On Wednesday, Special Counsel Robert S. Mueller gave a public statement that basically said,But conclusions without facts are not very helpful. This has enabled the President to falsely claim the report exonerated him, and the Attorney General, in his March letter, to falsely claim the elements of obstruction were not met, the exact opposite of what the report says. It is as if they have decided, “we can say whatever we want because most people won’t read the report.” However, it is possible to summarize the essence of the report – the facts – as follows.
Obstruction of justice is a crime containing three requirements,Mueller found ten potentially obstructive acts or series of acts and analyzed each to see if they were obstructive acts, whether there was a connection to a pending or foreseeable proceeding and whether there was an intent to obstruct that proceeding.
With respect to four of these, Mueller found “substantial evidence” that satisfied the elements: (1) efforts to fire the special counsel; (2) efforts to change the special counsel’s charge to focus on interference with future elections; (3) ordering White House counsel McGahn to deny Trump tried to fire the special counsel; and (4) efforts to keep Michael Cohen from cooperating with federal authorities. The only thing Mueller didn’t say was the conclusion that he had enough evidence to indict the President for obstruction of justice, instead saying he couldn’t clear the President. But his conclusion IS in the report. And the facts can be simplified, as above, or amplified, if necessary, for public consumption.