What we’ve learned about Mueller’s probe?
Meet the man behind Russia investigation:
Special Counsel Robert Mueller arrives at his office building, Thursday,
March 21,2019, in Washington. Mueller has concluded his investigation
into Russianelection interference and possible coordination with
associates of PresidentDonald Trump. (Photo: AP)
(File photo: MSNBC)
Special counsel Robert Mueller on Friday turned over his long-awaited
final report on the contentious Russia investigation, ending a probe
that has cast a dark shadow over Donald Trump’s presidency with no new
charges but launching a fresh wave of political battles over the
On 22nd March, 2019, Attorney General Bill Barr received Special Counsel
Robert Mueller’s report, which symbolized the end of investigation into
Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election and possible
obstruction of justice by Trump.
Counsel Robert Mueller was appointed special prosecutor on May 17, 2017,
to investigate whether Russia interfered in the 2016 US election and
whether there was any “collusion” between the Russian government and
Trump’s presidential campaign.
On 24th March, Barr presented a summary of Mueller’s conclusions that
contained some sentences from Mueller’s final report, one of which
addressed the collusion issue directly: “The investigation did not
establish that members of the Trump campaign conspired or coordinated
with the Russian government in its election interference activities.”
Donald Trump regarded it as a “complete and total exoneration”, however,
the Democrats were greatly disappointed.
Finally, the 22-month investigation is complete.
“So many questions.”
Mueller has to submit the investigation to Congress through the Attorney
General William Barr, who has the power to choose whether to release the
full or partial report to Congress or even the public after receiving
In an exclusive interview with NBC News, former FBI director James Comey
said he was surprised that Mueller didn’t come to a conclusion on
obstruction of justice and left it to the attorney general. He said one
of the purposes of a special counsel is to make the tough call and not
pass it to political appointees such as the attorney general.
“So the idea that a special counsel wouldn’t reach the question and hand
it to the political leadership doesn’t make sense,” he said.
After forcing out Attorney General Jeff Sessions on November 7th,
President Donald Trump nominated William Barr to return to his role as
head of the Justice Department in January. Tuesday morning, President
Donald Trump’s attorney general nominee, William Barr, repeatedly sought
to reassure senators on Capitol Hill that he would not interfere with
special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation.
“I am not going to do anything that I think is wrong, and I will not be
bullied into doing anything I think is wrong,” Barr told the Senate
Judiciary Committee on the first day of confirmation hearings.
Trump’s line on the Mueller report takes a contrasting turn
Since Mueller has the authority to investigate any other relevant
potential violations found in the investigation, the public, the media
and Congress are anxiously waiting to learn how much Attorney General
William Barr will make public.
US President Donald Trump spent the last 18-plus months attacking the
investigation into Russian interference and the possibility of collusion
between his campaign and the Russians. Trump called the probe a “witch
hunt” more than 170 times, according to statistics maintained by CNN’s
own Marshall Cohen. He tried to raise questions about the political
motivations of Mueller, a lifelong Republican, and his investigators —
some of whom made contributions to Hillary Clinton’s presidential
campaign and other Democrats. Trump even went as far as to say the
investigation was illegal.
Since the investigation began, Mueller has charged 37 criminal
defendants, interviewed dozens of witnesses and subpoenaed terabytes of
documents, revealing that several members of the Trump presidential
campaign were not as innocent as they claimed.
Given the level of vitriol Trump — and his lead attack dog and lawyer
Rudy Giuliani — leveled at Mueller and the broader report, the
President finds himself in an odd situation: The investigation that he
spent so much time undermining has now turned out a result that is
broadly favorable to him.
In characteristic Trumpian fashion, he took to Twitter to overstate what
Mueller had found. “No Collusion, No Obstruction, Complete and Total
EXONERATION. KEEP AMERICA GREAT!” Trump tweeted. (Reminder: Barr,
quoting Mueller, said that the report “does not exonerate” Trump.)
Special counsel Robert Mueller in 2018 outlined for President Donald
Trump’s legal team more than 40 questions he planned to ask in a
possible interview with the president as part of his investigation into
Trump associates’ ties to Russia. The list of questions includes
inquiries related to Trump’s business dealings, his relationship with
Russia and his communications with ex-staffers who have since been
caught up in the probe.
“It’s interesting,” Mr. Trump told his supporters during his rally
Thursday in Michigan.“Robert Mueller was a god to the Democrats. He was
a god to them until he said ‘no collusion.’ They don’t like him so much
Earlier this month, amid expectations that Mueller is wrapping up his
investigation and preparing to send his findings to US Attorney General
William Barr within days or weeks, Trump attacked Robert Mueller’s
Russia investigation in a speech to conservative supporters ,calling the
probe “bullsh–” and claiming the special counsel was biased against
President Donald Trump talks with reporters before boarding Marine One
on the South Lawnof the White House, Friday, March 22, 2019, in
Washington. (Photo: AP)
President Donald Trump has criticized repeatedly Robert Mueller’s
investigation as a “witch hunt”.
Republicans and Democrats embrace Robert Mueller as special counsel
After handing in the report to the Justice Department, Mueller’s office
has remained silent. A spokesman for Mueller’s office said that Mueller
would end his service as special prosecutor “in the next few days,” and
the office would be closed.
Robert Mueller was the most influential and longest-serving FBI director
since J. Edgar Hoover himself, and someone who has settled since his
retirement from government in 2013 into being that rare
voice-beyond-reproach that companies and organizations recruit to lead
investigations when they need to tell shareholders or the public that
they’ve hired the most seasoned and respected person they can find,
someone who will pursue a case wherever it leads without fear or favor.
Barr has read Mueller’s “comprehensive” report and the Attorney General
sent a letter to House and Senate judiciary leaders Friday, informing
them that he “may be in a position to advise you of the special
counsel’s principal conclusions as soon as this weekend.”
A graduate of Princeton University and New York University, Mueller
served as a Marine Corps Officer during the Vietnam War, receiving a
Bronze Star for heroism and Purple Heart. After retirement, he attended
the University of Virginia School of Law. Mueller is a registered
Republican in Washington, D.C., and was appointed and reappointed to
Senate-confirmed positions by Presidents George H. W. Bush, Bill
Clinton, George W. Bush and Barack Obama.
A Justice Department official told CNN that distillation from Barr will
be made public. But it’s unclear how much of Mueller’s full work will be
seen by the public or when it will be released.
In 1989, Mueller served in the United States Department of Justice as an
assistant to Attorney General and as acting Deputy Attorney General.
President George W. Bush nominated Mueller for the position of FBI
director in 2001, and the Senate confirmed Mueller as FBI director,
voting 98-0 favor of his appointment. During his 12 years in office, he
has devoted himself to his work and shifted the FBI’s priorities from
defending domestic crimes to preventing terrorism.
Democrats are pushing for the full release of Mueller’s report as they
warned the White House against interfering with decisions about what
parts of Mueller’s findings or evidence are made public.
After leaving the FBI in 2013, Mueller served as a distinguished
lecturer at Satanford University, and focused on cybersecurity.
Afterwards, due to his contributions to public service, he received the
2016 Thayer Award from the United States Military Academy. In June 2017,
he received the Baker Award for intelligence and national security
contributions from the Intelligence and National Security Alliance.
In a joint statement, Senate Democratic Leader Chuck Schumer and House
Speaker Nancy Pelosi called upon Barr “to make the full report public
and provide its underlying documentation and findings to Congress.”
House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff said that his panel
was willing to subpoena Mueller, if needed, in order to have a clearer
picture of the contents of his final report.
The sense of mourning started to take hold over the weekend, after
Barr’s summary said the special counsel, had not found coordination
between Trump-Russia collusion.
Over the nearly two years of the Mueller investigation, a segment of
liberals and activists built up fervent hopes that it would bring Trump
down. For some of them, the report felt like a betrayal. To many others,
it was a disappointment.
The White House said in a statement Friday that it has not received or
been briefed on the special counsel’s report. “The next steps are up to
Attorney General Barr, and we look forward to the process taking its
course,” the statement added.
Source | CNN, Bloomberg, NBC News, Politico
Sources: CNN, Xinhua
Compiled by Chen Lidan, Han Xiaomeng, Yu Kaili and Liu Jingshan
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