The Roundup: May 23 – 29
Today, Robert Mueller made his first public statement since his two-year-long investigation began — and told the American people he could not clear Trump of a crime.
Instead, he redirected us to the evidence in his report, which confirmed there was a concerted effort by the Russian government to infiltrate and influence the 2016 election to help Trump win. The report established that the Trump campaign was receptive to and expected to benefit from Russian support, exposing over 140 links between the campaign and the Kremlin. This blatant attack on our democracy by a hostile foreign power should concern every single American.
The second part of the report described at least 10 acts of Trump obstructing justice to try and thwart the Mueller investigation, including ordering his staffers to lie and discouraging aides from cooperating with investigators by dangling pardons.
These are high crimes and if Trump were any other American, he would be heading to jail.
Mueller reiterated that the only reason he didn’t charge Trump himself was due to a longstanding Justice Department policy that prohibits indicting a sitting president — not because Trump is innocent.
Mueller’s remarks today were a call to action — to stand up for our democracy and hold Trump accountable. And we can do that by urging Congress to launch an impeachment inquiry.
It’s now up to Congress to fulfill its constitutional responsibility to hold Trump accountable. They must immediately open an impeachment inquiry to lay out the evidence of wrongdoing detailed in the Mueller report for the American people. Call your representative now and demand they publicly support nationally televised impeachment hearings.
It’s more important now than ever to cut through the lies and expose the full truth. Stay on top of the latest news right here:
NBC News: Mueller statement: Read the special counsel’s full remarks
Special counsel Robert Mueller made his first public remarks in two years, discussing his 448-page report on his investigation. Read Mueller’s full statement, as prepared for delivery.
The New York Times: Mueller, in First Comments on Russia Inquiry, Declines to Clear Trump
Special counsel Mueller characterized for the first time his investigation of whether Trump obstructed justice, saying “if we had confidence [Trump] did not commit a crime, we would have said so.” While Justice Department policy prohibits charging a sitting president with a crime, the Constitution provides for another process — a clear reference to the ability of Congress to impeach Trump.
AP News: Mueller: Special counsel probe did not exonerate Trump
Special counsel Robert Mueller believed he was constitutionally barred from charging Trump with a crime but pointedly emphasized that his report did not exonerate him.
House Judiciary Committee: Chairman Nadler Response to Special Counsel Mueller’s Statements on Conclusion of Investigation
“Although Department of Justice policy prevented the Special Counsel from bringing criminal charges against [Trump], the Special Counsel has clearly demonstrated that [Trump] is lying about the Special Counsel’s findings, lying about the testimony of key witnesses in the Special Counsel’s report, and is lying in saying that the Special Counsel found no obstruction and no collusion.”
Just Security: How Impeachment Proceedings Would Strengthen Congress’s Investigatory Powers
While it is true that the House has substantial powers of inquiry apart from impeachment, there is little doubt that initiating impeachment proceedings would strengthen its investigatory position considerably.
Politico: Why Trump’s Stonewalling Legal Strategy Will Keep Failing
We are witnessing profound legal decisions in defense of congressional power. If Trump’s stonewalling strategy was intended to run out the clock by forcing Democrats into interminable court fights, it appears so far to be having the exact opposite effect.
The New York Times: Barr Got More Power to Review the Russia Inquiry. Here’s What We Know About Its Origins.
As Trump tries to find evidence that he was the target of a political witch hunt, former and current intelligence officials are worried about the exposure of secret sources and sensitive methods. Here is what we know about the origins of the investigation.
Slate: William Barr’s New Authority to Declassify Anything He Wants Is a Threat to National Security
At Attorney General Barr’s request, Trump granted him carte blanche not only to obtain all “assistance and information” he desires in support of his “review” of intelligence activities related to the 2016 election, but also to declassify any information he chooses to—even if that information was originally classified not by the Justice Department but by the C.I.A. or N.S.A. Trump’s approach is out of sync with proper executive branch leadership and, more importantly, dangerous to American security.
CNN: Flynn’s case could prompt release of some redacted parts of Mueller report
Judge Emmet Sullivan of the U.S. District Court in Washington, D.C. set a Friday deadline for the Justice Department to make public unredacted portions of the Mueller report that pertain to Michael Flynn, plus transcripts of Flynn’s calls with former Russian ambassador Sergey Kislyak, and of a voicemail during which someone connected to Trump referenced Flynn’s cooperation.