The 10 Episodes Mueller Investigated For Signs Of Trump’s Obstruction

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April 18, 2019 12:11 p.m.

As Attorney General Bill Barr revealed during his Thursday morning press conference, special counsel Robert Mueller scrutinized 10 episodes to find possible evidence of President Donald Trump’s obstruction of justice.

While Mueller concluded that he did not have enough to charge Trump with obstruction charges, he added the caveat that the President was not exonerated.

Here are the situations he investigated:

1) Trump’s conduct concerning Michael Flynn and James Comey

In this section, Mueller delves into Trump’s famous “loyalty” conversation with former FBI Director James Comey, followed shortly by his comment about hoping Comey would “see your way clear” to letting former National Security Adviser Flynn go. It also hits Trump’s request of Deputy National Security Adviser K.T. McFarland to draft a memo stating that Trump did not tell Flynn to discuss sanctions with the Russians. 

2) Trump’s reaction to the Russia investigation

Mueller scrutinizes Trump’s anger over then-Attorney General Jeff Sessions’ recusal, Trump’s reaching out to intelligence agencies to push them to dispel the notion that the Russia meddling and his campaign were linked and his multiple attempts to contact Comey about the investigation.

3) Trump’s firing of Comey and the events leading up to it 

This episode centers on Trump’s decision to fire Comey even before the Department of Justice made its recommendation that he should be removed on the basis of his handling of the Clinton email probe. It also contains details of Trump’s subsequent public statements confirming that he got rid of Comey due to the pressure from the Russia investigation.

4) Trump’s reaction to the appointment of the special counsel and subsequent efforts to have him removed

Mueller investigates Trump’s response to the initial news of the special counsel’s appointment, specifically his immediate reaction that it was “the end of his presidency,” as well as his attempt to direct former White House council Don McGahn to terminate Mueller.

5) Trump’s efforts to curtail the special counsel’s investigation

This section contains details about Trump’s souring on Sessions and his push to first, get Sessions to publicly characterize the investigation as unfair, and later, to try to curtail the special counsel’s scope.

6) Trump’s efforts to prevent the public disclosure of emails about the June 9, 2016 Trump Tower meeting between Russians and senior campaign officials

This episode involves Trump trying to suppress emails about the infamous Trump Tower meeting and editing a press statement for Donald Trump Jr. to remove a potentially damaging line about the 2016 campaign.  

7) Trump’s efforts to get Sessions to reverse his recusal and take over the special counsel’s investigation

This point focuses on Trump’s multiple attempts to get Sessions to reverse his recusal and take charge of the special counsel’s investigation, including the detail that Trump told him he’d be a “hero” if he did. Sessions, of course, refused. 

8) Trump unsuccessfully pressures McGahn to deny that he tried to fire Mueller

Mueller delves into Trump’s many attempts to push McGahn to lie in response to media reports that he had directed McGahn to fire Mueller. McGahn also refused.

9) Trump’s behavior toward Flynn, Paul Manafort and a redacted person

The section centers on Trump’s personal attorneys making clear to Flynn’s team after he started working with the government that Trump felt very fondly towards Flynn and would appreciate a “heads up” on any information that would prove damaging to the President. It also contains details about Trump’s public fawning over his former campaign chairman Paul Manafort when it became clear he did not flip on him. The third person in this section is redacted. 

10) Trump’s abruptly changing behavior toward Michael Cohen

Here, Mueller investigates Trump’s shift in opinion of his former fixer Michael Cohen from praise, while he was lying on Trump’s behalf about the Trump Tower Moscow project, to fury when Cohen started cooperating with the government.

As a bonus, Mueller also mentions a few episodes that involve Trump’s campaign aides as well as the President himself, like when they sought information on any potential future WikiLeaks dumps. He also touches on Trump’s muddying of the timeline for Trump Tower Moscow and the President’s voiced concerns that the Russia meddling would make his election appear illegitimate.

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