1/ Attorney General William Barr concluded that Robert Mueller's investigation found no evidence that the Trump campaign "conspired or coordinated" with Russia during the 2016 election. Barr submitted a four-page summary of Mueller's key findings to Congress for review, noting that Mueller didn't find conspiracy "despite multiple offers from Russia-affiliated individuals to assist the Trump campaign." While Mueller's team drew no conclusions about whether Trump obstructed justice, Barr and Rod Rosenstein independently concluded that the evidence was "not sufficient to establish that the President committed an obstruction-of-justice offense." Democrats are calling for full report to be made public and are questioning Barr's conclusions. (New York Times / Washington Post / Politico / The Guardian / CNBC / NPR / Reuters / Bloomberg / Associated Press)

  • ๐Ÿ“– READ: Attorney General William Barr's summary of the Mueller report. (DocumentCloud / New York Times / CNN)

  • ๐Ÿ” ANALYSIS: The question unanswered by Mueller's report: Why did Putin risk interfering in the 2016 election as he did. (The Atlantic)

  • ๐Ÿ” ANALYSIS: The six unanswered questions from Barr's summary of the Mueller report. The attorney general offered his "principal conclusions," but left some questions abut the special counsel's investigation unresolved. (Vox)

  • ๐Ÿ” ANALYSIS: 4 key takeaways from the Mueller report summary. (Washington Post)

  • ๐Ÿ” ANALYSIS: What to make of Bill Barr's letter: Mueller did not find that Trump obstructed his investigation, but he also made a point of not reaching the conclusion that Trump didn't obstruct the investigation. (Lawfare)

  • ๐Ÿ” ANALYSIS: Legal experts question Barr's rationale for exonerating Trump. Barr noted that Mueller didn't conclude that Trump committed obstruction of justice but that Mueller also said that he wasn't exonerating Trump either. (Washington Post)

  • ๐Ÿ” ANALYSIS: Why Trump isn't being charged with obstruction of justice. Mueller laid out the facts of Trump's actions with regard to the investigation and Barr and Rosenstein used those facts to draw a conclusion about whether Trump would meet the requirements to be charged with obstruction. (Vox)

  • ๐Ÿ” ANALYSIS: Impeachment just became less likely. (NPR)

  • ๐Ÿ” ANALYSIS: The key findings of the Mueller report. (The Guardian)

  • ๐Ÿ“Œ Day 700: Trump's pick for attorney general criticized Mueller's obstruction of justice investigation in an unsolicited memo he sent to the Justice Department in June. William Barr said "Mueller's obstruction theory is fatally misconceived," claiming that Trump's interactions with James Comey would not constitute obstruction of justice, because Trump was using his "complete authority to start or stop a law enforcement proceeding." If confirmed as attorney general, Barr would oversee Mueller's work. (Wall Street Journal / New York Times / CNN / The Guardian / Washington Post)

2/ Trump declared that Mueller's report was "a complete and total exoneration" despite Mueller saying the investigation "does not exonerate him." Mueller's report states that "The investigation did not establish that members of the Trump Campaign conspired or coordinated with the Russian government in its election interference activities" and it "does not conclude that the President committed a crime." Trump complained that "It's a shame that our country has had to go through this [โ€ฆ] that your president has had to go through this." Trump added that Mueller's investigation was "an illegal takedown that failed" and "hopefully somebody's going to look at the other side," implying that the appointment of the special counsel investigation may now be subject to scrutiny. (Politico / CNN / New York Times / Washington Post / Reuters / Associated Press)

3/ Mueller told the Justice Department three weeks ago that he wouldn't reach a conclusion on whether Trump obstructed justice. In Barr's summary to Congress, he concluded that the Justice Department couldn't make a prosecutable case against Trump for obstruction. Mueller's report, however, "did not draw a conclusion โ€“ one way or another โ€“ as to whether the examined conduct constituted obstruction." The conclusion was reportedly "unexpected" and not what Barr had anticipated. (CNN)

  • Mueller's office deliberated with Justice Department officials about issuing a subpoena for Trump to be interviewed, but ultimately decided that a subpoena could not be pursued based on the evidence and merits of the issues. Current department policy also dictates that a sitting president cannot be indicted. (CNN)

  • The White House rejected a request from Congressional Democrats for documents related to Trump's phone calls and meetings with Putin. Investigators argue that Trump has attempted to "conceal the details of his communications with President Putin," which are a threat to national security and present concerns because Trump may have been manipulated by Russia. (ABC News)

4/ House Democrats want to see the full Mueller report and are calling on Barr to appear before the House Judiciary Committee to answer questions. "It is unacceptable," said Chairman Jerry Nadler," that after Special Counsel Mueller spent 22 months meticulously uncovering this evidence, Attorney General Barr made a decision not to charge the President in under 48 hours." Nadler called on Barr to "release the report and the underlying evidence in full," and to appear before the committee "without delay." Nadler has contacted the Department of Justice to set a date for Barr to testify and fill in the blanks he left in his summary of the Mueller report. (CNBC / NBC News / CBS News)

5/ Trump said it "wouldn't bother me at all" for Mueller's report to be released in full, but left it "up to the attorney general." Trump added that Mueller had acted honorably despite previously describing the special counsel as "conflicted," "disgraced" and a "liar." Trump later blamed "treasonous" people, who are guilty of "evil things" for the Russia investigation. He did not name his critics, but said he's "been looking at them for a long time," adding: "you know who they are." (ABC News / Washington Post / Wall Street Journal / New York Times / Politico)

6/ Trump's attorney doesn't want Trump's "confidential" written answers to Mueller to be released, citing executive privilege. Jay Sekulow called such a move "very inappropriate," adding that "as a lawyer, you don't waive privileges and you don't waive investigative detail absent either a court order or an agreement between the parties." Nadler, meanwhile, warned Trump against attempting to assert executive privilege to block the release of portions of the Mueller report. "As we learned from the Nixon tapes case, executive privilege cannot be used to hide wrongdoing." (CNN / NBC News)

7/ Mitch McConnell blocked a non-binding resolution to make Mueller's full report public. The resolution was passed unanimously in the House, but McConnel cited national security concerns for his decision to block the resolution in the Senate. (CNN / Axios)

8/ Russia says the Mueller report "has proved what we in Russia knew long ago: there was no conspiracy between Trump or any member of his team and the Kremlin." Konstantin Kosachev, the chair of the Federation Council's committee on foreign affairs, blamed U.S. media bias and anti-Russian sentiment for the investigation, adding that they expect the U.S. to increase pressure on Russia. Dmitri Peskov, Putin's spokesman, called Barr's summary "recognition that there wasn't any collusion." (The Guardian / New York Times)


Notables.

  1. Prosecutors suggest that Paul Manafort may be trying to get $1 million out of his $11 million forfeiture to the federal government. A shell company named formed as Mueller was investigating Manafort in August 2017 claimed that it deserves $1 million from Manafort's forfeiture. (CNN)

  2. The Supreme Court will not hear an appeal from an unidentified foreign government-owned company resisting a Mueller subpoena. The justices left intact a federal appeals court ruling that said the company had to comply with the subpoena. The company faces fines that have increased by $50,000 a day and may have grown to well more than $2 million. (Bloomberg / Washington Post / CNN)

  3. Michael Avenatti was arrested on charges of trying to extort up to $25 million from Nike by threatening to reveal negative publicity. The former lawyer for Stormy Daniels was also charged in a separate federal case of embezzling a client's money "in order to pay his own expense and debts," and of "defrauding a bank in Mississippi." (CNBC / Politico / The Guardian / CNN)

  4. Trump signed a proclamation formally recognizing Israel's authority over the long-disputed Golan Heights. Earlier in the day, Hamas, the armed group that rules Gaza, fired a rocket that destroyed a house in a village north of Tel Aviv. (New York Times / Reuters)

  5. The State and Treasury departments sanctioned 14 individuals and 17 entities linked to Iran's organization for defense, innovation and research. Senior administration officials suggested that SPND could provide cover for them to continue missile-related activity. (CNN)

  6. Mitch McConnell will put the Green New Deal to a vote, forcing Democrats on the record to paint them as socialists who are out of touch with American values. (New York Times)