Attorney General William Barr’s heavily redacted version of the Mueller report has been released, and one section appears to make an impeachment referral.
Marcy Wheeler, an independent national security journalist who tweets under the name “Emptywheel,” parsed the Mueller report shortly after it was released at around 11 AM Thursday. In a Twitter thread, Wheeler attempted to make sense of the report despite Barr’s redactions, and came to the conclusion that Special Counsel Robert Mueller made an impeachment referral on at least two separate occasions.
“…[W]e concluded that Congress has authority to prohibit a President’s corrupt use of his authority in order to protect the integrity of the administration of justice,” read one section.
“The conclusion that Congress may apply the obstruction laws to the President’s corrupt exercise of the powers of office accords with our constitutional system of checks and balances and the principle that no person is above the law,” read another excerpt, which Wheeler called “an impeachment referral.”
Again, this is an impeachment referral. pic.twitter.com/Zk6gydcf0k
— emptywheel (@emptywheel) April 18, 2019
According to Barr’s summary of the report, President Trump did not collude with Russia to win the 2016 presidential election. However, Mueller disagrees with Barr’s characterization that no obstruction of justice occurred, saying that he was unable to conclude that no obstruction occurred. However, other sections of the report that have raised eyebrows show that President Trump sought to influence Mueller’s investigation multiple times, whether it was through his multiple attempts to fire Mueller, or to limit the scope of the investigation itself.
Toronto Star White House reporter Daniel Dale tweeted one excerpt of the report, which details how Corey Lewandowski — Trump’s former campaign manager — took dictation from Trump in which he was ordered to tell then-Attorney General Jeff Sessions to limit the Mueller investigation to only make it about preventing future election interference. The endeavor was ultimately unsuccessful, as Lewandowski relied on a messenger to deliver Trump’s orders to Sessions, who failed to follow through on actually giving the message to Sessions.
Mueller: Trump made a concerted effort to get Corey Lewandowski to get then-attorney general Jeff Sessions to limit the Mueller investigation to…preventing future election interference. pic.twitter.com/0kYkASGQ4i
— Daniel Dale (@ddale8) April 18, 2019
Because Democrats control the House of Representatives, and because the House is charged with conducting investigations, it’s expected that Robert Mueller and potentially others involved with the report will receive subpoenas to testify to Congress about the report and its conclusions.
As of this writing, there is no word on whether or not House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-California) will call for impeachment hearings based on the Mueller report’s conclusions, though other members of Congress, like Rep. Rashida Tlaib (D-Michigan), have called for impeachment based on other actions Trump has taken in office unrelated to the Mueller report.
Tom Cahill is a contributor for Grit Post who covers political and economic news. He lives in Bend, Oregon. Send him an email at tom DOT v DOT cahill AT gmail DOT com.