The Mueller Report: What We Know So Far
Okay. Everyone big day today on the takeaway. Yup. It's the release of the Muller. Wait what what's the matter? I can't say what what do you mean? It's redacted. All right. How about this? All right, folks, huge day, we're talking about the Muller investigation. And what we know is. Okay. Come on. I can't say that either. Well, how much of it is redacted? Well, there you go, folks. We'll get you whatever information on the report. We can I'm Gina Vega. Let's get started. The special counsel found no evidence that any American including anyone associated with the Trump campaign conspired or coordinated with the Russian government or the IRA in this illegal skiing special counsel's report did not find any evidence that members of the Trump campaign or anyone associated with the campaign conspired or coordinated with the Russian government in these hacking operations especial council found no collusion. And they're having a good day. I'm having a good day Q. It was called no collusion. No obstruction. The attorney general appears to be waging a media campaign on behalf of President Trump. The very subject of the investigation at the heart of the mullahs report blow see and Senate minority leader Chuck Schumer issued a joint statement is indefensible plan to spin the report have resulted in a crisis of confidence. The attorney general is taking unprecedented steps to spin mullah's nearly two year investigation. We don't go through this process. Just to collect information and throw it out the public. We collect this information we use that compulsory process for the purpose of making that decision. And because of the special counsel did not make that decision. We felt the department had to and that was a decision by me and the deputy attorney. More than four hundred pages of special counsel. Robert Muller's report are now public on the Justice Department's website, while portions of the report are redacted certain members of congress are expected to see a version of the report with fewer reductions one key point emerging from the report so far is in the second paragraph in the introduction to volume one in it Muller's team writes, quote, the Russian government interfered in the twenty sixteen presidential election in sweeping and systematic fashion it explores coordination interference and evidence of contact between the Trump campaign and Russian actors max Kutner is a journalist covering the FBI the Justice department and the Russia investigation, and he's been reading the report, thanks for being with us max for me. So you've been following this for months, your initial reaction to what's in the report. What are your biggest takeaway so far tunes you I'm surprised that so much detail is in the? This report. I'm surprised how much color is. In these details, we've seen of President Trump raging at Jeff Sessions when he finds out that the special counsel was appointed we have names, you know, I thought the Justice department standard is that uncharged individuals are not named and so to have the names of people and alleged wrongdoing. And even have the names of witnesses is very surprising to me if you turn to page four hundred and one of the report, there's this extensive glossary right of every individual reference by name followed by every organization and entity they're affiliated with and their dozens and dozens of them were there any surprises for you. In terms of who this investigation touched a lot of these names. We knew of all ready, not only did we know that they were witnesses in the Muller investigation. But we've also seen their names come up in the congressional investigations. We've seen them photographed walking down the halls of the Senate. Building for instance, on their way to meet with investigators. I really thought the Justice department guideline was you don't name uncharged individuals. And I thought given how closely the attorney general sticks to other Justice department guidelines such as not prosecuting a sitting president he would stick to this one. And so to see that glossary was surprising. And it also reminded me and looked very similar to the glossary of names. We saw in the house intelligence committees Russia report, which it released about a year ago to have all these names. So we know who was providing information, and we know who Muller was looking into I interested. I mean, there's obviously a headline that's been already sort of taken stage here where the president says, oh my God. This is terrible. This is the end of my presidency, and then uses the next to describe how he feels there can you tell us a little bit about that moment. And maybe some of the other colorful details that emerged already felt that moment, really. Was a pivotal moment in the Trump presidency that it was the moment when Trump really broke up with the Justice department and realize that even though it's under the executive branch. This is not going to be his own law firm, and that was a pivotal moment between Trump and the law enforcement community, which remember he had campaigned as a law law and order candidate. It was also a pivotal moment between him and Jeff Sessions. And so to get that kind of color today. Only added to that idea. I thought that really although his surrogates have told us, you know, not to pay attention to those embarrassing details just pay attention to the bigger themes. The fact there was no obstruction. No coordination. You can't help it. See these details and really zero in on them. These are fascinating. We learned that investigators looked into ten different episodes in which the president may have obstructed Justice. Some of these we have been reporting on for a long time like the firing of former FBI had James Komi. What else did the report? Say about those instances. So we find out a lot of detail. Some of things have as you said of been previously reported some have not we find out more details about Trump's June twenty seventeen effort to have Don Mcgann, the White House counsel, fire mower. We find out that President Trump wanted Jeff Sessions to unrequir- himself and even call Jeff Sessions at his home trying to get that unrecoverable. He went through aides and former aides like Corey Lewandowski surrogates Lindau sqi to try and make all these things happen. So really the report goes through all these instances in a lot of detail talks them out analyzes them and explains why they could not come to a conclusion on obstruction of Justice. I was just going to say did we get any more clarity on attorney general bars decision to clear the president of obstruction of Justice? There is a little more clarity on that. But we're the clarity really comes is in saying why Muller decided not to do it and saying. That he discussed this with the Justice department, the Justice department guidelines, you know, we knew that Muller believed that a sitting president could not be prosecuted that had been reported and that is confirmed in this report. But I think that the Democrats especially in congress still have a lot more questions. We already have a response from Jerry Nadler, head of the House Judiciary committee saying this is why we need to hear directly from special counsel Muller. This is why we need to receive the full unredacted report with underlying evidence. That's what the chairman Nadler tweeted earlier today, chairman Nadler, set, a formal request to Muller calling for him to testify by late may. So they have a lot of questions that said, I happen to think the report answers a lot of questions. Let's let's I want to just go back. A second to Nadler who also called this media campaign, at least attorney general bars brief conference this morning before the report was released. What are your thoughts on that? Well, you know. Bars. An interesting person I've spoken with family. Members of his I've spoken with his former deputies at the Justice department when he was previously attorney general everyone tells me the same thing that they say about people like Muller, rod Rosenstein, even James Komi. They say this is a straight shooter. This is, you know, a lifetime prosecutor whether it was federal or or not even though bars a political appointee that shouldn't make concern about where his loyalties lie that said this press conference this morning was surprising. The Democrats last night really rushed to condemn it. Nadler put together a press conference calling for bar to cancel it. Clearly that didn't happen a price conference to cancel the press conference. Yes, exactly. That's trying to keep track. Here. It's hard to keep track late last night. That's what happened and bar. Obviously went ahead with it. And we learned more about his decisions during that press conference. But as everyone said the report really needs to speak for it self, and that's what this. You know, the documents going to do now. So we're going to read a section from the report, which is as we mentioned at the top almost five hundred pages, and I'm quoting here. Although the investigation established that the Russian government perceived it would benefit from a Trump presidency and worked to secure that outcome, and that the campaign expected it would benefit electorally from information stolen and released through Russian efforts. The investigation did not establish that members of the Trump campaign conspired or coordinated with the Russian government in its election interference activities, you said max that the the report as is answers a lot of questions more than we were probably end tipping. What does this tell us? This is a really key line. Because it kind of recognizes look the public might of thought one thing we've heard this term collusion, but this is the law, and this is what the evidence is showing. And we're looking into conspiracy. We're looking into coordination coordination is the. Word that was used in the Muller appointment, and that's what the even the congressional committees who are having similar investigations us to it's not collusion. But that's the word that's really entered the lexicon. Now, I happen to think Trump knew this. And that's why President Trump really pushed that no collusion language because he knew that collusion really wasn't going to be proved here one way or another. And of course, he repeated it again today that he's essentially been vindicated. There was no collusion. Max. I really wanted. Sierra went on this. What's the difference between collusion and coordination? And how does that difference impact? What came out in this report? Yes coordination really is the term to use here. Again. That's what rod Rosenstein us when he laid out the Muller mandate in may of twenty seventeen. That's the word the congressional committees have used so that is more broad. That's looking at did the Trump campaign work with. The Russians in any way. And the report is really saying there's no evidence of that little bit about the investigation itself. The report talked about the president's written testimony to the special counsel. And there was a theme that emerged in a lot of his answers. What was that? Sure. So we learned in the report that in November twenty eight teen special counsel's office received written responses from Trump we learned that then the the following month, which was December the special counsel responded said these are inefficient they pointed out that Trump more than thirty times had said he didn't recall or couldn't remember or a phrase of that sort and they even considered a subpoena. However, this is the really fascinating moment, they say that they weighed the costs of going after Trump getting him to give an interview, and they figured that would delay. The response of the report they figured that all of the other information that they got from other sources was sufficient, and so they just kind of moved on. That I think that is really fascinating. Because it kind of goes against what we thought the special counsels team was doing we thought they really were leaving no stone unturned. This was going to be the definitive document. We've also seen so many reports about Trump's legal team and in-fighting and sort of Giuliani putting his foot in his mouth there. I'm not the first to say many reports about this. But it kind of shows that whatever they were doing seemed to have worked. They did not want Trump to give an interview I believe that's in Bob Woodward's, book fear talks all about about John Dowd. And how they didn't how did a trial interview. And then they did not want to send Trump to give this interview part of the reason why they didn't want him to do the interview max is also because of the fact that the president often speaks his mind, right? And he sort of speaks out of turn is that is that part of the concern. Absolutely. According to Bob Woodward's reporting in fear of I'm remembering the passage correctly. He was doing the Trump was doing the. Interview prep with John Dowd, and and John Dowd stopped. Immediately said there's no way you can answer like this. And there's no way we can do this all that said I did speak with Thai Cobb former member of the legal team. And he said this shows what cooperation does this shows, we cooperated, and now we can trust the findings so in his mind, and probably in the legal teams mind and the mind of Trump's supporters and probably Trump himself. They did cooperate report also outlined some of the limitations that the special counsel faced over the course of the investigation. For example, there were people who deleted relevant communications or false testimony. Is it important to know about pieces that the Muller investigation team was not able to cooperate. Well, I think so and I think the Democrats in congress are really going to zero in on that they're going to ask Barra about that. When he testifies they're going to ask Muller. They're going to look for that in the underlying evidence. We already know that congressional investigator. Are going after this sort of this general thing this idea of Email use personal Email us on non-government accounts, which Jared Kushner and Avante Trump have been accused of doing the same way Hillary Clinton did that. So this sort of missing information is really a target of Democrats, the reductions, of course, we were we've all been talking about how much the report would be redacted you're saying that there was a lot less that was redacted than you expected. There would be. But there are reductions there and some of them are labeled grand jury some are labeled harm to ongoing matter. Remind us what these mean? So there were four types of reductions that we knew the attorney general was going to make anything material revealing sources and methods which is kind of the investigative techniques that the FBI uses every day there was material related to the grand jury work. There was material related to uncharged individuals. And as you said, the ongoing matters now, I think ongoing. Matters is really interesting because you'll really get to a point in the text. It'll suddenly be totally blacked out say ongoing matter and that gives you an idea of what is still being investigated. We know the Muller team is disbanding their their investigation is finished. But matters are still being handed off. We know the southern district of New York has investigations going on. There was an indictment unveiled just days ago that it said this was came out of the mullahs report. So we know excuse me, the Miller investigation. So we know that there are these ongoing matters. Can you give us a sense of what some of the other investigations are that are still ongoing, right? We know that there's this case of Gregory Craig who was a former Obama White House counsel that came out last week the indictment. He's charged with false giving a false statement to Farah that's registering as a foreign agent. We know that awhile back lobbyist. Sam Patten was charge. Again, under Farah for failing to register as a foreign agent on behalf of the Ukrainian party. So we know that these were inspired not only inspired by but really came out of the molar investigation. The prosecutors will say as much in their filings. The report also detailed something that we've covered here on the show the internet research agency and their social media campaign to influence the two thousand sixteen election for those who may not remember they were screen shots. And the report of different adds that the internet internet research agency, put out there, remind us who these folks are and the influence that they had the IRA Tenzing. This was the Russian troll farm that popped up around twenty fourteen twenty fifteen they had been written about there was a big New Yorker feature on them. And then suddenly they turn to promoting Trump at least, according to US intelligence, promoting Trump denigrating Hillary Clinton, and we found out some numbers today. Day in the report, the special counsel team saying that the IRA's social media posts reached tens of millions of people that really shows that these are not, you know, just some trolls sitting in a room in Moscow. These are reaching millions and millions of Americans multiple Facebook groups each with hundreds of thousands of followers, plus a whole Twitter campaign. Now, this is something that congressional Russia. Investigators have gone after the social media aspect the social media companies have had to reckon with this. And this is something that people have forgotten that this was a major part of the Muller mandate. It wasn't just obstruction of Justice. It wasn't just coordination between Russia and the Trump campaign. It really was just the Russian meddling that was a major part of the mandate. And it says again quoting from the report here, the Russian government interfered in the twenty sixteen presidential election and sweeping and systemic fashion. So they have confirmed that there. Was Russian meddling. The question now remains what max will the question remains first of all people care anymore? We've been hearing about this since at least, well, I think Octo twenty sixteen so right before the election is when the federal government under Obama, I announced that there was this Russia issue. They first disclosed it, then we learned more on January seven twenty seventeen when the intelligence community released a report saying that the Russians had meddled against Clinton and in favor of Trump. And now we found out more of it through the congressional investigations. Now, again, we're finding out more about it through this report. And the president is not exonerated in. This report essentially, I mean, despite what he says this this report does not exonerate him. Does it? Well, that's what no the report specifically says it does not exonerate Trump. That's the language Muller used. However, we know from attorney general bars letter that then he and. Deputy attorney general Rosenstein decided that they were going to figure that out and they decided to in fact, exonerate Trump, and we heard during the press conference from Bill bar a little bit about that. He was asked about this. And he said he decided to make that judgment because that's what the department of Justice. Does it doesn't just throw information out into the public used words along those lines instead comes up with judgments and decides on this information? So if quoting again from the report, the Russian government interfered in the twenty sixteen presidential election quote, sweeping and systemic fashion who on our end worked with them. Well, that is the question that Muller was set out to answer. And as well he answered it in that as far as he saw. There was no evidence that a US person was involved in that. Now that said it could be that there is evidence that. He didn't come across. I happen to have faith in the Justice department, and the FBI that and molar that they got the work done. But I think Democrats are gonna be raising this question they're going to say, well you perceived that there was no coordination. You didn't find evidence of such? But does that definitively answered this question max Kutner is journalists covering the FBI the Justice department and the Russia investigation max, thank you so much. Congressman Jamie Raskin is with us. Now, he's a democrat from Maryland and senior member of the House Judiciary committee and since the release of bar summary Raskin has been one of the many lawmakers calling for the release of the full report as House Democrats have continued to flex their investigative muscle. Looking into Trump's finances authorizing subpoenas and promising to keep pushing for transparency into molars findings congressman Raskin joined us earlier today, just a few hours after attorney general bar held his press conference to give his immediate reaction to the report will read only volume one which deals with the massive Russian effort to destabilize in alter the course of events in the two thousand sixteen presidential campaign, and it documents hundreds of contacts between the Trump campaign and the Russian intelligence agents military intelligence that were involved in this effort. But it says there's not sufficient evidence to to charge a criminal conspiracy. But certainly far more replete and massive contacts than attorney general bar ever lead on in any of his public comments about this. So far, I've not gotten to read volume to I've just started to revolve to about obstruction of Justice might curiosity. Of course, was piqued by attorney general bars attempts to refute in advance, the ten episodes of obstruction, which apparently are detailed and here by the special counsel, Muller and attorney general bars point seemed to be that because the president was frustrated and angry when he attempted to interfere in the investigation. He somehow lacked the requisite motive to be guilty of a crime. And there's several things we have to serve about that one is that there's a difference between legal Intel. Sent in motive if somebody goes to rob a Bank and robbed the Bank because they want to go on vacation and another person robs a Bank across the street because they wanna give the money to their mother who they think has never had sufficient amount of money. Both of them are guilty of robbing a Bank their motive is it relevant. And so the fact that attorney general bars so focused on what the president's motives were is just an irrelevant distraction from what his actions and his conduct were now as reading the introduction to volume to here. It says that special counsel mother says that he's not forming a judgment on the ultimate legal question of obstruction of Justice. And then immediately says he follows that sends by saying well, see the office of legal counsel has issued an opinion finding that the indictment or prosecution of a sitting president would impermissible undermined the tha passively of executive branch to performance functions. In other words, the reason why he's not. Charging obstruction here at least as a matter of law framing his analysis is that the DOJ takes the position that the president cannot be prosecuted. That's again, something that attorney general bar never told us, and everybody's been asking why did mother not make his decision after two years of work. And he's obviously deferring to this DOJ position, which is being advanced by the attorney general that won the president won't be prosecuted constitutionally because of the separation of powers into the the more controversial position that the Torney general advances, which is that the president of the United States can never be guilty of obstructing Justice because he sits atop the law enforcement function so eager to get into the details of all of this all of it. Immediately casts, a severe shadow over everything that attorney general bars been telling us congressman in the hours before the release. The report speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate minority leader Chuck Schumer. Said AG attorney general bars handling of the report amounted to a quote crisis of confidence your democratic colleague on the House Judiciary, Eric swale. Well, just took to Twitter to call for the resignation of attorney general bar your reaction to that. Well, I think that attorney general bar has already resigned effectively as the chief law enforcement officer of the country and the person most interested in vindicating Justice, the constitution and the rule of law. He's basically acting as criminal defense lawyer and a propagandist for the president of the United States and all of his actions ever since he got the report have been an attempt to minimize diminish dismissed everything in here that implicates the president in obstructive activity. And apparently again, there's lots of it. You know, there's an attempt I think here to pre-empt Congress's role. We are the lawmaking branch of government. We are the primary dominant branch of government. And we are the ones who will decide. I'd whether there were high crimes and misdemeanors committed by this president. I'm curious. How has the report released changed the Democrats plans to investigate the president moving forward? Well, we haven't we haven't fully assimilated what all of this means. And I think people will be very focused on constitutional obstruction of Justice. Of course, criminal obstruction of Justice is different thing. And nobody who worked on this seriously, meaning special counsel Muller has pined on the legal conclusion of whether or not there was obstruction even the statutory sense. But in the constitutional sense, that's something that resides was congress, and the judiciary committee in the house in the first instance, we're gonna have to look very seriously about this. And this is what prior presidents have been impeached over for example, the Republicans in the house impeach Bill Clinton for telling one lie about a private act of sex. And obviously, we're dealing with conduct far more sweeping and serious than that. Congressman you mentioned the Republicans effort to impeach president. Bill Clinton, and I'm curious whether the release of this report gives more fuel to the Democrats for a possible impeachment push today. Well, we have no idea at this point. I'm still in the middle of reading the report, I think everybody needs to digest it and process it in order to figure out what it means. But remember the Republicans refused to do any investigation into all of these fares over the last two years before the Democrats took control of congress. So there was no investigation. They said we want to delegate this to a special counsel. Let's believe in the special counsel report. So I don't think it's a legitimate position. To say we accept the special counsel's report when he finds there was no criminal conspiracy between the Trump campaign agents of the Russian government because they were basically just used by them. They were not participating in a conspiracy. But then to reject everything else that is found here, including all of the evidence of obstruction of Justice and all of that by the president. To interfere with the special counsel's investigation. So these are all things that we have to look at and analyse in. Due course, -able, you know, have the chance to answer your question. And I know you're still reading through the report, let congressman you said that you were concerned that attorney general bar would make reductions for political versus legal reasons from what you've been able to read so far have your fears been realized, you know, I think that's going to become the most the most seriously implicated when we get into the obstruction of Justice question. And so I'm going to reserve judgment on that Representative Jamie Raskin, democrat from Maryland and senior member of the House Judiciary committee, congressman, thank you. Thank you. We turn now to a legal expert, and what we've learned in the report and how it became public. Caroline Frederickson is the president of the American constitution society progressive legal organization. Thanks for being with us Carolyn. It's a real pleasure. So I'd love to get your top takeaways. I from a legal perspective in particular. What was it in the content of the report itself that stood out to you? Well, for one thing the the attorney general said in his four-page letter that the decision not to pursue an obstruction charge. The fact that that Mr. Muller left, it open was not based on the department of Justice's policy that the president can't be indicted. Well in office that's clearly false that was a false statement. If you read the report, you can see that Bob Muller was fully conscious of and made his decisions based on the fact that they couldn't they couldn't indict the president and therefore. Very much indicated that it was Congress's job to examine the evidence and make the ultimate determination if the president had done something that was an abuse of his authority. Can you walk us through the legalities of Muller's investigation into the charge of obstruction in particular with everything we know now. Absolutely. Well, I mean, one of the major issues is the question of intent. And Mr. Muller was not allowed to interview the president in there for the issue of intent was unresolvable, and that's really unfortunate because it seems it sort of, but for element to what happened here part, of course, from the department of Justice policy that Muller could not actually get the president on the record to talk about what his intent was. And then, you know, we saw the attorney general spin that saying well, the president, of course, was upset about this investigation going on he'd just become president and in. He thought it was interfering with his presidency and use that as justification for. For the for the obstruction. You know? It's just it was a you know, sort of artful. I guess spin doctoring Robert Muller was not present at the press conference. Was there an expectation that he would be certainly observers of the Justice department have noted that typically when there is announcement of a report that comes out after a major investigation the lead investigator is present it's a little bizarre that he was nowhere near near the room in the Justice department where bar gave his press conference. It was a notable absence. Now attorney general bar during that press conference did say that he didn't have a problem with Robert Muller testifying before congress. I guess two questions there, how likely is it that Muller could or would testify, and then what could we expect from his testimony? Well, you know, I know that the two democratic leaders have had said that they really fully expect him to testify that until he's on the record. All we have. Apart from the report is as bars spin on on whether he was consulted and in what his views were. So I think that's a really important part of the record in. There's no reason that he should you know in lesson until the president tries to exert some kind of thorny. But I don't see I don't see what his power would be. This is Congress's job. This is what article one is all about. It's, you know, the the Congress's important in our checks and balances systems, it's vital minutes their job to review, whether the executive branch has committed malfeasance, and to that point the House Judiciary chairman Jerry Nadler has announced a subpoena for the full Mullah report and underlying evidence is that political or is that actually a possibility. Oh, it's absolutely a possibility. It shouldn't be political. Congress has the right to the entire record. You know, we'll have to look back at every other special counsel investigation and see that. That's exactly what happened in Watergate in. The variety of other investigations, including the Starr investigation into President Clinton star produced reams of data evidence for congress to review and the same should be true. Here. We also know that during Nadler and house speaker Nancy Pelosi have said the following in a statement that they released this afternoon, and we're quoting here as we continue to review the report one thing clear attorney general bar, presented a conclusion that the president did not obstruct Justice while Muller's report appears to undercut that finding this seems to be at the heart. Carolina of a lot of what we're the confusion. I think about the report in what's happening today. How do you respond to to that? Well, I mean, I think they're exactly right. It really goes to this issue about whether or not Muller was influenced by the department of Justice policy and not indicting president. And the attorney general said Muller wasn't affected by that that he he couldn't make conclusion independently. And they and they made a conclusion for him. The report says, otherwise what's your analysis of how the White House ended department of Justice sort of interacted in the lead up to the report from what we understood. Well. I mean, where do even begin it's sort of additional an additional element of the obstruction charge of the idea that the president's not only the White House, lawyers, but also his private lawyer parents Jay Sekula would have had advanced copies of the report that they would have been able to prepare their stories in advance. And all I can think of as Felicity Huffman. And you know, the other parents making sure that their kids had the SAT's results, you know, the test answers before they took the test. I mean, that's this. This is just out corruption. You mentioned the Ken Starr investigation a little while ago, and you actually worked under the Clinton administration for a time. How would you compare what's happening today to what happened during that moment during Ken Starr's, independent? Investigation into then President Clinton. Well, what can I say the issue of scale of damage that either president committed is is or that was that was the pocus of the the investigation is so different. I mean, the one hand, you know, President Clinton did, you know, engage in activities that nobody would approve of. But but on the other hand, we have the Russian Russian government trying to interfere and successfully doing so in our election, and helping our president get elected a complete violation of our sovereignty of violation of of the the right of American people to choose their present compared to that. And when you see how much Ken Starr, put out in the public record. I mean, I remember the day that, you know, the Washington Post published the entire star report with all of its salacious details and everybody in Washington went out and grabbed a copy, you know, this is not what we're seeing with the mullahs report. It's been held close. It's highly redacted even though clearly inside people in the in the Trump camp leaked to. Washington Post yesterday that that it was going to be lightly. Redacted in the Washington Post that headline this morning, which was somewhat unfortunate. Because if you read the report, it goes on for pages that are just black ink a very different scenario. I have to say in very unfortunate. Because what we're looking at here is just a challenge to our sovereignty and a threat to our democracy. Caroline, Frederickson president of the American constitution society. Thanks for joining us. Caroline. It's been a pleasure. Thanks for having me. Book with home, Florida. I think it's this point the Democrats need to concentrate on some of the femmes that are feasting United States instead of endlessly pursuing cat like investigation, and they need to move on problems. And democrat treats a calling from Wilmington, Delaware. I think Muller has done a great job, especially under pressure from all sides. And I don't think the should have made any assertions regarding report before it was really felt that was inappropriate Rutland theorist against a criminal conspiritors. I say release everything about everything Alice I live in Bothell Washington and about the report, honestly, I suspected for a long time that the Russian interference was not Trump's idea. I think Russia took advantage of what they saw as an opportunity because who knows how many contracts secret say hold on Monday was Adrian's calling out of Fort Worth six. Same. Same. I guess President Trump dodge the bullet this Mason from Chicago. My -pinion of the special counsel hasn't changed. But I'm not sure what attributes this report to them. Just yet. To me. This is the by report. I'm still waiting for the deeper truths to be revealed. And I believe they will in time. Somerset, New Jersey as far as the report goes I plan on reading the fort myself now that it's been released. I am deeply disappointed in AG bar the Hager and look forward to Congress's response and actions moving forward. Attorney general William bars the man at the center of today's release, but he was also at the center of very similar situation decades ago caught between government's desire to withhold documents. And brought her demands for transparency. Let's go back for a moment to nineteen eighty nine. In one thousand nine hundred nine this song was why and the sentiment might have been what bar was thinking. He was head of the DOJ's office of legal counsel under the George H W Bush administration and congress wanted to get its hands on one of bars legal opinions that had to do with regime change in Panama in nineteen eighty nine President Bush had made it pretty clear that he wanted general Manuel Noriega out of power. My argument is with the argument that when I say, you know, I'd like to see Noriega out that that means carte blanche. Commitment of on my part of American force. I'm not going to do that. And congress wanted to see bars legal opinion because it was part of bushes justification for taking out Noriega and bringing him to the US. But the opinion itself was secret congress and the press only had the title to work with a thority of the FBI to override customary or other international law in the course of extra territorial law enforcement. Activities, but the government continued to protect the secrecy of the bar opinion. Here's President Bush being asked about this at a press conference in October nineteen eighty nine I'm this ad on what it is. You're have to get back to you with the answer to your question. Marlin I don't know what it I'm not seeing the LA times reports on just have to not comment until I do but a little over two months later. Bush addressed the nation from the Oval Office with this update I directed. Our armed forces to protect the lives of American citizens in Panama and to bring general Noriega Justice in the United States, the US invasion of Panama left, an estimated one thousand people dead, including twenty three US soldiers. General Noriega was in fact, brought to the US where he spent the rest of his life in prison. So here to tell us what we can learn from thirty years ago about Bill bars handling of the special counsel's report today is Ryan Goodman, Ryan's the editor and chief of just security and former special counsel to the department of defense, and he's been writing about the lessons. We can take. From nineteen Eighty-nine. There was every indication that George H W Bush was going to try to duct the leader of Panama and the news leaked to the LA times on the same morning as black Friday, which it even penetrated the news on that day. And the president was asked about the memo at a press conference that day in the secretary of state also had to say some words about the memo that day, it was also remarkable because it was issued in such unusual secrecy, and that's actually the terms that were used by the LA times, partly because lo and behold, the oil c- opinion overturned, a prior opinion, and the Justice department had made that prior opinion public and what we're bars reasons at the time for the way, he acted on this bar started with a line. That's in some ways familiar to what some government officials might do. But it's a similar line that he's adopted now, which is all of this is confidential can't even discuss the content of. This opinion. It must remain within the executive branch. But that line very quickly broke apart because congress decided to hold a hearing brought in Barda testify very quickly in the congressional hearing. It was made apparent that? That was not the case that the Justice department had shared several legal opinions with congress over the nineteen eighties under the Reagan Republican administration. So that was his first attempt at trying to fend off transparency and even before George H W Bush gave the okayed for the invasion of Panama congress called bar to testify before the House Judiciary committee. They asked to see the full text. What was bars response? So bars response was I will summarize the principal conclusions. I'm not gonna give you the full opinion. I'm going to summarize the principal conclusions the exact same language that he used in his letter when he received the Muller report. And then he did proceed. To provide a written testimony. I would even call it a written report, which was his version of the full underlying oilseed opinion. And that's where the problem really enters because he had guaranteed that he would provide congress a summary of the principal conclusions. He writes thirteen pages of written testimony. A now we know because the full report was revealed to the public over three years later and by no stretch to actually include the principal conclusions. When we look at the actual legal opinion that bar road compared to the summary. He provided outside of the fact that he did not summarize the principal conclusions of that report. What are the key differences? What other omissions were there? So the major of mission was that he first of all told congress that the underlying opinion didn't say anything about international law that it was a pure analysis of US domestic law. That's not true. The actual underlying opinion specifically said that the. In charter may not prohibit. It does not necessarily apply to the abduction of suspects in foreign countries without the state's consent, and it did he also told congress some matters. But he left out something that's gigantic for national security law and practice, which is this idea that the president of the United States, according to the bar opinion could violate the charter in that congress couldn't essentially control that. So that proposition was controversial from the very moment that the actual opinion was released to the public. We should acknowledge here that these are two very different moments in history, but how is bars role different today than it was in nineteen eighty nine. So one difference is that Boers under intense scrutiny, and therefore he might behave more properly this time the second difference is that Muller is in the background. So if bar does grossly misrepresent their work Muller's now being called to testify as of this morning by house speaker Pelosi. And Senator Schumer, and they're using the fact that they don't trust his impartiality in order to call him to testify. That's right. They're invoking crisis of confidence in the attorney general, and you know, have to say based on the attorney journals actions in office, I understand that. So that's why Muller's kind of the potential check on the attorney general and also Muller's team so already we know from billboards initial letter, quote, unquote, summarizing the principal conclusions that the Muller team was highly dissatisfied with his representation of their work. And then it leaked that they were speaking with people at the Justice department about that to the New York Times and the Washington Post, and that's the first week of its kind of the entire history of the Muller team. They have been incredibly, quiet. So I think that's another maybe even a shot across the bow. Which is to say to our if you misrepresent this if you mishandle this there's another piece of this, which is whistle blowers. Essentially, and I do. That might end up. Meaning that he does practice more good faith attempt in this moment. And then the last piece that's very different from the history of nineteen eighty nine is that in nineteen thousand nine the congress was very slow to subpoena, the full underlying opinion, it took them twenty one months before they actually issued a subpoena, and here, we have the House Judiciary committee. Having ready authorized the chair to issue a subpoena. If he so decides to do so, and I think that's a nother important dynamic that hangs over bars. Head and therefore he might make a very different calculations this time around Ryan Goodman is the editor in chief of Justice security and former special counsel to the department of defense. Okay. That's our show for today. There's a lot to think about in the coming days. So we really want to hear from you our listeners on this. What are your reactions to the redacted version of the report and attorney general William bars handling of the release? Call us to weigh in at eight seven seven eight my take or reach out on Twitter were at the takeaway. Thanks so much for listening Tanzania Vega. And this is the takeaway talk to you soon.