Trump bid to choke off Russian Federation probe

The Mueller Report: Watch Live Stream of AG William Barr's Press Conference

William Barr says Mueller found 10 cases of possible Trump obstruction ahead of report's release

The US Department of Justice (DOJ) has released Special Counsel Robert Mueller's "Report On The Investigation Into Russian Interference In the 2016 Presidential Election", publishing the massive 448-page report on the website.

Some of those "episodes" amounted to "targeted efforts to control" the probe, such as Trump's firing of James Comey, the former Federal Bureau of Investigation director.

"Special Counsel Mueller's report paints a disturbing picture of a president who has been weaving a web of deceit, lies and improper behavior and acting as if the law doesn't apply to him", they said in a joint statement.

Special counsel Robert Mueller's Russian Federation report, in redacted form, is due out on Thursday in a multi-stage process. The more detailed report to be made public on Thursday could provide fodder for some Democrats to renew the push to try the president for high crimes and misdemeanors but they are unlikely to be successful because Trump's Republican Party controls the Senate, which would decide the president's fate.

Democrats cried foul as Barr held a press conference just before the release - "spinning the report" in the words of Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer.

"As the special counsel's report acknowledges, there is substantial evidence to show that the president was frustrated and angered by a honest belief that the investigation was undermining his presidency, propelled by his political opponents and fueled by illegal leaks", Barr added. This is bad. This is the end of my presidency.

"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", his report said.

For his part, President Trump stuck to his talking points today.

"That is the bottom line", Barr said.

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President Donald Trump to Calexico, California, as seen in Mexicali, Mexico April 5, 2019. A child looks through the border wall during the visit of U.S.

"I'm fucked", the Mueller report said.

Flash forward to Thursday, and Trump celebrated the report's release, telling the audience at an unrelated White House event that he was having "a good day, too". The message: Sessions would publicly call the investigation "very unfair" to the president, declare Trump did nothing wrong and say Mueller should limit his probe to "investigating election meddling for future elections".

He told reporters that "no collusion" had been found between the Trump campaign and Russian Federation - repeating the phrase that the president himself has used many times.

The New York Times reported earlier Wednesday that the Justice Department had discussed the report with the White House on several occasions in the lead-up to Thursday.

Nadler also said that he had asked Mueller to appear before the Judiciary Committee to testify on his findings.

Barr also said that the president "was frustrated and angered by a honest belief that the investigation was undermining his presidency, propelled by his political opponents and fueled by illegal leaks".

Standing alongside Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein, the attorney general said Mr. Trump held a "sincere belief" that Mueller's investigation was hindering his ability to perform his duties as commander-in-chief. It described an episode on June 17, 2017, when Trump called White House Counsel Don McGahn at home to direct McGahn to have the Special Counsel removed.

Over the scope of the investigation, Mueller's team issued convictions or indictments against Trump's former national security adviser, Michael Flynn, former campaign chairman, Paul Manafort, and former personal lawyer, Michael Cohen.

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