tv The Journal Editorial Report FOX News March 24, 2019 12:00pm-1:00pm PDT
♪ ♪ dana: america is waiting on washington for the key findings from special counsel robert mueller's nearly two-year investigation into russian interference with our 20126 election and possible collusion with president trump's campaign. we expect those findings sometime today. welcome to the fox news special coverage of the mueller report, i'm dana perino. ed: and i'm ed henry, great to be with you. dana: it's a reunion of sorts. ed: we used to be in the briefing room together. thame deign i've got your number. ed: look out. sources tell fox attorney general william barr could deliver his summary of key findings to congress as soon as this afternoon. the house voted unanimously to publicly release mueller's
report. that was nonbinding, but that effort did stall in the senate leaving big questions about how much underlying information the public will actually see. barr has said he'll release as much as he can by law, and no surprise, deep partisan differences today on what the next steps should be. >> at the end of the day, if this report comes back as it seems to be coming back, that there was no collusion on the president or the part of the campaign, then that is the part we need to take and move from here. >> the job of congress is much broader than the job of a special counsel. the special counsel was looking and only look for crimes. we have to protect the rule of law. we have to look for abuses of power, we have to hook for obstructions of justice, we have to look for corruption and the exercise of power which may not be crimes. ed: chairman nadler also said it's the, quote, equivalent of a cover-up if the justice department does not release that underlying information from mueller's report. we have fox team coverage. kevin corke at the white house,
but first, molly henneberg live outside the justice department. molly, what are we looking for in this report? >> reporter: hi, ed. in general, we're looking for the main conclusions regarding collusion with russia and obstruction of justice. also we're looking at what does it mean for president trump. in addition, we're looking at is this the it? meaning is what we get today all we're going to get from the report, or will there be more? attorney general william barr arrived this morning, and he's been here with his assistant attorney general rod rosenstein, they were here yesterday and they're here today. democrats want to know why, how robert mueller reached his conclusions including why no more indictments. >> we have to see the report. the entire country, the public needs to see the entire report so we can see what the special prosecutor says about these questions. >> reporter: and not just the report, nadler says. democrats say they also want to see the supporting evidence and information.
ed? ed: molly, there's also talk about lawmakers actually calling on mueller to testify, and if he doesn't agree to do it, democrats are talking about issuing a subpoena. >> reporter: if that whole report is not released by the department of justice behind me, congressman nadler says, yes, he may call robert mueller to testify before his committee and find out what's missing from the report or wasn't released publicly. republicans say it's against the law to release any classified details from the report, and they don't think democrats had been able to get much more information than what is in the report. >> they think that they can go into the judiciary committee or any other committee and have a limited budget, limited subpoena power, limited staff and go up against an investigation that lasted 22 months, had unlimited power, unlimited subpoena power, had plenty of investigators, and they think they can find something more than what they did, then i think they're sadly mistaken. >> reporter: that 22-month investigation ended on friday, and today, maybe in a couple of
hours, we'll get a first look at what's in that report. ed? ed: thanks, molly. still waiting, as are we. thame deign so the special counsel may have finally closed his investigation, but president trump may not be out of the legal woods. federal prosecutors in new york have opened a string of investigations into the president and his associates are facing their own legal battles. leland vittert in washington with more. leland? >> reporter: hi, dana. robert mueller's team had a relatively specific scope of investigation. but remember that-an unlimited budget, unlimited power and a grand jury. part of the process of ending the mueller investigation is turning over what he learned to other parts of the doj that were not part of his initial scope. most notably, turning things over to the southern ticket of new york, sdny for short. they were the ones who looked into and prosecuted part of the michael cohen case. more on him in a moment. sdny prosecutors reportedly have
multiple investigations going as it relates to the president, his family and his associates. >> but donald trump is not out of legal jeopardy, and the southern ticket of new york does not have the narrow mission that the special counsel had. and, you know, they're aggressive, tough, independent, fair and apolitical. and if there's things they think are worth pursuing and charming, they will do so. and if that means there's legal jeopardy for people around the president, then we'll, i guess, have to see. >> reporter: "the new york times" reports among the things they are looking into is the trump inaugural committee and that as of today, dana, there's still about a dozen open investigations by state and federal prosecutors that came out of the mueller probe. dana: but, leland, he also indicted 34 people, so where do all of those cases stand now? >> reporter: well, he did. more than two dozen of those were russian nationals, unlikely they will ever face a u.s. court. michael flynn, president's adviser for national security
and also adviser on the campaign trail, pled guilty to making false statements. he has not been sentenced yet. paul manafort pled guilty to a slew of crimes, sentenced to 90 months in prison. roger stone goes to trial in november. michael cohen, president trump's longtime fixer and attorney from his days in real estate in new york, was recently sentenced to three years in prison having pled guilty to a number of crimes, some involving the campaign and payoff to stormy daniels, others not related to the campaign. a recent new york post article showed cohen frequenting a number of new york's fanciest restaurants ahead of reporting to jail in may, dana. daib deign leland, thank you so much. we can also report now that the justice department is saying to expect the report from attorney general bill barr, these are the principal findings, in about 30-45 minutes. so we're looking at 3:45 to 4:00, in this hour, we expect to
have that document, and we will bring it to you live, of course. in the meantime, let's bring in jim trusty, former doj prosecutor. i wanted to ask you something about the timing of getting these principal findings from barr. we actually don't know how long he's had the report, but let's say he did get it on friday. do you think it's pretty quick or, like, the right amount of time to be able to get these by sunday in about 45 minutes? >> well, it really depends how scant the hear? is going to be. if the -- is -- the summary is going to be. it could be a paragraph long. you could fairly call that a summary, he could certainly give you the last page of the book. but i don't think he's going to create a document on that short of turn-around that is intended to replace the kind of unredacted portions of the larger report. dana: and no matter what happens, with we know already from the reaction before anyone has seen these findings or the full mueller report that some are not going to be satisfied. listen to chairman jerry nadler,
he's chairman of the house judiciary committee, on his thoughts this morning. >> if you don't have enough evidence to charge someone with a crime, you shouldn't sully their name. however, the justice department believes that as a matter of law the president, no matter what the evidence, can never be indicted for anything simply because he is the president. once you say that the president cannot be indictable no matter the evidence as a matter of law, to then follow the principle that you can't then comment on the evidence or publicize it is to cop accelerate that into a cover-up -- convert that into a cover-up. dana: this is standard, it wasn't followed by jim comey when he first reported about hillary clinton if you remember that press conference, but this will be the bone of contention going forward; seeing the full report or is the justice department supposed to follow procedure and suppress any of that information for people who are not prosecuted? >> i think it's a tough tension. i'm not sure i buy into the notion that the report going to start off with, essentially, a
preface saying we don't believe the president could ever be indicted so, therefore, you know, who cares about the rest of this ed. i think they're going to say here's all of the factual evidence we gathered over this two-year probe, here's the laws that could be in play, and here's why we don't think there's a case that's provable beyond a reasonable doubt. i think that's a little bit of a red herring. but they will be mindful to smearing anyone, perhaps even the president, when it comes to accusations of potential criminal conduct without giving them a forum to vindicate themself. dana: i want you also to respond to the former u.s. attorney for the southern district of new york, he was on cnn earlier tosmed he was talking about other problems that the president might have because of the sdny. listen. >> people shouldn't be taking victory laps or jumping off bridges depending on their political viewpoint based on the fact that the mueller report has been concluded and there's no indictments. but donald trump is not out of legal jeopardy, and the southern
district of new york did not have the narrow mission that the special counsel had and, you know, they're aggressive and tough and independent and fair and apolitical. and if there's things that they think are worth pursuing and charging, they will do so. dana: your thoughts on that and the southern ticket of new york. >> well, i don't think there's any danger that the people from the southern district of new york are going to have self-esteem issues. they've always kind of viewed themselves as an independent prosecuting authority, i think there's a jock about them being the southern -- joke about them being the southern prosecutor of new york. if you're representing the president, you have to say some of those very same things which are, look, sdny made it very clear in the michael cohen guilty plea that they think they have a possible case against you for campaign finance violations. so that's still up and coming. the redactions to the search warrant released publicly shows that's still probably an active case. so they are aggressive, and whether they're apolitical or not, i guess, i leave for other
commentators, but they could certainly be looking hard at the president. dana: so you've been coming on air, you've been a great who shows up every time, you help us understand these thing it is. from the beginning you said you would never have recommended that the president sit down and do an interview with mueller. he did not. now the report is finished, there are no more indictments coming, so that looks like it would have been very good advice, but what the add violate would you -- advice -- >> you have to literally throw yourself against the president and say you are not going to talk to that man. it was really kind of an easy call if you're affiliated with the criminal justice system. but right now you have to tell the president, look, we know what the last page of the book is, but there's a lot to read before that that's coming out soon, and it could still be fairly embarrassing or damning information. so you have to take a little bit of a wait and see approach. you do have to tell him there's a lot of aggressive state
a.g.s that still have their sights set on him and that we have to, you know, guard our celebration with what's coming out today. dana: jim trusty, always a pleasure to have you. >> thank you. ed: voters now weighing in on whether the special counsel's report should be made public in full. brand with new fox news poll shedding light on that, and we've just confirmed that, in fact, ty cobb will join us by phone in a few moments as we wait for this letter from bob -- william barr, i could say, to come out in the next few moments. that stay with us. moments. moments. ♪
your digestive system has billions of bacteria, but life can throw them off balance. re-align yourself, with align probiotic. and try align gummies, with prebiotics and probiotics to help support digestive health ed: well, as we wait for attorney general william barr to deliver those findings of the special counsel's investigation to congress in a short while, a new fox news poll shows most voters approve of how the special counsel, robert mueller, handled the investigation. 52% give him the thumb's up, 35%
in this fox poll say they disapprove. that is down from mueller's all-time high approval of 59% in august. the poll conducted, though, before mueller completed the probe. let's talk now to an axios political reporter, she joins us live. shannon, good to see you. >> thanks for having me. ed: this is a legal battle, it's also a political battle, and winning hearts and minds in the public. >> absolutely. and we know that at the end of in the democrats are already coming out and saying they're willing to go to war over getting these results from the mueller report made public and unclassified. we know senator jack reed wants mueller to testify, and we know that senator kamala harris wants bill barr to testify, and adam schiff has said he's going to ask for information, even subpoena if he doesn't get that information, and then he's willing to drag folks in to testify as well. so we know the political battle ahead could be fraught. ed: there was a "usa today" poll as well a few days ago with
suffolk university that suggested a small majority of the country believe the president has been investigated too much. he's obviously been out there for a long time trying to beat up on mueller, suggests again and again this is a witch hunt. how does that play as well especially with his base? >> well, in the poll you pulled out today, the majority believe that trump has tried to interfere in the probe. and there is just under majority, i think it's something about 40%, believe that the trump campaign was working with the russian government. and what that shows us is the white house messaging on whether the mueller report is a witch hunt and whether the mueller probe is a witch hunt might not be resonating with his base. ed: you mentioned the push by various democrats to see the whole report in terms of even sensitive information. if there's classified information, one would expect it's going to have to go through a process where classesfied information is not just dumped
out there. what about sensitive information? democrats pushing for that, but could there be a boomerang if it's the kind of information that should not be made public? >> i think we'll just have to trust the department of justice, right, to make the appropriate redactions so as to not put any legal peril on on ongoing investigations. bewe also know from your poll 41% of americans don't think it will change their opinion of president trump. but we also know that a sitting president can't be indicted under tradition and rule, and we also know that negative information can't be revealed about someone who's not indicted, so it's kind of this catch 22 here where it might feel sort of like a vindication moment for republicans in the white house, but there's other possible legal peril for president trump in new york related to michael cohen, related to the enall rag fund. might not -- enall -- inaugural
fund. ed: there could still be other legal perils, but could there be a pile-on effect that also helps the president make his case that they're out to get him no matter what bob mueller finds or not? >> maybe. and president trump hasn't wavered from saying this is a witch hunt from the last 22 months. but on the other hand, one big thing we need to think about is the fact that mueller has been making his case publicly over the past 22 months; 25 russians indicted, 3 russian companies, including the very forensic details relates to the dnc and dccc. so in terms of whether this report is going to seem like a bombshell, it might not. it's really quite a political moment here. ed: sure, it is. and especially because you have democrats, adam schiff two years ago saying they had evidence of collusion, if robert mueller
didn't find that two years later, it might blow up in democrats' faces, no? >> it's not whether the report finds collusion, but the fact that it's been able to carry out unimpeded. we saw in bill barr's letter to lawmakers on capitol hill he said no requests were made were blocked by doj. there's been so many questions as to whether even mueller would make it through. ed: a big moment, as you say, we are all waiting and watching. dana: this is for real, we're expecting this report nor 15-30 minutes now. we will find out exactly what special counsel says in that report, but lay a merrickers -- lawmakers on both sides of the aisling are not waiting for the withdraw of words. a live report from capitol hill next. ♪ ♪ ♪ 'cos i know what it means
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stay connected with the best wifi experience and two-hour appointment windows. click, call or visit a store today. dana: as we await the attorney generas summary, congressional lawmakers are ready for a showdown after months of division over this investigation. democrats seem to have one objective, insuring the public can read as much of mueller's report as possible if not the entire thing, and chief congressional correspondent mike emmanuel is live on capitol hill. what are you hearing from leading democrats as we await the summary of the report which is coming in the next 10-20 minutes? >> reporter: chuck schumer tweeted this afternoon the american people are entitled to see the mueller report and its underlying documentation for themselves. they do not need or want the trump administration to summarize, sanitize or or spin the report, they simply want the truth. hashtag, release the report. earlier the house intelligence chairman was asked if impeachment is the end game. >> that's not the end game, and i think the speaker's made it
very clear that in the absence of very compelling evidence that there isn't going to be an impeachment. but one of the reasons why it's so important that this underlying evidence be shared with congress is that so so we don't have to reinvent the wheel, we don't have to go through all the same interviews as bob mueller. >> reporter: and it's clear some leading democrats are considering calling both attorney general william barr and robert mueller up here to testify. >> the american people deserve to know whether donald trump is either, a, a legitimate president; b, a russian asset; c, the functional equivalent of an organized crime boss; or, d, just a useful idiot who happens to have been victimized by the greatest collection of coincidences in the history of the republic. >> reporter: democrats do not sound inclined to wrap this up with this mueller report. dana: but, of course, the president has his supporters. what are they saying? >> reporter: no question about it. democrats may live to regret
putting so much stock in robert mueller. >> go back to may of 2017. all the democrats, all the republicans in washington, d.c. said we need a special counsel, and they got the guy they wanted. they got bob mueller. the guy who everybody said is right next to jesus, can almost walk on water. he now has his report. it seems like they now think this is not going to be the bombshell they thought it was going to be, so they're launching all kinds of new fishing exwe dissings -- expeditions. >> reporter: and a key senate conservative says we should all get to read it. >> the report needs to made public, it needs to be released to the congress and to the american people. this has consumed two years of the american people's time, and we need to have full transparency. we need to know the special counsel's conclusions. >> reporter: some republicans are suggesting there will need to be redactions so those not prosecuted are not damaged by the release. dana? dame kane i'm also cure use about the mood there. as they get ready to file back into washington, d.c., what's
the mood? are they ready to rip this band-aid off? >> reporter: there's great anticipation. i saw some law makers getting back here to capitol hill, they're anxious to hear what the attorney general's going to give them in terms of the summary, and you better believe there's going to be a fight over getting the entire report and the underlying information out. they've been waiting for this for months, and so now they're eager to see what the attorney general sends over from the mueller report. of. dana: we, of course, are expecting that in the next 15 minutes or so. thank you, mike. joining me now is colin reid, former executive director of america rising, and michael mahan it's god to have you both here. i want to get your take first, colin, about the president's supporters, their mood heading into, finally, the mueller report being -- at least the principal findings and the conclusions -- being made public. >> i know, dana. if you look back last year, it's hard to believe be sitting here
where there seems to be pretty wisconsin partisan -- bipartisan agreement that the findings should come out. the report's over. i they's a good thing. -- i think it's a good thing. and where we go from here, i think, because this report has taken so long to come out, there's two different arenas that are going to have a big say on this, and one is the newly-elected house democratic majority who are going to face immense pressure from their base to go further that where the report goes and, two, the 2020 field. there was a great new york times story today about how these contenders are not hearing a lot about mueller, so they're going to have to grapple with how they deal with it. but both of those players, they're going to be the ones, i think, that really drive this from here on in. dana: and that reporting has been pretty consistent, right, michael? you have a lot of leading house democrats talking about the mueller report and anticipating it and also maybe getting ahead of their skis a little bit on that. but the democratic candidates that are out there on the trail,
especially in iowa, the reporting there is they don't bring this up very often. they want to focus on something else. so how are they able to do both? >> well, i think you do have unanimous opinion pretty much here in washington, the president, chuck schumer, 420 members of the house all think it should be made public. i think the democrats think there's more in there, so you have this unique moment in time. but so much of what happens in washington actually is not being played out in some of these early primary states, and i think that's why you see the schism about what you're reporting about in iowa and other places. they don't pay attention to the ongoing drip, drip, drip that we all do because we live it and breathe it inside the beltway. dana: take a listen to this, this is senator kirsten gillibrand. she was in new york at a very iconic location making a big announcement. watch this. >> the mueller report must be if made public. [cheers and applause]
all of it. [cheers and applause] nobody in this country -- not even the president -- is above the law or immune from accountability. dana: colin, or of course, she was there in new york at the trump tower making her big speeched today for her presidential campaign that kicked off officially last week. want to get your take on that. >> feels like senator gillibrand's had three or four rollouts, and each one doesn't seem to go anywhere. i think she can't have challenged this is where she wanted to be when she got out first. when you announce early, you start burning up campaign dollar, and it becomes hard to get traction. i don't know, and it seems like every time one of these candidates takes the stand or a position like this, they think it's going to separate themselves from the pack, but everything she said this, she'll probably have company from 30 other democratic contenders tomorrow. it's getting really hard for these candidates to separate from each other because they all
pretty much agree on pote -- most of the issues. dana: your take on that, michael. >> people want the report to be released. people are for transparency in government, so i agree, it's hard to have an edge without being conflicted with other people in the middle of the primary field. and clearly, what we know is bob mueller has done a yeoman's job here of 36 different entities and people have been charged in the middle of this process, so clearly, he's found people that have broken the law, and he's prosecuted them. now we're a about to find out what he nose about the rest, but -- knows about the rest, but we'll just have to wait and see. dana: more than two dozen of those, of course, were russian entities and may never actually get arrested but, of course, those indictments did come forward. i believe we have some sound also from senator ted cruz, is that right? okay. i just wanted to make sure we had it before i called for it. colin, could you take a listen
to this and talk the me about this tension that's going to be on the republican side about releasing the report in full or not. >> the report needs to be made public, it needs to be released to the congress, and it needs to be released to the american people. this has consumed two years of the american people's time, and we need to have full transparency. we need to know the special counsel's conclusions. dana: contrast that with devin nuñes, congressman from california, who earlier today said, basically, it's a partisan report, it should be burned, and he just wants to sweep it all under the rug. colin, i'll go to you first. >> yeah. it's funny how the goalposts have moved and now it's the republicans or some republicans are calling for the report to be public and democrats are looking to find another metric for success here. ultimately, it's donald trump and what he says and what he does that will drive the conversation. so he said he wants the report to be public, and i think that took a lot of people by surprise when he said that last week, but
that's the official position of the party, and everyone will have to get in line behind that. dana: the other thing we've been waiting for, michael, is the possible announcement by former vice president joe biden that he's going to get into this race. he keeps flirting with the idea or leading up to it, i guess waiting until april. he hasn't spoken about this too much. what do you expect to hear from him, if anything, in the next week or so? >> i suspect you'll hear that he form aally announces his candidacy for president. you've got recent polling that shows he's getting about a third of the vote in the primary, and he's the only democrat who beats trump by more than the margin of error in the any poll, so i don't know why he wouldn't run. but i also know that he's very smart about dealing with people talking about kitchen table issues, and the inner workings of a special prosecutor's office in washington, d.c. isn'ting what most people talk about, and joe biden's a very good with politician when it comes to working op things that people care about at home. dana: if you're talking about
the mueller report at the kitchen table, you've got to search for another topic, i think. [laughter] colin and michael, a pleasure to have you today. thank you. >> thank you. ed: dana, we're going to bring in bret baier, anchor of "special report." bret, good to see you. >> hey, ed. ed. ed: it looks like the time is finally here. we've been watching and waiting, so we can no longer tease our viewers. we will be going there any moment now to actually get it. bottom line, i wonder what you're thinking now, the president down in palm beach at his private home at mar rah lag duo waiting like the rest of us -- mar-a-lago. earlier today it was suggested to us he hadn't been briefed on the contents yet. talk to us about this political moment. >> well, it's a big moment, and the details matter. we know what we know already, that mueller made it to the finish line,, and that in and of itself is a big moment for all the coverage that he wasn't going to or the president was going to fire him or somehow
impede the investigation. you're right, the president has been in mar-a-lago today playing golf with his chief of staff, mick mulvaney, also trey gowdy, former south carolina congressman, and lindsey graham. south carolina senator. so basically, he has the south carolina, the former south carolina contingent playing golf with hum. likely talking about some of this, i would think. we haven't seen him tweet except for good morning -- [laughter] make it a great day, essentially. and that had all kinds of analysis e on social media and cable news. i think this moment is a turning point for this presidency. because what is in this report will matter and will be used one way or another going forward not only in investigations to come, but also in the election to come by the president or his opponents. ed: you imagine the president being quite frustrated if, on
one hand, it would be good politically if robert mueller essentially gives him a clean bill of health, but on the other hand, he'd be quite frustrated he's spent the last two years dealing with these investigations and even sort of wasting time, spinning wheels. and even if mueller gives him a relatively good, clean bill of health -- and we deponent know that -- we don't know that yet -- he still has democrats, hakeem jeffries compares the president to an organized crime boss and says they're going to keep on investigating him. >> a, b, c, d, there was none of the above, i think, is e, but he never got there. i think there are a lot of democrats who are really urgently trying to find that thing, and they are looking through everything to continue the investigation on a number of fronts. but the main thing where this
all starts is the special counsel investigation dealing with russia and the investigation into the possibility of conspiracy with the russians. ed: absolutely. bret, let's pause for one moment. >> we were pausing to let our fox stations join us around the country. special coverage of robert mueller, the special counsel, his findings being released by the attorney general, william barr, to congress. we're expecting at least a few stages of those top-line findings. i'm ed henry in -- dana: jake gibson, who's our producer at the justice department, i believe we have him on the phone. jake, are you there? >> i am here. the report -- excuse me, the letter just came out, the barr letter to congress. it is four pages. i'm going to read it to you, if
okay. dear chairman graham, nadler, ranking member feinstein and ranking member collins. as a supplement to the notification provided on friday, march the 22nd, i am writing to advise you of principal conclusions and to inform you about the status of my initial review of the report he has prepared. the next section is titled the special counsel's report are. on friday the special counsel submitted to me a, quote, confidential report explaining the prosecution or declamation decisions he has reached. this report is entitled report on the investigation into russian interference in the 2016 presidential election, unquote. although my review is ongoing, i believe that it is in the public interest to describe the report and to summarize the principal conclusions reached by special counsel and the results of his investigation. the report explains that the special counsel and his staff thoroughly investigated allegations that members of the presidential campaign of donald j. trump and others associated with it conspired with the
russian government in its efforts to interfere in the 2016 u.s. presidential election. or sought to obstruct the federal investigations. in the report the special counsel noted that in completing his investigation, he employed 19 lawyers who were assisted by a team of approximately 40 fbi agents, intelligence analysts, forensic accountants and other professional staff. the special counsel issued more than 2800 subpoenas, executed nearly 500 search warrants, obtained more than 230 orders for communication records, issued almost 50 orders authorizing use of pen registers -- which is tapping someone's phone, getting their phone numbers -- made 13 requests to foreign governments for evidence and interviewed approximately 500 witnesses. the special counsel's obtained a number of indictments and convictions of individuals and entities in connection with his investigation, all of which have been publicly disclosed. during the course of the investigation, special counsel also referred several matters to
other offices for further action. the report does not recommend any further indictments, nor did the special counsel obtain any field indictments that have yet to be made public. that is key. below, i summarize the principal conclusions set out in the special counsel's report. the next section is titled russian interference in the 2016 presidential election. the special counsel's report is divided into two parts. the first describes the results of the special counsel's investigation into russia's interference in the 2016 u.s. presidential election. the report outlines the russian effort to influence the election and documentation crimes committed by persons associated with the russian government in connection with those efforts. the report further explains that a primary consideration for the special counsel's investigation was whether any americans, including individuals associated with the trump campaign, join the russian conspiracies to influence the election, which would be a federal crime. the special counsel's investigation did not find that trump campaign or anyone associated with it conspired or
coordinated with russia in its efforts to influence the 2016 presidential election. i'm going to read that part again. the special counsel's investigation did not find that the trump campaign or anyone if associated with it conspired or coordinated with russia in its efforts to influence the 2016 u.s. presidential election. as the report states, the investigation did not, quote, did not establish that members of the trump campaign conspired or coordinated with the russian government in its election interference activities. that is a quote from the mueller report. the investigation did not establish that members of the trump campaign conspired or coordinated with the russian government in its election interference activity. this goes on. the special counsel's investigation determined that there were two main russian efforts to influence the 2016 election. the first involved attempts by a russian organization, the internet research agency, to conduct disinformation and social media operations in the united states to sow social discord. eventually, with the aim of
interfering with the election. as notes above, the special come did not find any u.s. person or trump campaign official or associate conspired or knowingly coordinated in these efforts. although the special counsel brought criminal charges against a number of russian nationals and entities in connection with these activities. the second element involved in the russian government's effort to gather and disseminate information of to influence the election. obtained e-mails from perps affiliated with the clinton campaign and the democratic party organizations and publicly disseminated those e-mails through various intermediaries including wikileaks. based on these activities, the special counsel brought criminal charges against a number of russian military officers for conspiring to hack into computer ors in the united states for purposes of influencing the election. but as noted above, the special counsel did not find that the trump campaign or anyone associated with it conspired or coordinate maid9 with the --
coordinated with the russian government. despient million billion efforts to -- despite multiple efforts to a assist with the campaign. the special come did not find the trump campaign or anyone associated with it conspired with officials in these efforts, and this is key, despite multiple offers from russian-related individuals. page 3, this is obstruction of justice. this is the next section. the report's second part addresses a number of actions by the president, most of which have been subject of public reporting. that the special counsel investigated as potentially raising obstruction of justice concerns. after making, quote, a thorough, factual investigation, unquote, into these matters, the special counsel considered to evaluate the conduct, but ultimately determined not to make a traditional prosecutorial judgment. the special counsel, therefore, did not draw a conclusion one way or the other as to whether the examined conduct constituted obstruction. so, let me repeat that.
the special counsel, therefore, did not draw a conclusion as to whether the examined conduct constitutioned ab instruction -- constituted. instead, the report sets out evidence on both sides of the question and leaves unresolved what the special counsel views as, quote, difficult issues, unquote, of law and fact concerning whether the president's actions and intent could be viewed as obstruction. the special counsel states, quote, while this report does not conclude that the president committed a crime, comma, it also does not exonerate him, unquote. let me repeat that. special counsel states that, quote, while this report does not conclude that the president committed a crime, it does not, it does not exonerate him. this goes on. the special counsel's decision to describe the facts of his obstruction investigation without reaching any legal conclusions leaves it to the attorney general to determine whether the conduct described in this, in the report or constituted a crime.
so on the obstruction of justice question, it is being left to the attorney general to determine whether the conduct described in the report constitutes a crime. over the course of the investigation, the special counsel's office engaged in discussions with certain department officials regarding many of the legal and factual matters at issue in the special counsel's obstruction investigation. after reviewing the special counsel's final report on these issues, including the office of legal council and applying the prosecution, the deputy attorney general and i have concluded that the evidence developed during the special counsel's investigation is not sufficient to establish that the president committed an obstruction of justice offense. our determination was made without regard to and not base on the constitutional considerations that surround the indictment and criminal prosecution of a sitting president. so the next part here seems to be that the attorney general and the deputy attorney general have concluded that the evidence developed during the special counsel's investigation is not
sufficient to establish that the president committed an obstruction of justice offense. our determination was made without regard to and is not based on the constitutional considerations that surround the indictment and prl criminal prosecution of a sitting president n. making this determination, we noded that the special counsel recognized that, quote, the ed is not established that the president was involved in an underlying crime related to russian election interference unquote. and that while not determinative, the absence of such evidence bears upon the president's intent with respect to obstruction. generally speaking, to obtain a conviction, the government would need to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that a person acting with corrupt intent engaged with conduct with a sufficient nexus to a pending proceeding. in cataloging the president's actions, many of which took place in public view, the report identifies no actions that in our judgment constitute obstructive conduct. let me repeat that. in cataloging the president's
actions, many which took place in public view, the report identifies no actions in our judgment that constitute obstructive conduct. and had a nexus to a pending or contemplated proceeding, were done with corrupt intent. each of which would need to be proven beyond a reasonable are doubt to establish aning of course instruction of justice defense. we're at the last part, so bear with me. status of the department's review. in relevant regulations, the relevant regulations con policemen -- contemplate that the special counsel's report will be confident oring. i am mindful of the public's interest in this matter. far reason, my goal and intent is to release as much of the special come's report as i can. based on my discussions with the special counsel and initial review, it is apparent that the report contains material that is or could be summit to the federal rule of criminal procedure which imposes
restrictions on the use and disclosure of information relating to matters occurring before a grand jury. generally, that limits the disclosure of certain grand jury information and a criminal investigation and prosecution. this restriction protects the integrity of grand jury proceedings and insures that the unique and valuable investigative powers of a grand jury are used strictly for their intent. given those restrictions, given these restrictions, the schedule for processing the report depends in part on how quickly the department identify the material that, by law, cannot be made public. i have requested the assistance of the special counsel in identifying all the information contained in the report as quickly as possible. separately, i must also identify any information that could impact other ongoing matters including those that if special counsel has referred to other offices. as soon as that process is complete, i had been in a position to move forward expeditiously in determining what can be released in
applicable law, etc. the very end, as observed in my original notifiation -- notification, the attorney general may determine that the public release of, unquote, notifications to your respective committees would be in the public interest. i have so determined, and i will disclose this letter to the public after to you. that's the letter in its
entire ly. ed: jake, outstand standing job. we'll give you a chance to get to molly. dana and i are going to bring in bret baier. but first, this is breathtaking, after all this time on both counts -- dana: i was taking notes, but basically i think the big headline here is special counsel found no evidence of conspiracy or collusion -- ed: right. dana: -- of anybody -- ed: between the russian government and the trump campaign. dana: or an associate of the campaign or any u.s. person. i thought that was very interesting. they point to the russians.
we kno the russians were trying to interfere -- ed: and on the hacking specifically, that the russians did hack. they got e-mails from the, the nc according to this letter from the attorney general, as we've known. clinton officials that had their e-mails hacked, disseminated through wikileaks, but not coordinated. no coordination or conspiracy -- dana: right. you think about it, the president has said from the beginning no collusion, it and turns out that robert mueller, the special counsel, agrees. ed: yes. dana: that is stunning news. ed: and perhaps even more important since we've been talking about no collusion since friday, but no one knew for sure the question of obstruction. so let's bring in bret baier because, bret, i think the obstruction part of this is rather remarkable because they're saying that the special counsel did not draw a conclusion one way or the other, presented the evidence to the attorney general. but basically left it up to the attorney general, does not
conclude that the president committed a crime, the special counsel, but did not exonerate him. but after reviewing it, it sounds like attorney general barr and deputy attorney general rosenstein do not believe it. dana: amazing. >> first of all, let's just pause. this is stunning. after 675 days, after a country has been through obsession really of this case and nonstop coverage, this is the conclusion. that no american conspired or worked with russia to alter the 2016 election. dana: amazing. >> that the president and his campaign did not have any ties to that action. think about all the things that have been said and speculated and talked about. this is a moment that is a complete win for president trump. to your point about obstruction, yes, they list a series -- according to the attorney general -- of things that they question about obstruction of justice.
but as attorney general barr has written before, for obstruction of justice to be a crime, there has to be an underlying crime, misdeed, that leads to it. that was not found, and thereby the executive, the commander in chief, he is not falling you should the guidelines of obstruction of justice moving that forward. i'm sure there will be democrats on capitol hill that say they want to see the specifics, and they want to go down that road. but the attorney general and the deputy attorney general are making that decision in this report. it is stunning, these sentences here -- ed: absolutely. dana: just a complete and total vindication. yeah, a total vindication of what he said from the beginning. >> 231 times, dana, he's said no collusion. or tweeted. 231 times. this is the 232nd, and it comes from the special come. dana: and the special counsel, of course, he never leaked, he didn't do any show boating,
there was no political posturing from robert mueller. he was called all sorts of names, as you'll recall, from the president to others saying oh, you know, he's just hired a bunch of democrats, they're just going to come after it. and in the end, you had democrats so worried that bob mueller was going to be fired by the president. ed: never fired. dana: and it turns out, this man who has a stellar reppation, report done with the utmost integrity, and here we have it. yes, or we should all pause. and also, this is great news for america that russia tries to do it and no americans participate. that is stunning. >> it's a win for america really, it's not partisan to say that. if you're left or right, you should be happy this is the conclusion, that there is not someone who conspired with russia to alter the 2016
election. and there will be all kinds of fallout on both sides. but the bottom line is the special counsel interviewed almost 50 people. they had the ability to call grand juries, to bring all kinds of evidentiary efforts going forward, and he did not find it. so when democrats, if they go down this road up on capitol hill, they don't have all those tools, and this is a pretty definitive report -- >> brett, can i just get a brief answer on the bred l of this, because there -- breadth of thit the detail jake gibson with this letter, 2800 subpoenas, about 500 witnesses. if democrats want to say this wasn't thorough enough, what more could you ask for? dana: right. >> you can't. and this was, you know, two years plus. if you think about it in the
broad picture, this is definitive. the fact that there are no further indictments, no seal or unsealed, nothing going forward from this point on the essential town's -- special council's efforts is stunning. dana: bret bret baier, thanks so much. please stay tuned for continuing coverage of the story. i'm dana perino in new york. ed: okay. this is ed henry and dana perino live in new york city. we have just gotten a bombshell. dana: amazing. ed: a letter from the attorney general of the united states, william barr, to the democratic and republican leaders of the house and senate judiciary committees.
ed: perhaps just as important, this letter spells out that the president did not commit obstruction of justice according to the attorney general of the united states, willirk am barr. we are going to be all over this story. we first, though, right now want to go to an important guest. ty cobb, who as you know at the beginning of the mueller investigation, served as a special lawyer, counsel inside the white house helping president trump deal with all this. ty, we appreciate you joining us live. >> good to be with you all. ed: ty, i just want to go right to it. what is your initial reaction to this letter from the attorney general? >> you know, ed, as you know from some of our conversations, this is consistent with what i anticipated.
that mueller would do an, tensive job hon honorably. i think one of the takeaways that's important here, you know, the extraordinary effort and the number of search warrants, subpoenas, pin registers, etc., that were involved in this huge investigative effort with all the tools that are afforded special come but it was just done in an exceptionally professional and thorough way that nobody can deny. dana: you knew him and his reputation, why do you think it took as long as it did? was that just because he was trying to be as thorough as
possible so that everybody's, everybody could be satisfied with the results? >> i don't, so i think he set out to do it as expeditiously as he could up to his own standards, and there were multiple, you know, detours along the way, surprises that they had to run down, you know, the papadopoulos type stuff and some of the other, the cohen stuff, etc. he was always pushing to get this done for the betterment of the cup. i wish it could have been done sooner, but it was done right, and i don't think after this summary today -- ed: ty, we have about to seconds, and so before we lose your, i just want to get your quick reaction. one element we haven't mentioned is democrats still want to see
some of the evidence, and they are not likely to accept this verdict from the president's own attorney general. so how does the attorney general, who works for the president, inspire confidence so that democrats and the country writ large accept this verdict? >> well, it's, i think that's an important question, and, you know, the underlying material, the democrats didn't want to share those in the irs investigation, and the law is clear that much of that material cannot be disclosed. it's a felony to disclose information from a grand jury. you know, there are executive privileges that may apply to certain materials, and much of it's classified. so the portion that would, you know, be publicly available under the law is not substantial. ed: okay. ty cobb, former attorney inside the white house, helped the president in the early stages of this investigation, turned over
thousands and thousands of pages of documents -- dame kane thank you so much. >> good to visit with both of you. ed: all right. welcome to this knox news alert. just sent the key findings from special counsel robert mueller's nearly 2-year investigation into russian meddling impossible ties to the trump campaign to congress and there's a verdict. i'm ed henry. >> and i'm dana perino, attorney general barr sending to judiciary committees, highlights from the report including that special counsel robert mueller did not exonerate president trump of obstruction of justice or find that he committed a crime. democrats are demanding attorney general send over the whole thing. we will have complete coverage throughout this hour and this evening, let's start with molly, outside of justice department, you have been out there all day, worth the