Mueller Report Excerpts: Live Analysis

POSTED AT 11:51 AM

On several occasions, the president directed aides not to publicly disclose the emails setting up the June 9 [2016] meeting, suggesting that the emails would not leak and that the number of lawyers with access to them should be limited. Before the emails became public, the president edited a press statement for Trump Jr. by deleting a line that acknowledged that the meeting was with ‘an individual who [Trump Jr.] was told might have information helpful to the campaign’ and instead said only the meeting was about adoptions of Russian children. When the press asked questions about the president’s involvement in Trump Jr.’s statement, the president’s personal lawyer repeatedly denied the president had played any role.

This confirms a New York Times report in July 2017 that disclosed that the president had helped draft the misleading statement made by his son Donald Trump Jr. and pushed for a version that did not reveal the true nature of the meeting. That The Times learned of the meeting at the time shook the president at the time and was a key factor in what was a tumultuous summer for the White House.
— Maggie Haberman

POSTED AT 11:48 AM

Both men believed the plan would require candidate Trump’s assent to succeed (were he to be elected president.) They also discussed the status of the Trump campaign and Manafort’s strategy for winning Democratic votes in Midwestern states.

This suggests that Russia was trying to influence the Trump campaign to support a plan that would have allowed Russia to control part of eastern Ukraine, which would have been a huge victory for the Kremlin. Mr. Manafort had shared internal campaign polling data with the Russian associate before their Aug. 2, 2016, meeting — and for some period afterward, the report said.
— Sharon LaFraniere

POSTED AT 11:44 AM

In early summer 2017, the president called Sessions at home and again asked him to reverse his recusal from the Russia investigation.

The president instructed Donald F. McGahn II, the White House counsel, in 2017 to tell Attorney General Jeff Sessions not to recuse himself. The president wanted an attorney general who would shield the president, and his efforts to put Mr. Sessions back in charge of the Russia investigation showed he actively interfered in Mr. Sessions’s recusal as a possible act of obstruction.
— Adam Goldman

POSTED AT 11:40 AM

While the investigation identified numerous links between individuals with ties to the Russian government and individuals associated with the Trump Campaign, the evidence was not sufficient to support criminal charges. Among other things, the evidence was not sufficient to charge any Campaign official as an unregistered agent of the Russian government or other Russian principal. And our evidence about the June 9, 2016 meeting and WikiLeak’s release of hacked materials was not sufficient to charge a criminal campaign-finance violation.

Mr. Barr repeatedly said that the president’s campaign did not collude with Russia. Mr. Mueller’s report offers a more nuanced definition. He writes not that there was ample evidence of contacts between the Trump campaign and Russia as it carried out its social media influence and hacking campaigns, but rather that the evidence was not strong enough to support bringing criminal charges.
—Nicholas Fandos

POSTED AT 11:38 AM

Papadopoulos suggested to a representative of a foreign government that the Trump Campaign had received indications from the Russian government that it could assist the Trump campaign through the anonymous release of information that would be damaging to Hillary Clinton.

It has long been known that Mr. Papadopoulos, a young campaign aide, was told that the Russian government had “dirt” on Mrs. Clinton. This goes much farther, and helps explain why the F.B.I. investigated members of the Trump campaign in 2016. Mr. Papadopoulos appeared to suggest an explicit offer by the Russian government to work with the Trump campaign to sabotage Mrs. Clinton.

— Matt Apuzzo

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