Listen: President, Robert Muller And Donald Trump discussed on The Frame
"To do with intent. Why did the president take the actions that he took? What did we learn from the report about how Muller might have been thinking about that? We learned that the president was intent on ending the investigation into himself. But it's less clear about what was truly motivating him. I guess I don't quite understand that if his intent is to end the investigation. How is that not structure of Justice? This is the heart of this dispute right now. Yeah, it's a clash of two theories Muller's team clearly indicated that the actions come up to the line of obstruction. Of Justice that the intent to end the investigation to preserve his presidency. Doesn't fact approach something that is criminal obstruction of Justice. Even if they did not make that determination. The rub here is that it is at odds with the theory of Robert Muller's boss, the Torney general bar, you got the job of turning general some say based on his theory that the president can't really obstruct Justice Barr. Says today in his press conference, President Trump faced an unprecedented situation as he entered into office and sought to perform his responsibilities as president federal agents and prosecutors were scrutinizing his conduct before and after taking office at the heart of a obstruction of Justice investigation is whether that person has corrupt intent and his determination is that the president in a way this big debate. Over the intent of the president or kind of goes out of his way today to fill in the blanks to sort of say, well, let's look at the president's intent at the same time. There was relentless speculation. And the news media about the president's personal culpability. Yet as he said from the beginning there was in fact, no collusion. The president felt that this was consuming his presidency. There is substantial evidence to show that the president was frustrated and angered by his sincere belief that the investigation was undermining his presidency propelled by his political opponents and fuelled by illegal leaks. Nonetheless, the White House fully cooperated with a special counsel's investigation. Yeah. He wanted this thing over so in a way, what was one of the things that was so extraordinary about bars press conference was that he explains the president's reasoning in a way that the president hasn't himself. So there's this totally compelling moment. In the middle of the report that paints a scene of the president being told that a special counsel had just been appointed. And a quote directly from report the president's slumped back in his chair and said, oh my God. This is terrible. This is the end of my presidency. The president became angry and limb best the attorney general for his decision to recuse. When the investigation stating how could you let this happen? Jeff. The president said the position of attorney general was his most important appointment and that sessions had quote led him down contrasting him with Eric Holder and Robert Kennedy sessions recall that the president said to him you're supposed to protect me or words that affect the president returned to the consequences of the appointment and said, everyone tells me if you get one of these independent counsels it ruins your presidency. It takes years and years, and it won't be able to do anything. This is the worst thing that ever happened to me the way this passage reads is the president's anger about the appointment of a special counsel comes mostly from the recognition that it's going to imperil his presidency. It means nothing will get done. It means that he's going to spend the rest of his term fighting it. It's not because he's worried that Robert Muller might find something that will one day land Donald Trump in jail. That's one reading of this. This passage that would bolster the argument made by the attorney general that the president face to the strawberry situation. I don't think that makes any sense, or at least I don't understand it. I don't understand how the attorney general conc-. There's no issue of an underlying crime here. When Donald Trump is sitting there, ignore djing the potential threat from the depth and breadth of special counsel's investigation, he knew at that point in may of twenty seventeen that he had had his personal lawyer Michael Cohen make hush money payments to women. Donald Trump was smart enough to know that a special counsel like in Bill Clinton or any other presidency rummages around on one issue and ends up on another. And what happens Muller finds these weird transactions. He refers to another US attorney's office and the president is ultimately a completely separate investigation named as an unindicted co. Oh conspirator. How is there not an underlying crime that Donald Trump was afraid about in July of twenty seventeen myself into colleagues go into the Oval Office to interview the president? He says if Muller looks at my finances, it's crossing a red line. So what were Trump's motivations for getting rid of molar was he really worried about Russia, or is he worried that? Hey, if this guy rummages around on Russia, he's gonna find something else. Indeed. He did. So you're saying that bars are given that the president is just protecting the presidency doesn't really hold up because we know for a fact that the president understood at this point that he has these payments made in coordination with Michael Cohen to these women as hush money, which have nothing to do with the Russian education, but which obviously could be incredibly damaging to him, and maybe even criminal look. No one has questioned the president about this in a law enforcement setting. I don't know exactly what the president's intentions were. But the idea that there was no underlying criminality Donald Trump's life in may of twenty seventeen. When Muller got a pointed is bogus because there was further in December of twenty seventeen. There's a report out there that Muller has subpoena. The president's Bank records before the president's lawyers are able to get the message to him that the report is wrong. He starts telling White House aides that Muller has to go. I do think there's a decent case to be made that there were underlying issues of criminality within his life. The Justice department has said that it self. Okay. So we're guardless of the president's intent is it important whether or not he was successful in impeding. This investigation in thinking about the question of of Justice. Well, I think for the folks at the Justice department who had to make the call about whether the president broke the law one of the factors that played into their declaration decision. Was the fact that when you look at the investigation the efforts that the president took did not significantly damage the inquiry,"