mind. And than we wonder wy the fake news label.

  49. Trump is given away USA to Russia for his own personal gain. Trump has been a crook all his life, he thought running USA is the same as running his shady business……

  50. Lol NBC and the false and very fake narratives they push make watching them and CNN or ABC and MSNBC a real knee slapper when I need a laugh! Keep it up you morons.

  51. What the left is doing is the same thing they always do in a country , when they are attempting to shove communism down their throats

  52. That's hilarious, complaining that it's being said that there's NO "COLLUSION" in quotation marks, as if that's not PRECISELY what has been the accusation for over two long, VERY long years. I remember that speech by Comey regarding Hillary's emails, he gave a LITANY of reasons she should be immediately tried for treason, then assumed that no prosecutor would take the case. BS

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