tv Erin Burnett Out Front CNN March 22, 2019 4:00pm-5:00pm PDT
nobody else is going to be in the cross hairs, it's over. >> everybody, thank you very, very much. important breaking news we've been following. i'm wolf blitzer in the situation room. our breaking news coverage continues with erin burnett out front right now. >> announcer: this is cnn breaking news. and good evening. i'm erin burnett. out front tonight, the breaking news. the mueller report is done, finally complete. after 675 days of investigation. here's what we know. the report is, quote, comprehensive, and tonight it is in the hands of the attorney general bill barr who is still at the justice department right now reading the report. barr released this letter to the judiciary committee chairs and ranking members of the house and senate. i want to just read some of the crucial parts for you here. the letter says the special counsel robert s. mueller iii
has concluded his investigation of russian interference into the 2016 election and related matters. it then continues. the special counsel has submitted to me today a confidential report explaining the prosecution or decoration decisions he's reached as required. i'm a position to advice you of the special counsel's principle conclusions as soon as this weekend. that's obviously crucial. separately, barr, continues, i intend to consult with deputy attorney rosenstein and potential counsel mueller to derm what information can be released to the public and congress consistent with the law including the department's long-standing practices and policies. i remain committed to as much transparency as possible, and i will keep you informed as to the status of my review. we have a team of reporters standing by. evan perez is with us. abbey philip live outside the
white house. laura jarrett, manu raju live on capitol hill. and i want to start with evan. evan, a couple of crucial things. you're being told there are no more indictments coming from the special counsel, but barr is saying we could see some of these crucial results or at least they could be given to congress as soon as this weekend. but he's not done reading the report itself at this time. >> that's right, erin. he's still working through the actual report, which sources have told our laura jarrett there at the justice department it's a comprehensive report. there's a lot of information in this. so the question is how much detail is barr going to be able to get into when he provides what we call the barr report essentially to members of congress? and this weekend is the first time he's going to be able to brief them on some of the principle conclusions of that report. how detailed will that be? it's important to underscore that big headline you just said, no more indictments. and that's an important thing for the president, right after
675 days of this investigation. after an investigation that has frankly clouded his administration since the beginning of his presidency. the president can begin to probably breathe a little easier that the idea his vindication is coming. he knows that so far from the mueller investigation, the public information that's been released by robert mueller, there's been nothing that comes close to what looks like collusion or conspiracy, which has at the focus of this investigation, the idea that there was somebody in the president's campaign who was colluding with the russians. none of that has come forward in any of the public court documents, indictments that have been brought. this has been a very comprehensive investigation. it's been a very fruitful investigation. 37 individuals and entities have been charged including 6 trump associates. but the essential question of russian collusion has not so far been proved in any public
document. so the question is, erin, does that report that is now in the hands of bill barr, does it say anything about that? did they find any proof of that? that's the big question that remains unanswered at this point? >> right, and obviously the crucial reason the american public want to see this report. and to your point, we don't know what may have been passed off to other jurisdictions, you know, like the michael cohen and the campaign finance possible crimes and who knows what else there could be that could have been passed off. evan's going to be with us for the hour as news continue to break here. as we said bill barr is continuing to read this as we speak. abbey, what's the response from the president? we know that the white house found out about this just about 20 minutes before everyone else did, and all they knew was mueller is done. what is the response that you're hearing now from the white house? >> reporter: that's right, erin. the white house at this moment knows about as much about this as we do match they found
exactly the same information that we did about a half an hour before we did. and the president who's been down in florida all day hasn't said anything yet. as of right now, though, what we are hearing from aides privately is a sense of relief. this two-year investigation is over, and oats now over with word that there will be no more indictments. the president has been saying repeatedly over the last several days no collusion, no obstruction, that this is all a witch hunt. and i think white house aides and the president's allies are already beginning this process of saying that the fact there are no further indictments to those points as evan just pointed out proves that the president was right about this all along. that's the narrative that i think we're about to hear from the white house and from the president's supporters. he's down there in florida. we don't know when he's going to weigh in, but the white house has said that we're not going to see him again tonight. they've called what we call a lid here, meaning that the president's not going to be in
front of the cameras. but he's at his club where a lot of his friends are, where a lot of his aides are right at this moment. he's surrounded by two of his tom legal team, two of his top secretaries. and i can bet there's going to be quite a bit of strategizing happening over this weekend. and particularly as members of congress where being briefed by the department of justice that's going to be a critical point. i think the white house is expecting leaks as that process continues, and i think they'll be expecting also to combat those leaks with their own narrative as this goes along, erin. >> the more they perceive perhaps vindication perhaps the president saying it's illegal and the mueller report and a hoax. let's go to john dean, garret graff and juliette kayyem. also with us james trusty and a
long time friend of rod rosenstein who of course has overseen this entire thing. john dean, anything surprise you here? >> not so far. this has been right by the letter of the special counsel's charter. he's released the document. what i'm looking for is relief and understanding that there's no whiting or unwhiting likelihood that the president is an agent of russia. that's when i'll feel comfortable and no evidence he even hints of that. we don't know that yet. as i say if barr honors his word we'll know more soon. >> now, garret, barr has said he wants to put out as much as he can. barr is obviously very respected lawyer and when he became attorney general. he's now reading the report as
he speaks. and he did say from what he knew he thought some principle conclusions, he'd be able to make those to congress as soon as this weekend. the report is comprehensive. when you put all that together, what do you take away from it, garret? >> so the challenge with the comprehensive phrasing is the extent to which it gets into non-criminally charged conduct, which presumably a comprehensive report would. but that's been one of these lightening rods as bill barr has been talking about it. everyone is very concerned about the jim comey example from 2016 about hillary clinton and her e-mails, about sort of getting deep into the weeds why the justice department didn't pursue criminal charges in certain cases. but if mueller is supposed to tell a comprehensive narrative here, he is surely going to be talking about information that doesn't rise to the level of criminal charges. particularly in regards to the
president himself. and as john dean was just saying, we don't yet know that the president has gotten a full clean bill of health from robert mueller's investigation here because one of the complicating factors is this justice department guideline that says the president cannot be indicted. so it is possible that the president might not be out of the woods legally yet, and certainly not politically yet depending on what's in this report. >> you have always said it's the narrative here that's so important. but when john dean references things like unwitting agent, you can obviously a situation like this which could be part of this narrative in this report. it's not indictable, it's not a crime but it would still be a pretty terrible thing. >> absolutely from the p perspective of the united states democracy. think of it in terms of four different buckets that are going
on here. one is the criminal investigation that mueller just closed, and that was a significant investigation with lots of people in jail, lots of people who pled and lots of indictments still out there. there's a criminal investigation not with mueller that is now in new york and elsewhere. those will continue, those will raise news. the third piece as garret was just saying, the counter intelligence national security piece. it does not need to rise to the level of criminal indictment, but it could still be pretty bad. it could show a president compromised. we don't know what we'll see over the next couple of weeks. and then there's what none of us can control, the political piece. the fight with congress, what is trump going to tweet? that's what we should be thinking about the next couple of weeks. we resolved one or one was closed today. let's just say the fat lady has not sung yet. >> and obviously there are so many questions but on this issue of indictments themselves, barr
the informed congress tonight, the judiciary committees that mueller never tried to indict the president. now, of course that would be against justice department policy. but even though it was against policy mueller could have felt the president committed an indictable crime and felt like in any other situation he would have moved forward with an indictment. but in his letter today barr says mueller had never promised an action, and he was clear there were no such instances during the special counsel's investigation. it was very black and white. how big of a deal is that, james? >> yeah, that last part is a bit of interesting process here. there's a secondary requirement that the department of justice report to congress under the special counsel law if they have one of these fundamental disagreements. it's effectively having congress over see the process of special counsel by making sure that an
attorney general or deputy attorney general doesn't basically squash their investigation. so he made that point to say there's no second report coming out. there were no fundamental disagreements between doj leadership and special counsel. that doesn't mean they didn't have disagreements that were kind of more amicable or they were more collaborative in their approach to it. >> so, john, the roreport was submitted without a sit down with the president. instead it was submitted written answers which were lawyered up and vague where they needed to be. does this prove to have been a great decision for the president? >> well, it may. again, we're shooting a little bit in the dark here as to what actually is concluded in the report. but i think that probably was a smart decision on any count because this is a president who
is often very challenge bid by telling the truth. so filtering it through liars and doing it in a written form is unt as safe a way you can do it. so i think they're probably celebrating that fact tonight. >> so barr writes he may be in a position to advise congress of the principle conclusions as soon as this weekend. i'm just curious to your take away from that given that barr has not finished reading the report. >> so presumably barr has been briefed on this investigation since he's stepped into office, that he's been probably kept up-to-date. remember rod rosenstein was closely involved and monitoring this investigation when he was the person overseeing the investigation. and so barr probably has a pretty good idea of what is going to be in this report. i would sort of add one thing that we haven't talked about so far to juliette's very smart analysis of the different
buckets. there's also the obstruction question, which is, you know, we've seen sort of all of the other aspects of mueller's investigation come out in court charges at some point. the gru, the internet research agency, paul manafort, michael flynn, other cases. but we haven't seen sort of this core question, the original sin that begat the mueller investigation in the first place, which was the firing of jim comey and sort of the actions that grew out of that. which again focus on the president, wouldn't have necessarily led to criminal charges understand the justice department guidelines, but that collectively might be the biggest part of this report that we haven't seen and that we just have no idea where mueller is heading. >> now, james, we don't know what mueller -- as part of his mandate it included any links or coordination between the russian government or individuals associated with the campaign of
president trump, any matters that arose or might arise directly from the investigation. obviously that is stuff that could be handed off. he could be handing things off. is the president in the remit of this to get to bottom line and comprehensive report, is the president's historical relationship with russia, his monetary interactions with russia, if in any sense he was ever seen as a trusted person by russian assets, is that within the scope? and if so, is that ever going to see the light of day? because if you're not going to indict someone but still put it in there it's pretty damning? >> we may be guessing with some knowledge of a bottom line but no substances behind it. scope can change. when special counsel gets appoint said there's a clear mandate. but over the course of the investigation rosenstein was in a position to approve or reject some of the changes of that investigation.
and that's when you might start seeing hand-offs. we don't fully know what the scope is. i'm hoping that the process becomes a little fully more illuminated as well. but you're right, there's certainly opportunity for factual assertions to be put in this report that make it at least politically harmful if not legally harmful. >> she's at all justice department. laura, you've been doing so much reporting on this. you're now reporting he's in his office, the attorney general bill barr, reading the report as we speak. so tell me what you know about him and what he's going to do next. >> we know he started right away this afternoon digging in the details, pouring over it. and we're told just a few close advisers have actually seen this. just a few officials are going to be the ones that actually review the confidential report that mueller delivered just earlier this afternoon. we're told the white house has not seen that report. still tbd whether they do get to
review the principle conclusions before those go to congress. my colleague pamela brown has of course reported that they do expect to receive some awareness of the substance before that goes to the hill. as for those principle clonclusions in a letter to lawmakers this evening, the attorney general bill barr says he expects to be able to provide those principle conclusions as soon as this weekend. and i am told those principle conclusions which you could essentially think of as a summary or distillation of the core findings of the mueller report. but that's barr's distillation that that will be made public as well. so it's not as if that is only going to the hill. and then as a second step barr outlines he's also going to be in consultation with the deputy attorney general rod rosenstein as well as mueller himself trying to figure out what else from the report can be made public. but we should think of that as certainly a ways off. the principle conclusions are
the thing we should look for next, erin. >> thank you very much, laura. juliette, principle conclusions. how much is that really going to give us? we already know, for example, no more indictments. so i would expect that's one principle conclusion. >> i've been saying people who want everything and i'm watching some of the tweets on the hill, so there's a lot going on here. there are cases going on. there are investigations still going on. i am much more sympathetic to barr taking his time and protecting those investigations then because we know a lot of what animated mueller was of course grand jury testimony and other things that we ought not to see because those cases are still going on. so i think this idea, sort of i'm sort of not there with a lot of the critics of the trump administration. on the other hand, to the extent
that barr wants the justice department to be relieved of being viewed as political, he should explain, and i kind of like what i heard when he said he was going to consult with mueller, why certain materials would not be released and provide as much information as he can. so maybe i'm splitting the difference here, but i do think just given what's going on in the indictments and counter intelligence and all that stuff, i never anticipated that we would see the document that barr is seeing. barr, on the other hand, has an obligation. and he seems to be given a little bit of a nod to it by invoking mueller, that he needs to explain why it is he's not releasing certain information so that the conspiracy theories go away, and then this just becomes a political impeachment or whatever else fight or a legal fight with the white house. barr should get the justice department out of this. and it sounds like he wants to. >> john dean, though, do you think we're going to end up seeing all of it? in a sense barr is saying
principle conclusions as soon as this weekend. it certainly does add to at least the perception that he wants full transparency, which he indicated during his confirmation hearing. he wanted to the extent he could consistent with the regulations. >> barr seems very much like an establishmentitarian. he wants to do it in a way that will not harm the department of justice and his own career and his own reputation for that matter. and they know the eyes of the world are looking at them right now. if indeed the white house has not been informed, if there's been no back channel to the white house, that's extraordinary. and they might be asked this question under oath at some point, so i think if they're not doing that they're playing it very smart and keeping the white house at arms length. that was the post-watergate rule that was established. and it was breached early by trump, and i think that barr is putting it back in place. and that's a healthy sign.
>> so evan, what's the timing do you think that we're looking at for the public? >> well, for the public first of all there's a couple of steps barr has introduced here that laura and jarrett just outlined. he might give members of congress the principle conclusions, but then beyond that it appears he's going to take some time, perhaps weeks before he prepares what we'll call the barr report, which is going to distill what robert mueller has found. so that's going to be an additional amount of time. he looks like he's trying to figure out a way to not release the full mueller report. it appears he is trying to avoid it. now, the question is, erin, will he be successful in that? you've seen over the last couple of years the justice department has sort of established a bit of precedent in releasing the information, underlying information evidence found in an
investigation. republicans were so mad that there were no charges brought and they were very suspicious they said that hillary clinton should have been charged. so now democrats who have subpoena power are going to be able to fight the same battle in the just department. i can tell you laura and i have talked to senior officials in the department who were worried that precedent was going to weaken their ability to stop that from happening in the mueller investigation. >> james, what i'm trying to understand is if they're going to say as they have said no indictments are coming, didn't have massive disagreements on that, in other words mueller didn't say he wanted to indict the president or he thought the president should be indicted is the take away. how can they justify the mueller report? if it's even damning to this presidency but not criminal, how do you not put it out stl? >> i think there's layers of reasons why we're not going to see the full report. there's going to be classified kind of counter espionage
information that will be in there. that's not going to be disclosed. i don't think we're going to see the report in an unredacted form for that. there's rule 6e, grand jury material that unless duplicated is also off-limits by a court order. and then you have executive privilege fight and then good ocean fashioned concern about what i call the ray donovan effect, which is you don't want to get people who get trashed because they can't defend themselves. there's a whole bunch of notions and law that make it unlikely that i think a full scrub will be revealed in this document. >> so john dean, what does that mean for the president? he's going to try to pull executive privilege on everything he could. they've already indicated they'll try to do that.
>> i think they will try to do that. they've agreed to turn over documents on the condition they would reserve the right to invoke executive privilege. i'm sure they're going to take the same reaction with people who testified from the white house before the grand jury or just informally in front of the special counsel. the president has got a lot of advantages in keeping things secret when he wants to. and i certainly think he can probably block a lot until after the 2020 election, which is what he's most worried about. >> hey, erin, if i could just interject one quick thing, if you look at bill barr's letter one of the most important parts of it is he talks about how there was nothing -- here we go. he talks about how one of the responsibilities here was that any proposed action by the special counsel that was so inappropriate or unwarranted under established department practices, that it should not be
pursued. essentially he's saying there's nothing that special counsel robert mueller asked for and was denied to do. and one of the big questions we've been wondering is whether mueller wanted subpoena the president. we know that he never sat down for an interview, which is huge victory for the president. you and i know both that a lot of the lawyers were very concerned because they thought if the president sat down with mueller that he would probably get himself in trouble. he managed to end this investigation, get through this investigation without sitting down. that's a huge victory for the president. and what bill barr is telling everyone is that mueller never asked, essentially, subpoena the president, which would have been another battle royale in this investigation. it means mueller never went to that extraordinary step, and i think that's going to be something that i think will make a huge difference in how the perception of this investigation going forward. >> right, i guess -- sorry,
juliette, quick final word. it depends also on the motive, right? he could have not asked for a subpoena because he knew he wasn't going to get one. >> i think that's right. so why wouldn't mueller have done that? it is because the ultimate question about what happens to the president, let's just put it very bluntly, is not mueller's to decide. and he never wanted to decide it. he's not going to get -- you know, the third rail is going to be owned by congress, not by mueller. and that, you know, depending on who you are is a good or bad thing. but if you're mueller that is exactly what he -- this is in courtrooms, but the ultimate question is where is trump, right, it's going to be a political one. and that is what he always wanted, and it sounds like that's how he played it. >> and of course nancy pelosi saying it's got to be clear and bipartisan to even move ahead with any sort of impeachment proceeding, so this is really
going to change the metrics on that. thank you all very much. next lawmakers on both sides of the aisle are calling for the findings to be released. right, they happen all of the report and all of the documentation behind it. and the president at mar-a-lago, his legal team, they're all there together. we're learning about his response. [music playing] (vo) this is the averys. this is the averys trying the hottest new bistro. wait...and the hottest taqueria? and the hottest...what are those? oh, pierogis? and this is the averys wondering if eating out is eating into saving for their first home. this is jc... (team member) welcome to wells fargo, how may i help? (vo) who's here to help with a free financial health conversation, no strings attached. this is the averys with the support they needed to get back on track. well done guys. (team member) this is wells fargo.
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breaking news tonight. the mueller report in the hands of the attorney general bill barr who we understand is reading it at this hour. barr has come out with a letter to congress saying he could be ready to notify them on the, quote, principle conclusions as soon as this weekend. the reaction from capitol hill has been swift and manu is there. what are you hearing, manu? >> democrats are demanding, erin, the full report as well as the underlying evidence that underpins the decisions that bob mueller made to prosecute and not to prosecute. and that could be one area of a fight going forward between democrats and the justice department depending on how much bill barr multilat edecides to provide to congress and to public. adam shif, the chairman of the intelligence committee said the justice department set a precedent in the last congress they were investigating the fbi
decisions not to prosecute hillary clinton in 2016 elections. he's saying because of that decision congress should at least see the underlying decisions for the mueller investigation. now, on top of that democrats in the house saying this is the beginning of their investigation going forward. they want to investigate those further, expect bob mueller to be called to testify at least before the house intelligence committee. bill barr before the house judigtsiary committee potential, as well as other public hearings potentially on the senate side. others saying they're happy this is over. they want to hear what mueller ultimately found. both republicans and democrats expect to get some read out of at least the principle conclusions of this weekend. we'll see what bill barr ultimately release but this is going to set the stage. >> manu, thank you very much.
i want to go to a member of the house judiciary committee, so of course you were the first committee to be notified of the report. you got the letter here from bill barr, and he is now saying, congressman, he could brief you as soon as this weekend. so have you heard anymore? what are you expecting from the attorney general? >> i don't expect a great deal. this is basically his elliot richardson moment. he has to decide whether he wants history to judge him as one of the good guys who stood up for the justice department and rule of law, or really does he want to be seen as a by-product of the president who appointed him, and richardson decided richard nixon, the nation needed an independent attorney general and not richard nixon, so he resigned. bill barr can make the entire mueller report public. the public paid for it, the
public wants to see it, the public deserves to see it. in the interest of transparency and rule of law, and just fair play. we need to know whether or not our president or anyone in his campaign or family was involved with the russians in affecting the 2016 election. we know the russians did it. the question is what degree of proof do they have? they may not have had proof beyond a reasonable doubt. they may not have looked at that because of old justice department regulations that say you can't indict the president. i understand sources and methods. i understand grand juries, but that's a limited amount of evidence that probably would be restricted. >> if the take away here, though, and obviously some of this stuff could have been off-loaded to other jerks. we know michael cohen for example was, campaign finance was. there could be other things we don't yet know ability it. but if the take away here is no more indictments from bob mueller but this report gets
into the president's historical relationship with russia, and, you know, there is quite a bit there that would be quite damaging or damning, but there are no indictments to come with it or no recommended indictments to come with it, do you still think that should be put out there? >> yes, because the president because of past justice department guidelines, which are from 40 some odd years ago and many people think they were improper, cannot be indicted. that's not a reason not to give the public that information since he can still be impeached, and the fact of impeachment is a different standard of proof. and that's the last resort. if the justice department based their opinion on the fact he could be impeached and shouldn't be indicted, that they're remedy for any improper activities was impeachment and if they have any evidence that could lead us to think he has obstructed justice, abused his power, then they should releasethality information to the authorities
that can take action which would be the house judiciary in an impeachment resolution. >> first bob mueller himself, if he does not provide -- if we don't get the full report and we don't get all the information behind it, will you go ahead and subpoena him before your committee? will you call him there? >> well, chairman nadler would make that decision. and he's made it clear he would do that. i know his committee will strongly support him in that. if we don't get the report in full to our satisfaction, then robert mueller will be subpoenaed before the judiciary committee. >> so you would support that. on the issue of impeachment nancy pelosi has made it clear she doesn't want to do it anything with it unless there's something so clear and so bipartisan that she could get gop and the senate to support it. she doesn't want to just impeach the president in the house for show. that means republicans must be
onboard, at least 12 of them in the senate. they're going to look at this and say no more indictments. does mean this whole conversation is over? >> as far as impeachment you mean? >> yeah. >> i don't think it is. you need more than 12 republicans. you'd have to get not 60 but 66 republicans to convict in the senate. so you'd need about 18 of them. that's going to be real hard to find. but nevertheless there have been situations where folks in the senate wrnt there when the impeachment resolution started, and once the process went on proof came out that made it clear, and that's the nixon situation. he saw that's why he resigned. but before the votes started in the house there were not the votes in the senate. but once information came out and a lot of it was the 22
minutes, the tape recordings from the white house, that was kind of the smoking gun. >> thank you very much. i appreciate your time, congressman. >> you're welcome. we paid for it. we need to get it. >> all right, and i should point out by the way so everyone watching knows, yes, the taxpayers, we paid for it. because of the money mueller has recouped from people like manafort, this whole investigation is actually in the grains. pretty incredible. out front next president trump with his legal team. we're going to go to mar-a-lago. new details of his response we're gathering today, and mueller may be done, but the investigations into president trump are not, and this is a crucial part of the story. we're going to explain. that's next. staying at hampton for a work trip.
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zero indictments means we are clear. that's a quote from one of them. out front in florida tonight, and susan, they haven't seen it yet. there could be a lot of damning stuff in there, but they are seizing on no indictments and saying this is great news for them. >> as you can imagine, yes, they have not seen a report. we have heard from the press secretary sarah sanders who says the white house has not yet received this report so this has to play out first. but they are certainly putting that message out there. this is not going to be a quiet weekend at mar-a-lago here for the president. as you have mentioned he has a full entourage, two press secretaries, his legal team including emt flood who had been part of his strategizing in how they will move forward in the messaging whether this is damning or exculpatory evidence in this report. so they're trying to game that
out. we're told it's going to be a quiet evening dinner. but after that, after they get this report and sort this out, we do expect that they are going to have to really work hard and work hard on the messaging very quickly. and what we have seen from my colleagues pam brown as well as jem acosta, those campaign advisers and aides already weighing in. already saying, look, if we don't see indictments and conspiracy and obstruction of justice and things of that nature, perhaps this is big win, we can move on. it is going to be a pivotal time. we saw the president earlier today, and there are some indications of how he will respond. we know and we've heard before his allege that this is not a real legitimate endeavor, that it's a hoax and those type of things. but he is also going to be talking about working with the attorney general to see what he gets out of this rorlt. >> suzanne thank you very much.
and now i want to go to tim neftali, and jack weiss, formal federal prosecutor. harry, so obviously the big question here is what's next. this is the end of mueller but perhaps the beginning or the beginning of us finding out about other things. >> absolutely. so there's the sort of look back. i think particularly the obstruction investigation would be interesting to know about. people are going to want to know what happened in terms of meeting on the airplane to construct the statement for don june. people are going to want to know what about whether there was any connection between the trump administration and the false testimony given by michael cohen and congress and was there any conclusion there. but then looking forward we know mueller has taken a very narrow view of his authority and has not hezicated to kick out
aspects that don't really fall within the core of the russia election story. and so it wouldn't be surprising if in this report he detailed that there were other investigations being sent out and still being conducted in the southern district or elsewhere. >> jack, i know you thought there would be indictments prior to this coming out. of course there aren't. so what now? >> we had learned a lot about the conduct of say don junior and we wonder about whether others lied to congress. i would add is it's not just obstruction we need to know about. it's evidence of compromise. of trump and those close to him would be contained in a foreign counter intelligence report that should be delivered somehow or other to congress. unless and until we know that, we won't know the full story of trump's personal involvement,
his personal culpability here. it may not rise to the level of criminal, which is really the ultimate thing we do in america -- >> it would be incredibly significant, right, if there was a conclusion that the russians had compromised or perceived as compromised for donald trump. >> absolutely. and i think based on the indictments because mueller has told us a lot through the indictments and information filed, i sort of predict through this report he tells the story of the government of russia, vladimir putin and his associates pushing an effort to elect donald trump as president. and then the question is why did people lie about connections between russia and the trump circle, and did trump have any knowledge of what russia was doing? did he encourage russia to do this? was there any suggestion made? >> just to be clear, he could
have done some of those things and it not be something mueller chooses to indict. >> that's right. just because the evidence isn't there. there isn't strong enough evidence to prove it beyond a reasonable doubt. or for whatever reason it doesn't fit the elements of a federal crime. >> tim, you know, you obviously as presidential historian with the nixon library, when you look back at that moment and look where we are right now, what do you see? >> well, i see this is not a parallel at all. the watergate special prosecution force's final report came out a year after richard nixon had resigned. it was the end of the process. and right now we're at the end of the beginning of the process. in the watergate period congress did some some of the most important, with the help of the press, did some of the most important investigations before the special prosecutor began
prosecuting the president's men. in this case it's the other way around. and so if indeed there is more misconduct surrounding this administration, expect more investigations. they just won't be led by mueller. and there's one other point i wanted to make. the watergate special prosecution force was very careful not to suggest criminal behavior by those who had not been indicted. because under our system of government and laws and justice that wouldn't be fair. but that doesn't mean that the mueller report won't talk about unethical and suspect conduct. it won't suggest criminal conduct, but it may put together narratives, crinologies that suggest bad behavior. there and again when you talk about compromise in foreign governments, you're talking about things that should -- all americans will have to think deeply about the significance of that. we don't know what we don't know right now, but when it comes down to indictments. if you are jared kushner or you
are donald trump, jr. or ivanka trump, are you in the clear now. >> that's a fair question. and i think it's interesting to have a nixon expert tell us based on what we know so far or seen so far this is arguably much more consequential and concerning than what happened in the nixon presidency. are those people in the clear? i don't think they're in the clear. just the silly news this week about whatsapp, those could be serious violations of federal law. for all we know there could be a special counsel appointed to investigate jared kushner. when it comes to is trump in the clear, the southern district is clearly doing, you know, a very serious autopsy of all of his financial dealings. and michael cohen alluded to a lot of that in his testimony. that could very well result in criminal charges, and we'll see this sort of, like, interesting
pardon end game perhaps unfold in the next year of whether trump wants to pardon associates of his, whether he wants to pardon himself. and mean, these are chapters that are yet to be written. >> and harry, when it comes to the special counsel, we know things have been handed over to the southern district, for example, and other jurisdictions. could they have handed things off right now at the final hour or do you think it all would have been done in prior weeks and months? >> i think almost certainly things were handed off in the final hour. we know this mystery case involving the foreign corporation that's going up to the supreme court. >> because they don't want anyone to know who they are. >> that case isn't ending, and to the extent there's evidence that that company produces, some prosecutor somewhere is going to do it. the lawyer who's handling them of the supreme court, michael dreeben, he was a member of the mueller team and also has been deputy general of the united
states for many, many years. >> interesting when you say things could have been just been handed over literally in these final hours we're going to talk more about that. here we are 675 days in, and the big question is what and who is next. [outdoor♪ambiance] hi, mrs. gorman. hey, theo. police radio: i have the stolen vehicle in sight. [police siren] ♪ [police siren] ♪ [police siren] police radio: onstar, it's safe to slow it down. ♪ onstar advisor: mr. grantham, this is onstar. onstar advisor: the police have your vehicle. mr. grantham: thank you so much. from the very beginning ...
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pg&e wants you to plan ahead by mapping out escape routes and preparing a go kit, in case you need to get out quickly. for more information on how to be prepared and keep your family safe, visit pge.com/safety. breaking news. bob mueller is done. the attorney general is reading the report and making a big
decision. what's he going to release to congress and the public. evan perez is out front live in washington. as we're going through this and trying to understand what's next and what's in this report that we understand is comprehensive, the big question here was collusion, right? >> right. >> and there are so many questions about that. right, polling data shared with russians. all these things we found out in the manafort trial. where are we now with that? >> that's certainly one of the burning questions we still have. just in the past month in the manafort case for instance we saw prosecutors say in these sealed court hearings that there was certainly still a big question at the center of this investigation about what we might call collusion, this idea that paul manafort was sharing polling data with konstantin kilimnik who according to the special counsel has all these ties with russian intelligence
services. what we did see, though, just in the past month, that whole allegation just kind of disappeared. in the end when they went to try to sentence paul manafort, none of that came up in any of the prosecutors memos. so the question we all have is what happened to that. certainly five, six weeks ago they were still saying that and suddenly they weren't anymore. so we certainly have a lot of questions about that. whether or not the prosecutors decided that this is something they didn't have enough evidence to bring but that they still are investigating, certainly one of the possibilities remains that the fbi is still investigating, and there's a counter intelligence investigation part of this that will live on. and we may never see the fruits of that, obviously. >> i mean, tim, the big question here especially when you think about that and all those things as evan points out was out there, and then it sort of went away. evan says some of that, right, may be in the hands of the fbi.
we never know. counter intelligence. but some of it may be in this report. >> yes, and i look to for example i think we'll see a history of the fbi's investigation of the russia intervention. i think we'll learn something there. i fear there'll be a lot of black spots where things have been redacted, but i suspect we'll learn a lot more there. i think we're also going to learn about the extent to which the white house corresponded with the investigation. these final reports generally talk about their cooperation or lack of cooperation with other institutions. so we should actually learn why president trump never sat down for an interview. so i think there's a lot to be expected that will pea interesting and will shape our political dynamic. i think there's a lot yet to come, really. >> harry, will congress get everything they want, which democrats in congress who of course control the investigations right now have made it clear they don't just want the report, they want all the information that was used in preparing the report and coming to its conclusions. >> i think all the underlying
may be a tough ask. i think the report they should get, but the real question i have is one of timing. because we heard some people say today there could be a defense based on the idea this is an executive privilege that trump is going to invoke and that n k executive privilege should allow him to with hold some of of those things. we know that barr has a very sweeping view of what the executives authority is, and we know that trump has appointed two justices to the supreme court that share that view. i think they will ultimately get what they want but it may take some time to play out. >> what do you think about some cases that have been handed out to other jurisdictions? >> the case we need to keep an eye on is roger stone. he's the connection between the campaign and wikileaks. michael cohen made it very clear in his testimony.
let's keep our eye on that ball because that is the connection between it campaign and the rugs. >> so many big have the big hea then the big empty void of not knowing. thank you so much for joining s. our breaking news coverage continues now with ac 360. well, certainly a historic day here in washington. special counsel robert mueller has turned in his report. congress could be notified of the principle conclusions as early as tomorrow, but we've already learned a big one. a senior justice department telling cnn's laura jarrett no additional indictments will be coming from robert mueller. the investigation from mueller is over. no more indictments, which means no indictments at all based on cuclusi collusion or conspiracy or obstruction of justice. certainly good news for the president or anyone around him who's not been indicted.