Eye Opener: Trump claims victory, Dems dig in
Like behavior what to Democrats do as the president claims victory. I'm Steve Inskeep with David green. And this is up. I from NPR news. Democrats have lines of inquiry. They wanna hear from this, man. The president was frustrated and angered by his seer belief that the investigation was undermining his presidency. What questions do they have for the attorney general also protesters finally forced Sudan's president from power, but their protests have not stopped. What are they want next? Stay with us. We'll guide you through this day's news. The bottom line findings are the Muller report allowed President Trump to claim victory. He does not face criminal charges. Many details. Give critics a lot of room for questions a heavily redacted four hundred and forty eight page document was released with the president legal team describing this report as a total victory. White House counselor Kellyanne Conway claim this was quote, really the best day since he got elected. And then this very accepting apologies today to for anybody who feels the grace in offering them. Now, Democrats have a very very different take on. This report. Here is House Judiciary committee chairman Jerry Nadler, the special counsel made clear that he did not exonerate the president and the responsibility now falls to congress to hold the president accountable for his action to vastly different narrative. So what does the report actually say? And what are the implications of these findings? We have a team that's been digging through the document, including NPR Justice correspondent Carrie Johnson. Who's here either? Very good morning, Steve. So if the president is not charged. What would there be in this report to hold the president accountable forty used Jerrold Nadler's phrase? Well, there's this team the investigators actually wrote that after the thorough investigation. They conducted if they had confidence the president clearly did not commit obstruction of Justice, they'd say, so, but they were not able to say that there are a number of what investigators describe as disturbing incidents ten or more involving the president's attempts alleged attempts to obstruct Justice to try to jam up the special counsel probe to fire. The attorney general Jeff Sessions to fire Robert Mueller, the special counsel himself and to try to get people to change their stories before they spoke with the media or or other people including trying to dangle carrots or sticks in front of people who were thinking about cooperating with Robert Muller's. Well, I'm just thinking about one particular example of the many in this report it involves Don Mcgann was then the White House counsel. Let me if I get this wrong in any way, carry the president tells Mcgann in so many words to get rid of Robert Muller. And the reason that this act is not taken which might have been seen as catastrophic by the president's critics, and even his allies the reason this is not taken it's only because mcken refused and and threatened to resign. Instead is that correct? That's exactly right. That's just one of a number of incidents where the president directed people in the White House to do things in often, Steve they actually blew him off which turns out to be a good thing for their legal liability moving, I guess Mcgann. According to the report again as you put it blew off the president in another way because the president when this was reported when this was revealed by the New York Times that the president told Mcgann to get rid of Muller. Trump told Mcgann to deny that story and Mcgann said I'm not going to falsely deny it because it's true. Yeah. I make an told investigators apparently he felt threatened by the president that the president was trying to test his metal now attorney general bar is going to face some questions after having been the man who redacted this reporter oversaw. Aw, the redaction I should say. And who then described it in a press conference yesterday? The attorney general set to testify on may first and may second in front of the Senate and the house he's gonna have a harder time in house, which is controlled by Democrats, many of whom have already described a crisis of confidence at the Justice department. They say because the way that bar has handled. This report they think he's played down the findings and basically protected President Trump at the expense of this investigation. Are there also internal investigations within the department of Justice? There are Steve the Justice department is investigating. The inspector general is investigating the launch of this investigation. The Fiso warrants in the first place as well as twelve ongoing investigations, we don't know anything about the special counsel has referred to other US attorney's offices. Everyone's talking about the Faisal warrants. I guess we should be clear on that part. This refers to I guess, we could say the Republican narrative of the Republican view of this investigation. Which is that it never made any sense. It never had a good basis, and they are questioning why. Some of the surveillance warrants were approved in the key in this investigation. Yes, the inspector general is investigating the investigators both in the US and some of the sources they were on overseas. Carry thanks for your reporting on this occasion, and many others over the past couple of years. My pleasure. Okay. So how's this report being viewed among members of congress, and what further lines of inquiry if any Democrats intend to pursue NPR's? Tim Mack has been taking a look at this. Tim, thanks for being here. Thanks for having me. Okay. Democrats have been focused on the question of obstruction of Justice by the president William bar didn't think that the evidence reached that level and Muller himself did not make that conclusion. Even though he didn't clear the president. What does that mean for Democrats will it likely means that in the house of representatives impeachment is off the table, the chair the house intelligence committee? Adam Schiff told NPR's all things considered this yesterday. The evidence would have to be graphic and spark a bipartisan consensus that it warrants the president's removal, given the fact that the public is a congressman on willing to stand up this president in any respect it's hard to see that changing here. But Democrats did signal that they intend to continue their aggressive investigations of the president's finances. His administration and the various episodes revealed by the Muller. Port and they're going to be keeping their demand that the full unredacted version of that Muller report is released ten when I was reading the report you get to the black sections, and there's usually a little tag an explanation for why something has taken out. It's either part of an ongoing matter or it grand jury material, which is supposed to be kept secret in virtually all cases, how likely is it. The Democrats are going to be getting those blackened areas removed. Well, a small group of house members, particularly those related to a DOJ oversight are gonna be able to see a less redacted version of the Miller report. But it's hard to say when the public would be able to see if ever it's going to be a long drawn out legal fight for a fuller version of that Muller report. Okay. Let me ask about what happens in congress over the next year and a half. I know the presidential campaign is well underway. But you know, there's congress and there are problems in the country and the president in his state of the union speech, essentially gave lawmakers choice as the president sought. You're either. Have warned investigation or peace, and and legislation is there any inclination in congress to actually legislate, what Republicans are echoing the president's line. They're saying, no collusion. Nope. -struction? They think all of these investigations are baseless Senate majority leader Mitch McConnell yesterday focused on what he views as Democrats is latest line of attack. That's on attorney general Bill bar Atrush. Bill bar other issue rather laughable, shade turn their guns on him. But that that's all they're left with frankly is to go after him Democrats say that they're doing oversight on a number of important issues. The characterize that there are a lot of troubling developments in the Trump administration and in the world of Trump's finances. They say it's a fundamental part of their responsibilities as a check on the executive branch, and they won't be stopping their investigations. Now, just because the mall report in that investigation is over Tim. Thanks so much. Thanks a lot. Okay. Those were key things you need to know. From the redacted Muller report. But of course, there is much more that we learned in those four hundred pages if you scroll back through your up, I feed you're gonna find that the NPR politics podcast published a special episode. We dropped just for you, deep diving on everything we learned.