We Don't Have Mueller's Full Report. How Can We Say It Exonerates Trump?
By: Kayla Pasacreta
When news got out on Friday that special counsel Mueller had finished his 2-year-long investigation on Russian interference in the 2016 election, everyone got their popcorn out. After all, we did wait 2 years for this sh**t.
As expected, Trump tweeted that the report gives him ‘total exoneration’:
However, Mueller literally said the exact opposite.
While the report has yet to be released publicly, we did get an ‘executive summary’ from William Barr, Donald Trump’s appointed Attorney General (we’ll pick holes with this later). For now, this is what Barr’s executive summary told us:
The investigation did not establish that members of the Trump Campaign conspired or coordinated with the Russian government in its election interference activities. Essentially, no direct evidence of collusion. Note the careful distinction of no coordination with the Russian government, instead of Russian political operatives, who we (publicly) know members of the Trump Administration were in contact with during the election.
Mueller also did not exonerate Trump on obstruction of justice - he left that up to AG William Barr and Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein. These two ultimately decided that there is not sufficient evidence to prosecute Trump for obstruction of evidence.
Trump never had to sit down for an interview with Mueller, even though CNN reported Saturday that Mueller’s team debated giving Trump a subpoena for an interview. We can assume that since Mueller never got far enough to find direct evidence of collusion, he never needed an interview with Trump.
The end of Mueller’s investigation shifts focus to the one being done by Trump’s hometown, the Southern District of New York (SDNY). Yes, this is the district Cohen mentioned several times during his Congressional hearing. SDNY is investigation a series of probes involving the President, including campaign finance violations and his inaugural committee. Notably, SDNY is ‘fearless’ and unafraid to go after high-profile individuals.
All in all, we have to admit that for now - the report is a W of sorts for Trump. However, the American people deserve to see the full report, not a condensed summary from Trump’s hand-picked Attorney General
. After all, we’re not really buyin’ that everyone around Trump is a criminal and he’s not.