Mueller Report release timeline: Trump tried to seize control of probe

Washington-DC

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Latest on special counsel Robert Mueller’s report on Russia and President Donald Trump (all times local):

11:45 a.m.

The Mueller report appears to be most heavily redacted in its first section, which covers Russia’s meddling in the 2016 election and examines contacts between Russian representatives and the Trump campaign. The report concludes there was no criminal culpability by Trump aides.

Several pages in that first section are almost entirely blacked out. The report’s second section, examining possible obstruction by President Donald Trump, appears more lightly redacted.

The Justice Department’s careful excisions begin as early as the fourth page of the report.

Barr said he was withholding grand jury and classified information as well as portions relating to ongoing investigation and the privacy or reputation of uncharged “peripheral” people.

In referencing an oligarch who headed up a team of Russian tech experts who used U.S. social media to exploit American political controversies, Justice officials blacked out details about the man’s ties to Russian President Vladimir Putin.

Here’s coverage from sister station WFLA in Tampa breaking down the report:

___

11:40 a.m.

Special counsel Robert Mueller found that contacts between Russian Ambassador Sergei Kislyak and Trump campaign officials in April 2016 and at the 2016 GOP convention were “brief, public, and non-substantive.”

Mueller’s assessment came as part of his investigation into potential collusion between the Trump campaign and Russia.

Mueller’s report adds that his office “did not establish” that efforts to alter the GOP platform’s language on Ukraine at the convention were done at the behest of Trump or Russia.

Additionally, Mueller did not establish that a conversation between Kislyak and then-Alabama Sen. Jeff Sessions in September 2016 included “any more than a passing mention of the presidential campaign.” Sessions later served as Trump’s attorney general.

___

11:30 a.m.

Special counsel Robert Mueller’s team was dissatisfied with written responses from President Donald Trump, but decided against issuing a subpoena for an interview.

In Mueller’s report released Thursday, prosecutors call Trump’s answers “inadequate.” They considered issuing a subpoena for Trump, but decided against it after weighing the likelihood of a long legal battle.

Prosecutors also said they had enough information from other sources to draw “relevant factual conclusions on intent and credibility.”

Mueller’s team investigated contacts between Trump’s campaign and Russia and whether the president obstructed justice. The written answers did not cover obstruction of justice.

___

11:28 a.m.

President Donald Trump says he’s “having a good day” following the release of special counsel Robert Mueller’s report.

And he says that no president should ever have to go through what he did again.

Speaking at an unrelated White House event, he says, “It was called no collusion, no obstruction.” And add, “there never was, by the way, and there never will be.”

Trump is also renewing his calls for an investigation into the origins of the inquiry, saying “We do have to get to the bottom of these things.”

He says: “this should never happen to another president again, this hoax.”

Trump is speaking an event honoring the Wounded Warrior Project’s Soldier Ride, a multi-day bike ride for wounded veterans and service member.

___

11:25

Special counsel Robert Mueller’s report on the Russia investigation is two volumes and 448 pages long including attachments.

The report’s first volume details Russian election interference and the second relates to whether President Donald Trump obstructed justice.

___

11:20 a.m.

Special counsel Robert Mueller’s report reveals how Trump repeatedly sought to seize control of the Russia probe.

The 10 episodes scrutinized by Mueller include Trump’s firing of FBI Director James Comey, the president’s directive to subordinates to have Mueller fired and efforts to encourage witnesses not to cooperate.

The president’s lawyers have said Trump’s conduct fell within his constitutional powers, but Mueller’s team deemed the episodes were deserving of scrutiny to determine whether crimes were committed.

A redacted version of Mueller’s report was released Thursday morning.

___

11:10 a.m.

Special counsel Robert Mueller’s report includes President Donald Trump’s written responses submitted in the Russia probe.

Trump’s responses are being released by Attorney General William Barr without redactions and comprise 12 pages.

Trump told Mueller he had no recollection of several key events in Mueller’s probe, including a 2016 meeting at Trump Tower between top aides and a Russian lawyer offering aid to his campaign. Trump also told Mueller he had no recollection that he was told that Russian President Vladimir Putin wanted to aid his campaign or hurt Hillary Clinton’s 2016 effort, or that any foreign leader wanted to help his candidacy.

Trump declined a sit-down interview request from the special counsel.

___

11:05 a.m.

Special counsel Robert Mueller’s report says President Donald Trump reacted to his appointment by saying it was the “end of his presidency.”

Mueller investigated multiple instances of Trump attempting to curtail the special counsel probe as part of determining whether the president committed obstruction of justice.

A redacted version of Mueller’s report was released Thursday morning.

___

11:04 a.m.

Robert Mueller’s report reveals President Donald Trump’s efforts to seize control of the Russia probe and force the special counsel’s removal.

A redacted version of Mueller’s report was released Thursday morning.

___

10:45 a.m.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi says Attorney General William Barr is involved in a “staggering public effort” by the Trump administration to put a positive face on special counsel Robert Mueller’s report.

The California Democrat is referring to Barr’s morning news conference, where he said the report found no cooperation between Donald Trump’s 2016 presidential campaign and Russian interference in that election. Pelosi is also citing Barr’s statement that he gave Trump’s personal attorney an early look at the report, before its public release.

Pelosi says it is “more urgent than ever” that Mueller testify before Congress. House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerrold Nadler has formally invited Mueller to testify as soon as possible.

___

10:30 a.m.

Attorney General William Barr says he and deputy Rod Rosenstein disagreed with some of special counsel Robert Mueller’s “legal theories” pertaining to obstruction of justice, but that didn’t influence their decision that President Donald Trump didn’t commit a crime.

In a press conference ahead of the report’s expected release, Barr says Mueller reviewed 10 episodes as part of his investigation into whether Trump committed obstruction of justice. Barr says he and Rosenstein “felt that some of the episodes examined did not amount to obstruction as a matter of law.”

The attorney general maintains that they set their feelings on the matter aside and accepted Mueller’s “legal framework for purposes of our analysis” when they determined that the evidence gathered by Mueller was “not sufficient to establish” that Trump had violated the law.

___

10:25 a.m.

A Republican Ohio congressman who’s been one of President Donald Trump’s staunchest defenders is hailing Attorney General William Barr’s statements that the special counsel’s report has concluded there is no evidence that Trump’s campaign conspired with Russia to influence the 2016 election or that he tried thwarting investigators.

Rep. Jim Jordan is tweeting, “No collusion! No obstruction! Complete cooperation from the President. No executive privilege asserted.”

Jordan issued his remarks shortly after Barr spoke to reporters. The report was expected to be released later Thursday morning.

___

10:15 a.m.

The chairman of the House Judiciary Committee is asking special counsel Robert Mueller to testify before his panel as soon as possible about his report on the Trump campaign and Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election.

Chairman Jerrold Nadler released a three-sentence letter to Mueller requesting his appearance, minutes after Attorney General William Barr ended a news conference in which he described the special counsel’s report. The New York Democrat tweeted that Congress and the public need to hear directly from Mueller to “better understand his findings.”

Nadler wrote in his letter that he wants Mueller to testify by May 23 and asked for his “prompt attention” to the request.

Barr said at his news conference that he did not object to Mueller testifying.

___

10:05 a.m.

Attorney General William Barr says he will allow Congress to view special counsel Robert Mueller’s report with nothing redacted other than grand jury information.

Barr says three other categories of information also were redacted in the publicly released report, including information pertaining to ongoing prosecutions and sensitive intelligence sources and methods.

Barr says he hopes that giving Congress access to the less redacted report and his upcoming testimony on Capitol Hill “will satisfy any need Congress has for information regarding the special counsel’s investigation.”

Barr spoke Thursday at a news conference with reporters shortly before the report’s release.

___

10 a.m.

Attorney General William Barr says he has “no objection” to special counsel Robert Mueller testifying before Congress about his investigation.

Barr says: “I have no objection to Bob Mueller personally testifying.”

Mueller remains a Justice Department employee, and Barr could have blocked Mueller from speaking to Congress. Democrats have discussed calling Mueller to testify but have yet to formally ask.

___

9:50 a.m.

Attorney General William Barr says President Donald Trump did not exert executive privilege over any information included in special counsel Robert Mueller’s report.

He said the White House counsel reviewed a redacted version of the report before Trump decided not to invoke executive privilege.

Barr said “no material has been redacted based on executive privilege.”

Barr spoke Thursday at a news conference with reporters.

___

9:45 a.m.

Attorney General William Barr says special counsel Robert Mueller’s report recounts 10 episodes involving President Donald Trump that were investigated as potential acts of criminal obstruction of justice.

Barr says Mueller did not reach a “prosecutorial judgment” and that he and Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein concluded the evidence was not sufficient to establish the president committed an offense.

Barr spoke Thursday at a news conference with reporters.

___

9:40 a.m.

Lawyers for President Donald Trump reviewed the final redacted version of special counsel Robert Mueller’s report before its public release.

That’s according to Attorney General William Barr, who said in Thursday’s press conference that Trump’s personal attorneys requested and were granted access to the report “earlier this week.”

Barr says Trump’s lawyers “were not permitted to make, and did not request, any redactions.”

___

9:35 a.m.

Attorney General William Barr says he will give Congress a redacted copy of special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigative report at 11 a.m.

He told reporters at the Justice Department that he would transmit to Congress copies of the public version of Mueller’s investigation into Russian interference during the 2016 election and President Donald Trump’s campaign.

Democrats complained that Barr’s news conference was an effort to influence reaction to the report ahead of its release.

___

8:10 a.m.

President Donald Trump is blasting the investigation into Russian election meddling as “The Greatest Political Hoax of all time!” hours before the long-awaited released of special counsel Robert Mueller’s report Thursday.

Trump’s first tweet of the day blasted investigators.

Trump tweeted, “Crimes were committed by Crooked, Dirty Cops and DNC/The Democrats,” although there is no evidence of that. Trump frequently calls the probe into contacts between his 2016 campaign and Russia a “witch hunt.”

After nearly two years of waiting, America will get its first glimpse of Mueller’s report later Thursday— but not before Attorney General William Barr weighs in at a 9:30 a.m. press conference.

A redacted version of the nearly 400-page report will be delivered to Congress on CDs between 11 a.m. and noon and then be posted for the public on the special counsel’s website.

__

7:55 a.m.

Attorney General William Barr’s news conference Thursday will address the Justice Department’s interactions with the White House over special counsel Robert Mueller’s report.

That’s according to a Justice Department official who wasn’t authorized to speak publicly on the matter. Barr has faced intense criticism from Democrats over his decision to hold a news conference before releasing Mueller’s report to the American people and Congress.

Barr is scheduled to release a redacted version of Mueller’s report. Lawmakers have said they want to see the full report, without redactions.

__

6:45 a.m.

Congress’ top Democrats are calling for special counsel Robert Mueller to appear before Congress “as soon as possible” to testify about his report on Russia election meddling and contacts with the Trump campaign.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Democratic Leader Chuck Schumer said in a statement Thursday that Attorney General William Barr’s “partisan handling” of Mueller’s report has “resulted in a crisis of confidence in his independence and impartiality.”

Barr is scheduled to release a redacted version of Mueller’s report Thursday after he holds a news conference about it.

Pelosi and Schumer criticized Mueller’s plan to “spin the report in a press conference” before allowing Congress and the public to see it. They said “the American people deserve to hear the truth.”

__

12:24 a.m.

A redacted version of the special counsel’s report on Russian election interference and the Trump campaign is stirring controversy even before its release.

Democrats say a news conference ahead of the redacted report’s release on Thursday allows Attorney General William Barr to spin its contents before lawmakers and the public have a chance to read it.

The nearly 400-page report is expected to reveal what special counsel Robert Mueller uncovered about ties between the Trump campaign and Russia that fell short of criminal conduct.

Democrats have vowed to fight in court for the disclosure of additional information from the report. They are expected to seize on any negative portrait of the president to demand the release of the full report.

Copyright 2019 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

Tornado Recovery

Interactive Radar

More As Seen on 2 NEWS