tv Americas Newsroom With Bill Hemmer and Sandra Smith FOX News April 18, 2019 6:00am-9:00am PDT
you imagine in russia, our allies and everywhere else. >> we'll be back tomorrow morning breaking it down for you. head over to fox nation for the "after the show show". >> or to the radio. >> bill: good morning, everybody. 9:00 here in new york city. this is the day finally. we're 30 minutes away from a news conference with the a.g. bill barr as we await the impending release of the redacted mueller report. good morning, i'm bill hemmer. got a cast of thousands for you today as we get ready for a significant day for our country and the world. >> sandra: good morning, everyone. i'm sandra smith. democrats crying foul accusing barr of trying to spin the report before congress and the public see it. some calling on the a.g. to cancel his news conference amid reports he has already briefed the white house. >> bill: we have gotten a few details. here is what we can expect today. the a.g. and deputy a.g. will brief at 9:30 eastern time.
congress is delivered the report in cd form between 11:00 a.m. and noon eastern. the justice department then says it will allow some lawmakers to review a hard copy without certain redactions. then at some point after that the redacted report will be made available to the media and we'll all speed read. >> sandra: we have fox team coverage for you this morning. former independent counsel ken starr will join us moments if now but we begin with catherine herridge live at the justice department. what are we expecting at this news conference now just 30 minutes away? >> good morning. a short time ago we had an on the record briefing from the justice department spokesperson confirming that the attorney general william barr will address the issue of executive privilege. the reason that matters is some of the most sensitive interviews within the white house including the white house counsel don mcgahn were governed by the office of legal counsel opinion from 2008. what it says is that
information can be shared within the executive branch but once it goes outside to another entity like congress, executive privilege still applies. we're waiting the hear from the attorney general how he ruled on that matter and told on the record that the attorney general will address his interactions with the white house over the last few weeks. you remember when attorney general barr released a letter with the bottom line conclusions from the mueller report. the justice department said he gave the white house a heads up. we'll find out more about the conversations since that period as well as the depth and breadth of the redactions into the report. heading into the news conference the attorney general's demeanor was calm and ready to go. >> sandra: how many versions of the report will there actually be? >> that's a great question. there is the full report which is a confidential report from special counsel robert mueller to the attorney general william barr. there will be a redacted version of the report that will
be sent to congress today. and that will also be publicly released. and now we understand from a court filing by the justice department that there will be a third copy of the special counsel report that will have fewer redactions and be available to a limited number of lawmakers as well as their staffers. >> sandra: as we await that news conference a few moments away, thank you. >> bill: house democrats expressing disdain for the process today. jerry nadler taking aim at bill barr slamming the decision to hold a news conference before the mueller report is shared with members of congress. >> it now appears the attorney general intends to once again put his own spin on the investigative work completed by the special counsel and his team. the fact that the attorney general is not releasing even the redacted reports to congress until after his press conference will result in the report being presented through his own words rather than through the words of special
counsel mueller. >> bill: barr has said he wants the opportunity to explain the process. that's what this press conference is all about. there will be questions, perhaps many of them. chuck schumer and nancy pelosi and many others already calling on the special counsel bob mueller to testify before congress so we can likely see that hearing in the coming weeks. >> sandra: we all know it's been a long road to get to this day. the mueller probe itself lasted 22 months ending with 33 total indictments. 7 guilty pleas and five people sentenced to prison. five trump associates were convicted or pled lawyer. 40 f.b.i. agents worked on the mueller team. the report was turned over to attorney general barr on march 22 and barr released his principle conclusions to congress two days later. >> bill: ken starr, former
independent counsel of the clinton investigation and fox news the and live at his home in waco, texas. give us a bit of a roadmap. what are you looking for in this report? >> hey, there will be a lot of facts. i think everybody's eye will try to run quickly to the facts that relate to, quote, obstruction. apparently there will be a lengthy discussion of that and we're curious about it because famously now bob mueller did not make a judgment call whether there was obstruction or not. here is a key that no one should lose sight of. bill clinton committed crimes. richard nixon committed crimes. whatever this report shows, the bottom line is no crimes are being charged by those who are charged with making that decision. that's the justice department. >> bill: on the issue of obstruction, is it likely that
you will find material in here that the president huffed and puffed all over the room but did not take action ultimately. is that what could be a potential takeaway on that? >> i think that's -- bill, you are a good prophet. we recognize you in your own country. absolutely. the president famously does not hold things back. he hated this whole thing, called it a witch hunt and so forth and some of those words are likely to come back now not so much to haunt him but to remind the american people the president didn't like this a lot. but you are absolutely right in pointing to what did the president do? actions speak louder than words. there is no information that we have that he cut off funding in any way interfered with the investigation in a real obstruction wrong by intimidating witnesses or encouraging people to lie. just the opposite. bill, for the white house
counsel to spend 30 hours answering the questions of bob mueller and his staff is extraordinary. talk about unprecedented. that's an unprecedented level of cooperation with a special counsel investigation. >> bill: two more points here. keep in mind with the special counsel what it was all about. i'll read for you the title for what bob mueller's intent was. report on the investigation into russian interference in the 2016 presidential election. how much of that do we find out today? remember trey gowdy two weeks ago said we're only privy to 50% of what moscow was up to. how much does bob mueller spell out on that? >> i hope he spells out a lot because we know a whole lot from the two indictments which i think is one of the high watermarks of the mueller investigation. so yes, we shouldn't forget this all began about collusion and so i think this will be very helpful and reminding us that while the russians
attempted to reach out to trump campaign folks, apparently those efforts were not accepted or rebuffed. i think that will be a big plus sign for president trump and the integrity of the campaign. >> bill: let's see what they give us finally. sounds like bill barr took your advice. a few days ago on our program you were encouraging him to stand in the halls of justice seventh floor department of justice, 950 pennsylvania avenue to explain the process that he undertook and for you and for others this is something you want him to define. go ahead and explain that. even though there are many who protest the press conference. >> yeah. and i think -- sorry, bill, what i think bill barr is doing is carrying out his responsibility as the nation's chief lawyer and chief law enforcement officer to say before the process unfolds here
it is. his voice will be totally lost if he is trying to hold a press conference late this afternoon. so this is the right and orderly thing to do and i disagree strongly with the criticisms that the law enforcement officer shouldn't be, what? transparent. telling the american people here is what i'm doing and the reasons i'm doing it and here is what you can expect. an introduction to the process. >> bill: the president yesterday on the radio at wmal. listen to his words here. okay. on that interview he said you'll see a lot of very strong things come out tomorrow. a.g. bill barr will be giving a press conference. i'll do one after that and we'll see what he says. do you have an issue that was raised in the "washington post" late yesterday with the special counsel -- with bob mueller and bill barr's team conferring with lawyers at the white house? do you think something off
about that or are you okay with that? >> i'm okay with it because of the difference between what i experienced as the independent counsel and what bob mueller is as the special counsel. remember, he is an officer of the justice department. the president's lawyers deserve to have some insight, i believe. others will disagree. he has to run the country and needs information to run the country. there was no interference with the process including the writing of the report. so advising the president so the president and his attorneys know what is about to unfold strikes me as exactly right, exactly proper. others will disagree. i think they're wrong. he is the president of the united states. >> bill: ken starr, thank you for the setup there from waco, texas. we'll be back in contact with you throughout the morning and certainly what will be an intriguing afternoon. thank you for your input. good to see you again. sandra, what's next there? >> sandra: we're counting down.
attorney general william barr briefing reporters on the mueller report. that's expected to happen 19 minutes from now at half past this hour. we'll have that for you live when it begins. we're waiting the actual release of the redacted report. that is supposed to happen between 11:00 a.m. eastern time and 12 noon but first we'll check in with our all-star d.c. panel. bret baier, chris wallace, shannon bream. >> president trump: this should never happen to a president or this country again what took place. you'll see a lot of very strong things come out. when you retire will you or will you just be you, without the constraints of a full time job? you can grow your retirement savings with pacific life
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giving a press conference. maybe i'll do one after that. we'll see. but he has been a fantastic attorney general. he has grabbed it by the horn. what has happened, you've been watching what's happened is unthinkable. >> bill: president trump yesterday ton radio wmal. a fascinating morning and afternoon. the story will unfold in ways for our viewers at home that so many of us cannot predict. hold your fire and your interpretation for what barr says and what the mueller report says. it will take some time, possibly a few days for us to fully digest what is in the mueller report. bill barr left his home earlier today. i want to bring in our team in washington, d.c. they set their alarms early today. i love that. here is bret baier, anchor of "special report". chris wallace anchor of "fox news sunday" and shannon bream working late last night anchor of fox news at night.
bret, i'll start with you, listening to ken starr a moment ago. a lot of thoughts what he is keying on today. what about you? >> this is 23 months in the making. 2300 subpoenas, 500 search warrants. it is all in 400 pages that we're going to see, at least a large part of we're getting word it is likely lightly redacted, not heavily redacted. we'll see as it comes out. the attorney general has testified there will be four areas he redacts. it will be a lot of the conversation, why was this part redacted and why wasn't it? already there is a dust-up of him having a press conference before the actual papers come out. people want to see it and be able to go through it to ask questions. but the bottom line is that no one has been indicted and now you are probably going to see a lot of focus on the obstruction part of this document because the bar for impeachment is
lower than the bar is to federally prosecute based on that. >> sandra: one of the big questions as well, chris, for william barr when he steps up to the microphone at the justice department will be into the interactions that he had with the white house prior to the soon release of that report. >> you know, i think a lot of people particularly reporters are troubled by the idea of this news conference. as bret mentioned it is a little like alice in wonderland. verdict today, trial tomorrow. you will have barr holding a news conference about a report that none of the reporters in the room will see for another hour or hour and a half, two hours. so the question really is what is barr going to try to achieve at this news conference? if all he is going to do is just talk about process and why we redacted this and that, it gives a sense of what it is you'll see a preview my guess is people won't have a lot of
problem with it. you'll wonder about a utility of the news conference with no report to chew on. if he begins to characterize the report or talk about his interactions with the president, i think there may be more problems. when you look at democrats, they say bill barr has already done a pretty significant job in laying the ground work for the way people perceive this report. remember, if it weren't for bill barr's four-page letter to congress the first weekend after mueller turned over the report, we wouldn't know the conclusion that there was no collusion in this case. we wouldn't know his conclusion despite mueller saying he couldn't determine that there was no obstruction in the case. so he has done a lot. he also had that briefing testimony before congress where he talked about spying. so he has done quite a job already in laying ground work for how the country is perceiving the report. if he does more of that today, before anybody gets to see the report and see for themselves there will be a lot of
surprises in this report. it will be about what the russians did. mueller indicted two or three dozen russians for their involvement for interfering in the campaign. what cooperation was there? it wasn't collusion, was there any cooperation between the trump campaign and the russians? and then the issue of obstruction. we'll want to see all that and to a certain degree if barr gets into that, he is going to further lay the ground work for how people perceive this. that's what democrats are concerned about. >> bill: you make excellent points, chris. so many items in here one can really not predict at the moment. shannon bream to you, i wonder how much bill barr will tell us about the team he described as a hearing two weeks ago on the hill that he wants to assembly to look into what he calls the spying on the trump campaign in the summer of 2016. do we get details on that or do we stick just to the mueller matter? you are looking for what, shannon? >> i think that we're all going to be looking for information
on the obstruction charge. the special counsel left it in the hands of the attorney general and the d.o.j. to make a decision on that. and critics primarily democrats on the hill have said it wasn't fair because this is a political appointee making the ultimate decision. but they said they looked through the facts and intent and looked through everything and decided it did not meet the legal definition of something they could prosecute. chris talks about the first impression. a lot of critics of the president were very upset about the fact that four-page letter from barr set that initial first impression. they're worried where it goes from here and whether he has another bite at doing that today. you guys have all seen the fox news poll we had out yesterday asked people do you think the mueller probe proved no collusion. 35% said yes, 39% said no. it is clear that people are still confused even if barr got the first bite of the apple setting the first impression. the president said no collusion, that's what mueller himself said. barr quoted him on that point. there is still of lot of
americans out there split on this. unsure and confused. we'll see how many watch today and how much barr lays out. generally the d.o.j. does not lay out the whole case against someone and not charge to indict them because they don't have a way to go to court to clear their name. we saw what happened with james comey and hillary clinton. he took a ton of heat for laying out this case and saying but we aren't going to charge her. senator shaheen, democrat on capitol hill asked bar are you going to hide any damaging information on the president? he said that's not the plan here. that's not what i'm doing. i won't sensor this. we'll get a lot of information that the white house is going to have to put its own spin on i think today. >> sandra: ahead of the release of the report, ahead of the news conference within the past hour the president started tweeting away. among those tweets. the greatest hoax of all time. one of the most recent he
tweeted out in all caps. presidential harassment is what we've heard from the president this morning. he will be delivering a speech i believe to members of the military and veterans at half past the 10:00 a.m. eastern time hour on the east coast. we could hear from the president of this within an hour of the news conference starting. >> you're right. i don't want to be too smiley talking about the tweets. he does it a lot and he does -- automatically respond. expect him to respond right away after the press conference and after the actual documents come out. i want to point out a couple of things. one, we know one thing. there was no interference to finish this report. the report was finished. special counsel mueller finished his job. he handed it over after all the speculation throughout that perhaps he was going to get fired or something was going to happen. now, what the letter said from the attorney general is that
they could not find any criminal intent or corrupt intent in what they said was obstruction or could have been obstruction. that's what we want to go into the details. but the fact that they couldn't find corrupt intent points to what ken starr was saying earlier and bill, too, that perhaps the president was venting about x, y and z but they didn't get to the corrupt intent part. i think democrats and some republicans would love the attorney general and the deputy attorney general to be out there at that podium and then suddenly point to the curtain and there is bob mueller, come on out. let's "meet the press." bob mueller. i don't think that will happen today. >> sandra: we'll stand by on the breaking news for us. let's bring in martha maccallum. good morning to you and nice to see you in the morning. we've got the live shot up. this should be starting in seven minutes from now. the report itself, martha, expected to be 400 pages long
so while members of congress will receive this in a cd-rom format many of them are back in their home districts away for recess. this is going to take some time to actually see the reaction from lawmakers. >> and that's something that has been criticized to some extent in some corners of the media that this is all coming out the day before the easter weekend during the recess, and that the purpose of that is to sort of bury it. the fact of the matter is the timing has been pretty much laid out since the beginning. as soon as mueller submitted his report which he did after almost 700 days of working on this investigation, at that point bill barr said it will take about two weeks, something like that until we get to the middle of april before they could submit this information and start to send it out to the public. it is a 400-page document. it will take time to go through this document. what everyone has said here is on the mark with regard to the main focus being the question of obstruction. keep in mind that there are no
underlying criminal charges. we know that. that's what robert mueller has already said. so there is going to be a lot of fodder here for people to dig into to continue to drag this entire process on for weeks and months and then the questions of whether or not there will be any meat on the bones for those in congress who would like to pursue impeachment proceedings. this is just sort of a big speed bump along the way but democrats have made it very clear that this is not the be all, end all. jerry nadler spoke out last night saying he was very upset that bill barr was going to do the news conference today and pointed to some of the reasons why some aren't happy with the process in terms of the timing with bill barr coming out first and the report coming out shortly after that. i think at this point we have to take the department of justice at their word that the reason for this what we're about to get is to lay out what it will look like, the redactions and how they will be color-coded and -- to give us a
roadmap to go through this that is logical and that explains why they redacted certain information, what the executive privilege issues were with regard to some of these redactions. the names may have been left out and reasoning behind it so when people read it they have a roadmap on it. the other thing i want to mention is that it's very significant that rod rosenstein is going to be standing on this stage next to bill barr. he said he would leave the department of justice in mid-march. it was then decided he was going to stay and be part of this all the way to the end. he has had arrows slinging at him from both sides. each side decided at different point he was the bad guy. he is standing next to bill barr on the stage today. they worked the redaction process through and it also involved robert mueller. that's where we stand and we'll see the beginnings as we start to peel away the onion on the robert mueller report as we head through the morning. >> sandra: what a morning it's
shaping up to be. martha, stand by. >> bill: sekulow said the aircraft landed safely. no damage to the equipment, no injury to passengers. two leak later the ntsb issues a video of the landing. his reaction as a lawyer for the president. watch the response from the white house. rudy giuliani said they were down to 140 pages the other day but wanted to cut it down by 2/3 down to 50 pages. the white house reaction will be a big part of our coverage today. this press conference with the deputy a.g. rod rosenstein, the attorney general bill barr will begin in about three minutes. we will take a quick time-out here and we're back in 60 seconds on what is certain to be a significant day in washington and all over the country. the mueller report continues here on fox. so...
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>> bill: we are just a few moments away from seeing bill barr, the attorney general, and rod rosenstein, the deputy a.g. give their initial explanations as to what they have found inside the mueller report and then we expect them to explain the following, the redactions, the interactions they had with white house officials, all about executive privilege. this press conference will go about 30 minutes. we expect questions from the media and the press there who have gathered in the seventh floor conference room at the department of justice in washington, d.c. a big day here, significant. we await along with you to find out what's inside the mueller report. >> sandra: guidance is the mueller report will be around 400 pages in length. so obviously it will take everyone quite some time to dig through that and digest it once it is released ahead of that, the justice department press conference moments from now.
the president expected to speak at a wounded warrior event an hour from now. likely we will hear a response. our team in washington, d.c. standing by, bret baier, chris wallace, anchor of "fox news sunday" and shannon bream anchor of fox news at night and martha still standing by. shannon, set this up for us and what our expectations are when william barr steps up to the microphone in a few moments. >> he will talk us through the report step-by-step of what they found and also talk about their interactions with the white house and discussion of executive privilege as well. the trump legal team is standing by. you talked to rudy giuliani when he was in preparation for their draft response they want to get out as quickly as they can today without knowing exactly what they'll get. they're so anxious to tell their side of the story. they've been working on this thing for weeks. one of the things he was fixated on was the trump tower meeting. we know there will be material
and discussion. things we don't publicly know outlined in this report. he is convinced that there is more to that than meets the eye when you talk about the meetings with fusion gps, individuals before and potentially after the meeting with the russian attorney part of that meeting. he very strongly hinted he thinks there will be evidence to show it was a setup. it's the same thing we've heard from the ranking republican on the house intel committee devin nunes who says there are three things he think could be a setup involving that meeting, papadopoulos and also general flynn. so much of that background i think we'll be digging into today. >> bill: want to bring in chris wallace quickly. more reaction on what we might want to predict, chris, where the day is at the end of the day today. this could go in numerous directions and you're right to point out that what russia did in 2016 is still an open question and how we prevent
that is 2020 is something we have not been given satisfactory answers for at this point either. >> that's absolutely true as we saw in the mueller indictments. two indictments. one of a troll farm in st. petersburg and one of two spifs i can units of the gru, russian military intelligence. however they got it. we may not be able to find that out. that would get to intelligence and sources and methods but clearly the special counsel's team had extraordinary insight into what was going on in russia, how they were hacking into dnc computers and hacking into the podesta computer and try to sew division by various social media and trying to turn americans against other americans. one other element to this whole thing. we're talking about what the attorney general and white house will do and what the democrats on capitol hill will do. a couple of minutes ago i bumped into a top trump
political advisor, not part of the white house, part of the campaign for 2020 who said they are going to go with a fury now demanding a grand jury and full investigation into the investigation. they will say no more mr. nice guy. they'll try to turn this conversation into how is it they began the counter intelligence against the russians linked to the trump campaign. the fisa warrant against carter page. there will be a big effort. certainly democrats will say it's a distraction from what's in this report but clearly you'll see some trump political types and maybe the president himself saying that's the real scandal there. you saw that in the tweet you put up a moment ago that the real scandal here is not what the trump campaign or the trump presidency has done but what the justice department and intel offices did in terms of
investigating the president and casting this cloud. there is no question there has been a cloud over this president for the two years of his presidency. today perhaps that begins to dissipate a little. i don't think all the information we'll get today will be positive. there will be some negative information. but we'll at least see what it is. >> bill: here we go. bill barr the attorney general, department of justice. >> good morning, everybody. thanks for being here this morning. as you know, on march 22nd, special counsel robert mueller concluded his investigation into matters related to russian attempts to interfere in our 2016 presidential election. and he submitted his confidential report to me pursuant to department regulations. as i said during my senate
confirmation hearing and since, i'm committed to insuring the greatest degree possible of transparency concerning the special counsel's investigation consistent with the law. at 11:00 this morning i'll transmit copies of the public version of the special counsel's report to the chairmen and ranking members of the senate and house judiciary committees. the department of justice will also make the report available to the american people by posting it on the department's website after it has been delivered to congress. i would like to make a few comments today on the report. before i do that, i want to thank deputy attorney general rod rosenstein for joining me here today. and for his assistance and counsel throughout this process. rod, as you know, has served at the department for nearly 30
years with dedication and distinction and it has been a great privilege and pleasure for me to work with him since my confirmation. he had well-deserved plans to step back from public service that were interrupted by my asking him to help in my transition. rod has been an invaluable partner and i am grateful that he is willing to help me and has been able to see the special counsel's investigation through to its conclusion. thanks, rod. i would also like to thank special counsel robert mueller for his service and the thoroughness of his investigation, particularly his work exposing the nature of russia's attempts to interfere in our electoral process. as you know, one of the primary purposes of the special counsel's investigation was to determine whether president trump's campaign or any individual associated with it
conspired or coordinated with the russian government to interfere in the 2016 election. volume one of the special counsel's report describes the results of that investigation. as you will see, the special counsel's report states that his investigation did not establish that members of the trump campaign conspired or coordinated with the russian government in its election interference activities. i am sure that all americans share my concern about the efforts of the russian government to interfere in our presidential election. as the special counsel report makes clear, the russian government sought to interfere in our election process. but thanks to the special counsel's thorough investigation, we now know that the russian operatives who perpetrated these schemes did not have the cooperation of president trump or the trump
campaign. or the knowing assistance of any other american for that matter. that is something that all americans can and should be grateful to have confirmed. the special counsel report outlines two main efforts by the russian government to influence the 2016 election. first, the report details efforts by the internet research agency a russian company with close ties to the russian government, to sew social discord among american voters through disinformation and social media operations. following a thorough investigation of this disinformation campaign, the special counsel brought charges in federal court against several russian nationals and entities for their respective roles in this scheme. those charges remain pending and the individual defendants remain at large. but the special counsel found
no evidence that any american, including anyone associated with the trump campaign, conspired or coordinated with the russian government or the i.r.a. in this illegal scheme. indeed, as the report states, quote, the investigation did not identify evidence that any u.s. person knowingly or intentionally coordinated with the i.r.a.'s interference operation, unquote. put another way, the special counsel found no collusion by any americans in i.r.a.'s illegal activities. second, the report details efforts by the russian military officials associated with the gru, the russian military intelligence organization, to hack into computers and steal documents and emails from individuals associated with the democratic party and hillary clinton's campaign for the purpose of eventually
publicizing these documents. obtaining such unauthorized -- following a thorough investigation of these hacking operations the special counsel brought charges accordingly against the russian military officers for their respective roles in these illegal hacking operations. those charges are still pending and the defendants remain at large. but again, the special counsel's report did not find any evidence that members of the trump campaign or anyone associated with the campaign conspired or coordinated with the russian government in these hacking operations. in other words, there was no evidence of the trump campaign collusion with the russian government's hacking. the special counsel's investigation also examined russian efforts to publish stolen emails and documents on the internet. the special counsel found that
after the gru disseminated some of the stolen documents to entities it controlled. d.c. leaks, they transferred some of the stolen materials to wikileaks for publication. wikileaks then made a series of document dumps. the special counsel also investigated whether any member or affiliate of the trump campaign encouraged or otherwise played a role in these dissemination efforts. under applicable law, publication of these types of material would not be criminal unless the publisher also participated in the underlying hacking conspiracy. here, too, the special counsel's report did not find that any person associated with the trump campaign illegally participated in the dissemination of the materials. finally, the special counsel investigated a number of links
or contacts between the trump campaign officials and individuals connected with the russian government during the 2016 presidential campaign. after reviewing these contacts, the special counsel did not find any conspiracy to violate u.s. law involving russian-linked persons and any persons associated with the trump campaign. so that's the bottom line. after nearly two years of investigation, thousands of subpoenas, hundreds of warrants and witness interviews, the special counsel confirmed that the russian government sponsored efforts to illegally interfere with the 2016 presidential election. but did not find that the trump campaign or other americans colluded in those efforts. after finding no underlying collusion with russia, the special counsel's report goes on to consider whether certain
actions of the president could amount to obstruction of the special counsel's investigation. as i addressed in my march 24th letter the special counsel did not make a traditional prosecutorial judgment regarding this allegation. instead the report recounts 10 episodes involving the president and discusses potential legal theories for connecting those activities to the elements of an obstruction offense. after carefully reviewing the facts and legal theories outlined in the report and in consultation with the office of legal counsel and other department lawyers, the deputy attorney general and i concluded that the evidence developed by the special counsel is not sufficient to establish that the president committed an obstruction of justice offense. although the deputy attorney general and i disagreed with some of the special counsel's legal theories and felt that some of the episodes examined did not amount to obstruction as a matter of law, we did not
rely solely on that in making our decision. instead we accepted the special counsel's legal framework for purposes of our analysis and evaluated the evidence as presented by the special counsel in reaching our conclusions. in assessing the president's actions discussed in the report, it is important to bear in mind the context. president trump faced an unprecedented situation as he entered into office and sought to perform his responsibilities as president, federal agents and prosecutors were scrutinizing his conduct before and after taking office and the conduct of some of his associates. at the same time, there was relentless speculation in the news media about the president's personal culpability. yet as he from the beginning, there was, in fact, no collusion.the special counse report acknowledges, there is substantial evidence to show that the president was
frustrated and angered by his sincere belief that the investigation was undermining his presidency, propelled by his political opponents and fueled by illegal leaks. nonetheless, the white house fully cooperated with the special counsel's investigation, providing unfettered access to campaign and white house documents, directing senior aides to testify freely, and asserting no privilege claims. at the same time, the president took no act that, in fact, deprived the special counsel of the documents and witnesses necessary to complete his investigation. apart from whether the acts were obstructive, this evidence of non-corrupt motives weighs heavily against any allegation that the president had a corrupt intent to obstruct the investigation. now before i take questions, i want to address a few aspects of the process for producing the public report that i am
releasing today. as i said the report contains limited redactions related to four categories of information. to insure as much transparency as possible, those redactions have been clearly labeled so that the leaders can tell -- the readers can tell which redactions correspond to which categories. now as i -- to recall those categories are 6e material, grand jury material, information that the i.c. believes would disclose sources and methods. information that would impair the investigation and prosecution of other cases that are underway, and finally, information that imply indicates the privacy and reputational interests of peripheral third parties. as you will see, most of the
redactions were compelled by the need to prevent harm to ongoing matters and to comply with court orders prohibiting the public disclosure of information bearing on on going criminal investigations as the roger stone case. they were applied by department of justice attorneys working closely together with attorneys from the special counsel's office as well as the intelligence community. and prosecutors are handling the ongoing cases. the redactions are their work product. no redactions done by anybody outside this group. there were no redactions done by anybody outside this group. no one outside this group proposed any redactions. and no one outside the department has seen the unredacted report with the exception of certain sections that were made available to
i.c., the intelligence community, for their advice on protecting intelligence sources and methods. consistent with longstanding executive branch practice, the decision whether to assert executive privilege over any portion of the report rested with the president of the united states. because the white house had voluntarily cooperated with the special counsel significant portions of the report contain material over which the president could have asserted privilege and he would have been well within his rights to do so. following my march 29th letter the office of the white house counsel requested the opportunity to review the redacted version of the report in order to advise the president on the potential invocation of privilege which is consistent with longstanding practice. following that review, the president confirmed that in the interests of transparency and full disclosure to the american people, he would not assert
privilege over the special counsel's report. accordingly the public report i'm releasing today contains redactions only for the four categories that i previously outlined and no material has been redacted based on executive privilege. in addition, earlier this week the president's personal counsel requested and was given the opportunity to read a final version of the redacted report before it was publicly released. that request was consistent with the practice following under the ethics in government act which permitted individuals named in a report prepared by an independent counsel the opportunity to read the report before publication. the president's personal lawyers were not permitted to make and did not request any redactions. in addition to making the redacted report public, we are also working with congress to accommodate their legitimate oversight interests with respect to the special
counsel's investigation. we have been consulting with chairman graham and chairman nadler through this process and we will continue to do so. given the limited nature of the redactions, i believe that the publicly-released report will allow every american to understand the results of the special counsel's investigation. nevertheless, in an effort to accommodate congressional requests, we will make available subject to appropriate safeguards to a bipartisan group of leaders from several congressional committees a version of the report which all redactions removed except those relating to grand jury information. thus these members of congress will be able to see all of the redacted material for themselves with a limited exception of that which by law cannot be shared. i believe that this accommodation, together with my upcoming testimony before the senate and house judiciary committees, will satisfy any
need congress has for information regarding the special counsel's investigation. once again, i would like to thank you for being here and i will now have a few questions. >> mr. attorney general we don't have the report in hand but could you explain for us the special counsel's articulated reason for not reaching a decision on obstruction of justice and if it had anything to do with the department's longstanding guidance on not indicting a sitting president and disagree with some of his legal theories. what did you disagree with him on? >> i leave it to his description in the report, the special counsel's own articulation of why he did not want to make a determination as to whether or not there was an obstruction offense. but i will say that when we met with him, deputy attorney general rosenstein and i met
with him along with ed o'callaghan the principle associate deputy on march 5 we asked him about the loc opinion and whether or not he was taking the position that he would have found a crime but for the existence of the olc opinion and he made it very clear several times that that was not his position. he was not saying that but for the olc opinion he would have found a crime. he made it clear that he had not made the determination that there was a crime. >> what did you disagree with him on? >> given that why did you and mr. rosenstein feel the need you had to take it to the next step to conclude there was no crime given that doj policy? >> the very prosecutorial function and all our powers as prosecutors, including the power to convene grand juries and come pull sorry process
that's involved there is for one purpose and one purpose only. it is to determine yes or no, was alleged conduct criminal or not criminal? that is our responsibility and that's why we have the tools we have. and we don't go through this process just to collect information and throw it out to the public. we collect this information, we use that come pull sorry process for making that decision. because the special counsel did not make the decision we felt the department had to. that was a decision by me and the deputy attorney general. >> did the special counsel indicate that he wanted you to make the decision or that it should be left for congress? and also how do you respond to criticism you are receiving from congressional democrats thank you are acting more as an attorney for the president rather than as the chief law
enforcement officer? >> special counsel mueller did not indicate that his purpose was to leave the decision to congress. i hope that was not his view since we don't convene grand juries and conduct criminal investigations for that purpose. he did not -- i didn't talk to him directly about the fact that we were making the decision but i am told that his reaction to that was that it was my prerogative as attorney general to make that decision. >> is there anything you can share today about your review of the genesis of the russia investigation and whether assets have been provided to investigate? >> today i'm really focused just on the process of releasing this report. >> democrats in congress have asked for robert mueller himself to testify. robert mueller remains a justice department employees as of this moment. when you permit him to testify to congress?
>> i have no objection to bob mueller testifying. >> democrats have questioned some of the process here, a republican appointed judge on tuesday said you have created an environment that caused a significant part of the american public to be concerned about these redactions. to clear the president on obstruction. comments about spying and here you have remarks quite generous to the president and his feelings and emotions. what do you say to people on both sides of the aisle concerned you are trying to protect the president. >> the statements about his sincere beliefs are recognized in the report that there was substantial evidence for that. so i'm not sure what your basis is for saying that i'm being generous to the president. >> it seems like there is -- >> is there another precedent for it? >> no. >> unprecedented isn't accurate.
>> there is a lot of special interest in the special counsel and members of his team. why isn't he here? >> he did it for me as the attorney general. he is required under the regulation to provide me with a confidential report. i'm here to discuss my response to that report and my decision entirely discretionary to make it public. these reports are not supposed to be made public. that's what i'm here to discuss. >> for you to come out and seems to be spinning the report before the public gets a chance to read it? >> thank you very much. >> bill: some of the major headlines on collusion, no evidence of collusion reads bill barr a moment ago, special counsel found no evidence anyone conspired in the illegal scheme brought by the russians. obstruction page 4 from the
statement he just read president trump faced an unprecedented situation. it will get a lot of attention throughout the day here. he went on to say the special counsel's report acknowledges there is substantial evidence to show the president was frustrated and angered by a sincere belief the investigation was undermining his presidency, propelled by his political opponents and fueled by illegal leaks. a little more in there as well. >> sandra: want to bring back our panel of bret baier and shannon bream and chris wallace and martha maccallum. the look like the white house counsel did get. william barr said the president's counsel requested and were given the opportunity to read the final version of the redacted report before it was publicly released making the case it was consistent with the ethics in government act although he went on to say the personal lawyers of the president were not permitted to make and did not request to make any of the redactions in the report. >> at the beginning of this
clearly the attorney general was laying out the conclusions in the letter he sent out. specifically on collusion and conspiring that no american, no member of the trump campaign and the president himself did not conspire with russia to interfere in the 2016 election. went through that a number of different ways and times and definitively. on the obstruction issue, that was where we got more detail. that in this report there are 10 episodes where the special counsel notes that there is a potential for obstruction but does not reach the conclusion that there was in fact obstruction by the president. the attorney general makes that determination and the deputy attorney general saying that it is not obstruction. they did not find corrupt intent and then they go into the details of how much cooperation the white house gave to the special counsel in documents, in interviews, and not calling for any executive privilege for any redactions
throughout this. now, i do think there will be some criticism. you started to hear it in the reporters' questions towards the end about what the president was thinking and his emotions being upset and that this was an effort to pre-spin the actual document. but bill barr kind of laying it out straight cut and dry here is what his conclusion is and then he is going to release the report. and we'll see. >> bill: just to read the statement that you are referring to. the president took no act to deprive the special counsel the documents and witnesses necessary to complete the investigation. the evidence of non-corrupt motives weighs heavily. that would be bill barr trying to determine intent. >> that's right. bill, stepping back for a minute that historically attorneys general are one of the most sensitive positions
that a president appoints and frankly they put somebody they really trust in that position because oftentimes it is somebody that is going to protect them from getting in trouble. you can go back to john mitchell in the nixon years and eric holder in the obama years. and obviously the president was very frustrated with the actions of his first attorney general because of the fact that he felt that jeff sessions was not protecting him, was not functioning in that role and he ripped the bark off him for over a year for his decision to recuse. i suspect that the president was pretty pleased with the performance of bill barr today and particularly on the issue of obstruction. because again, on collusion it does appear and i will say that the attorney general said it about a half dozen times, i lost count after that, there was no collusion, there was no cooperation, there was no coordination. but there doesn't seem to be any contradiction there. when it caples to the
obstruction case there were 10 instances that the special counsel raised that could be considered potential obstruction. then you got into this very curious area where the attorney general seemed almost to be acting as the counselor for the defense, the counselor for the president rather than the attorney general talking about his motives. talking about his anger, his feeling this was unfair and there were leaks. and really as i say making a case for the president. i suspect the democrats heads on capitol hill were exploding and they are going to come down very sharply about the way that bill barr today laid this out because there is no question this is going to be -- the first look in a sense that everybody has gotten today at the mueller report and this was as good a case as the president and the president's lawyers could make that there is nothing to see here. let's move on. >> sandra: martha, now the wait is on for the president to speak about 28 minutes from now
to wounded warriors event. likely he will respond to what just happened there. and the actual release of the report close to the noon hour. >> i would imagine that the president will be pleased and satisfied with what he heard there today. just to add one point to this very interesting section of bill barr's statement today which does characterize sort of the emotional tenor at the white house with regard to these investigations going on when the president took office and the impact that had potentially on his actions in these 10 episodes. and he talks about a substantial evidence to show the president was frustrated and angered by a sincere belief that the investigation was undermining his presidency propelled by political opponents and fueled by illegal leaks. bill barr just answered a question about this and how it was characterized and he said that the phrase sincere belief was in the mueller investigation report. he was suggesting that is not
how he is characterizing it. that's how the report characterizes it. once we get the actual report we'll look for those phrases and look for that part ofist -- of it to see if that's the case. in terms of bill barr saying the reason they made a determination and didn't kick it to congress to make a determination on obstruction he said that's not what we do here. as the head of the department of justice we compel, we bring in a grand jury and look at evidence and decide whether or not there is evidence that we can convict or evidence to indict. in this case we did not find it. we felt it was our duty to make a conclusion on that, sandra. >> bill: we expect to see the president and hear from him within the hour. he has already sent a tweet that i'll read. no collusion, no obstruction, for the haters and radical left democrats game over. send it out in a form of a graphic with the "game of thrones" series on hbo. the first reaction from the west wing. our coverage continues on cable.
please stay tuned to the fox news channel and this fox station for the continuing coverage on the mueller report. in many ways this is just the beginning on the next side of the story. i'll bill hemmer along with sandra smith in new york. have a good day. thank you for being with us. and now our coverage continues on cable. >> sandra: shannon bream still standing by in washington, d.c. for us. if i could bring you in on the line of william barr a few moments ago page three and the print-out. after two years of investigation he called this the bottom line. thousands of subpoenas, hundreds of warrants and witness interviews, the special counsel has confirmed that it did not find that the trump campaign or other americans colluded in those schemes. what did you think of what you just heard? >> i think that people who liked the attorney general or liked the president are going to still love him after this. those who are critics will have
plenty of material. he brought up the reporter engaging with him about why the special counsel isn't here. this is his report. the attorney general rightly said it is not. what the statute requires is that the special counsel when he or she wraps up their investigation, they have to give a full accounting to the attorney general. then the attorney general simply has to give congress a report about what happened. it could be bullet points or the letter he sent out. there is nothing in the statutes or the regulations that require the attorney general to do what he is doing today, which is releasing as much of this report as he is and having this press conference. he didn't have to. all he had to do was give congress some bottom line explanations about exactly what the special counsel had done. so it's true this is not the mueller report technically we're seeing today. it is barr's report to the public that he is not required to give. another important point there was a chance for white house counsel and for the president's personal legal team to see this unredacted document, redacted document before it went public.
the attorney general walks through why it's appropriate in the case of white house counsel. he presented it to them at the request to see if there was anything they would want to assert executive privilege over. he said in his report he said the president wanted to have as much transparency as possible and full disclosure. so he didn't ask for assertion of privilege over anything in the redacted report. the personal legal team saw it and after their review which he said was wholly acceptable and policy with justice department that they, too, made no requests for redactions. the white house certainly got a look at this ahead of time both the professionals, the white house legal team and president's personal legal team but no one requested any redactions pointing back to the president giving him credit saying he wanted it to be as transparent as possible. >> sandra: stand by, team. as we await the president as half past the hour. >> bill: there will be a lot of reaction throughout the day and we'll bring it to you as quickly as we can.
get to andy mccarthy former u.s. attorney. your reaction from the bill barr statement. >> i think the most important thing here is that barr pointed out that he and the special counsel mueller had disagreements about what the law of obstruction says. so i don't think this is not a question of barr acting sort of as defense lawyer for the president. let's bear in mind a couple of things. number one, the special counsel did not resolve the prosecutorial judgment on obstruction. this is a decision that barr had to make. and secondly, very interestingly i think what he said was despite their legal disagreement, what he did was assume the propriety of mueller's theory and make a judgment about whether the facts could be proved beyond a reasonable doubt to show corrupt intent. if you can't show corrupt
intent beyond a reasonable doubt it doesn't matter what the legal theory is. and the reason he had to lay out all this business about how cooperative the white house was, including not shutting down the investigation, complete cooperation with the special counsel, turning over all the materials from the white house, making the white house witnesses available and added to that the president as martha put it, the sincere intent of the president or the sincere feeling of the president that he was under siege by his political enemies notwithstanding he went ahead and cooperated anyway. the point of laying that out was because in a jury trial to establish obstruction you would have to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that he had corrupt intent. the reasonable that is relevant is not just to cheerlead for the president but to show they couldn't conceivably have made an obstruction case if they had
to reach that burden of proof. >> bill: to that end then, andy, when you don't fire bob mueller, the white house attorney sits down for 30 hours, don mcgahn did and you hand over thousands if not millions potentially of documents, that would seem to suggest that this was a white house in cooperation at that point. >> i think, bill, this is why the attorney general was stressing that the president could have exercised executive privilege and opted not to do that. made all that information available. and i think he underscored that by saying he could still exercise executive privilege because technically legally, giving this information to the special counsel was an executive branch to executive branch communication. it doesn't communicate it outside the executive branch. it is arguably a situation where executive privilege
hasn't been waived and yet the president decided to leave the information in the report as it is given to the public rather than withhold all that information. >> sandra: i want to play this sound bite of william barr stating his case right off top about what the mueller report ultimately concluded. here it is. >> the special counsel found no evidence that any american, including anyone associated with the trump campaign, conspired or coordinated with the russian government or i.r.a. in this illegal scheme. as the report states, quote, the investigation did not identify evidence that any u.s. person knowingly or intentionally coordinated with the i.r.a.'s interference operation, unquote. put another way, the special counsel found no collusion by any americans in i.r.a.'s illegal activities. >> sandra: the redacted report will come out shortly, andy.
to remind everybody, the house judiciary committee has already voted to subpoena the full unredacted mueller report. so what happens next there do you believe? >> well, i think if we look at the report which will come out in a little while, i assume that the attorney general has described the redactions correctly. it is not going to be heavily redacted and with the exception of the grand jury material, congress is going to get to see all of it, at least some members of congress. i suspect that the grand jury material is probably something we've argued about a lot more than it's probably worth because most of -- as the attorney general described, the witnesses who i think would have been of most interest to the democrats certainly and the media who are the white house witnesses made available to the
special counsel without grand jury subpoenas. i don't think the grand jury redaction will have relevance to that part of the report at all. that will all be in there. i suspect what we see the report there won't be much to argue in the way of what's been held back. i think in terms of the clip that you just played, the most important thing here is if you think about the carter page fisa warrants where they went to court a number of times and told the fisa court that the f.b.i. believed there was a trump/russia conspiracy. they would have been due to go back to the fisa court if they wanted reauthorized. special counsel barr was up to speed on the investigation and it is interesting that they not only did not go back to the fisa court in september of 2017, which is when they would have had to do it, if you look at all of the indictments that
they returned in the ensuing year and a half or so, they not only didn't charge a trump/russia conspiracy. the indictments precluded that there was one and that's the finding made and the one the attorney general reported. >> bill: getting word from jerry nadler. he wants bob mueller to testify no later than may 23. a little less than six weeks from now. bill barr is going to testify i believe before the house and the senate around the 1st of may. ed henry is standing by and going through the material and welcome to the coverage. what is there at first glance? >> i think to pick up on your point about bob mueller speaking out potentially by may 23. let's remember in january when buzz feed reported what turned
out to be incorrect information that the president had directed michael cohen to lie in effect robert mueller, the special counsel, put out a statement saying that's not true. so they shot that down. so this notion that somehow william barr is saying the opposite of what robert mueller wanted to be said in this report is something that seems quiz call for democrats to suggest. the other big thing i say when we talk about this back and forth. let's have a time-out and remember that william barr, the attorney general, is now saying directly that a narrative pushed by democrats for the better part of two years is false. that there was collusion between the trump campaign, the white house, and the russians. you heard william barr say that again and again and let's not forget we haven't heard from the democrats because they want to see the full report or the redacted version. they'll get that. then they'll speak out.
but adam schiff and other democrats for two years haven't just been accusing and alleging, they've been claiming they have evidence of collusion. the attorney general of the united states is again saying definitively that is not true. i think question of obstruction continues to be a much more difficult question for the white house. we have to see what those 10 incidents are that are spelled out in the report that robert mueller lays out. let's wait for the facts on that. it is hard to suggest someone obstructed justice if they turned over the equivalent of a million pages of documents, had white house aides and campaign aides cooperate. never asserted executive privilege. on the other hand we should point out that the president did not cooperate in at least one way. he never made himself available to talk to mueller's investigators. he didn't have to do that. mueller could have subpoenaed him and chose not to do that. the president did not sit down with him. >> bill: barr started to paint
a picture what was happening in january and february of 2017. what he says, he entered office and sought to perform his responsibilities, federal agents and prosecutors were scrutinizing his conduct and some of his associates. he would argue russia had nothing to do with my election. >> absolutely. the investigation started going back into 2016. when you heard catherine herridge's question at the news conference, what about investigating the investigators. it is clear that the attorney general is determined to focus on the mueller report today but there is another report coming out as you know from michael horowitz, the inspector general at the justice department, could be out in may or june we're told that will take a look at the conduct of the f.b.i. and the justice department under president obama and how we got here. so it was clear the attorney general, while being accused by the democrats today of being a blocker for the president, the defense attorney for the
president, he is not focused on what the president wants to focus on just yet but has made clear in the testimony on the hill recently and elsewhere that he believes there was spying of the trump campaign and so we'll see the mueller report today. but we've still got the inspector general report and a whole lot of other investigations about how we got here. >> sandra: our team is standing by now as we await the president. he is expected to address a group of wounded warrior soldiers for the project annual solder ride in d.c. he will be in the east room delivering remarks 10 minutes from now. one might expect that he will say something about william barr and possibly a press conference by the president. we are listening for this as we await the redacted mueller report expected to be released before noontime eastern. we'll be right back. >> after carefully reviewing the facts and legal theories outlined in the report and in
consultation with the office of legal counsel and other department lawyers, the deputy attorney general and i concluded that the evidence developed by the special counsel is not sufficient to establish that the president committed an obstruction of justice offense. if you're a veteran homeowner and need money for your family, call newday usa. a newday va home loan lets you refinance your home and take out 54,000 dollars
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>> the president took no act that in fact deprived the special counsel of the documents and witnesses necessary to complete his investigation. apart from whether the acts were obstructive, this evidence of non-corrupt motives weighs heavily against any allegation that the president had a corrupt intent to obstruct the investigation. >> bill: press conference is over. that was bill barr. we watched it, read a five-page statement, too four or five questions about some of the conclusions he drew. chris wallace, bret baier, shannon bream, martha maccallum continues her coverage. andy mccarthy with legal analysis and ed henry is bringing us whatever he can. brit hume is on the line as well. bret, come back to this line
i'm reading from bill barr. january and february of 2017. there was relentless speculation in the news media about the president's personal culpability tying him to russia, what russia was doing in the election. as he said from the beginning there is, in fact, no collusion. that's bill barr in my view trying to get inside of the head of the president what he was going through at that time. >> yeah. the collusion part of this presentation, this press conference was pretty cut and dried. it matched what the letter he sent up to the committees said and matched his testimony on capitol hill. the democrats will see what they're looking at there but he is quoting from robert mueller and the determinations that no american, no trump campaign member or no american conspired to work with the russians to interfere with the election. not just being able to bring a case. it just didn't happen. the obstruction part is where everyone is focused. it is interesting republicans
are pushing back on this notion that barr somehow is in the pocket of president trump and protecting him for all the people they say that didn't have a peep when loretta lynch did what she did as attorney general or eric holder did what he did. they say bill barr is a straight shooter, cut and dry. when you hear the -- he determines what he was dealing with, the president at the time, and that he was frustrated in bill barr's words, that's where the criticism comes from capitol hill. bill barr, the attorney general, said he has no objection to robert mueller testifying on capitol hill. you have jerry nadler saying it has to happen before may 23. interestingly at the end of may beginning of june we also are expected to get the i.g. horowitz report on the beginning of this investigation. >> bill: getting a text from a federal prosecutor who will go nameless. we always consider seriously the best case for the defense
in determining whether a crime was committed. that's a lot of what bill barr tried to explain. >> sandra: chris wallace. you have the feeling this is not over today and this is just the beginning of a whole lot more as far as the digesting of this report will be concerned. we don't have a look at it yet. >> that's right. you could argue to a certain degree it hasn't even begun yet. i don't want to minimize what bill barr did today. that's one of the reasons why i think republicans are so enthused by it and democrats are so angered by it is because bill barr, this is the first statement, this will be out there. the sound bite that will be played on the news all day and into the evening of him saying there was no collusion and there was no obstruction. but in an hour and a half we'll all get our own look at it and people will make their own judgments. my guess is republicans will say that's not obstruction and collusion it seems cut and
dried as bret said there was no collusion, no cooperation or coordination between the trump campaign or the president and the russians. obstruction sounds like it will be much more of a judgment call. you have the attorney general himself say there are at least 10 instances. you can be sure we'll look at each of those 10 instances and wondering about them. we know several of them already. we know that the president at least according to james comey's testimony in his memos told him to go easy on michael flynn. eventually fired james comey. told the russians and lester holt it was because of his concerns about pressure from the russians. so a lot of this will get replayed. my guess is we'll find out about things we don't know. remember that you have don mcgahn, the president's white house counsel at the time, 30 hours of testimony before the special counsel, not grand jury testimony that could be
redacted but conversations that took place and we don't know what he said. interestingly enough the white house doesn't fully know what he said because we understand they didn't fully understand what it was that don mcgahn was doing and never got a full debrief from mcgahn's lawyer what he was offering up to special counsel. a lot of information will come out after we actually get to see the real report. it won't be the spin of anybody who has read it and is telling us what to think. we get an opportunity to read it and think for ourselves and judge whether we're troubled by what came out about the president or people in his campaign or we're not troubled. >> bill: we get judge napolitano first reaction in a moment. to shannon bream and martha maccallum. let's show the tweet from the president that came out at the conclusion of the press conference. it's clearly based on the current series in hbo, no collusion, no obstruction are for the haters and radical left
democrats, game over. shannon bream i'll give that one to you. >> it's clear this president has changed the way the executive, commander-in-chief communicates with the country. clearly that tweet was ready to go, i would guess. had been crafted and ready for the send button on that, the tweet button. remember that when this report comes out this afternoon a number of democrats of course as chris talked about have been very unhappy how it has been characterized. we'll eventually get to see it. remember, the house judiciary committee chaired by jerry nadler, they already voted to authorize subpoenas, if they don't like what they see today and unhappy with the redactions which we're told are light the subpoena is ready to go. one of 17 current democrats in congress who voted against the release of the starr report back when it involved president clinton. so there are clearly partisan issues going on here and people how they feel about things as they play out. also remember the president is
now flipping it to let's look back at the investigators. top republicans are saying the same thing. we know the attorney general talked about the efforts to look into the origins of the entire case and how this started, the investigation. another one of our fox news polls we had out yesterday asked people is it likely that u.s. intelligence agencies broke the law while probing the trump campaign? 57% of the people who replied thought that it was somewhat or extremely likely. some likelihood that the government broke the law when it was looking into the trump campaign. that will be the next part of this conversation and that's not going to end anytime soon. >> sandra: about midway through bill barr's remarks a short time ago he said it ultimately comes down to this. >> that's the bottom line, after nearly two years of investigation, thousands of subpoenas, hundreds of warrants and witness interviews, the special counsel confirmed that the russian government
sponsored efforts to illegally interfere with the 2016 presidential election. but did not find that the trump campaign or other americans colluded in those efforts. >> he says that's the bottom line, martha. also this from leading democrat chuck schumer. now that the president's campaign press conference is over, although we know that was the department of justice and the attorney general, time for congress and the american people to see the #mueller report. >> pretty much impossible for anyone to be declared a man of integrity in washington these days. you can be that one day and if you come down on the wrong side of what people would like the hear from you suddenly you have no integrity at all. a difficult situation i think for the country to be in as you go through these processes. but what chuck schumer will focus on and what a lot of people will focus on when it comes out will come from the one line that i want to point out again. all thaoe the is from bill barr. although the deputy attorney
general and i disagreed with some of the special counsel's legal theories and felt that some of the episodes examined did not amount to obstruction as a matter of law. clearly robert mueller laid out in this report he felt that some of these 10 episodes of the president trying to push back on this investigation robert mueller clearly felt some of them did constitute obstruction. but they are saying when we looked at his legal theories we disagreed with the argument he made there but we assumed that we agreed with it and looked to see if it would hold up in a court of law and decided the evidence produced in this report would not allow that and therefore we decided not to prosecute. those are the areas where you'll see a lot of tension in this report. >> bill: stand by. go back to bret in a moment here. the judge will give us his first reflections what he heard in the press conference and we'll get into the talk about impeachment from the hill. whether it's dampened entirely
from this. the president will be up in a moment. 60-second time-out. our coverage continues on the day of the mueller report here on fox. your brain changes as you get older. but prevagen helps your brain with an ingredient originally discovered... in jellyfish. in clinical trials, prevagen has been shown to improve short-term memory. prevagen. healthier brain. better life. the lexus es. every curve, every innovation, every feeling. a product of mastery.
lease the 2019 es 350 for $389 a month for 36 months. experience amazing at your lexus dealer. >> look into collusion and conspiracy with the russians. this was none. no american or member of the trump am cain cut and dry. i assume by him saying that that the report will back that up 100%. if that's the case, when did robert mueller and his team know that? when did they know there was no collusion? did they know it -- they had to know it well before today.
did they know it before the mid-term election? could that have had an effect had they come to a conclusion prior to the mid-term election for the way the election went. you have for 23 months plus this thing having over the trump campaign and trump administration that is eating away at the body politic. >> bill: it is consuming your town day after day and month after month. >> still is. >> sandra: brit hume joins us now. we await the president and redacted mueller report. what are your thoughts so far this morning? >> one question that hung over today was whether the report and its conclusions would begin to end this round of speculation and reporting and commentary that so badly
embarrassed many of our media colleagues in the emphasis they placed on it and the speculation they engaged it. it was a real debacle. one might have thought after barr's initial summary of the main conclusions that it would have died down. it hasn't. my read on what we've seen so far today this won't do it either. people even as reasonable people as my friend larry down at the university of virginia declaring that barr sounds like trump's defense attorney. could it be, folks, that what's in the report in fact does go down favorably on the president and why barr sounded the way he did? that's a distinct possibility that some of my media colleagues have overlooked. i think that's where we are. we might have thought we were at the end of this. we may still be in the middle of it. >> bill: we'll be nibbling all afternoon when the report comes out. brit, stand by. bring in the judge before the
president comes out and andrew napolitano with us now. you heard bill barr and your reaction. >> i agree largely with what our colleague brit hume just said. this is not the end. it is not the beginning of the end. it may be the end of the beginning. the democrats in my view, particularly those on the house judiciary committee will scrutinize the 10 instances of alleged obstruction where there is an argument in favor of obstruction and an argument against obstruction. the bottom line in the attorney general's view not enough evidence to prove beyond a reasonable doubt. no action will be taken. the democrats will second guess the attorney general and second guess bob mueller as to whether or not there is enough evidence to prove the case. if there isn't they'll want to go and look at the millions of pages of documents, the raw evidence from which the
400-page report was extracted. >> bill: some of them will be able to see it based on what barr said today. >> they'll be able to see the unredacted report. but i did not understand him to say he is going to let them see the underlying evidence. that would be extremely unusual. million s of page. rudy giuliani said the white house alone sent over over a million wages of documents and the applications to grand juries for subpoenas, you are probably talking about close to two million pages of documents. >> bill: let me ask you a legal question that folds into a political question. this from a federal prosecutor who will go nameless saying that barr's press conference was a significant public service further dampening the
fervor for impeachment. would you agree with that assessment? >> i do. impeachment is largely political and not legal. look, the president is -- thankfully for him and for the country because we're entitled to a president who is free to do his job. the president is no longer in the legal cross hairs of the d.o.j. that book is closed. but he is still in the political cross hairs of democrats who seem to think that their base wants them either to torment him or to look for a way to impeach him. i suggest to you as wrong as they think this is and as much as i believe it will go to them negively politically they will examine these 10 instances and come up with their own conclusions whether or not the 10 of them collectively present a case for obstruction of justice. significance of obstruction of justice in the nixon impeachment which never happened but we had eight months of investigation, in
clinton impeachment which did happen. both were charged with obstruction. so there is a precedent for obstruction of justice being a basis for impeachment. the democrats know that and i believe they will exploit it. >> sandra: thank you for standing by. our panel is also standing by. martha maccallum and chris wallace and shannon bream and bret baier. we have a live look at the hallway in which the redacted mueller report will be hand delivered by the d.o.j. to the house judiciary committee. it is a 400-page report. it will be arriving on cd roms. this is how they do that. then ultimately a pdf will be released to the public as william barr said on the d.o.j. website to everyone to retrieve at that point. to go back to the point that the judge was talking about, about some leaders from several
different congressional committees in congress will get a look at the report without redactions with the exception of those related to grand jury information. william barr made that very clear in his news conference. will that satisfy members of congress who are calling for the full unredacted report to be released? >> we'll see. he pointed out -- bill barr pointed out there are certain areas he cannot legally expose. one of the big questions with this, the major concern with this is that we live in such a leaky society that the likelihood that information is not going to leak from some of the unredacted portions that those individuals will get to see i think is something that a lot of people are very cynical about and rightfully so. the chances that we aren't going to hear what comes out of that exposure is, i think, almost ridiculous to assume but we'll see whether or not it holds up. john dowd, one of the former attorneys of president trump
who has been very openly critical of this process said there was no need for a 400-page document. you talk about how it will be transmitted on cd roms and all of us pouring through the pages over the next several hours. normally the reports would be very short. he says the 400 page release is designed to further negative public narrative. there will be a cornucopia of information here that people can dig into. nancy pelosi also speaking out before the report has been released saying the attorney general has confirmed the staggering partisan effort by the trump administration to spin the public's view of the mueller report. she said that moments ago. >> bill: andy mccarthy is still with us as well. i want to go back to something bill barr said an hour ago. we now know the russian operatives who have perpetrated these schemes did not have the cooperation of president trump, the trump campaign or knowing
assistance of any american for that matter. he said, andy, that is something that all americans can and should be grateful to have confirmed. so as much as they tried, they did not succeed. the second half of that story, then, andy is what do we do for 2020? >> well, you hope, bill, that this is something that they've been looking at since the beginning of the investigation. let's remember that at least as this investigation has been publicly conveyed and that was initially done in an intelligence assessment that the obama administration put out in early january of 2017, it was elaborated on in public testimony that then f.b.i. director james comey gave to the house intelligence committee in march of 2017. this was teed up for the public as a counter intelligence investigation of russia's interference in the election which, as one aspect of it, not the whole thing, but one aspect of it was whether there was any
trump campaign coordination in that effort. but the overarching problem here and challenge for the intelligence community to deal with has been russia's interference in elections not just in the united states, but in the west. and this is something that the obama administration actually knew about, it has been reported in realtime, to the point that then c.i.a. director john brennan took the matter up with his russian counterpart and closer in time to the election president obama took it up with vladimir putin. so this is something that the intelligence community is looking at not only in the context of our elections but also russia's efforts throughout western europe and throughout the world wherever russia has potential interests in the governance of a country or the stability of a country, they're apt to interfere. so the issue for us, of course, is what can we do to harden our
electoral process and since they've tried to influence the campaigns, what can we do to insulate our campaign processes from outside interference by bad actors, primarily russia? >> sandra: want to bring bret baier as we await the president. the white house not saying specifically if he will have comments on the release of the redacted mueller report. one might assume he may comment. that being said some reaction coming in from capitol hill. mark meadows, what you are seeing is unprecedented desperation from the left. jim jordan, no collusion, no obstruction, complete cooperation from the president. no executive privilege asserted. what else are you hearing? >> bill: democrats have a different take. swalwell said it was a good press conference from president trump, i mean attorney general barr.
others saying the attorney general is covering up somehow. this potentially -- we're probably an hour away from getting the public release version. might be the worst cover-up of all time. we'll see. because we'll get the redacted version, the same one capitol hill gets. we're told that a different version will go to the heads of the judiciary committee and the intelligence committee. with a little fewer redactions but it is hard to believe that bill barr would be that far out on a limb if it wasn't backed up in the pages of that report. it is true that there could be these 10 instances that they determine are not criminally prosecutable for obstruction. and others in the house of representatives could say hey, this looks like articles of impeachment to me. that's possible. but for bill barr to be that definitive it is hard to believe the 400 pages don't back that up or that bob mueller wouldn't be having a problem raising his hand or
sending up a red flag. >> bill: interesting answer. it goes to process as what happens between the special counsel and how bill barr and rod rosenstein take their information. judge, i'll bring you back in on this and maybe you can shed some light on it. the 10 instances that bret is referring to there. do they get in a room and argue it? do they exchange paperwork? how would something like that work? >> as my colleagues who are with us today who are lawyers well understand, the law is not an exact science and two prosecutors looking at the same evidence can come to varying different opinions as to whether the evidence is sufficient to prove guilt beyond a reasonable doubt. in our system we have one person who has the final say on that. normally it doesn't reach all the way up to him but the potential target is the president of the united states. in this case it is. that person is the attorney general. he has concluded on the basis of his understanding of the law that whatever these 10
instances are collectively there is not enough to prove evidence of guilt beyond a reasonable doubt. if you'll let me read where he zeroed in on this and i thank our colleague for this. i'm reading from what he said a few minutes ago. apart from whether the acts were obstructive the act of non-corrupt motives weighs against that the president had a corrupt intent to obstruct. there is probably evidence on both sides of these 10 instances. there is a way to look at them as being corrupt or non-corrupt. the person who has the final say on these things concluded that a jury would probably conclude that they are not corrupt and therefore we're not going the charge. >> bill: ultimately bill barr's call. andy mccarthy, give us your legal analysis how that process would play out behind closed
doors. >> what you would do in the first instance is make a decision about whether the transaction that you are looking at could be a crime in theory. i think when we're talking about the 10 different incidents, the important thing is it's not i don't think so much a matter of that there could be evidence on each side although that may well be the case. the first thing you would have to do to be more concrete about it so people can understand this better. let's take firing the f.b.i. director. now, what i took attorney general barr to be saying is that he and special counsel mueller were not in agreement on what obstruction is as a matter of law and whether certain transactions could amount to an obstruction offense. if we took the example of firing the f.b.i. director, one side of the legal house may say the president has absolutely
unlimited power. he doesn't need a reason to fire the f.b.i. director and therefore doesn't matter what his reason was. he can do it and it can't be a crime. the other side may say well, he can do something that is legal but if it is corruptly done, if we find he had corrupt intent, then that could amount to an obstruction offense. so there is disagreement here about the law. you don't have to resolve a legal disagreement if you look -- if you do the evidentiary assessment and say look, whoever is right about the legal question, the prosecutor would still have to prove corrupt intent beyond a reasonable doubt at trial. and if we look at all of the evidence that goes to corrupt intent and we decide that because of the full nature of the cooperation by the white house there is no way that a prosecutor could show the president corruptly tried to block the investigation when he could have shut it down and he never shut it down and he
completely cooperated with it. then you can say we don't need to resolve the legal problem, we can just assume that there could be a crime here on the facts we can't make out a case. therefore we would close it. on the facts, not necessarily on the law. >> sandra: to tie that all together. martha read this earlier. his words barr although the deputy attorney general and i disagreed with some of the special counsel's legal theories and felt some of the episodes he examined did not amount to obstruction we did not rely on that solely in making our decisions. the president should begin speaking shortly and see what he has to say and address wounded warriors. the ranking republican on the house judiciary committee saying no collusion, no obstruction. the redacted mueller report could come within the 11:00 and 12:00 hours eastern time is
>> we can assume only for the purpose of assumption here, sandra, that the attorneys for the president now are going over the mueller report and they'll have more reaction on this. as we await that ed henry has a bit of reaction from one of the president's attorneys, ed, good morning to you. what do you have for us? >> interesting. i just stepped out to do a taping so i had a brief conversation with rudy giuliani. i asked what is your reaction? he said a knock-out saying he thinks it's game over. you saw that from the president's tweet. this is the president's personal attorney saying we're turning the page and it's all done. people still have to see the report and a fuller response from rudy giuliani, jake sekulow and the entire team. i pass that along to tell you how they're feeling inside the
president's legal team as well as inside the white house. the other point i'll make. i also spoke to ty cobb who worked for president trump inside the white house, not the outside legal team at the beginning of this was part of turning over the roughly million pages of documents, emails and other information to the special counsel. he told me to things. one he says that the white house not asserting executive privilege is very important here. it is a big deal, he says, because of almost all of the obstruction testimony taken in those 10 incidents that are laid out by bob mueller we're told by the attorney general in this report would have come from testimony of white house aides who were there such as don mcgahn, the former white house counsel. so what ty cobb is saying by the white house not invoking executive privilege they're the ones saying you can use this material. it will go out in the public. we'll be transparent about it and ty cobb is also saying as an attorney if jerry nadler and
the democrats go forward with a subpoena for the entire report, ty cobb tells me he thinks it is close to a zero percent chance that jerry nadler's subpoena would be successful. the courts would knock it out saying they won't get the full report. some reaction from team trump right there. >> bill: come back when you get it. we might hear from rudy giuliani within the hour. >> sandra: let's bring back in our panel. chris wallace, bret baier and martha maccallum and shannon bream. we're waiting for the president. maybe we'll hear from him. >> we're getting word he may not touch this. that's what they're saying at the white house. hard to believe that he wouldn't because it seems as you heard from rudy giuliani that this was really what they wanted to hear from the attorney general and obviously his tweet game over was pretty
definitive. at some point we'll hear from the president whether this event or other and hear likely the same things. he will leave for mar-a-lago. sometimes he does those press events on the south lawn. maybe it will be there. >> sandra: chris wallace, your thoughts? there was some speculation that the white house might announce the president would hold a press conference ahead of the release of the report. right now we only know he is addressing wounded warriors, anything could happen. >> anybody that tries to predict what the president is going to say or do is making a big mistake. he is the president as he likes to say and do whatever he wants. one point i want to follow up on the interesting conversation between judge napolitano and andrew mccarthy is they're talking about the legal aspect of that. that seems to have been solved. we have gotten a declaration by the attorney general bill barr there was no collusion and no obstruction of justice but that
isn't the last word. ultimately it's a political decision by the congress and a decision first of all by the house whether or not to impeach the president and secondly by the senate whether or not if he is impeached to remove the president. that really is more of a political judgment than a strictly legal judgment. the constitution talks about high crimes and misdemeanors. that's a very imprecise term. it basically is whatever a majority of the house decides high crimes and misdemeanors are. jerry nadler, the chairman of the judiciary committees that would hold hearings before an impeachment proceedings has talked about abuse of power. that is not a precise legal term. whatever people judge a majority of the house judges to be an abuse of power and some of the charges against richard nixon back in 1974 were abuse of power. having said all of that, i think it's highly unlikely, looks like they're standing up. i think it's highly unlikely
there will be any impeachment. i would love to continue on that when the president is over. >> bill: plenty of time. that's why they call it cable. the rest of the day here. we saw the vice president, mike pence in the room. we want to bring in shannon bream. if you want to pick up the pointers, you are a lawyer yourself and our supreme court correspondent. that conversation between mccarthy and napolitano how you make the decisions about it. it's bill barr's call. >> ultimately what he thinks a jury would do. you don't put together a case and prosecute a case that you think is going to be a failure on the back end. those are calculations he has had to make. listen, that's the authority of his position. what he is allowed to do under the law and statutes and regulations. he talked today about the role of making that decision on the issue of obstruction and he said that's what we do whether asked if it should be left to
congress. he seemed befuddled, that's not their role. the political implications and calculations beyond the legal. you think about the issues of impeachment. top democrats out with tweets today. nancy pelosi hinting there was something improper about the white house getting a sneak peek of what she called the redacted report. again, barr walked through how this works. white house counsel would have the ability to exact or to exert executive privilege if they wanted to. they said they were given the opportunity to look at this. the president wanting to emphasize transparency and get this behind him didn't make any request for redactions based on executive privilege. his personal legal team. standard practice if you're mentioned in an independent or special counsel's report you would be allowed the take a look. they did and they didn't request redactions either. it will be played politically on both sides clearly. >> sandra: some of these
wounded warriors are taking to the stage at the white house where the president is about to make remarks. a very important event and acknowledgement of the warriors happening at the white house this morning. dana perino anchors the daily briefing, co-host of the five. we'll add to our mueller report coverage. as we await the president's remarks let us know what you think so far what we've learned this morning as we await the report. >> one of the things i used to ask the team and the president, what is the headline we want in the morning if we have a successful day. the headline tomorrow morning won't be the process complaints as the democrats have made so far, it will be the repetition of no collusion that attorney general bill barr said at the beginning. process stories aren't that important overall. they are helpful to a news cycle at the moment. i also think that these questions about members of congress, including the house intel committee chairmen who
have for two years said they have evidence of collusion, i think there is a lot to answer for there. i do think that robert mueller will go to capitol hill to testify. by the time he does this almost all of this is water under the bridge. the white house today has to deal with the fact this is what most of the media will talk about for the day. probably through the weekend. i would bet and i would recommend not that anybody listens to me, how do you take a step forward? he will be the only one in washington, d.c. next week. house and senate are out for easter break. what can he do to take back the initiative? i'm working on that right now. >> bill: six hours to come up with it. >> i have three. >> bill: 11:00 on the east coast. live in new york city i'm bill hemmer along with sandra smith. 11:00 in washington, d.c. we're watching the east room of the white house where the president will be in there any moment now. here are the headlines repeated by bill barr the attorney general 90 minutes ago. no collusion between president
trump or any american with ties to russia with 2016. nothing the president did, barr says, rose to the level of obstruction of justice offense. we have heard from the president already. at least his twitter feed anyway. he calls this game over at a time where cds, compact disks if you still have that are now being delivered to members of congress who are largely away for the easter recess. bret baier, chris wallace, shannon bream, martha maccallum and others are with us here. bret, you are the president and do you suggest it? you suggest he doesn't refer to it. i would guess nothing the way he has reacted for 2 1/2 years is probably highly unlikely but take a shot. >> it is highly unlikely. it is what i said. this is a wounded warriors event and that's the primary mission for his comments. but i would assume he says
something as i mentioned either here or on his way out on the south lawn. i want to go back to the obstruction part and the key line in the barr presentation, that was this. why there is no obstruction by the president. the president took no act that in fact deprived the special counsel of the documents and witnesses necessary to complete his investigation. he went on to say he did not exert executive privilege in any way. did not request any redactions. and left it completely to the attorney general. so that gets to their thinking, when i say their the attorney general and deputy attorney general, on the lack of finding corrupt intent when it comes to obstruction of justice. we want to see the specific instances and chris is right, the onus is on congress to make a determination. but that's a political determination. the legal determination is now
over with this presentation and when we get the hard document we'll see the backup to what barr is saying. all of these people tweeting including elizabeth warren and democratic candidates saying barr is acting as the personal attorney to the president. he is representing the country saying how he sees it. >> sandra: shannon, we had reaction from speaker nancy pelosi a short time ago off the bat immediately reacting to william barr saying he confirmed the staggering partisan effort to spin the public's view of the mueller report. we're awaiting those cd roms to be delivered to the house judiciary committee and for us all to get finally a look at this report, shannon. >> folks in washington will remind you that the attorney general bill barr and special counsel robert mueller go back a long way.
they've known each other 30 years and have a long history. as has been pointed out, barr couldn't be too far off from what mueller reported. there was a member of the mueller team that was part of this redaction team. the decisions that barr and his team were making in putting together the color-coded redaction report that will go out today at any moment. would barr be so far away from what mueller's conclusions were? he hasn't objected to mueller coming to testify on the hill. barr is already set to go. mueller will be next. we expect partisan reaction on this report today but if those two men are willing to go to the hill and answer questions, it would go a long way, i think, in changing or settling some of the public disputes about what has gone on because it looks like they are willing to go testify. mueller was not part of this today because it wasn't his report essentially that was being issued in the format barr was doing this. this is something he is not required to do. he is not required to make this information public or not even
required to give the 400-page report to congress. nothing requires him to do that. you'll remember during his confirmation hearings he pledge against and again when pressed he would be as transparent as possible and so he says that's what he is doing today in laying out what he has and now the report going to congress. there are those who will see a less redacted version. >> bill: it is just out. >> here we go. >> sandra: everyone can see it on justice.gov. a link to the 400-page report now for everyone to see. titled report on the investigation into russian interference in the 2016 presidential election. now the digging and interpreting begins. >> bill: get there before the server crashes for the website. millions will be headed there now. looking at the wounded warriors. a country at war in afghanistan, iraq and every other place in between. the tunnel to towers event in
new york city last week, sandra, had the opportunity to host so many of those wounded marines and soldiers and they have really -- the families, who have been along for the journey for this entire time is truly remarkable. the president will be in the room in a moment. we're standing by for that. also you have -- >> sandra: we'll continue watching that and our thanks to all the men and women in the room. the president and the white house has said the president very much looks forward to addressing them. the question is whether or not he also will react to what we just heard from the attorney general ahead of what is now the released redacted mueller report. >> bill: on that report, too, i imagine right now as these reporters come into the conversation now, you think about the reporters now who will be going through page after page including yourself. i can see your head down reading it now. it is thursday morning. you have a show in three days. where do you think we are on
sunday, chris? >> well, that's always a good question. particularly in the era of trump. my guess is we're still going to be chewing over the report and try to get one of the president's lawyers -- we see the president here now. one of the president's lawyers to talk about it and try to get one of the top democrats on one of those investigatory committees. i'm trying to see, i think i'm into it and it's 448 pages, but i have to say the link is somewhat shaky at this point. >> bill: good luck with that. we see the president in the room now on what has been a remarkable morning already and he must be feeling pretty good at the moment, sandra, after bill barr's press conference today. >> sandra: here is the president. >> president trump: it has been a long relationship i've had and the solder ride is something very, very special. few people could do it, including me. i hate to admit it. i hate to admit that, general,
but including me. we're deeply honored to be in the presence of true american heroes. i want to thank our vice president mike pence and karen pence for being with us today. [applause] theirs is a fierce devotion, i can tell you, speaking. i deal with mike and karen and they have a fierce devotion to america's veterans and we all do. thank you very much. we're also grateful to be joined by acting defense secretary patrick shanahan. thank you very much. a great job you're doing. [applause] 100% of the caliphate. so that's great. that was one of our early assignments with you.
great job. general counsel of veteran affairs jim byrne, thank you very much, jim, great job. [applause] and army vice chief of staff general james mcconville. thank you, james. thank you very much. [applause] i also want to thank two great congressmen for being here and if we had room we would have had a lot more. phil roh and james baird. thank you very much. they're having a good day. i'm having a good day, too. it was called no collusion, no obstruction. [cheering and applause] there never was, by the way and there never will be. and we do have to get to the
bottom of these things, i will say and this should never happen. i say this in front of my friends, wounded warriors, and i just call them warriors because we just shook hands and they look great. they look so good, so beautiful. but i say it in front of my friends, this should never happen to another president again, the hoax, it should never happen to another president again. thank you. with us on stage today are the wounded warriors from the air force, the army, the navy, the coast guard, the national guard, and the marine corps. each of you is a living testament to the outstanding determination, persistence and patriotism that made this the greatest nation ever to exist on the face of the earth. and as you know, we're spending -- >> sandra: you are listening to the president address the wounded warriors in the white house. you just heard fresh reaction
from the president to william barr concluding no collusion, no obstruction. the words of the president it should never happen to another president ever again. we're standing by in the new york studio and the team in d.c. joins us as well. reaction to what we just heard. >> the president said it's a good day, i'm having a good day, too. slipped in his reaction to this. no collusion, no obstruction and he went on to talk about the fact he doesn't ever want to see this kind of hoax happen to a president again. you know, we're starting to get a little bit of this report as everybody is pouring three it. section three. the president's reaction to the continue russia investigation, the outlay of some of those episodes we talked about that are outlined in this report that go to whether or not the president tried to obstruct. one of the first ones is his concern expressed anger at the fact that his attorney general at the time, jeff sessions, was
considering recusing himself because of his involvement in the trump campaign. the president expressed anger about that and tried to encourage don mcgahn to tell him not to recuse himself and asked him to reconsider his decision. he said that to sessions himself. we're just getting things that so far as i go through them nothing new. these are things that we knew. when you go back to that example just specifically, sandra and bill and dana as we look at all of this, that as we know never happened. jeff sessions did recuse himself, the president was upset about it but didn't change anything. that the president expressioned anger about it. the president lashing out and turns to nothing. >> bill: you look through the table of contents. donald trump junior interacts with wikileaks. jump down to trump tower moscow project, there is russian travel by michael cohen or candidate trump. all the material that we've been keeping an eye on for close to three years, sandra.
>> there are two other things the president said that i think are worth noting. he said it should never happen to another president this hoax and we have to get to the bottom of it. yes, i think what he is saying there is as attorney general bill barr noted last week in testimony in front of congress there was spying on the trump campaign. there is going to be an inquiry into how it happened. the president wants to know how did this happen to me. he had to do this for two years. the headline is no collusion. and then no obstruction. the obstruction issue will be the one a lot of people try to look into. i don't actually have the report yet. it is one of the -- one headline said that the campaign knew that russia was trying to help hillary clinton and that they thought maybe that information could help them but again the bottom line is no collusion, no cooperation. >> bill: george papadopoulos, carter page and on it goes.
to bret baier in washington what did you -- >> a couple of points in the section about the early days where jim comey is saying that the russian government's efforts -- the f.b.i. director to interfere with the 2016 election including they're looking into coordination with the russian government and trump campaign. in the following days the report says the president reached out to the director of national intelligence and the leaders of the central intelligence agency and the nsa to ask them what they could do to publicly dispel the suggestion that the president had any connection to the russia election interference. president twice called comey directly despite the guidance of don mcgahn to avoid direct contacts with d.o.j., comey had previously assured the president the f.b.i. was not investigating or targeting him personally and the president asked comey to lift the cloud by saying that publicly.
substantial evidence indicates the catalyst's for the president's decision to fire jim comey was, in fact, comey's unwillingness to publicly state that the president was not personally under investigation despite the president's repeated requests that comey make such an announcement and obviously we have rod rosenstein letter that the president and administration point back to the reason comey was fired with how he handled the hillary clinton email investigation. this report says that the real reason was that comey didn't say what he wanted him to say. >> bill: page 123. the republican national convention in cleveland ohio. >> sandra: the house and senate judiciary committees have received their copies of the report. catherine herridge is live at the justice department where you're going through it. what can you tell us right now? >> so i have the special counsel report here. it is split into two volumes.
the first volume is devoted to russia collusion, just shy of 200 pages. the second volume looks at the issue of obstruction. i've been able to peel through it. it is lightly redacted and where there are redactions there is actually a statement justifying the redactions whether it's grand jury material orion going investigations. for folks at home it is very simplified and easy to follow. i want you to bear with me. i have four areas that i want to highlight and read from the report. the first goes to the issue of why special counsel robert mueller could not reach a decision on the obstruction question. it reads, quote, because we determined not to make a traditional prosecutorial judgment, we did not draw ultimate conclusions about the president's conduct. the evidence we obtained about the president's actions and intent presents a difficult issues that would need to be resolved if we were making a traditional prosecutorial judgment. at the same time he writes if we had confidence after a
thorough investigation of the facts that the president clearly did not commit obstruction of justice, we would state so. based on the facts and the applicable legal standard we're unable to reach that judgment. accordingly while this report does not conclude the president committed a crime it also does not exonerate him. that phrase will be familiar to people following this issue because attorney general william barr quoted specifically from this section when he sent the bottom line findings to congress at the end of last month. i want to get to another section here because it goes to the issue of why there was a written question and answer session with the president and the special counsel decided at the end of the day not to subpoena the president and force an interview. that section reads we also sought a voluntary interview with the president. after more than a year of discussion the president declined to be interview. it cites grand jury information on the next section.
ultimately while we believed we had the authority and legal justification to issue a grand jury subpoena to obtain the president's testimony, we chose not to do so. we made that decision in view of the substantial delay that such an investigative step would likely produce at a late stage in our investigation. we also assessed that based on the significant body of evidence we had already obtained of the president's actions and his public and private statements describing or explaining those actions, we had sufficient evidence to understand relevant events and make certain assessments without the president's testimony. so the bottom line there is the special counsel is saying they had a lot of information from other individuals, records that were provided by the white house, they did not feel that they needed to take that step and subpoena the president. they would be satisfied or it was adequate to use the written question and answer sessions. now this is a very important part of this and it goes to the moment, i don't think we've had
these details before, when president trump learned that a special counsel had been appointed. >> bill: page 78. >> 78. they're in the oval office and remember, this is those eight days in may between the firing of comey and the appointment of special counsel where a lot of important events go down. it states according to notes written by hunt, a member of the team, when sessions, attorney general jeff sessions told the president a special counsel had been appointed the president slumped back in his chair and said oh my god, this is terrible. this is the end of my presidency. i'm f. the president became angry and lambasted the attorney general to recuse from the investigation. how can you let this happen, jeff? the president said the position of attorney general was his most important appointment and sessions had, quote, let him down. contrasting him to eric holder
and robert kennedy. sessions recalled the president said to him, quote, you were supposed to protect me or words to that effect. and that goes to something that we heard earlier today from attorney general william barr that there was a lot of anger and frustration on behalf of the president. he characterized it as very genuine because he was not guilty of these allegations of collusion. and i just want to go back to page 75 and i'll continue reading with morehead lines. because it goes to this issue of intent. the president later asked rosenstein, that's deputy attorney general rod rosenstein who would ultimately oversee the russia probe once jeff sessions was recused to include russia in his memorandum and say that comey had told the president that he was not under investigation. and the president's final termination letter at the president's insistence and
against mcgahn's advice, white house counsel don mcgahn stating comey had told the president on three separate occasions that he was not under investigation. so on the intent question the president wanted to make clear that he was not guilty of these allegations of collusions and it was shared with him with the then f.b.i. director james comey. i will take a break here and continue reading and flagging headlines. >> bill: i want to conclude that point that catherine was relaying to us after the -- when the president heard special counsel had been appointed he concluded the conversation, everyone tells me if you get one of these independent counsels it ruins the presidency. it takes years and years. i won't be able to do anything. it is the worst thing that ever happened to me. page 4 of bill barr's statement from earlier today he says the president was frustrated and angered by a sincere belief the investigation was undermining
his presidency and fueled by illegal leaks and his political opponents. they match up. >> sandra: this goes on. our producers are digging into this. jay gibson sending over this bit from page 79 which you just heard catherine reading about the recusal and jeff sessions. this portion reads the president then told sessions he should resign as a.g. sessions agreed to submit his resignation and left the oval office. hicks saw the president shortly after, hope hicks when she was inside the white house after sessions departed and described the president as being extremely upset by the special counsel's appointment. so this is just some of what we're digging into here. by the way, the house judiciary committee has just released a request or sent a letter on robert mueller to testify, quote, no later than may 23rd. william barr earlier you heard him respond to questions about that. he said i have no problem with
robert mueller testifying before congress. >> bill: rudy giuliani is making his way to a camera. as soon as we establish that connection we'll bring one of the president's attorneys on the air live. i see this associated press, mueller team considered trump's written answers inadequate, decided against a subpoena fight for the interview. a top line headline back to chris wallace in washington what do you have? >> as we wait for rudy giuliani to get to a microphone, we have a statement that shannon bream has handed to me from rudy giuliani from the entire legal team. giuliani, sekulow and the other two. oil he read you a little bit. the results of the investigation are a total victory for the president. the report underscores what we've argued from the very begin. there was no collusion or obstruction. but they aren't so charitable about the mueller report itself. it says the report itself is nothing more than an attempt to
rehash old allegations despite the fact that it is reiterated by the department of justice, inspector general. neither the f.b.i. or department prosecutors are per misted to -- basically they are oef saying anything that is negative in this report goes against justice department guidelines. a big argument with the case of james comey and hillary clinton in july of 2016. you either decide you will prosecute or you won't prosecute. you don't put out a lot of dirt on somebody you aren't going to prosecute. this report is just going to be something we pour over for a long period of time. one of the interesting issues in here has always been the famous trump tower meeting when a lot of the top members of the campaign including the president's son, don junior, met with the lawyer with ties to the kremlin. russians had been promising dirt on hillary clinton. one of the key questions has always been did the president know about the meeting in
advance or not? on page 115 of the report it says michael cohen, this is something he testified before the house judiciary committee. michael cohen recalled being in trump's office on june 6 or 7 when trump junior told his father that a meeting to obtain adverse information about clinton was going forward. from the tenor of the conversation cohen believed trump junior had previously discussed the meeting with his father. in an interview with the senate judiciary committee under oath trump junior stated he did not inform his father about the upcoming meeting and neither paul manafort, a top advisor nor kushner recalled anyone informing candidate trump of the meeting including trump junior. president trump has stated to this office in written answers to questions that he has, quote, no recollection of learning at the time that
either his son, manafort or kushner was considering participating in the meeting in june 2016 about negative information when it came to hillary clinton. so basically they lay out the case for and against but say there was no way they could prove and no solid evidence that president trump knew ahead of time about the meeting at trump tower in june of 2016. i suspect we'll have a lot of these nuggets on open questions that we've all been wondering about for the last two years and clearly in that case they could come to no conclusion that the president knew about it. >> sandra: just so you know, bill and i have the report with us. we've split it up into halves. everybody is digging through this. shannon bream, what have you seen so far? >> again, hearing that the special counsel was unhappy with the interog tore questions that they sent to the president is not surprising. as a lawyer the first and best thing is having a potential witness sit across from you. there will always be follow-up
questions. you're reading body language. a lot more you can get. it was part of the negotiation back and forth. how much the in the and white house would give to the special counsel. the president said he wanted to do this with the special counsel. his legal team kept saying not a good idea, no. when you have interrogatories or the questions you fill out and send back you are controlling the conversation. of course the special counsel i would think would much rather have had a president face to fails with him. it is a different game. if they were going to force the president to sit down, they knew the fight was one they probably wouldn't win legally. what you would have to show is you had no other way to get the information but to get that witness to sit down and give it to you. the white house will say we turned over more than a million pages in documents. you have the president's tweets and he talked publicly many times. you had other avenues to go to. not surprising they would want more and be dissatisfied with what they got but ultimately
deciding that they thought the legal fight wasn't worth it. >> bill: i want to show our viewers a little bit. there is a lot of text that you can read in this. eventually every two or three pages you hit a redacted section such as this but this is just one side you can read the entire text, on the other side there is about a third of it is blacked out. seems to be a little bit of the pattern we're seeing. back to you. >> let's also put in context there were no other indictments that came from any of this. and there are not to be from the special counsel. but we don't know about the southern district of new york or other investigations. a section on page 59 donald trump junior interaction with wikileaks. he had direct electronic communications with wikileaks during the campaign period on september 20, 2016 an individual named jason sent wikileaks the password for an unlaunched website focused on
trump's dangerous ties to russia. let's bomb iraq and it goes on to say what's in that message. donald trump junior several hours later emailed a variety of senior campaign staff saying that he had gotten this connection. he attached a screen shot of the page and then had this communication. on october 3 wikileaks sent another direct message to trump junior asking you guys to help disseminate a link that -- trump junior responded he had already done so and asked what is this about a wednesday leaky keep reading about? wikileaks did not respond. october 12 wikileaks said it was great to see you talking about our -- have your dad mention this link. wikileaks wrote the link would
help trump in digging through leaked emails and stated we released podesta's emails. this comes in the wake of julian assange being arrested in in britain and the president saying he didn't have any connection to wikileaks. this is don junior and his interactions with wikileaks during that time. >> bill: thank you for that. want to get to sol wisenberg. fox news contributor. i don't know if you have a physical copy of the report or whether you've seen it online. how much so far today have you been able to arrive at in your own mind, sol? >> well, i've read maybe about 30 or 40 pages of the 400 to 500 page report. i have it on my i-pad. i went straight to the obstruction part. there are 10 items supposedly mentioned. i'm on number six, seven or
eight. certainly things that are very embarrassing to the president. for example, the press statement he edited about the meeting in trump tower. the effort to control emails about that. the repeated efforts to have sessions unrecuse himself but nothing in my view -- i've been very consistent of this that comes close to criminal obstruction of justice. whether or not congress wants to look at it as part of a political impeachment that's something different. nothing that comes close to any case law that i know that would support an obstruction of justice charge. >> sandra: all right. sol, if you could stand by for a second. we want to continue to get reaction this morning as we dig through this report. another guest joining us. >> bill: with the now rudy giuliani live with us in washed. -- washington, d.c. let's get your initial reaction
to what we learned so far. >> we're very happy. a clear victory. any lawyer would say when you get a declaration you just won. this is a little strange. special counsel used a standard of proof that's unheard of. he says he can't be conclusively sure that the president didn't commit obstruction. well, you know, that means the president has to prove his innocence which kind of up ends 2,000 years of jurisprudence. that's the reason why he was confused. look at page 2 of the report. he said we can't conclude the president committed a crime but we can't exonerate him. nobody is asking him to exonerate him. the reality is that the overarching principle of obstruction law is very, very, hard to make an obstruction case when there is no proof there is an underlying crime. you have to assume the president is innocent, which he
is. >> bill: why did bob mueller punt on that decision? >> because i suspect he had a disagreement in his staff. the attorney general today laid out the classic view of obstruction. i had many debates with him. what the special counsel's office was trying to extend the statute beyond its reach. they were stuck with two things. one, no underlying crime. it is hard to find a corrupt intent. you can do it. there are cases but it is hard. becomes really hard when there is no tangible obstruction. so you go through 1.4 million pages of documents, you go through all the testimony. they got everything they want. nothing was obstructed. they can't point to a single thing that was obstructed in the investigation. so now you are talking about a purely theoretical crime. and i think as a practical matter in most united states attorneys office they would laugh this kind of thing out of court because these people had
a bias, strong one, and because they used the standard of proof. an amazing standard of proof. can't conclusively determine he did not commit obstruction of justice. i don't know -- i don't know how you prove a negative. >> bill: isn't that him trying to figure out intent in the mind of the president? bill barr said there was no intent and maybe bob mueller or others on his team argued otherwise. >> i don't think bob mueller disagrees with this decision. i think it's some of the more out of control members of his staff who had this very extended definition of obstruction and they have a history of this. two cases in the supreme court that one of his prime prosecutors kind of engineered. both of them ended up with unanimous decisions throwing the case out for a totally bogus reading of conspiracy to defraud. they were extending a crime that doesn't apply.
the attorney general is a good lawyer and applied the classic definition of obstruction and you can torture it all you want but it's not there. and from now on i think prosecutors should return to you have to determine whether there is a case to be brought against a person. you don't look for can i exonerate him. the minute you start trying to exonerate somebody you can investigate forever and totally unfair. this president has been treated totally unfairly. >> sandra: we heard him say that speaking at the white house. do you expect robert mueller to testify? >> i don't know. it would be good if he did. look, this all began as was there collusion with the russians? now we're having an academic debate over obstruction of justice. the big victory is no collusion with the russians. i don't think you could be any clearer. you can read that collusion 200 pages as much as you want. believe me, i was up two nights going through it. you won't find a darn thing that shows that president trump
or anybody on his campaign had any kind of connection with whatever the russians were doing. >> bill: answer this question, too, about this ongoing fight that you had with the special counsel whether or not you would submit to an interview. >> why would i do that? >> bill: i'll get the question out and let you answer. according to what we're learning here the team thought trump's answers weren't adequate but didn't pursue -- the president did not have to submit to an interview. i know you're declaring victory on that. do you think ultimately that decision to fight him on that legal -- on that legal front perhaps led to today's conclusion? >> no, sol's view on this, anybody who practices law for two weeks is not going the want their client to testify. when you represent a president it is a different kind of client and different needs and
circumstances. i think by the time we decided we would only answer those limited interrogatories, we had pretty much gotten public approval for the fact that the independent counsel -- special counsel was really trying to trap him into perjury. by that time the flynn example had come out where they called flynn, they alerted him into thinking it would be a big deal. went into his office and asked him a question about the meeting and in their briefcase was a transcript of the meeting. when he said he couldn't remember they never showed him the transcript to say refresh your recollection. that's a perjury trap. you can do it but when you know that the people investigating you are using those tactics, you would lose that your law license if you walked somebody in without a lot of work for some kind of questioning. these people believe me, bill, these people acted in bad faith numerous times. they treated people horribly.
what they did to manafort should be investigated and then somebody has to ask the question now, this has been the third investigation of collusion, two by the justice department. both conclude nothing, no evidence. why did this start? who did it? you'll find the crimes there. you want russian collusion, go look at the article in the ukrainian papers a week and a half ago about how they opened an investigation of their own officials for colluding with hillary clinton. >> bill: up until 60 minutes ago how much of this report had you read. >> every page. we started tuesday night. >> bill: bill barr's team -- >> we went to the justice department, a secure room. we couldn't take it out or photograph it. went into a scif and the four of us, myself, jay and marti, we read it and we were going to originally divide it up but decided we had to all read it and share our thoughts about it.
>> bill: were you allowed to take notes? >> yes, not allowed to take it away. >> sandra: house judiciary has approved a subpoena to see the full unredacted report. members of congress want to see the evidence, the underlying evidence as well. if that were to happen, how would that change the perception of this report? >> i can't tell you about the redacted part. very little is redacted in volume two, the ob struction sentence. more in the collusion one because it involves national security. the attorney general played it really straight. nothing in the obstruction report that will surprise you. all of it has been litigated through the papers, through the "washington post", "new york times," fox, cnn. we've discussed it all. you were discussing the donald junior meeting, all of these things. the flynn conversation, the firing of comey. there is not a single surprise.
some things probably didn't get as much emphasis people might be surprised. if you covered it carefully, it is all there and they just don't have a case of obstruction. and believe me, these people tried really hard to stretch obstruction beyond any fair meaning of it and they used a standard that's absurd. the president had to prove his innocence. >> bill: rudy, just reading about the written answers to be inadequate is the words of the special counsel. we informed counsel of the insufficiency of those responses of more than 30 occasions he doesn't recall, remember or have an independent recollect of information called for by the questions. >> have you looked at the questions? one of them is an entire page. they didn't ask questions. they asked questions with subparts and subparts of subparts. i was on that campaign with him and normal person is not going
to be able to remember some of the details they wanted. they're asking questions about 2016. and in 2016 he was working 12 to 16 hours a day and his mind wasn't on these subjects. in part because what they were asking about didn't happen. and i told you, they put a burden on him of proving his innocence and he darn well did it for collusion. i think he did it for obstruction. but they applied a theory, then, that is unknown to me as an established theory of obstruction. which is basically if somebody is thinking something, even though it doesn't result in -- even though there is an overriding innocent intent to clear yourself as an innocent person they'll select their inference. >> bill: here is one of the answers response to question 1 parts a-c.
nor do i recall learning during the campaign that the june 9, 2000 meeting had taken place in reference to the trump tower meeting. >> what's wrong with that answer? he has no recollection of it. that's the way most of our mind works. every once in a while we have something we clearly know and remember. you know, probably if he gave that answer he would say it didn't happen probably lawyers tend to want to give you a little hedge of no recollection. the reality is we're talking about a period of time where these things were not paramount on his mind. let me give you an example of that why if you go into a perjury traps prosecutors in bad faith. somebody might have mentioned it somewhere some place and you said no and these guys would nail you for perjury. that's what they did to flynn. the f.b.i. agents walked out of that interview and it is recorded and it's been published in the newspapers and they were convinced that he was
telling the truth and it was a failure of recollection. but the sneaky people running it had the evidence hidden, never showed it to the general. i don't know if they're proud of themselves trapping a general who served our country for over 30 years bankrupting him, putting tremendous pressure on his family, are they proud of themselves they trapped him? they never would have prosecuted this guy. they created the crime. somebody has to do something about that and rein them in. one of these guys is a terror. never mind. one of these guys is a terror and shouldn't be allowed to prosecute. he has been cited by the justice department twice and he treated the witnesses horribly. horribly. like this was the grand inquisition. but they still couldn't make a case. so that tells me there is nothing there. these people used a standard of
proof that is impossible and they acted like this was the biggest terrorism case of the century. and they couldn't make it. >> sandra: i want to bring bret baier in here. based on everything you just said would you be comfortable then allowing at the very least some members of congress to view the report without redactions or at least maintain the grand jury redactions? >> i just don't know what's in those redactions. i have no idea. as the attorney general said, we didn't ask for redactions. if they did they wouldn't give them to us. we didn't see anything we had to redact. i'm comfortable in having everything out. on the other hand, i can't opine about investigations that are going on or classified material. i would imagine the problems about putting out redacted material are going to be more in volume one meaning the collusion than in volume two, i think. >> sandra: got it.
bret. >> thank you for being here. i want to go through a couple things with you, you are right. what the attorney general said at the press conference on the collusion and conspiracy is in the report almost word for word that there were no americans found to work with the russians to interfere with the election. on the obstruction issue there are 10 incidents, these 10 different things listed. one of them is called the appointment of a special counsel and efforts to remove him. it says june 17th the president called don mcgahn at home and directed him to call the acting attorney general and say the special counsel had conflicts of interest and must be removed. mcgahn did not carry out that direction and decided he would resign rather than trigger what he called a potential saturday night massacre. it goes on in the other place to say that the president tried to cover up and deny evidence by then saying mcgahn should
not say that he, the president, told him to get rid of the special counsel and in fact deny that he did that. mcgahn told those officials the media reports were accurate and that the president had directed mcgahn to have the special counsel removed. so understanding that they aren't finding the legal bar for obstruction of justice, does this and these 10 things open the door for the house to look at the political bar of impeachment based on this? >> let me go back and address myself. i know both those situations pretty well. in the first one, first of all, there is a difference in recollection about these things. the president didn't testify about this so i can't give you his version. let's assume these are true. in both cases here is what you are faced with. the president did not have a guilty motive. the president was and is considered under the law now because there is no finding of an underlying crime. he was an innocent man being
accused of something he didn't do. and he found a lot of irregularities in the mueller investigation. not just the conflicts, mueller hired -- mueller hired the chief counsel for the clinton foundation. i don't know if hillary clinton was under investigation and somebody hired me to investigate her, i think she would be pretty darn angry. that was a ridiculous decision mueller made. then he hired people that were highly partisan democrats. not just prosecutors but people who participated in campaigns and people who were strongly supportive of her. people that were at her party and seen crying. these things will affect a person, particularly a person who is an innocent person who believes he is being framed. he was right. you are going to find out over the ensuing four or five months they were framing him. this is a deliberate plan to plant this idea.
do you really believe this all started with that stupid little statement that papadopoulos who i don't even know who he was? he was down here on the campaign, great guy, i'm not trying to demean him. it wasn't bannon. one little statement. >> there is a lot we don't know about the early investigation. >> if that is not a count irrelevant intelligence frame-up i'll eat my hat. >> attorney general's group will look into all that. i'm asking a specific question about these 10 different times. how do you think, is there an open threat to the president, to the administration from the house of representatives on this issue? you've read it and you know what's in there. >> absolutely not. if anybody fairly looks at it who is a good lawyer and applies the principles of obstruction of justice, doesn't make it up, then there is nothing the president has to
worry about. now there could be in that report -- the report could have been perfect and said the president failed to pay four parking tickets and nadler would go after him. they pre-judged the case and they were wrong and now they try to resurrect something over obstruction. it is kind of ridiculous to go after a man for obstruction when he was falsely accused, he was defending himself, his intent in each one of these situations, all ten of them, is easily explained as an intent to not get framed. so instances in which he says about manafort and cohen basically says supportive of him because they're telling the truth. if i was accused of robbing a bank and i was with my friend that night i would be really supportive that my friend back
up my story because it's true. he doesn't get intimidated by mueller's out of control prosecutors and they don't put him in solitary confinement the way they put manafort and question him 11 times and try to get him to say. they tried so hard to get manafort to say the president knew about that meeting on june 9. they literally conducted the kind of questioning that you conduct for a terrorism suspect on him. >> in this report it says the president became aware of emails setting up the june 9th meeting between junior campaign officials and russians who offered derogatory information on hillary clinton and part of the support for mr. trump. on multiple occasions quoting from the report in late june and early july 2017 president directed aides not to disclose the emails and dictated about a statement about the meeting to be issued describing the meeting as about adoption is what is written in the report. >> the reality is it was about
adoption. everyone concedes that. that meeting was a setup. the day before the meeting the russian woman met with the person who ran fusion gps. that's a coincidence, right? this guy testified under oath they never talked about the meeting they would have the next day. she met with him the day of the meeting and the day after the meeting. they set up the meeting on the pretext it is going to be about dirt on hillary. nobody has any dirt on hillary. they don't talk about dirt on hillary. they talk about the magnitsky act and russian adoptions. then they walk out and they never really seriously call back and follow up on it. several of them are counter intelligence operatives. that was a pure setup that meeting. the criminality in that meeting is probably going to be the people who set it up to try to frame the president and put -- >> what we heard from the white house and the president at the time he didn't put out the press release and he wasn't
behind saying. >> no, no, no. that was a mistake of communication with one of his lawyers. the president corrected that within a week. the reality is the special counsel did opine on that and came to the conclusion there was no criminal intent to commit obstruction of justice. basically they said because -- this was a press statement. what they're really saying is if you start applying obstruction of justice to press statements that are technically wrong with no real intent to accomplish anything, we're going to have a real problem. half of washington will be in jail. >> chris wallace. >> i give him credit for that although they just mention -- take a good look at the conclusion on that. the conclusion says you can't charge anyone with a crime here because it was a press statement and there was legitimate confusion. special counsel does grant that. >> chris wallace here. you have suggested that this
counter intelligence investigation did not begin because of this comment from george papadopoulos, a foreign policy advisor, that may be overstating his role. that was back in june or july of 2016. what do you think was the start of the investigation and what do you think was the genesis for the start of the investigation? >> i begin -- i have for six months questioned whether that flimsy little allegation that the russians had dirt on hillary could start this gigantic investigation, could allow the justice department to put under investigation a presidential candidate of a major party. not warn him about it or tell him that maybe he is being invaded or intruded. since the electronic surveillance was obtained with an affidavit that has several serious wrong statements not describing the steele dossier
directly, those warrants are illegal. they were obtained under false pretenses with false statements. to say that they were spying on him, you know, you could say it a couple of ways. unauthorized or illegal electronic surveillance or surveillance that could be declared to be illegal because there were four or five false statements in the affidavit. i don't know where it started. >> to go back to my original question, what do you think was the genesis and when do you think the investigation of donald trump started? >> i think it started before the first meeting with papadopoulos. i think the diplomat from malta who has a counter intelligence background. this didn't come from papadopoulos. he met with a guy in italy who was a counter intelligence
operative. this guy tells him oh, the russians have dirt on hillary. a month later another guy, australian operative walks up to him in london and gives the information to him and then they record it as if it comes from papadopoulos. but it was fed to papadopoulos. i don't know, chris. sounds like a counter intelligence trap to me. where does it go back before that? i have my suspicions. >> are you suggesting the whole thing was a setup from the start by intelligence officials to frame donald trump? >> i don't know who. it wasn't an accident that this man fed him the information and ran somebody into him to pick it up. i don't have sufficient evidence telling you anything beyond that except -- all i
have beyond that are a couple of hypothesis. we'll have to see if a good investigation can ferret that out. i think they'll find something. >> sandra: all right. we can thank rudy giuliani at this point. the president's personal attorney. we appreciate you coming on this morning. >> bill: much more to discuss, too. we hope you come back, all right? >> good luck reading it. >> sandra: we're still going through it. in fact, the latest pages that catherine herridge is going through at the department of justice, catherine, what are we on now and where are you? >> i'm still on the section on obstruction and having been through a lot of these reports before it always pays to look at the footnotes. i want to draw your attention to pages 27 and 28. it deals with some allegations that were made in the steele dossier that there were
compromising tapes involving then candidate trump and what it states is that this information was communicated that case existed to michael cohen shortly after the election and he shared that information with the president. now the russian businessman then went on to be interviewed by the special counsel where he said the information he had was that he was told the tapes were fake but this was never communicated to michael cohen. so that's an interesting little nugget because that was one of the more sensational aspects of the trump dossier. the special counsel went to great lengths to interview a russian who was involved in that who testified that they were not exist but it doesn't appear that information ever got to michael cohen. also additionally in the last few minutes we have had confirmation that william barr has sent a letter to the two
congressional committees, house and senate judiciary, the four members there and he has indicated that he is willing to share the special counsel's report without redactions except for the grand jury material. it will be shared with them as well as the gang of eight. then the final point i just wanted to emphasize is that if you also go to the appendix of these two volumes. at the end it's 40 or 50 pages, what you'll see there is the president's written answers to the questions from robert mueller and there is also a lengthy discussion and you refer to it just in the last few minutes about why the answers were inadequate. i'll read this part. we received the president's written responses, a month later we informed counsel of the insufficiency of those responses in several respects. the president stated on more than 30 occasions that he does
not recall or remember or have independent recollection of information called for by the questions. other answers were incomplete or imprecise. the written answers demonstrate the inadd quazi of the written format. we have had no opportunity to ask follow-up questions that would insure complete answers or clarify the extent or ?* -- they thought they had the authority to issue a subpoena for the president. they decided not to do that based on evidence willingly provided by the trump campaign and the white house and then in addition to these written answers, which by their own admission they felt were incomplete, sandra. >> sandra: thank you. >> bill: also at the end of that letter that catherine was referring to bill about to bee
less than that from now. sol wisenberg is back with a spray listening to the 20 minute subdued rudy giuliani, he kept coming back to perjury trap over and over again. he's referring to that for more than a year now. the one statement struck me, he said his intent -- referring to the president -- was to not get framed. what do you think of that based on what you are seeing in this report? >> i think it's interesting, he said that he said he would be interested in my comments about this issue and the strategy of not having the president personally interviewed. i have to say it was a brilliant strategy. on this network and other networks, i repeatedly said it would be suicidal to send the president and for an interview with the mueller team. not necessarily that they were trying to free men, but it's always dan f