Apr 18, 2019

The 10 episodes of potential Trump obstruction listed in the Mueller report

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The second part of special counsel Robert Mueller's redacted report focuses on whether President Trump obstructed justice while in office, especially as it pertains to his campaign and administration's navigation of the fallout from potential Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election.

The big picture: As Axios' David Nather writes, Trump ultimately wasn't charged with obstruction because Mueller didn't want to "place burdens on the President's capacity to govern" and believed Trump wouldn't have an opportunity to clear his name, according to the report. But he also couldn't clear Trump completely because "the facts and the applicable legal standards" made it impossible to state that Trump "clearly did not commit obstruction of justice."

  • These are the 10 episodes of potential obstruction of justice committed by Trump, as relayed in the index of Mueller's report ...

The Campaign's Response to Reports About Russian Support for Trump

  • Press Reports Allege Links Between the Trump Campaign and Russia
  • The Trump Campaign Reacts to WikiLeaks' Release of Hacked Emails
  • The Trump Campaign Reacts to Allegations That Russia was Seeking to Aid Candidate Trump
  • After the Election, Trump Continues to Deny Any Contacts or Connections with Russia or That Russia Aided his Election

1. The President's Conduct Concerning the Investigation of Michael Flynn

  • Incoming National Security Adviser Flynn Discusses Sanctions on Russia with Russian Ambassador Sergey Kislyak
  • President-Elect Trump is Briefed on the Intelligence Community's Assessment of Russian Interference in the Election and Congress Opens Election-Interference Investigations
  • Flynn Makes False Statements About his Communications with Kislyak to Incoming Administration Officials, the Media, and the FBI
  • DOJ Officials Notify the White House About Their Concerns About Flynn
  • McGahn has a Follow-Up Meeting About Flynn with Yates; President Trump has Dinner with FBI Director Comey
  • The Media Raises Questions About the President's Delay in Terminating Flynn
  • The President Attempts to Have K.T. McFarland Create a Witness Statement Denying that he Directed Flynn's Discussions with Kislyak

2. The President's Reaction to Public Confirmation of the FBI's Russia Investigation

  • Attorney General Sessions Recuses From the Russia Investigation
  • FBI Director Comey Publicly Confirms the Existence of the Russia Investigation in Testimony Before HPSCI
  • The President Asks Intelligence Community Leaders to Make Public Statements that he had No Connection to Russia
  • The President Asks Comey to "Lift the Cloud" Created by the Russia Investigation

3. Events Leading Up To and Surrounding the Termination of FBI Director Comey

  • Comey Testifies Before the Senate Judiciary Committee and Declines to Answer Questions About Whether the President is Under Investigation
  • The President Makes the Decision to Terminate Comey

4. The President's Efforts to Remove the Special Counsel

  • The Appointment of the Special Counsel and the President's Reaction
  • The President Asserts that the Special Counsel has Conflicts of Interest
  • The Press Reports that the President is Being Investigated for Obstruction of Justice and the President Directs the White House Counsel to Have the Special Counsel Removed

5. The President's Efforts to Curtail the Special Counsel's Investigation

  • The President Asks Corey Lewandowski to Deliver a Message to Sessions to Curtail the Special Counsel Investigation
  • The President Follows Up with Lewandowski
  • The President Publicly Criticizes Sessions in a New York Times Interview
  • The President Orders Priebus to Demand Sessions's Resignation

6. The President's Efforts to Prevent Disclosure of Emails About the June 9, 2016 Meeting Between Russians and Senior Campaign Officials

  • The President Learns About the Existence of Emails Concerning the June 9, 2016 Trump Tower Meeting
  • The President Directs Communications Staff Not to Publicly Disclose Information About the June 9 Meeting
  • The President Directs Trump Jr.'s Response to Press Inquiries About the June 9 Meeting
  • The Media Reports on the June 9, 2016 Meeting

7. The President's Further Efforts to Have the Attorney General Take Over the Investigation

  • The President Again Seeks to Have Sessions Reverse his Recusal
  • Additional Efforts to Have Sessions Unrecuse or Direct Investigations Covered by his Recusal

8. The President Orders McGahn to Deny that the President Tried to Fire the Special Counsel

  • The Press Reports that the President Tried to Fire the Special Counsel
  • The President Seeks to Have McGahn Dispute the Press Reports

9. The President's Conduct Towards Flynn, Manafort, [REDACTED DUE TO ONGOING MATTER]

  • Conduct Directed at Michael Flynn
  • Conduct Directed at Paul Manafort
  • Conduct Directed at [REDACTED]

10. The President's Conduct Involving Michael Cohen

  • Candidate Trump's Awareness of and Involvement in the Trump Tower Moscow Project
  • Cohen Determines to Adhere to a "Party Line" Distancing Candidate Trump from Russia
  • Cohen Submits False Statements to Congress Minimizing the Trump Tower Moscow Project in Accordance with the Party Line
  • The President Sends Messages of Support to Cohen
  • The President's Conduct After Cohen Began Cooperating with the Government

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Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 7 p.m. ET: 718,685 — Total deaths: 33,881 — Total recoveries: 149,076.
  2. U.S.: Leads the world in cases. Total confirmed cases as of 7 p.m. ET: 139,675 — Total deaths: 2,436 — Total recoveries: 2,661.
  3. Federal government latest: President Trump says his administration will extend its "15 Days to Slow the Spread" guidelines until April 30.
  4. Public health updates: Fauci says 100,000 to 200,000 Americans could die from virus.
  5. State updates: Louisiana governor says state is on track to exceed ventilator capacity by end of this week — Cuomo says Trump's mandatory quarantine comments "panicked" some people into fleeing New York
  6. World updates: Italy on Sunday reports 756 new deaths, bringing its total 10,779. Spain reports almost 840 dead, another new daily record that bring its total to over 6,500.
  7. What should I do? Answers about the virus from Axios expertsWhat to know about social distancingQ&A: Minimizing your coronavirus risk
  8. Other resources: CDC on how to avoid the virus, what to do if you get it.

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