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The Mueller Report and Donald Trump; An Analysis - Part 7: Obstruction - The Evidence: The Attempted Firing of Mueller

Updated on July 7, 2019
My Esoteric profile image

ME has spent most of his retirement from service to the United States studying, thinking, and writing about the country he served.

Donald Trump in the Cross-Hairs

Until Donald Trump fired James Comey "because of Russia", he was not personally being investigated by the FBI counterintelligence unit. But on May 17, 2017, Rod Rosenstein, the acting attorney general for Russia matters, appointed Robert S. Mueller, III as Special Counsel. He "authorized him to conduct the Russia investigation and matters that arose from the investigation."

The appointment was a direct result of the firing of the FBI director and the cloud of obstruction of justice that resulted. Now, Donald Trump, as a consequence of his own actions, was now the subject of an investigation; one of those unintended consequences from not thinking through decisions deeply enough and not listening to your advisors and councils.

Getting from Not Being Investigated to the Focus of Attention

It didn't take long, really:

  1. On May 9, 2017, Donald Trump fired FBI Director James Comey
  2. From May 10, 2017 until May 17, 2017, there was a hue and cry over the firing accusing Trump of obstructing the Russian investigation
  3. On May 17, 2017, acting Attorney General for Russian matters Rod Rosenstein, a Trump appointee, appointed Robert Mueller, a Republican and former FBI director, to take over the FBI's investigation into Russia's interference in America's elections and possible obstruction of justice by Donald Trump.

In just a little more than a week, Trump went from not being the subject of an FBI investigation to being the subject of a Special Council's investigation. Quite a feat.

So, with lesson in mind, what does Trump do next? Immediately begin a two-year campaign to get rid of the Special Council.

Obstructive Acts - Evidence

On May 17, 2017, Acting Attorney General Rod Rosenstein appointed Robert Mueller as Special Council to take over the FBI investigation into Russian interference in our elections "and any related matters" (such as obstruction of justice for firing Comey). Upon learning of this decision, Trump said "Oh my God. This is terrible. This is the end of my Presidency. I'm fucked." and then continued to bemoan what this investigation will do to his presidency as well as castigate AG Sessions for his recusal decision and that " 'you were supposed to protect me,' or words to that effect." It was at this point where Trump told Sessions he should resign (a potential obstructive act) and Sessions complied by giving Trump a letter of resignation. Trump ultimately did not accept it, but held on to the letter anyway. That action concerned Chief of Staff Priebus and Steve Bannon because of the implicit threat being held over Sessions head. Priebus said "Priebus said the President had "DOJ by the throat." Finally, under pressure from Priebus, Trump did return the letter.

Nevertheless, Trump pressured McGahn to contact Rosenstein about Trump's allegations of Mueller's conflicts. McGahn refused and said "that he could not make such a call and that the President should instead consult his personal lawyer because it was not a White House issue." followed up by "that he would suggest that the President not make such a call [to Rosenstein] either."

Worse, McGahn told Trump that "that his "biggest exposure" was not his act of firing Comey but his "other contacts" and "calls," and his "ask re: Flynn." Trump was on clear notice that his actions were wrong within days of Robert Mueller's investigation began.

In the middle of all of this the FBI ordered White House council Don McGahn to preserve all evidence regarding the firing of James Comey. McGahn immediately told staff not to process burn bags.

On June 8, 2017, ex-director James Comey testified before Congress and reported on attempts by Trump to gain his personal loyalty. "let Flynn go," and to "lift the cloud".

On June 9, 2017, the Special Counsels office told the White House it was going to talk to the Intelligence Community about Trump's reported attempts "to push back against the Russia investigation".

On June 12, 2017, Christopher Ruddy, longtime friend of Trump and chief executive of Newsmax Media, met with Trump and others who told him that he was still "strongly" tempted to fire Mueller and to do so without any input from staff. Ruddy asked Priebus, who was at the meeting, if he could report this news and was given the go-ahead. Ruddy did and it upset Trump in the process.

On June 13, 2017, Trump's personal counsel (apparently Trump ignored McGahn's advice) contacted the Special Counsel about the supposed "conflicts". That same day, Rosenstein testified that "he saw no evidence of good cause to terminate the Special" Counsel , including for conflicts of interest."

On June 14, the press reported that Trump was under investigation. Shortly thereafter, Trump began his campaign to discredit Robert Mueller and the investigation. First by publicly saying Mueller had "conflicts of interest" and was "conflicted"1 and later by direct attacks on the investigators character.

The next day Trump began a series of tweets about the investigation that have not ended as we are half way through 2019. His opening broadside was

"They made up a phony collusion with the Russians story, found zero proof, so now they go for obstruction of justice on the phony story . Nice" "You are witnessing the single greatest WITCH HUNT in American political history-led by some very bad and conflicted people! " and "Crooked H destroyed phones w/ hammer, 'bleached' emails, & had husband meet w/AG days before she was cleared - & they talk about obstruction?"

On June 16, 2017, Trump followed up with:

"After 7 months of investigations & committee hearings about my ' collusion with the Russians,' nobody has been able to show any proof. Sad!"; and "I am being investigated for firing the FBI Director by the man who told me to fire the FBI Director!2 Witch Hunt."

On June 17, 2017, Trump ordered Don McGahn to fire Robert Mueller, he wanted McGahn to tell Rosenstein the "Muller had to go". McGahn demurred. Trump pressed and pressed until McGahn decided he had no option but to resign because he would not do Trump's bidding. He drove to his office to pack his bags and told his chief of staff, Annie Donaldson, of his decision - but not why. Donaldson could guess the general outline3 and was prepared to depart with McGahn. McGahn also told Priebus and Bannon he was resigning, but again not why - they thought to protect them. Both urged McGahn not to resign to which he acquiesced. McGahn never told Trump he was resigning and Trump finally dropped the issue.

1 The so-called conflicts were investigated by DOJ and found not to be material.

2 Of course that is not true because Trump decided to fire Comey long before they brought DOJ into the picture.

3 Trump had called Donaldson several times and on at least one occasion had asked her "had he [McGahn] done it?"


Nexus - Evidence

The Nexus for this obstructive act is simple - Trump wants to fire Mueller (the obstructive act) and Mueller is leading the investigation into Trump - 'nuf said.

Corrupt Intent - Evidence

Did Donald Trump know firing Mueller was wrong? What evidence is there of that. Probably the strongest piece is when Don McGahn told him "that the President could discuss the issue [Trump's accusations of Mueller's 'conflicts'] with his personal attorney but it would "look like still trying to meddle in [the] investigation " and "knocking out Mueller " would be "[a]nother fact used to claim obst[ruction] of justice."

There are other examples of when Trump was told what he is doing is wrong, but I will leave it at the above.

Analyzing the Attempted Firing of Special Counsel Robert Mueller

Obstructive Act - Analysis

To be an obstructive act, it must be reasonable that the act, even though not carried out, will or could interfere with an official federal investigation. In this case, the obstructive act was the attempted firing of the Special Counsel, Robert Mueller.

Mueller had been appointed by Rod Rosenstein after Trump had fired James Comey, then the director of the FBI who headed up an ongoing investigation into the Trump Campaign, their connection with the Russians, and the Russian interference. Mueller's job was to 1) take over Comey's investigation and 2) begin possible obstruction charges against Trump; a new investigative path resulting from Trump's actions.

Nexus - Analysis

Again, this was not convoluted. Robert Mueller had just been appointed by Rod Rosenstein to investigate Donald Trump for obstruction of justice. He was also appointed to take over the counter-espionage investigation that James Comey was heading up that was looking into Trump's Campaign and its involvement with the Russian attack on America's political system as well as the Russia attack itself. Mueller was running an official investigation likely to lead to an official proceeding grand jury) or prosecution.

The investigation just started so how do you get to a "proceeding"? To do this "it would be necessary to establish a nexus between the President's act of seeking to terminate the Special Counsel and a pending or foreseeable grand jury proceeding"

Had Trump been successful, the firing of Mueller would at the very least hampered this investigation, and therefore any subsequent "proceeding". But being successful isn't necessary to form such a nexus, just the attempt is all that is needed.

Corrupt Intent - Analysis

Mueller reports that "Substantial evidence" exists to indicate that Trump's attempts to remove the Special Counsel were linked to Mueller's investigation of Trump's conduct and to reports that he was being investigated for potential obstruction of justice." The evidence presented above shows Trump was well aware that his acts were probably wrong. Nevertheless, he tried to have Mueller removed anyway via Don McGahn; which McGahn would have quit before doing. Mueller concludes with "Instead of relying on his personal counsel to submit the conflicts claims [as McGahn had suggested], the President sought to use his official powers to remove the Special Counsel."

There is no question left that Mueller thought Trump had obstructed justice in trying to have Mueller removed.

© 2019 Scott Belford

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    • bradmasterOCcal profile image

      Brad 

      5 weeks ago

      Scott

      That is BS, look at what you do on James AGW article.

      And you commented on Loretta Lynch and not it is out of scope for you.

      You got nothing.

    • My Esoteric profile imageAUTHOR

      Scott Belford 

      5 weeks ago from Keystone Heights, FL

      Brad, I limit my responses to you to things that are on-topic, i.e. the Mueller report, and to correct factual errors or misinformation about the report. So your diversion to things like Lorreta Lynch will not be responded to whether they are correct or not.

    • bradmasterOCcal profile image

      Brad 

      5 weeks ago

      Loretta Lynch refuses to explain prosecution decision on ...

      [Search domain www.washingtontimes.com/news/2016/jul/12/lynch-refuses-explain-decision-clinton-emails/] https://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2016/jul/12/l...

      Jul 12, 2016 · Loretta Lynch refuses to explain prosecution decision on Clinton emails. Facing irate Republicans on Capitol Hill, Ms. Lynch repeatedly passed the buck to others in the Justice Department, saying that while she announced she wouldn't pursue charges against Mrs. Clinton, the decision was made by the FBI and career prosecutors and she had no public thoughts on the matter.

    • bradmasterOCcal profile image

      Brad 

      5 weeks ago

      Scott

      "“While I greatly appreciate you informing me, on three separate occasions, that I am not under investigation, I nevertheless concur with the judgment of the Department of Justice that you are not able to effectively lead the bureau,” Mr. Trump said in a letter to Mr. Comey dated Tuesday."

      B: According to Comey Trump wasn't under investigation, so he fired him for concurring with the DOJ recommendation. And the democrats wanted Obama to fire him in October of 2016.

    • bradmasterOCcal profile image

      Brad 

      5 weeks ago

      Scott

      I answered all of these in my comments to you.

      Once again, those comments included the Mueller Report word for word. I responded to Muellers opinions he wrote in Vol II.

      You didn't read my comments, you just skimmed without understanding.

      There was not a single item or reference from Fox.

      Stop making these things up.

      Facts that are not evidence don't matter.

      Today is Thursday, July 11, 2019. That is fact, and even a court would take judicial notice of that fact. But it isn't evidence of anything!

      I ask you once again to spend more time on your answers.

    • My Esoteric profile imageAUTHOR

      Scott Belford 

      5 weeks ago from Keystone Heights, FL

      "The day of the firing, the White House maintained that Comey's termination resulted from independent recommendations from the Attorney General and Deputy Attorney General that Comey should be discharged for mishandling the Hillary Clinton email investigation." - SINCE YOU haven't read the Mueller report, you missed the fact that Mueller proves that statement is one of Trump's 10,000 lies and false statements.

      FACTS matter, Brad. "When he first closed the investigation, it was the DOJ that was supposed to say whether Hillary Clinton would or wouldn’t be charged. " is totally FALSE. All Comey did was "recommend" no prosecution; DOJ made the final determination not to prosecute. You should read unbiased, truthful news and not listen to Fox and other Trump media outlets.

      "We know from the Mueller Report Volume I that Trump was totally exonerated on the Russia Trump influence on the 2016 election. ' - NO, WE don't know that. All we know for sure is there wasn't ENOUGH evidence to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that a conspiracy occurred. (I am surprised, however, that he didn't indict Manafort for conspiracy as there seemed to be enough evidence of it.) HOW MUCH evidence there is, we may never know because his flunky Bill Barr is hiding a lot of the report from the public's eyes.

      "And to make this case by Mueller, he would have to use that original document." - I SUSPECT he has such documents, but his flunky Bill Barr won't let people see it. Since Mueller is a professional prosecuted and you are not, he definitely knows more about the law than you do. In fact, since I prosecuted 60 - 70 cases for the Army, I know more about the law than you do.

      " that would be one of the many defenses against the obstruction possibility that Mueller is leaving in a cloud." - TRUE, BUT we all know that there is no need for an underlying crime for someone to obstruct justice.

      "In addition, when Mueller indicted them Rod Rosenstein said the election was not influenced by them and NO Americans were involved with them. " - THEN ROD was wrong, wasn't he? If you had read the Mueller report you would have seem many examples of where Americans were involved with the Russians, mostly unwittingly.

    • bradmasterOCcal profile image

      Brad 

      5 weeks ago

      Scott

      Don't answer this one until you answer my previous comments that remain unanswered.

      ------------------

      B30 to B33

      B30: Apparently it is OK for the FBI director, James Comey to lie to the president of the United States. Of course the Comey knew that Trump had been under investigation since July 2016. That was when George Papadopoulos ” meeting with Alexander Downer, the top Australian diplomat to the United Kingdom, where he commented about the claim that Russia had Clinton’s emails, triggered the FBI’s investigation into Trump’s presidential campaign.

      Papadopoulos while in the Trump presidential campaign, never had access to Trump.

      M31: The day of the firing, the White House maintained that Comey's termination resulted from independent recommendations from the Attorney General and Deputy Attorney General that Comey should be discharged for mishandling the Hillary Clinton email investigation.

      B31: As FBI James Comey was assuming control of much more than he was legally allowed to in the Hillary Clinton investigation. When he first closed the investigation on Hillary Clinton early in 2016 and said no prosecutor would file charges against Hillary Clinton in the email investigation, the democrats in congress applauded Comey. Yet, when he reopened the investigation weeks before the election, those same democrats wanted him fired.

      When he first closed the investigation, it was the DOJ that was supposed to say whether Hillary Clinton would or wouldn’t be charged. Comey claimed he had to do it because Loretta Lynch the AG had conflict of interest because of the Lynch and former President suspicious tarmac meeting days before the investigation closed. But, there was still and deputy AG that could have and should have made the decision.

      Why didn’t Muller investigate Loretta Lynch and former president Bill Clinton for obstruction, fraud, and influencing the 2016 election? The election was influenced because Hillary Clinton should have been indicted and that would have changed the election. It seems that Comey twice cleared Hillary Clinton under circumstance that should have been investigated but now Mueller is using the firing of Comey as a circumstance to contend it as obstruction.

      We know from the Mueller Report Volume I that Trump was totally exonerated on the Russia Trump influence on the 2016 election. Trump knew he hadn’t done anything criminal, and that would be one of the many defenses against the obstruction possibility that Mueller is leaving in a cloud.

      M32: But the President had decided to fire Comey before hearing from the Department of Justice. The day after firing Comey, the President told Russian officials that he had "faced great pressure because of Russia," which had been "taken off' by Comey's firing. The next day, the President acknowledged in a television interview that he was going to fire Comey regardless of the Department of Justice's recommendation and that when he "decided to just do it," he was thinking that "this thing with Trump and Russia is a made-up story."

      B32 Mueller provided this account in his report, but what is needed is the actual document that Muller is referencing here. The statement he mentions is the day before he publicly mentions anything about firing Comey.

      In the law there is a concept that is called the best evidence rule, which basically says that if some document is referred to as evidence, then it is the best evidence. In this case what we have is hearsay. And to make this case by Mueller, he would have to use that original document.

      There is nothing wrong with the conversation and the investigation as it really turned out to be a hoax did hamper the president from doing his job.

      Once again, on the day of his firing Comey told the president he wasn’t under investigation and that would ground any obstruction charges. Why, because it removes the firing from the investigation, and it points to the reason that president Trump fired Comey.

      It was OK to fire Comey when the democrats said he didn’t handle the Hillary Clinton email investigation properly, but why then should it not be OK for the president to fired Comey over that same Hillary investigation?

      M33: In response to a question about whether he was angry with Comey about the Russia investigation, the President said, "As far as I'm concerned, I want that thing to be absolutely done properly," adding that firing Comey "might even lengthen out the investigation."

      B33: Mueller can’t be serious that these statements by president Trump could possibly be used to be evidence of obstruction.

    • bradmasterOCcal profile image

      Brad 

      5 weeks ago

      Scott

      Another diversion, I asked you to think about your response, and this is what happens when you don't do that.

      As for this diversionary response that precluded discussing all the arguments that I made in the last several comments doesn't answer any of them. You can't summarily dispose of them with this opinion.

      "1) the Russians interfered with our elections,

      B:

      All Mueller did was to indict 13 Russians and until he gets a guilty verdict on them, it is just his opinion. They have pleaded Not Guilty, and even the Russians get the American presumption of innocence.

      In addition, when Mueller indicted them Rod Rosenstein said the election was not influenced by them and NO Americans were involved with them. That should have concluded his investigation on Trump. The only reason to continue the investigation was to get political advantage for the democrats. The investigation should have been concluded in the summer before the 2018 election, and by extending it to March 2019 was simply to allow the new democrat house to get into power. There was no information from the summer to March 19 that justified the investigation continuing.

      -----------------------------------------------

      2) there wasn't ENOUGH evidence to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that people in the Trump Campaign CONSPIRED with the Russians, and

      B: As Rosenstein stated there were NO Americans involved with the 13 indicted Russians, and yet Mueller didn't conclude the investigation.

      When did Mueller first realize that there was no Trump Russian influence? He should have known when he took to special counsel appointment.

      -----------------------------------------------

      3) that he wasn't allowed to charge Trump with obstruction and that he COULD NOT find Trump innocent of obstruction. SO your "innocence" myth is bunk."

      B:

      So the American legal presumption that you are presumed Innocent until proven guilty in a court of law is a myth?

      By not indicting Trump for obstruction, Trump remains innocent until proven guilty in a court of law. Mueller is not the court of law, and he didn't as I have shown you here repeatedly Mueller didn't have any evidence, much less evidence beyond a reasonable doubt.

      --------------------------------

      ""Where is your proof? President Trump said the opposite," - THAT is just one more of Trump's 10,000 lies and false statements. As to proof, google it. Only the right-wing media quotes the myth"

      B:

      What I gave you was a legal point. Trump made the statement public and that is direct evidence, McGhan testimony was hearsay, with no exception.

      This is not a myth it is the law. The real myth is that democrats are Americans and uphold the laws of America.

      --------------------------------------

    • My Esoteric profile imageAUTHOR

      Scott Belford 

      5 weeks ago from Keystone Heights, FL

      "Where is your proof? President Trump said the opposite," - THAT is just one more of Trump's 10,000 lies and false statements. As to proof, google it. Only the right-wing media quotes the myth.

      "Again, we now know that the president was innocent of the charge of Russian Trump Influencing of the 2016 presidential election." - ANOTHER right-wing myth. Mueller said three things 1) the Russians interfered with our elections, 2) there wasn't ENOUGH evidence to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that people in the Trump Campaign CONSPIRED with the Russians, and 3) that he wasn't allowed to charge Trump with obstruction and that he COULD NOT find Trump innocent of obstruction. SO your "innocence" myth is bunk.

    • bradmasterOCcal profile image

      Brad 

      5 weeks ago

      You made zero points by cherry picking. And if you would notice, I used the Mueller report verbatim.

      S: ""It also should be noted that discharging Mueller on the ground of a conflict would not have terminated the Russia collusion investigation " - THAT is just a right-wing myth.

      B:

      How would it have terminated the investigation, all Rod Rosenstein had to do as they said is appoint another special counsel. Mueller hadn't been there long. And you disregarded my comment on Hearsay.

      The investigation wasn't affected and it didn't prove Trump was guilty of anything. What the 5 investigations did was to hamper President Trump in doing his job.

      -----------------------

      That wasn't why Mueller was there - he wasn't looking for a job nor did he want to be the FBI director again."

      B:

      Where is your proof? President Trump said the opposite, when did Mueller refute that? And it was after Trump said he turned down Mueller for the FBI director, that Mueller met with Comey before Comey's hearing with congress. And out of that hearing they appoint Mueller? This smacks of conflict of interest.

      -----------------------

      B:

      You need to spend some more time making your arguments. This certainly is not a response to my several comments. And it is hardly an argument, more of an opinion without substance. Mueller like Hillary is just trying to save face after failing.

      -------------------------

      here are some more, please take your time and get it right!

      " M27: In the following days, the President reached out to the Director of National Intelligence and the leaders of the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) and the National Security Agency (NSA) to ask them what they could do to publicly dispel the suggestion that the President had any connection to the Russian election-interference effort.

      B27: Again, we now know that the president was innocent of the charge of Russian Trump Influencing of the 2016 presidential election. Mueller was the one that exonerated him, and here he knows that president Trump is asking his intelligence agencies to prove that he is not connected, and that is reasonable because he is only asking for the truth.

      M28: The President also twice called Comey directly, notwithstanding guidance from McGahn to avoid direct contacts with the Department of Justice.

      B28: Now Mueller is inferring that the president has crossed some line that infers obstruction. McGahn works for the president not the other way around. While McGahn can advise the president, the president can ignore that advice. To do otherwise would impact the constitutional power of the president.

      Mueller and the democrats in congress are trying to make McGahn their witness as the now fired McGahn is talking with them. The assertion of Attorney Client Privilege between a president and the White House counsel doesn’t have a SCOTUS decision and the lower courts are split.

      M29: Comey had previously assured the President that the FBI was not investigating him personally, and the President asked Comey to "lift the cloud" of the Russia investigation by saying that publicly.

      B29: Actually this statement was not made publicly, it was from a phone call between the president and Comey. He said he made notes of the conversation and that would be hearsay, and it would beg the question of why? Also, what were his motives and did he record them as part of official FBI records?

      “Trump made the appeal in a previously unreported March 30 phone call to Comey that is documented in the former FBI director’s written testimony released by the Senate Intelligence Committee one day before his appearance before the panel.

      During the phone call, Trump described the Russia investigation “as ‘a cloud’ that was impairing his ability to act on behalf of the country,” according to Comey’s written testimony.”

      Note: The key here is unreported!

      "

    • My Esoteric profile imageAUTHOR

      Scott Belford 

      5 weeks ago from Keystone Heights, FL

      "Whether Mueller had a conflict of interest that should have disqualified him from serving as special counsel is hotly debated, " - THE ONLY debate is coming from you. DOJ and no issues and that is who rational people believe.

      "It also should be noted that discharging Mueller on the ground of a conflict would not have terminated the Russia collusion investigation " - Clearly you haven't read Mueller's report for he addresses that very point and finds the investigation would have been impeded which is enough to qualify for an obstructive act.

      "It also should be noted that discharging Mueller on the ground of a conflict would not have terminated the Russia collusion investigation " - THAT is just a right-wing myth. That wasn't why Mueller was there - he wasn't looking for a job nor did he want to be the FBI director again.

      "What makes it more interesting is that they had already failed to find any Russia Trump collusion in four congressional investigations. " - UNTRUE, they hadn't come to ANY determination then.

      "As has been incorrectly reported by the Fake News Media, I never told then White House Counsel Don McGahn to fire Robert Mueller, even though I had the legal right to do so." - JUST ONE more of Trump's 10,000 lies and false statements.

    • bradmasterOCcal profile image

      Brad 

      5 weeks ago

      And when you get through these two, you can start on this one.

      " M23: In response to a question about whether he was angry with Corney about the Russia investigation, the President said, "As far as I'm concerned, I want that thing to be absolutely done properly," adding that firing Corney "might even lengthen out the investigation."

      B23: Once again this is a statement that works for president Trump and not against him. He said he was doing the right thing, and even though it might even lengthen the investigation which it in fact was true.

      M24: The appointment of a Special Counsel and efforts to remove him. On May 17, 2017, the Acting Attorney General for the Russia investigation appointed a Special Counsel to conduct the investigation and related matters. The President reacted to news that a Special Counsel had been appointed by telling advisors that it was "the end of his presidency" and demanding that Sessions resign.

      B24: This is interesting as it doesn’t mention any of Robert Mueller’s involvement in not only getting a special counsel, but with him being appointed as special counsel.

      Mueller doesn’t mention president Trump rejecting him for his old job to replace Comey as FBI director. It doesn’t mention that it would be a conflict of interest to take the job as special counsel under those circumstances. Even though it is called special counsel, does it mean that it shouldn’t also mean, “Independent” counsel as well?

      It also doesn’t mention that after being rejected for the FBI director position by president Trump that Mueller met with the fired James Comey days before Comey was to appear before congress. Why wasn’t that meeting investigated as Comey had already leaked FBI confidential information to the press?

      The reason that Comey told congress that he leaked the information was to get congress to appoint a special counsel. That makes it more important to have investigated what actually went on in the Comey Muller meeting.

      Congress didn’t investigate it, and congress didn’t do anything about the fired FBI director leaking FBI information to the press for it criminal matter. What actually then was the basis of the democrats that warranted them into telling the DOJ to appoint a special counsel. What were the reasons they gave to do this investigation. What makes it more interesting is that they had already failed to find any Russia Trump collusion in four congressional investigations. This seemed to be a democrat plan to get political advantage from yet another investigation. They had boasted from the day after Trump won the presidency that they would resist him. And what better way to resist him then to put a political cloud over his head.

      We now know the truth that this Mueller investigation of the Hillary DNC allegation of Russian Trump collusion was never true, and it wouldn’t have warranted the appointment of Mueller or any other special counsel. For Mueller to mention it here without the additional background that I gave here is misleading and has no bearing on obstruction.

      People would be smarter than trying to find obstruction on an investigation that was fabricated and started only to give the democrats a fabricated reason to get a political advantage for influencing the 2018 and 2020 elections.

      M25: Sessions submitted his resignation, but the President ultimately did not accept it. The President told aides that the Special Counsel had conflicts of interest and suggested that the Special Counsel therefore could not serve. The President's advisors told him the asserted conflicts were meritless and had already been considered by the Department of Justice.

      B25: Volume I of the Mueller report makes president Trump’s statement here a factual truth. And I have already given my information that also supports what Trump said here.

      M26: On June 14, 2017, the media reported that the Special Counsel's Office was investigating whether the President had obstructed justice. Press reports called this "a major turning point" in the investigation: while Corney had told the President he was not under investigation, following Corney's firing, the President now was under investigation. The President reacted to this news with a series of tweets criticizing the Department of Justice and the Special Counsel's investigation. On June 17, 2017, the President called McGahn at home and directed him to call the Acting Attorney General and say that the Special Counsel had conflicts of interest and must be removed. McGahn did not carry out the direction, however, deciding that he would resign rather than trigger what he regarded as a potential Saturday Night Massacre.

      B26: We should now know once again from Mueller’s report that president Trump and not McGahn was doing the right thing. President Trump was working with the knowledge that he didn’t do anything wrong and the whole investigation of him was created by the democrats, and the pres"

      --------------------------

      Donald J. Trump

      @realDonaldTrump

      As has been incorrectly reported by the Fake News Media, I never told then White House Counsel Don McGahn to fire Robert Mueller, even though I had the legal right to do so. If I wanted to fire Mueller, I didn’t need McGahn to do it, I could have done it myself. Nevertheless,....

      4:47 AM - Apr 25, 2019

      ---------------------------

      Donald J. Trump

      @realDonaldTrump

      ....Mueller was NOT fired and was respectfully allowed to finish his work on what I, and many others, say was an illegal investigation (there was no crime), headed by a Trump hater who was highly conflicted, and a group of 18 VERY ANGRY Democrats. DRAIN THE SWAMP!

      4:57 AM - Apr 25, 2019

      -----------------------------

      Note: This is evidence of what Trump was thinking. The Don McGahn testimony to Mueller is hearsay, with no exception to the rule.

      -----------------------------

    • bradmasterOCcal profile image

      Brad 

      5 weeks ago

      "The evidence presented above shows Trump was well aware that his acts were probably wrong."

      When you finish trying to refute my last argument, then look at previous sentence from your article.

      "probably wrong" is hardly beyond a reasonable doubt is it?

      ---------------------------------------

      Something else to consider about the alleged Mueller firing.

      "The Mueller Report says, initially, that “[o]n Saturday, June 17, 2017, the President called McGahn and directed him to have the Special Counsel removed.” But if you keep reading, that description is wrong. Rather, Trump “directed him to call Rosenstein and say that Mueller had conflicts that precluded him from serving as Special Counsel.” Trump told McGhan to make an argument to Rosenstein, not to deliver an order to Rosenstein. Mueller gets it right the second time when he refers to the president’s “order to call the Department of Justice.”

      Whether Mueller had a conflict of interest that should have disqualified him from serving as special counsel is hotly debated, but in any event, it was not unreasonable for President Trump to hold the view that he had a conflict. Nor was it unreasonable for him to consider it possible that Rosenstein could be persuaded that that opinion was correct. I don’t see anything wrong with dispatching his White House counsel to take the matter up with Rosenstein.

      It also should be noted that discharging Mueller on the ground of a conflict would not have terminated the Russia collusion investigation (just in case you had forgotten what it was that Mueller was supposed to be investigating). If Rosenstein had removed Mueller on the ground of a conflict, he would have appointed a different special counsel and the investigation would have continued."

    • bradmasterOCcal profile image

      Brad 

      5 weeks ago

      Scott

      These people may be professionals but they have no business in this matter. It is just their opinion, it doesn't mean anything. And that applies to Mueller as well, it is just his opinion and even he calls it "potential" while the former prosecutors call it guilty?

      And you have made any compelling arguments to refute mine.

      ------------------

      M20: Within days, the President decided to terminate Corney. The President insisted that the termination letter, which was written for public release, state that Corney had informed the President that he was not under investigation. The day of the firing, the White House maintained that Corney's termination resulted from independent recommendations from the Attorney General and Deputy Attorney General that Corney should be discharged for mishandling the Hillary Clinton email investigation.

      B20: The key here is that the president states that Comey had told him that he was not under investigation on the day he fired Comey. This would exonerate the president from any obstruction charges for firing Comey.

      Another fact is that Comey did mishandle the Hillary Clinton email investigation. And that was twice in 2016, The democrats first cheered Comey when he ended the Hillary investigation saying he wouldn’t prosecute. This was a mishandling because his job as FBI director was merely to recommend to the AG and it was not his decision, yet he made it.

      Then weeks before the election Comey reopened the Hillary Clinton email investigation based on the FBI southern district finding hundreds of thousands Clinton emails on a Anthony Wieners laptop computer. This laptop was shared with his wife Huma Abedin and Comey had known about these emails for the past month.

      He had the FBI quickly dispatch investigating the enormous amount of email in a week and once again closed the investigation. This didn’t make the democrats happy and they wanted him fired. It was only later when Trump fired him that the democrats said he was fired for obstruction.

      Neither congress nor Mueller investigated why Comey held onto the information of these emails for a month, and even more questionable why it only took a week to dispatch them. We still don’t know much about these emails, or how or why they were on Wiener’s shared computer. Why didn’t Mueller investigate this as part of why Trump fired him?

      Also, the people that work in the executive branch work at the pleasure of the president. And by questioning the president’s decision to fire Comey they have made it a political question.

      The White House even gave a reason for firing Comey because the congress made it look political and an obstruction. The reason that they gave was valid as Comey did mishandle the Clinton investigation. Why didn’t Mueller investigate Comey for obstruction of justice in not indicting or even calling a Grand Jury for the Hillary Clinton investigation?

      M21: But the President had decided to fire Corney before hearing from the Department of Justice. The day after firing Corney, the President told Russian officials that he had "faced great pressure because of Russia," which had been "taken off' by Corney's firing.

      B21: The fact that the president fired Comey wasn’t based on timing, it was based on James Commey and his lack of performance in the job. Of course the Russia Trump influence was a problem. That problem was created by the Hillary Clinton and the DNC making accusations that their DNC emails were hacked. As if the Russians and Trump colluded on it. Yet, the US intel agencies bought their allegations of being hacked without any of these agencies actually verifying it. All the 17 US intel agencies together came up with the same level of confidence on the same allegation, and yet none of them actually got on the DNC email servers and verified it themselves. That became the Hillary and DNC genesis of the Russian investigation.

      The FBI director James Comey was heavily involved in perpetrating this lie against the president while obstructing justice from finding Hillary Clinton guilty of her sending and receiving classified government information in emails using her private unprotected email server. And that was the reason that president Trump fired him.

      M22: The next day, the President acknowledged in a television interview that he was going to fire Corney regardless of the Department of Justice's recommendation and that when he "decided to just do it," he was thinking that "this thing with Trump and Russia is a made-up story."

      B22: The public statement by president Trump shows that he had nothing to hide from in firing James Comey from the FBI. Once again, people in the executive branch serve at the pleasure of the president. And it was a mistake for president Trump to have not fired him when he became president.

      Why would Mueller think this is something that is a problem for Trump, as Mueller’s Volume I of his report proves Trump’s statement here as not only a fact, but true.

    • My Esoteric profile imageAUTHOR

      Scott Belford 

      5 weeks ago from Keystone Heights, FL

      I'll take some of your more original questions:

      "These psychoanalysts, and former federal prosecutors have no legal standing, it is just their EXPERT PROFESSIONAL opinion."

      "but now once again we know that president Trump knew he was innocent" - THAT is your wishful thinking, we know no such thing.

      " or is he lying to congress now by declining to answer." - DECLINING to answer, which is FBI guidance, is not lying, obviously - that is just you distorting things

      "Comey must have known that there was no evidence to implicate the president." - NO, we don't know that either. All we know for sure at that point in time is that there was not SUFFICIENT evidence to make Trump a target.

      "The question is why would he be personally investigated after Comey originally said he was not, what had changed if anything." - THAT depends on what you are talking about. If it is what caused Rosenstein to kick off the investigation into Trump, it was the firing of Comey, an obstructive act.

      "congress didn’t seem to care that Comey while fired had leaked FBI information about the president to the press. " - ACTUALLY, Comey didn't "leak" anything.

      "Why didn’t Mueller investigate Comey, " - THAT wasn't Mueller's instructions. He did look into whether the FBI's original investigation was valid and he tells you in the report that it was.

    • My Esoteric profile imageAUTHOR

      Scott Belford 

      5 weeks ago from Keystone Heights, FL

      Yeah, I know, I have said my piece since he won't have anything new to add.

    • bradmasterOCcal profile image

      Brad 

      5 weeks ago

      Scott

      You didn't answer my arguments on that you just repeated your opinion.

      These psychoanalysts, and former federal prosecutors have no legal standing, it is just their biases opinion.

      "There is no question left that Mueller thought Trump had obstructed justice in trying to have Mueller removed."

      B:

      Thinking is not evidence!

      Put some thought into your comments!

      -------------------------

      M18: The President also twice called Comey directly, notwithstanding guidance from McGahn to avoid direct contacts with the Department of Justice. Corney had previously assured the President that the FBI was not investigating him personally, and the President asked Comey to "lift the cloud" of the Russia investigation by saying that publicly.

      B18: This would have been suspicious of the president at the time, but now once again we know that president Trump knew he was innocent, and now we know from the Mueller exoneration that he is totally innocent. That makes what president Trump did as perfectly reasonable.

      Also, the DOJ and MeGahn and Comey work for the president and not the other way around. McGahn is paid to advise, but the president is feel to ignore that advice. Comey must have known that there was no evidence to implicate the president.

      M19: The President's termination of Comey. On May 3, 2017, Comey testified in a Congressional hearing, but declined to answer questions about whether the President was personally under investigation.

      B19: In M18 Comey had previously told the president that the FBI was not investigating him personally. Did Comey lie to the president then, or is he lying to congress now by declining to answer.

      This is James Comey who the president fired talking to congress, and it seems he wants congress to take the implication that president Trump is being personally investigated. The question is why would he be personally investigated after Comey originally said he was not, what had changed if anything.

      While Comey would answer the question of whether president Trump was being personally investigated, congress didn’t seem to care that Comey while fired had leaked FBI information about the president to the press. Why wasn’t Comey investigated for criminal activity based on his leaking to the press? Why didn’t Mueller investigate Comey, as all we have seen so far is that Mueller is taking whatever Comey is saying as a truth?

    • Randy Godwin profile image

      Randy Godwin 

      5 weeks ago from Southern Georgia

      Well said, Scott! You're wasting your time arguing with Brad. He doesn't care if Trump obstructed justice.

    • My Esoteric profile imageAUTHOR

      Scott Belford 

      5 weeks ago from Keystone Heights, FL

      What you seem to not get, Brad, is that Mueller wouldn't have indicted Trump if he had incontrovertible proof he murdered somebody. He can't because the DOJ says he can't and unlike Trump, Mueller follows the rules.

      I find it amazing that:

      1. 27 mental health care professionals of all types who are TOPS in their field write a book titled "The Dangerous Case of Donald Trump" who find that Trump is dangerously mentally ill in several regards.Yet you have the presumption to imply with "This is just like your drive by psychoanalysis of the president by so called professionals that have no ethics." that you know more than they do and to rule on their ethical behavior, which they go in great detail to explain if you had taken the time to read their book.

      2. Then you do the same with over 1,000 now former federal prosecutors who actually read the Mueller report, applied the elements of proof, and using their professional experience, of which you have none, to determine they would indict Trump for obstruction of justice with a high certainty they would win. Yet you declare "This was followed by the 800 former prosecutors that initiated an open letter to proffer their political opinion that President Trump is guilty of Obstruction. Which goes further than Mueller when he called them Potential Obstruction" when you know very well that Mueller was not allowed to do more than that.

      As I have said, it is not my job in this article to make any case whatsoever, I just present what Mueller found and draw conclusions from that.

      It is your responsibility to rebut each instance of an obstructive act and show how it is NOT obstructive, and how the obstructive act, if it exists does NOT have a nexus to a federal investigation, and if both of those are found, then how the examples Mueller offers as Corrupt Intent actually are NOT corrupt intent.

      That needs to be done in your own hub and not as a comment here.

    • bradmasterOCcal profile image

      Brad 

      5 weeks ago

      Scott

      The fact is that he didn't indict Trump, and he calls the 10 obstructions as "Potential Obstructions". And Congress won't be able to find any evidence of these potential obstructions, and certainly not evidence beyond a reasonable doubt.

      You and the rest of the left ignore the presumption of innocence, and on the charges of Russian Trump collusion or any attempt to influence the election, Mueller exonerated President Trump.

      The investigation that garnered Potential Obstructions by Mueller was based on Russian Trump and that failed to indict Trump. Would Mueller have indicted Trump if he found evidence to support Russian Trump election influence, you bet he would.

      Volume II of the Mueller report is much like the original charge of Russian Trump instigated by Hillary, Podesta, and Comey just a political question to gain political advantage which worked to get the House back.

      These charges only existed in the people that are anti Trump.

      This is just like your drive by psychoanalysis of the president by so called professionals that have no ethics.

      This was followed by the 800 former prosecutors that initiated an open letter to proffer their political opinion that President Trump is guilty of Obstruction. Which goes further than Mueller when he called them Potential Obstruction.

      Neither the psychoanalyst nor the former prosecutor merit any professional or legal standing but it does banter a political edge by calling the questions, but not their answers.

      The only Guilty verdicts come from the courts, and not the opposition, the media or "professionals" not part of the case. It also shows how pathetic the case on the left is to try and bolster a case of insanity or guilt that has no legal counterpart. If there was real evidence these non party submissions wouldn't be needed.

      I hope you aren't expecting any help from Mueller in his congressional appearance next week. Public congressional investigations are just sabre rattling in a circus atmosphere. The government doesn't share the truth with the public, they hide it, and that is why we have FOIA.

      I have asked you several times in the past to make a case of obstruction for Comey being fired, but none has been forthcoming. You seem to think these "Potential" obstruction allegations are real, then you should have no trouble making it an 800 former federal prosecutor Guilty.

    • My Esoteric profile imageAUTHOR

      Scott Belford 

      5 weeks ago from Keystone Heights, FL

      Actually Brad, "The point is that we now know after 5 investigations, including Mueller that President Trump was innocent." is just the opposite of the truth. Mueller is clear he would have charged Trump with obstruction if he could have.

      The rest of your assertions are false.

      - Trump could not fire Mueller, only direct that it be done (which is obstruction of justice)

      - As in the past with Nixon, if an official cannot follow an illegal order, he quits. That continues until the President finds a spineless patsy to do his illegal bidding - just as Nixon did with Bork.

      - Every one (well at least the ones I have written about anyway) of the 11 charges of obstruction met the legal definition of Corrupt Intent. Trump clearly meant to interfere with an official investigation that likely would (and did) lead to grand jury investigations.

    • bradmasterOCcal profile image

      Brad 

      5 weeks ago

      However, Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein testified Tuesday that he believed only he could fire Mueller — and said that if he received an order to do so without “good cause,” he’d refuse to carry it out.

      So if Trump truly does want Mueller gone, he’d likely have to get rid of Rosenstein too. That is something he could do, in what would be a clear sequel to Nixon’s “Saturday Night Massacre.” (In October 1973, Nixon ordered the special prosecutor investigating the Watergate break-ins fired, and the attorney general and deputy attorney general resigned in protest rather than carry out his order.)

      Considering it was the firing of Comey that got him under investigation in the first place, one would think that if President Trump truly does believe he’s innocent, he’d refrain from repeating that mistake with Mueller and worsening his political and legal troubles yet further. One would think.

      b:

      The point is that we now know after 5 investigations, including Mueller that President Trump was innocent.

      And for Rosenstein to say, if Trump ordered him he wouldn't do it. There was no legal precedent for Rosenstein. It just shows that Rosenstein wasn't doing his job, as he picked Mueller.

      They all work for the president and he could fire both of them because he is the president. Whatever the congress might do is independent of that authority.

      Knowing the you are innocent and having 5 investigations doesn't make your actions obstruction. And all ten counts that Mueller made in Vol II lack any intent to obstruct.

    • MizBejabbers profile image

      Doris James MizBejabbers 

      5 weeks ago from Beautiful South

      Scott, I just wanted you to know that I read your article. This whole thing frustrates me to the point that I don't really have a comment. For once I'm silent.

    • My Esoteric profile imageAUTHOR

      Scott Belford 

      5 weeks ago from Keystone Heights, FL

      So what, Brad?? What you fail to tell people is that Ds wanted to fire Comey for the same reason's Rosenstein offered, hell, I felt the same way because he appeared to be throwing the election to Trump (and he did, IMO).

      Instead, Trump had ALREADY decided to fire Comey to interfere with the Russian investigation - that is obstruction of justice.

    • bradmasterOCcal profile image

      Brad 

      5 weeks ago

      Until Donald Trump fired James Comey "because of Russia", he was not personally being investigated by the FBI counterintelligence unit. But on May 17, 2017, Rod Rosenstein, the acting attorney general for Russia matters, appointed Robert S. Mueller, III as Special Counsel. He "authorized him to conduct the Russia investigation and matters that arose from the investigation."

      The democrats wanted Comey to be fired in October 2016!

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