On Wednesday, the House Democrats have the opportunity to breathe life into the Müller report. Relatively few Americans have read the 448-page document, in which Special Representative Robert Mueller came to the conclusion that the Trump campaign and Russia did not conspire or coordinate the elections in 2016, and also declined to decide whether President Trump was elected or not disabled justice. Democrats know that the report has not created public imagination, and they hope the nation's attention will be drawn to bringing Mueller to Capitol Hill for questioning.
"Not everyone reads the book, but people will see the movie," a judiciary A committee official told Politico's Playbook.
Müller's statement is split between the Judiciary Committee and the House's intelligence committee. The judiciary will focus on Volume II of the report, which deals with allegations of disability, and the intelligence service will continue to pursue Volume I through conspiracy and coordination.
Democrats in the Intel committee will have a harder time, since conspiracy or coordination could not be established. So it's likely that most eyes are on the judiciary. Many Democrats and many in the press believe that the Müller report has proven that the president is obstructing the judiciary. The report listed a series of episodes of potential disability, and according to press reports, the Judiciary Committee will recently focus on the top five, according to Democratic Aides.
"Democrats … intend to intensively deal with five of the most blatant" episodes of possible legal impediments Mr. Muller has documented, "the New York Times reported on Saturday." They contain Mr. Trump's instruction to the former White House lawyer, Donald F. McGahn II, to dismiss Mr Müller and then publicly lie. His request that Corey Lewandowski, a former campaign manager, Attorney General Jeff Sessions calls for regaining control of the investigation and the limitation of its scope and possible manipulations by witnesses, the two adjutants, Paul Manafort and Michael D. Cohen, from cooperation to hold with investigators. "
It's unclear whether there are actually five topics or just three major topics with additional subtitles. However, many Democrats believe they can overpower Trump." A committee Democrat has promised NBC that the hearing of Muller "It will highlight truly shocking evidence of the president's criminal misconduct ̵
But will it? It could be that the Müller hearing, rather than a slam-dunk case against the president to present for obstruction of the judiciary will make it clear how poor, in need of interpretation and difficult it really is to prove Muller's allegations.
What is not there?
The first thing in the election The evidence by the Democrats stands out is that which is not included. If the news is right, the dismissal of FBI director James Comey will be in the media Once treated as Exhibit A for the case of disability, these are not among the episodes that Democrats will highlight. Also the talks between Trump and Comey that Comey wrote down in his famous memos, including a lecture in which Trump allegedly told Comey to spare Michael Flynn – another episode routinely debated in the media as solid evidence of disability. Also, the president's efforts to publicize the public story of the June 9, 2016 Trump Tower meeting – another incident often referred to as disability.
It is also important that the Müller investigation was actually not obstructed by the President, and the previous investigation of the FBI Trump-Russia was also not. In the report, Muller often argued that this or that act, such as the dismissal of Müller, could have hindered the investigation if it had actually taken place. That did not do it. The Democrats' allegations of disability will actually be allegations of attempted disability.
Finally, it should be remembered that Muller has never been able to prove that the underlying crime he investigated – conspiracy or coordination between the Trump campaign and Russia – actually took place. At the Wednesday hearing, Democrats will present an investigation that was not hindered by a crime that investigators could not detect.
And one more thing: The Müller report includes a long section headed "Legal defense of the application of disability" -Of-Justice statutes to the president. "The section contains convincing arguments against the allegations of the report on disability, but the arguments are legitimate, some rather complicated, and it is important to take into account that the inquiry into the Judiciary Committee is not a legal, but a political one Legislators are not prosecutors, but members of Congress, some of whom try to sue the President, it is a purely political process, and it is a political decision whether or not to impeach, so much of the legal analysis becomes The defenders of the president can take sensible defensive measures that appeal to the vast majority of Americans – about 324 million – who are not lawyers.
In any case, the Democrats are determined to keep going, and di The hearing of Muller will attract Washington's attention. Here's a look at the areas Democrats want to highlight:
1. Trump and Firing Muller
In the first few months of Trump's presidency, Comey privately told the President that he, Trump , in the Russian investigation not personally examined. One of the main reasons why Trump dismissed Comey was that Comey did not say the same thing to the public and in fact left the public impression that Trump was being investigated. This led to an endless cycle of negative press coverage that irritated Trump without end.
The Mueller report claims that Trump's behavior changed dramatically from June 14, 2017, when the Washington Post reported that Mueller – less than a month in office – had personally investigated Trump for obstructing justice. It was then, Müller suggests, that Trump began obstructing the disability investigation, including ordering Müller's dismissal. This is the brief summary of the Special Envoy on the event:
The Acting Attorney General appointed a Special Representative on May 17, 2017, requesting the President to announce the end of his presidency and Attorney General meetings could not protect him and should resign. Sessions submitted his resignation, which the president ultimately did not accept. The President told senior advisers that the Special Adviser had conflicts of interest, but replied that these allegations were "ridiculous" and did not hamper the Special Adviser's service. Ethics officials from the Ministry of Justice have also cleared the Special Counsel's service. On June 14, 2017, the press reported that the President had been personally investigated for obstructing the judiciary, and the President responded with a series of tweets in which he criticized the Special Counsel's investigation. This weekend, President McGahn called and ordered him to remove the Special Counsel for alleged conflicts of interest. McGahn did not carry out the order out of fear of being seen as the trigger for yet another massacre on Saturday night and instead was prepared to step down. McGahn finally did not give up, and the president did not follow McGahn's request to have the Special Counsel removed.
Mueller reports that Trump was deeply angered by the appointment of Mueller, believing that he was a Special Counsel, limping his presidency and making it politically impossible to govern. In one of the most frequently reported scenes in the report, Trump was in the Oval Office when he learned of the appointment. "Oh my god, that's terrible," Trump said, according to the report. "This is the end of my presidency, I'm nuts."
Trump almost immediately began to tell his staff that he believed the new special adviser Müller had conflicts of interest. Just days before, Trump interviewed Müller for the position of FBI director. Trump also said that Müller's law firm represented a few people close to Trump. And the president said there had been a dispute over membership fees when Müller was with Trump's golf club in Virginia. The Ministry of Justice ruled that Mueller did not have conflicts that prevented his service, but Trump insisted that Mueller come into conflict.
Trump and several employees discussed the possibility of firing Mueller. Then came the 14th of June and the postal report. Three days later, on June 17, the report said Trump had called "McGahn and ordered him to remove the Special Representative" – the central act of alleged disability that the House's Justice Democrats want to present.
Trump had called McGahn twice a day. During both calls, Müller says that Trump "instructed [McGahn] to have the special lawyer removed". Mueller's evidence for what he says – and thus for the claim of disability – comes exclusively from McGahn. "On the first call," Müller wrote, "McGahn recalled that the president said something like," You have to do that. You have to call Rod. "
These words – Trump" said something like "- do not arouse confidence in the correctness of the following quotes." And you have to do that. They Must Call Rod "are the only quotes or semi-quotes that Mueller quotes from the first call on The report states that McGahn told the president he would see what he could do, but in fact McGahn" did not intend to to respond to that please.
Later, Trump called again to follow in. In this call, McGahn recalled that the president was more direct and said, "Call Rod, tell Rod that Müller has conflicts and can not be the special lawyer. "That's another semi-quote -" said something like that. "But Mueller says McGahn too," the President recalled, telling him, "Mueller has to leave," and "call me back if you do." Mueller says McGahn "left the president with the impression that McGahn would call Rosenstein," but had no intention of doing so, and just tried to get Trump off the phone.
McGahn did not call Rosenstein, instead shouting He called his personal lawyer and later his chief of staff and told them he had decided to resign. I would not tell the chief of staff what Trump wanted because he wanted to stop them, according to Mueller.
Later that day, McGahn called the then White House chief of staff, Reince Priebus, and the then White House to adviser Steve Bannon to tell them he intended to resign, again McGahn said neither Priebus nor Bannon what Trump wanted, though Priebus remembered McGahn told him that the president had asked him "to do crazy shit".
There was no third call from Trump; The President did not follow anything he told McGahn. McGahn did not step back. Rosenstein was not called. Müller did not step back. The investigation continued unhindered.
In late November and early December, McGahn began an extensive series of interviews with Müllers prosecutors. At the end of January 2018, the New York Times, quoting "four people told by the affair," published a story entitled "Trump ordered Muller to be dismissed, but to resign when the White House lawyer threatened to quit."
On February 5, 2018, Trump said, according to Mueller White House Secretary Rob Porter, that he, Trump, believed McGahn had leaked to the media. Trump wanted Porter to tell McGahn "to make a recording to make it clear that President McGahn has never instructed to dismiss the Special Representative." The president, who focused on the word "fired" because it was in The Times headline, wanted McGahn to "write a letter in the file" for our records. " Porter brought the President's message to McGahn, who "shook off" the request, according to the message. "McGahn told Porter that the President insisted on dismissing the Special Representative," the report said, citing an interview with Porter.
On February 6, Trump McGahn called for a meeting with John Kelly in the Oval Office until then the chief of staff. McGahn had a detailed reminder of this meeting. McGahn recalled that the president said: "I never said that I should fire Müller. I never said that I should fire. & # 39; This story does not look good. You have to correct that. You are the lawyer of the White House. "
McGahn said he told the President that the Times report on the firing order was correct." The President asked McGahn: & # 39; I have the word & # 39; Fire said, "The report said." McGahn replied, "What you said is, 'Call Rod, tell Rod that Mueller has conflicts and can not be a special lawyer."
I never said that, "Trump said again, according to McGahn's report," The President said he just wanted McGahn to raise the conflict problem with Rosenstein and leave him to decide what to do, "the report said. McGahn told the President he did not understand the conversation that way and instead heard: "Call Rod. There are conflicts. Muller has to leave, "the report said, quoting McGahn's report again, and Trump asked McGahn to" make a correction, "and McGahn declined.
Kelly, who was in the meeting, was barely mentioned. But the report says that Kelly remembered that McGahn had told him, Kelly, that he, McGahn, had really "had this conversation" about Müller's dismissal, later reporting to Mueller, "The president's personal lawyer has McGahns Lawyer called and told him that it's the president's good & # 39;
That's pretty much the sum total of the claim that Mueller is blocking fires.
In any case, in which he claims disability, Müller analyzes the story in the light of the "three basic elements [that] the most relevant Disabilities laws are common. "They are:" (1) an obstructive act; (2) a link between the obstructive act and an official procedure; and (3) a corrupt intent. "
Müller argues that if Trump had fired Muller, it might have been a hindrance, because even if the shootout had merely resulted in the investigation being continued under a new prosecutor, In addition, if the investigation had taken place, the investigation might have had some delay and, if it had happened, it might "cool down" the actions of a replacement Special Representative, but of course the shooting did not happen.
Mueller also argues that Trump's request to McGahn to make a record denying that Trump had ordered him to shoot Mueller could have been a hindrance if it had had "a natural tendency to prevent McGahn from testifying truthfully. "But by this time, McGahn had already told his story to Mueller's prosecutors.
Mueller expresses his confidence in McGahn's report because McGahn had a" clear memory "of the matter and was" a credible witness with no motive to lie or exaggerate. " . "What evidence Mueller found from other sources was consistent with McGahn's report, Mueller says.
Regarding a link with an official trial, Muller said that Trump "knew that his behavior would be investigated" by a prosecutor – Müller – who was able to provide evidence to a large jury. Therefore, there was a connection.
Regarding corrupt intentions, according to Mueller, there is "substantial evidence" that Trump tried to remove Mueller because Mueller was investigating Trump's behavior. On the other hand, Müller notes that by the end of January 2018, when the Times story was published, "there is some evidence that … [Trump] believed he had never told McGahn that Rosenstein should remove the Special Representative. "
" The President told Priebus and Porter that he had not tried to terminate the special lawyer, "the report said," and at the Oval Office meeting with McGahn, the President said, "I've never tried To fire Müller. I never said "fire". "This evidence may indicate that the president was not trying to persuade McGahn to change his story, but instead offered his own – but different – reminder of the substance of his talks with McGahn and McGahn in June 2017."  Mueller dismisses that statement in the next paragraph and says the evidence shows that Trump really tried to fire Mueller and that Trump's position "runs counter to the evidence".
But of course the judicial committee of the house is not a court of law. While the Democrats will argue that Trump is guilty of obstruction in the McGahn-Mueller affair, Republicans will have a substantial defense: shooting never happened. The investigation was not hindered. Trump could have answered the phone calls (which he did every day), and maybe there was a misunderstanding between the President and McGahn. It is not uncommon for Donald Trump to say one thing and one person around him to hear another. Given that Müller relied so heavily on McGahn's statements, such a misunderstanding could become the centerpiece of the claim. And, of course, there was no underlying crime of conspiracy or coordination as to what the investigation should be about.
Given this, it is hard to believe that the Democrats can convince even in a performance of Müller anyone who already believes that Trump is guilty of disability. Others may be baffled by the complexity of the case. If Democrats want to turn the Müller report into a movie, it will be a very complicated movie.
2. Trump, Lewandowski and Sessions
On the Democratic agenda for the hearing of Mueller, if the news is correct, the President's request states that "Corey Lewandowski" Attorney General Jeff Sessions is in control This is basically a continuation of Trump's disappointment with Trump's extension of the garbage probe.
According to the report, on June 19, 2017, two days after phone calls with McGahn, the President met with Lewandowski in the Oval Office. In this meeting, Mueller, "Trump dictated a message to the Prosecutor General's Office, which could have limited the investigation of Russia only on future election impairments." Lewandowski, said Müller, "wrote as quickly as possible to make sure he recorded the content correctly."
Trump wanted Lewandowski to forward the message to Sessions, which she then sent as a public statement. This is what Trump Lewandowski said he should say sessions:
I know that I have withdrawn from certain things that had to do with certain areas. But our POTUS … is treated very unfairly. He should not have a special prosecutor because he did not do anything wrong. I spent nine months campaigning with him, there were no Russians involved in him. I know because I was there. He did not do anything wrong, except that he led the biggest campaign in American history. Now a group of people wants to undermine the United States Constitution. I will meet with the Special Prosecutor to explain that this is very unfair and to urge the Special Prosecutor to investigate interference in elections for future elections so that nothing happens in future elections.
Lewandowski arranged a meeting with Sessions to deliver the message, but sessions were canceled, according to the report, "due to a last-minute conflict." A month passed and Trump did not tell Lewandowski. During this time, Lewandowski, Rick Dearborn, a White House official who used to work for sessions, decided to ask for the message.
On July 29, 2017, Trump and Lewandowski met again and Trump inquired about the status of his now months long request. "Lewandowski told the president that the message would be delivered soon," the report said. A short time later Lewandowski met Dearborn and gave him the message for Sessions. Dearborn later told Mueller that, according to the report, he felt uncomfortable being "asked to serve as an ambassador for meetings". He decided not to relay the message to sessions and later told Lewandowski he had "handled" the situation. As with the fire-fighting situation, Trump apparently let go of the matter.
The Lewandowski affair was another act of alleged disability that did not occur. The message was not delivered. The investigation was not hindered.
The question also arises as to what Trump's dictated message really meant. Trump wanted Sessions to say that "he would let the Special Prosecutor investigate interference in future elections so that nothing could happen in future elections." Mueller says that should "limit the jurisdiction to future election impairments". Mueller continues: "The President's directives indicate that sessions have been instructed to inform the Special Representative that the ongoing investigation into the President and his election campaign should be discontinued." The Special Representative was allowed to investigate interference in elections for future elections advance. "
It's a confusing part of the report. How to investigate on the one hand "future election impairments"? And did Trump tell Lewandowski to tell Sessions to "stop Müller's ongoing investigations into the president and his election campaign"? Trump's words could just as well be interpreted as intentions to allow the continuation of Russia's investigation, which could prevent future interference. One might conclude that Trump also meant that he would forbid Muller to continue investigating the alleged obstruction of justice, but of course that did not happen. Trump once mentioned it. He waited a month and brought it back up. Then he dropped it.
The problem with the Lewandowski charge, which Democrats apparently consider one of the strongest against the president, is that it is cloudy. It's just not clear what the president meant when he dictated the message that Lewandowski Sessions should transmit via Müller. In the political forum of a session of the House Judiciary Committee, Republicans will probably be able to ask so many questions about the episode that it does not seem to decipher the whole thing.
3. Trump, Manafort, and Cohen
The final area that Democrats of the Judiciary Committee will highlight concerns statements that Trump has made mostly in public to Manafort and Cohen. Democrats will argue that they represent witness manipulations.
On October 27, 2017, Muller filed an indictment of Manafort for various allegations, none of which involved a conspiracy or collusion between Russia and the Trump campaign. Citing an interview with Gates, who participated in the investigation, the Mueller report states that Manafort Gates announced in January 2018 that he had talked to the president's personal lawyer and they would "look after us On several occasions, Trump publicly criticized the prosecution and supported Manafort. Most of Trump complained that Manafort was treated unfairly. Trump was not the only one who took that view. Some observers who did not defend Manafort's conduct – He was convicted of tax evasion for millions of dollars of income – he was still disturbed by actions such as the FBI's early morning raid on a search warrant at Manafort or the detention of Manafort in solitary confinement.
Mueller also suggests that Trump and his lawyer Rudy Giuliani Manafort file an apology for Manafort's refusal to work with Mueller. Later, during the trial of Manafort, Muell It is believed that Trump's statements on Twitter should influence the jury.
As far as Cohen is concerned, Müller spends many pages trying to pinpoint when the Moscow Trump Tower project died and what Cohen told the Congress about it, and what role, if anything, did Trump play? Muller also talks about positive things Trump said about Cohen when it turned out Cohen was not working with the authorities, and as Trump called Cohen a "rat," when he decided to join in the investigation, hoping to get one to receive shorter prison terms.
On the testimony of the Trump Tower in Moscow, Muller concluded that "the evidence before us does not prove that President Cohen led or supported false testimony." When asked to call Cohen a "rat" – many observers noted that Trump's language evoked images of gangsters – Muller wrote that the evidence "could support a conclusion that the president was using incentives in the form of positive messages to support them Cohen did not want to cooperate and then turned to attacks and intimidation to prevent information from being made available or undermine Cohen's credibility once Cohen began co-operation. "
Possibly. Anyone who has finished Mueller's analysis of Manafort's and Cohen's statements will be impressed by how much of the guesswork in Müllers speculation has flown over Trump's motives. At the Wednesday hearing, Republicans are likely to argue that everyone, including a president, has the right to point out unfair treatment. In a broader sense, they will argue that prosecutors can be overly criticized and that everyone, including a president, has the right to criticize a public prosecutor's office without being prosecuted. As with the other topics, the debate is likely to jump back and forth between the legal argument and the rational argument.
Müller's hearing on disability is sort of a second choice for Democrats. Before the Müller Report was published, many firmly believed that it would prove the existence of a conspiracy or coordination, commonly referred to as collusion. When that did not happen, the Democrats and their media allies turned to the issue of disability, with some citing the disability as a reason for recalling Trump.
Their strategy did not spark public outrage. Now Democrats are trying to make a film about Müller's findings in order to gain public attention. But some movies bombard. Without the kind of solid, indisputable evidence they can sell to the public, Democrats are on the upswing, no matter how much attention Müller's hearing on Wednesday attracts.