Special counsel Bob Mueller did not draw a conclusion on obstruction of justice findings against President Donald Trump because he could not determine his “intent,” The Washington Post reports.
Mueller’s redacted report was released by the Department of Justice Thursday.
The report details that Mueller decided that he could not reach a conclusion on whether Trump obstructed justice in Mueller’s investigation because it was difficult to determine Trump’s intent and because some of his actions “could be interpreted innocently,” The Post reported.
“Because we determined not to make a traditional prosecutorial judgment, we did not draw ultimate conclusions about the President’s conduct,” the report states. “The evidence we obtained about the President’s actions and intent presents difficult issues that would need to be resolved if we were making a traditional prosecutorial judgment.”
“At the same time, 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. Based on the facts and the applicable legal standards, we are unable to reach that judgment. Accordingly, while this report does not conclude that the President committed a crime, it also does not exonerate him,” it says.
AG says Mueller investigated ‘10 episodes’ of obstruction:
Attorney General Bill Barr said at a news conference ahead of the report’s release that Mueller investigated “ten episodes” of potential obstruction of justice by Trump.
“The report recounts ten episodes involving the President and discusses potential legal theories for connecting these actions to elements of an obstruction offense,” he said.
“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,” he continued.
“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,” he added. “Instead, we accepted the Special Counsel’s legal framework for purposes of our analysis and evaluated the evidence as presented by the Special Counsel in reaching our conclusion. “
Mueller investigation continues:
Though Mueller’s team is done with their work and the final report has been released, we are far from the finish line.
Mueller referred 14 investigations to other offices, CNN reports.
“Special counsel Robert Mueller's team referred 14 investigations to other US attorney's offices, including the prosecution of Trump's former attorney Michael Cohen and Greg Craig, the Skadden Arps attorney who was indicted for lying to DOJ about work he had done for the Ukraine Ministry of Justice,” the network reported. “The other 12 investigations are redacted.”