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tv   BBC News  BBC News  March 24, 2019 8:00pm-8:31pm GMT

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this is bbc news, i'm lukwesa burak. the headlines at 8pm. president trump did not conspire with russia during the 2016 election campaign — according to the report by special counsel robert mueller. the justice department also says there's not enough evidence to charge him with obstruction ofjustice. senior conservatives have been holding talks with mrs may at her chequers country retreat on how to deliver brexit, following reports of a cabinet coup to oust the prime minister. environment secretary, michael gove — who's one of those that's been touted to take over from may — says he has no desire to replace her as leader. it's not the time to change the captain of the ship. what we need to do is chart the right course, and the prime minister has charted
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that right course, by making sure that we have a deal, which honours the referendum mandate. a 54—year—old shop worker has been stabbed to death in north—west london, following a robbery earlier this morning. police say the till was stolen from the newsagents in pinner. a cruise liner that ran into trouble off the coast of norway has reached port, after hundreds of passengers were winched to safety. itjust hit me, the enormity, and the potential disaster. we came so close. i thought this was it, at that time. i mean, the water's going to rush in and this is it. it was the daring wartime prison break—out that inspired a hit hollywood film, and today marks the 75th anniversary of the great escape. and coming up in half and hour here on bbc news — jonah fisher meets some of the candidates gearing up
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for ukraine's presidential election. that's at 8—30. within the past half hour, the us congressional leaders have been handed a brief letter setting out the main findings of robert mueller‘s long—running investigation into alleged russian interference in the 2016 presidential election. the report does not find any us officials or members of the trump campaign knowingly conspired with russia. however mr mueller‘s report makes no judgment on claims the president obstructed the investigation, and says it does not exonerate him.
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but the department ofjustice says there's not enough evidence to indict the president on that charge. we'll be live in washington for all the very latest. it for all the very latest. was titled the record report the it was titled the record report on the investigation into russian interference in the presidential election. you can see the front—page of that report on your screen. it is actually four pages long. in terms of what was involved, they were up to 19 lawyers, there were a0 fbi agents, there are forensic a ccou nta nts agents, there are forensic accountants and other professional staff. they are detailed in the summary staff. they are detailed in the summary report itself. we understand that in collating and completing this investigation the special cone sell issues more than 2800
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subpoenas, that were executed nearly five and executed nearly 500 search warrants, so let's find out what this all mean, and just to take us through the detail, and the key points of this summary review, chris, you have been scanning over this, it has just been released chris, you have been scanning over this, it hasjust been released in the last 10, 15 minute, take us through the key points. yes this is a four page letter written by the attorney general and sent to congress, it goes through the special counsel's investigation and it comes up with summaries on the two key issues at hand. first was the russian interference in the 2016 election and was the trump campaign involved and secondly, did the president try to obstruct justice? leer the key lines, firstly, on the issue of russian interference, it is the conclusion of the special cowen sthael the investigation did not establish that members of the trump campaign conspired or co—ordinated with the russian government, in its
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election interference activity, now it does go on to say, that as far as the special counsel is concern heed he has no doubt that russia did interfere in the election, but as far as he is concerned, russia did reach out the the trump campaign, but he has found no evidence of the trump campaign accepting that help. he goes on to say that the special counsel did not find that the trump campaign or anyone associated with it conspired or co—ordinated with the russian government, despite multiple offers from russian affiliated individuals to assist the trump campaign. now, i have no doubt that the president will regard that as being something of a win for him. as far as he is concerned he has said that this has been a hoax, this has been, there has been no collusion, and he will use that to back that up, saying that this really was a witch hunt, there was nothing to find here. on the second subject, on the obstruction of justice, things are not quite so
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clear—cut. basically the special counsel was looking into questions of whether or not the president decided to obstructjustice, and actually acted upon that. that follows a number of reports not least on what he did say during the campaign. now, the special counsel did not draw a conclusion one way or another h another as to whether the examined conduct constituted obstruction, the special counsel states while the report does not conclude that the president committed a crime, it also does not exonerate him. and as a result there will be democrats seizing on that phrase, that it does not exonerate him, that really, they need to get the full details of what is in this report, and investigate that themselves. than is something that is key for them. going on to look at this, obviously the special counsel made a point of saying he wasn't going to decide whether or not they should investigate this issue on
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whether the president should be indicted. there has been this question, that a sitting president cannot be indicted according to department ofjustice policy. now that addressed by william barr in this letter. he says after reviewing the special counsel's final reports, consulting with department officials, including the office of legal counsel and applying the principles of federal prosecution, deputy attorney general and i have concluded that the evidence developed during the special counsel's obstruction of justice investigation is not sufficient to establish that the president committed an on structure ofjustice offence. he says that determination was made with regard to and not based on the constitutional considerations that surround the indictment and criminal prosecution ofai indictment and criminal prosecution of a i sitting president. so, there will be democrats who are seizing on that information, and will be saying, we need to look at this further, and that comes down to then the question of what more they will
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learn. because this is a brief summary, we learn. because this is a brief summary, we don't know how long the full report is. now, there are obviously restrictions about what information can be released but william barr says it is his goal and intent to release as much of the special counsel's report, as he can, consistent with applicable law regulations and departmental policies so he is going to sit down and work out what he can release and what he can't. now that is going to fa ke what he can't. now that is going to fake a matter of time but i think at —— takea fake a matter of time but i think at —— take a matter of time. we have plenty of to work with. the headline is this the special counsel has concluded that there was no collusion between the trump campaign, and the russian government, or other entities in russia, in terms of interference in the 2016 election, however, they do say that they believe russia did interfere in that election, and then secondly, as far as on structure of justice is concerned evidence has been gathered, but to quote the special counsel it does not conclude
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the prime minister committed a crime but it disease not exonerate him. goodness, 0k. chris, iam looking but it disease not exonerate him. goodness, 0k. chris, i am looking at that report, and it does say there that report, and it does say there that this review is ongoing so we could get more coming regarding this, this investigation. just a little point, because in the past, a newscasters, you use the word collusion, however this report specifically says conspiring. just point out the difference and why this is so important. well collusion is not an offence. it is not a crime as such, obviously collusion is reference to crimes, and ultimately thatis reference to crimes, and ultimately that is what the special counsel is investigate, less is looking to see we will the trump campaign conspired or co—ordinated with the russian government. so it is looking to see whether there was criminal activities, and collusion itself is activities, and collusion itself is a word that is used a lot, not least
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by the president, but it is not something that constitutes a crime, and that has been something that has been pointed out several times, i think from republicans and democrats point of view, there is already a battle started about what this report mean, and whether it com pletely report mean, and whether it completely exonerates the president or leaves questions hang, that is going to continue, but on that issue of russia interference, given which are round the corner from another election, in some ways you could argue that the 2020 campaign has kicked off with democrats trying to win their parties candidate position in that election. there is going to bea in that election. there is going to be a real deep concern about whether russia could try to interfere again and of course, democrats will continue asking questions about president trump and his campaign. 0k. president trump and his campaign. ok. we will leave it there from now, from washington, thank you very much. thank you for speaking to us here,
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first, your reaction to this report? my first, your reaction to this report? my reaction is that it is good news that the president and those close to him did not commit crimes in connection with the russian interference are in the 2016 presidential election, the report indicates there were efforts made by the russians, to lure people around trump, iran to that conspiracy, when i say conspiracy there are two criminal indictment from 2018, involving russians so there were crimes committed. the question was we re crimes committed. the question was were there americans involved. this report independent kates there were no americans involved including the president. that is a different question from whether there is ingreat naming informing in here, incriminating information that is politically damaging information. troubling information about the president's fitness for office, that is not off the table. a is off the table is the question of whether there is sufficient evidence to
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charge prosecute and convict a additional people beyond those have already been charged by the special counsel's office. the clarity isn't quite there when it comes to the obstruction of justice. quite there when it comes to the obstruction ofjustice. does that then imply that this isn't something that you could prosecute somebody for, if that is indeed found?m looks like from my reading of the letter, mr mueller did not make a determination thumbs up or down, on the question of whether the president obstructed justice, he said he did not conclude he committed a crime, so they didn't make the determination that yes, there is a crime here, that is prosecutable, but they also did not make a determination he was exonerated, that there is no facts pointing to potential obstruction of justice. the report goes on to say that mr barr the attorney general, alounge with the deputy attorney general, together took that information and decided we as a
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justice department don't believe that there is sufficient evidence of obstruction to prosecute anyone and the report makes clear that is not taking into account the 19—year—old doj guidance saying you can't prosecute a president. they say if you were to take mr trump as a private citizen and ask is there evidence to approve he obstructed justice in connection with the events before and after the 2016 election, mr barr and the deputy made the determination apartly no we are not moving forward. they do this all the time. they from the to pick and choose their cases based on the priorities of the office but also, on whether there is enough there, there to prove it. it doesn't mean that something bad didn't happen. it means we don't have the information to prove it, and then so we close up shop, we move on. that is thejob of a prosecutor, they are not crusaders for the right, for what the right and wrong, they are about the facts
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and wrong, they are about the facts and the law and what we are seeing here is a determination there just is not evidence sufficient to charge to indict, to prosecute to convict. so we are hearing that mr trump's lawyer, his reaction to this is it is better than i expected. however, the democrat is not happy. he has been speak on twitter, and he says that he wants to see all the evidence released in public interest. now, public interest is mentioned in this summary review. review. how likely is it that that evidence will be released and will the american public be happy with this? well, so there is two, i think what he is saying, he is going deeper than the report, so we have the summary of the report that came out, there is the fuller report that will summarise the actual evidence that was collected, and that is required under the regulations, that it is required of mr mueller to
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summarise the prose and the con, the evidence that gave rise to the indictments and the information, the reasons why they decided not to indict people, even if there was evidence pointing towards a potential crime, so that is, that is sort of nothing of number two, is the fuller report. it sounds like what he is saying, he wants to see the grand jury transcript, he wants to see the documents, the very first page of this report, it summarises the massive scale of data collection, that mr mueller underwent, that is the information it sounds like that. he might want access to it. and the letter makes clear when it comes to grand jury information for example the law forbids and can make it a crime to share that, some of that stuff if congress is going to push it far enough, some of that stuff might go to the courts to make a determination, as to whether in the public interest that stuff should be disclosed, even if in a tradition
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appointment prosecution it would not bmy appointment prosecution it would not b my guess is mr barr and the deputy to the extent he is still in this position they will be careful to follow the letter of the law and redact the stuff that is grand jury material, national security material, national security material, privacy act material, those kinds of things. fascinating. kim whaly, thank you very much. ale former assistant us attorney generally. thank you for that. to remind you, while we are hearing from a spokeswoman from the white house, who says that the findings of the department ofjustice are a total and complete exoneration of the president of the united states. so that is the reaction from the white house. as soon as we get reaction from president trump himself, which we are likely to get via twitter we will bring that to you. in the meantime the story could make the papers tomorrow, so we will find out how they are covered at
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10.30 and 11.30. our guests joining me tonight are home affairs editor of the evening standard martin bentham, and columnist for the new european newspaper, bonnie greer. the headlines on bbc news. president trump's campaign did not conspire with russia during the 2016 election campaign — that's the main finding of the report by special counsel robert mueller. it also says there was not enough evidence to charge him with obstruction ofjustice. senior conservatives have been holding talks with mrs may at her chequers country retreat on how to deliver brexit, following reports of a cabinet coup to oust the prime minister. a 5a—year—old shop worker has been stabbed to death in north—west london, following a robbery earlier this morning. police say the till was stolen from the newsagents in pinner.
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sport — and for a full round up, from the bbc sport centre, here's danianjohnson. good evening. angry scotland supporters booed their team after they toiled to a 2—0 euro qualifying victory over the world's lowest ranked international side, san marino. it was an insipid scotland performance, who were beaten 3—0 by another lowly side kazakhstan last week. joe lynskey reports. of more than 200 football nations, san marino are bottom of the pile, the team officially the worst in the world with scotland's route back to redemption. a match where only goals — and lots of them — would make amends, but it took only three minutes for scotland to leave some kazakhstan memories behind. kenny mclean nodding in for the early settler. but the breakthrough did not bring a barrage, and in fact san marino nearly got in for theirfirst home goal in six years. this is a part—time player
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and labourer by trade who just missed the target. at half—time, 1—0 was underwhelming. the scotland fans were keen show it. a match meant to be a walkover had become a tough watch, but finally, with 17 minutes to go, scotland settled the nerves with a shimmy around the goalkeeper, johnny russell blowing off the tension. 2—0 this time enough to beat the part—timers, but maybe not enough to silence the critics. wales have made a winning start to their euro 2020 qualifying campaign, with a 1—0 victory over slovakia at the cardiff city stadium. danjames scored what proved to be the winner inside the first five minutes. the swansea city player was making his first competitive start for wales, deputising for the injured aaron ramsey. the closest slovakia came to scoring was this second half header that was well saved by wayne hennessey. wales held on for three crucial points in group e. they face the world cup finalists croatia in their next
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qualifier in june. job done, delighted to get off to a winning start, with the pressure, you try and play it down beforehand when the other teams have played and got three point, croatia, slovakia getting off to a winning start, it is nice for us to get off to a winning start. we had to work for it but in tonight's qualifiers northern ireland drawing 1—1 with belarus in belfast approaching the half hour mark. germany lead their big rivals netherlands 1—0 in amsterdam. manchester city's leroy sane with fine early goal. germany lead their big rivals netherlands 2—0 in amsterdam. manchester city's leroy sane with fine early goal. to tennis, where british number one kyle edmund defeated canadian milos raonic in straight sets in the third round of the miami 0pen. raonic took an early lead, but 19th seed edmund came back to take the first set 6—a, with a fine forehand winner.
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edmund then went on to win the second set 6—a, to advance to the fourth round, where he will play defending champion john isner. exeter chiefs confirmed their place in the premiership play—offs with a 29—10 win over bath. exeter captain jack yeandle scored the pick of the tries running a perfect line for dan armand's inside pass. the win means exeter extend their lead at the top of the premiership to nine points. a couple of games in rugby league's super league to tell you about. george williams scored a hat—trick of tries as champions wigan got only their second win of the season. they beat salford 30—22. and hull fc are back in the top half of the table after they held off a late london broncos comeback to win 28—2a. and tottenham fans have had theirfirst look at what the match day experience will be at their new stadium,
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with a first game being played there this afternoon. the test event saw spurs' under 18s side played southampton with manager mauricio pochettino in attendance. he said it'll have a massive positive effect on the players and the club. the spurs first team is scheduled finally to play their first match at the new ground in the first week of april. that's all the sport for now. don't forget you can keep up to date with paul casey's bid to win golf‘s valspar championship in florida and all the rest of our stories on the bbc sport website. that's bbc.co.uk/sport. the prime minister has spent the day meeting senior conservative brexiteers at her chequers country retreat, as she tries to gather enough support to put her brexit deal to another vote this week. a downing street spokesman said the talks had been "lengthy", as two ministers denied that they were part of a cabinet coup to oust her. both david lidington and michael gove have insisted they're continuing to back theresa may, ahead of a week, in which mps in parliament could
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take control of the brexit process. with me now isjohn rentoul, chief political commentator at the independent. lovely to see you, we see this time and time again again don't we, there's word of a coup, calls from within the party for her to step down, swiftly followed by words of support. what is going on? well, intense negotiations, i mean, it won't be as crude as this but in effect theresa may is saying to borisjohnson effect theresa may is saying to boris johnson and jacob rees—mogg, ifi boris johnson and jacob rees—mogg, if i resign, or if i announce my resignation will you vote for my deal? that is the trade off that is being danced around. i mean it is interesting that the number ten spokesperson said they are lengthy, these talk, not saying anything about them, just how long they are taking which we can tell from the fa ct taking which we can tell from the fact they are still in there. do you think they are likely to accept that
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bargain? it must be very tempting for borisjohnson, bargain? it must be very tempting for boris johnson, obviously bargain? it must be very tempting for borisjohnson, obviously because he wants to succeed theresa may, as prime minister, and so if she were to preannounce her resignation some time later this year, that would be something he would be rather looking forward to, but on the other hand, he doesn't want to support the prime minister's deal, because it is not very popular with the people who choose the next leader, which is the tory pa rty‘s members choose the next leader, which is the tory party's members in the country, so tory party's members in the country, so he has a bit of a problem on his hands. we heard yes, i don't know if you caught this, it was a whip speaking about this who said you can throw your captain overboard but you are still on the same ship in the same storm. how much damage could this do the government, if she were to step down? well, no she wouldn't step down straightaway, she would obviously announce shed was going to step down in the hope that some of the eurosceptics on her side would vote for her deal because they would
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know that what they regard as a true brexiteer would be in charge of the next phase. i am not sure that is going to work, but it does feel very much like the end game for theresa may, because i mean, you know, if she gets her deal through the house of commons, it will only be by promising to go, if he doesn't she have to go any way because she would have to go any way because she would have failed in the one task she set herself as prime minister. one of the things we were saying this evening was that effectively control of brexit could be handed to parliament. yes. what does that mean to the common man? explain that to us? exactly. it is very procedural because it is about there will be a series of votes tomorrow about this taking control of brexit, but the common person is taking control of brexit, but the common person is entitled to ask what does parliament want to take control of brexit for? and that is the whole problem. that parliament can't decide this, any more than the government can. there is a lot of
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speculation that maybe there is a majority in the house of commons for a slightly softer brexit, that keeps us slightly more closely bound to the eu after we leave, but the question is who will propose that? and if it is a conservative prime minister proposing that, thenjeremy corbyn is probably still going to vote against it. it is a huge distraction isn't it. thank you so much. thank you. could have carried on talking about that but for now thank you. let us return to our breaking story this hour, that is coming from the us uk, we are hearing that president trump did not conspire with russia, during the 2016 election campaign, so that is according to the report by special counsel robert mueller. we are going to speak to eric hamm. political strategist to get his reflect shins on this. what sort of reaction has there been in the states to this
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news? well, right now which are getting the, this letter that lays out some of the conclusions that, that robert mueller came up with in his investigation, and it does appear that he exonerates or at least a bsolves appear that he exonerates or at least absolves the president of having conspired with russia in any way, and it is interesting because he says, despite multiple offers from individuals to assist the trump campaign, soi from individuals to assist the trump campaign, so i think that clearly exonerates the president and his campaign, on any issues in terms of working with the russian, and so i think that is an issue where the president will find that to be a huge victory, and i think will allow him a major boost, particularly heading into the 2020 re—election campaign. ithink heading into the 2020 re—election campaign. i think where it becomes more murky is where this issue of obstruction of justice more murky is where this issue of obstruction ofjustice lie, because
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bob mueller made no claim one way or the other, he says it doesn't conclude the president did not commita crime, conclude the president did not commit a crime, it does not exonerate him. i think you are going to see particularly house democrats call for more information from robert mueller‘s findings on that particular issue, and i think we will continue to see house 0versight committees ramp up investigations, on that particular issue, but in terms of what this means for the president, as far as impeachment we don't know the answer to that. however, we do know that how speaker nancy pelosi has made clear she believed that impeachment is an issue that is dead on arrival. what you will see from the president and his supporters, is they will claim victory with this report, and i think the president now sees this as a cloud lifted off his shoulders and
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we will see the president now moving at full speed ahead, towards re—election and towards 2020.|j at full speed ahead, towards re-election and towards 2020. i am looking at donald trump's last president trump's last tweet, make america great again. that was the last time we heard from him. now i am going back to gerry naidan her‘s twitterfeed. i will read this. because it backs up what you are say, in light of the discrepe shies and final edecision making at the justice department following to report where mueller did not exonerate the president, we will be calling attorney general barr into testify before the house judiciary in the near future. testify before the house judiciary in the nearfuture. this isn't going away. oh, absolutely not. what we, what the release of this letter from bob barr, this is only the beginning ofa bob barr, this is only the beginning of a new phase in this
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investigation. and so you are now going to see this become purely political theatre with various committees calling hearings, calling not only bob barr but i suspect in the near future, members not only bob barr but i suspect in the nearfuture, members of not only bob barr but i suspect in the near future, members of congress from both the house and senate, will wa nt to from both the house and senate, will want to hear directly from robert mueller, to actually hear what exactly he found and what it all means and so i think we are going to continue to see a ramping up from the house in terms of investigations, and also even though in idea of conspiring with russia, i think now off the table, the president's deal —— president still has legal challenges he will have to address, what we know even from this letter from bob barr, address, what we know even from this letterfrom bob barr, is that the special counsel and it stays the special counsel and it stays the special counsel and it stays the special counsel referred several matters to other offices for further action. base on this letter we don't know what the actions are, we don't know what the actions are, we don't know where those actions

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