tv BBC World News America PBS March 22, 2019 5:30pm-6:00pm PDT
pplause] >> and now, "bbc world news." jane: this is "bbc world news america." reporting from washington, i am jane o'brien. special counsel robert mueller has delivered his long-awaited for what on russian interference -- report on russian interference int the 2016 u.s. election. the question now is what happens next. the ite house says it has not received report or been briefed on the report, which the president has long derided as a witch hunt. anthousands gather in solidarity near one of the mosques at the center of last week's deadlygs shootinn christchurch.
jane: welcome to "world news america." we start with breaking news -- the mueller report has been delivered to the attorney general. the special counsel investigation into possible interference in the u. election. be don't yet know what is in the report but there i much speculation on what it could contain. nick bryant takes a look at how the process unfolded and what happens next. nick: robert mueller is one of the most talked aboun in washington, but ever since this former fbi director was appointed as special counsel almost two years ago, he has not made a single public comment about his high-stakes investigation. >> donald j. trump! nick: he has been looking into whether there was collusion between the trump campaign andn the kremliring the 2016 presidential race. did donald trump know that the
russians had hked the democratic national committee and given enough to wikileaks to release? mr. trum russia, if you are listening, i hope you are able to find the 30,000 emssls that are g. i think you will probably be rewarded mightily by our press. nick: what happened at a meeting at trump tow june 2016 between key campaign officials including donald trump, jr., and russians with links to the kremlin? did the president's ther, then-fbi director james comeyob in an attempt truct justice? methe president has clit is a witch hunt. pres. trump: the witch hunt, as i call it, should never have taken place. the entire thing has been a witch hunt. witch hunt, all it is. >> titor! nick: there have been convictions stemming from the mueller investigation. >> traitor! nick: paul manafort, donald trump's one-time campaign chairman, has been found guilty
of financial crimes, but not collusion. michael flynn, former national security adviser, pleadeguilty about lyinto the fbi about his contacts with russia and has cooperated witthe special counsel. long-term adviser roger stone has been accused of lying to congress about his efforts to get in touch with wikileaks. and michael cohen, trump's former lawyer, has turned on his former boss. michael: he is a racist, he is a con man, and he is a cheat. nick:r as well as otmbers of the trump campaign team, robert mueller has charged about two dozen russian nationals, including 12 intelligencecc officersed of hacking the hillary clinton campaign. and prosecutors in washington, harginia, and here in new york are pursuing caseswill outlive his investigation. now the new attorney general, wiiam barr, has been hande the mueller report. it is for him to decide what
will be made public. mr. barr: i'm in favor of as much transparency as there can andonsistent with the rules the law. >> the president of the united states! nick: the burningst quen, will it accuse donald trump of collusion and criminality? nick bryant, bbc news, new york. ne: joining us this law professor and bbc legal analyst jonathan turley. you have got the letter. what are the key points? jonathan: this is what we expected, simply saying i have received the report. wh attorney general barr suggested he might be able to brief members of congress this release this weekend. under speclal counsel reons he's only required to give them a summary of what is investigated in the findings of the special counsel. he is not required to give them report. ere may be some tension on
that point. his deputy, rod rosenstein, said in the past that he does not believe it is aropriate to release information about people who are not being indicted or charged. that was the james comey controversy -- the former fbi director. there might be some pushback within the justice department information t give congress. i think that is going to be the next area which we struggle with. congress is thinking about lling mueller. jane: can they do that? jonathan: they can, but the problem is he is a special counsel, not an independent counsel. he is subject to department rules. his boss is bill barr. it is not up to mueller what he will say to congress. jane: what about the white house saying it has not been briefed about the report? does that surprise you? jonathan:no, that is the appropriatero pss, and it is
good to hear that. ldit wouave been highly inappropriate for them to have gotten a peek at this report. this is under law and manner for the attorney general to confidentially and the attorney general controls its release, i whatormation will be released. there are a lot of folks in town his have been waiting for report. it is like special counsel day without the bting. there are a lot of people disappointed on both sides. jane: can the white h sse have someay over what might be covered under executive privilege or what should be redacted? jonathan: well, first of all, it is impossible legally, in my view, for bill barr to do what some have suggested, just make the report republic. under federal laws you cannot release byformation -aw it has to be removed. jane: who decides that? jonathan:ne the attgeneral would have to reject it.
there are -- redact it. there are classification issues. if the report is a long one, they have to scrub it out i befe givito congress and the public. there is not a provision saying that the report is made public. department rules we discussed tend to work against that. but this is not the comey situation, not a criminal investigatecn alone. the l counsel is expected to inform the amer wan public as t happened. a summary is not going to do that. there is nothing in the regs that preventsthe trump admition from releasing this report. if the president was serious when he said "i think the rort should be made public," that should be the end, of cause he could order the report be made public. you could -- he could use executive privilege. jane: what about members of congress?
tthey have said they wamake this public. can they do that? jonathan: aot of members have been saying they can get this report through a subpoena. that is not necessarily true. this is the type of information, deliberative process information, that is treated as privileged. a court would hloe to seriously at that before it orders congress victim run a report o -- be given a report of the stand. the best thing is to get some type of compromise, because the clock is running out. ngress is losing the runway to seriously fight with his administration. if they want to take this off the ground, they may want to avoid a court fight. ne congress has a lot of its ownga invesons underway into possible collusion, russian interference, and trumpti ties generally. do you think this report will fuel those investigations, or could it take thee wind out of
sales? jonathan: it could do either. thspecial counsel vestigation was narrower than the scope of congress and these other investigations. mueller did not get into all lot of the tax issues and insurance what issues. many of those things were sent to the southern district of new york just to investigate some issues for the this necessarily will stop those invested -- will not stop those investigations. but let's not kid ourselves, mueller comes back and says "i did not have anyev direcence of collusion between trump on theat russians," vindicates the president to a degree. narrative, and th is not the conclusion democrats would want. jane: if he does implicate the esident, are we likely t learn the other aspects of the investigation that perha mr. celler did not pursue because he didn't haveminal element to them, but
nevertheless are not flattering to the president prime min. ardern: jonathan jonathan: that would depend on how much of the report gets out. depends on how broad mueller wrote the report. he could have something on the relatively terse side. usually these typesrt of re are for new -- are everythingand have but the kitchen sink. but mueller is not a normal prosecutor. we don't know how close he ended up writingat this thing. s clear is congress is going to move either way aggressively towards donald trump, and it is not clear they want to remove him from offic l but they woue to wound him before 2020. jane: jonatha joseph, thanknou -- jonatha turley, thank you very much. please stay withe because we are going to go back to chris buckler. response has been fast and furious. washington has been with for this for a long time.
whatas the reaction been so far? chris: the report deliver this afternoon and many members of the democratic partynfmed that they were in possession of this report, attorney general william barr, the responses to ask r more information from congress. they want to know what the detailf this report is. that comes from some republicans as well as democrats. mitch mcconnell, leading republican, said he welcomed the announcement of the special counsel hasoncluded his investigation and he specifically has ago at preayure at this,g many -- at pressure in this at russia in this, sending republicans have long believed the act nst american interests. congressman doug collins says he looks forward to reviewing attorney general barr's report.
that is a reference to that congress does not look like it will get the full report. they will get a report of the report that will come fr the attorney general. ats where some of the concerns are particularly when it comes to democrats. take a looky at nalosi and chuck schumer, leading democrats inside congress is a very -- they said very strongly that attorney general barr must not give the president or his staff any seat review of or evidence and the white house must notnte allowed tofere in decisions on what is made public . the is this push for democrats, particularly the house of represeatives, to get as much information as possible. the chair of the house judiciary committee said that the transparency and public interest demand and nothing less, the need for public faith and the rule of law will be the priority. there is going to be pley more discussed throughout this
weekend asepublicans and democrats wait to see what is in the report. jane: a lot of the credibility of this report has rested with mr. mueller'swn reputation. chris: as you mentioned, robert mueller had been silent during these 22 months. ksere have been very few w from his own investigation. we have seen very few weekof anything inside this report. -- leaks oanything inside this report. that is why washington has been holding i breath as much as
it has been. llthere e a push to find out how far he has gone in the tinvestigatiofind out exactly what information about white made some decisions to charge people and white perhaps -- why perhaps he is not charged others. the pressure will be on the attorney general as much as robertueller, as a real attempt by congrths to find out information and what information they have learned and potentially what information they don't. jane: chris buckler, for now, thanks very much. h nathan turley, thank you very much for staying w. how difficult is it going to be to keep the legal aspects of this report separate from the political fallout that is inevitable? jonathan: well, the spin is already increasing in washington, it could take us off axis.s -- our earth it is going to be monumental,
focusing immunity on the report -- legally t impossible for him to do. but the longer theelay, the more you will have accusations of what are you hiding. but the other issue here that will be tough for a lot of folks is bill barr, i have known him for a number of years, i testified at his confirmation hearing. it does not do mbah to push bill . i say that on either side. president trump would have little success as the rest of humanity in pushing bill barr anywhere. he will do exactly what he thinks is required of the justicdepartment rules. but there is some play here. trit i that in a normal case you don't release information like this. that will be a very strong argume department. justice it is not going to be an argument just by trump supporters. what we'reg that is not supposed to be here for. nbut this is not yomal situation. the public paid for two-year
process of investigation. there is a lot of question about n and the people's involvement. the mere fact that you don't have enough to indict does not mean there inot public issues there. the other issue that has toe addressed the department of justice has a rule that you cannot indict a sitting esident. i have always disagreed with that, but that is the rule. saying we don't want to release information because we decided not to indict esident trump becomes a little bit artificial when you have a rule saying you would never indip president trgardless of the evidence. jane: what about all the other investigations that resulted from the mueller inquiry? what happens t them, because of iscourse, the southernict court of new york is still working very hard. w that mueller has wrapped up his part of it, what happens during -- there? jonathan: well, this could get
pretty sporty. the allegation of campaign finance violations agaiumt president are quite serious, because they were charged against his attorney. ioere will be a lot of que of how could that be, how could the torney be charged but not the person he says ordered him to do tse acts? 'thers also the issue of whether or not trump is indicted now, but whether he is indicted inter. mother couldthere is a basis to indict the president, but i can't do it. he could refer thec.atter to the ttorney's office and said that when the term is over the statute of limitations will still be running and you can indict hja at that time. : how serious with that the?-- would that be? jonathan: that would be t catastrophic f administration. that would be mueller saying we have what we believe to be a felon in office. it would force the democrats'
hanscom which is rather ironic. the democrats don't want to remove him. ja: nancy pelosi has said he is not worth impeaching. jonathan: that's right. t would be a disaster for the democratsremove donald trump in impeachment. they wouldng bn a pence administration right before the 2020 election. that is what they atnt to avoid. is part of the problem of saint we are going to impeach, if you stumble upon something individual. -- impeachable. jane: some have suggested they have a duty to impeach if there is something there. jonathan: they defi have a duty for the the arg dent made by tocrats is surprising. because we don't think those people in the senate will fulfill their oaths -- it is your oath. if you believe an impeachable offense has been committed, you should impeach the president. leave it to the other members lfill their oath.
jane: o ter thing that tends to get lost and this is that robert mueller did press charges against a s.mber of russi are they ever likely to see court? jonathan: no. those russians will stay well clear of u.s. jurisdiction. the other thing, in fairness to the trumpet that that indictment dealt with hacking and trolling. in the indictment, mueller said they found no evidence of ump officials knowingly engaging these people inny context "unwittingly made." that took the wind out of the sails for many on pollution. but that is separate from wh mueller was looking for, was donald trump madere aefore the hacking occurred, during the hacking? was thereat coordn, a wink and a nod? rethat is the f what we're
looking for. after a great number of filings, ctere has not been that type of interstitial conn made. jane: so, looking just on the basis of the charges, the people that he has brought to court, the convictions he has managedin to obtain compin mind that most of them have beehefor lying to fbi would you say that his two-year investigation has been a success or overreach? jonathan: i think it has been a success in the sense that he is getting the truth. but the truth may prove disappointing for people. everyone has been waitinfor this complexity is a giant prosecutorial -- waiting for this, like he is a giant prosecutorial easter bunny. everyone has been waiting for these charges. that may not p out. he has now most people for -- nailed most people for
collateral charges except for those russians. it is not that he has failed, but folks have such great ions and investment in mueller. everyone keeps setting "wait for mueller, muler will set this right." t supposed to set things right. he was supposed to find out what happened and do the right thi. folks think that he is going to be the anti-trump, the guy that removes trump in many ways people seem to be going through that grieving process of denial and transference and moving towards acceptance. ll this report may force acceptance sooner than people think. jane: the question i asked about roberts mueller' reputation and how essential that isde to inning the credibility and integrity of this investigation -- do you think the ability to walk on water, shall we s, is going to last after this report?
jonathan: ha! you look at the descript can do anything. he but there is a certain cost to that. they have invested a lot in the sky. if he says "i don't see crimes connected to collusion, i don't see collusion at all," that will be the final word. that is where your point is a good 1 -- if he says there is no collusion, it is quite be very difficult for congress to really build on their o collusion theories, because that was something muellerke lat extensively. they might go after these collateral issues, but it would be a huge impact for the democrats if it turns out toe no collusion from the perspective of the special counsel. jane:l especially after is plot as you keep saying, a of people could be very disappointed on both sy this report. how sigficant, then, given the
context of some and other investigations -- so many other investigations, is this a moment in history, is this something that could change the direction of the country, or is it somebody the end ofa two-year investigation? jonathan: no, i think this is a moment in history. whatever happens at this point will determine the next two ars of this government. i think the resident will continue to be hounded by these committees regardless ofhat happens. but if no collusion is found it will give him great support going to his face and saying, "i am the victim." that won't pan out with a lot of citizens, a lot of voters. a lot of damage has been done to president trump he has done a lot of damage to himself. but let's not kid ourselves, if there is no collusion to be found here, somne like bob mueller is saying i have not found it, citizens will take
that to the bank and say there is no collusion. jane: the fact that there have been no additionals indictment, are you surprised by that? we were expecting some more. jonathan: that's right. one of the live torpedoes and the wa fr wasmer trenton igite house counsel greg cra many were expecting he would be indicted for the type of foreign agent registration problems. we don't know what happened there. ciobviously, the s counsel is saying "i'm done." jane: jonathan, just very briefly, when would you expect after william barras speed-read this report, anything to be made public? jonathan: you will able to brief very quickly -- he will be able to brief very quickly, but i don't expect for a week or more to get any information and. there will be leaks. i will have an almost immediately. jane: going to be a long
weekend. jonathan turley, thank you for joining me. jothan: thank you. jane: thank you for watching as the mueller report is livered. i'm jane o'brien. have a good weekend. >> with the bbc news app, our vertical videos are designed t work around your lifestyle, so you can swipe your way through the news of the day and stayup -to-date with the latest headlines you can trust. download now from selected app stores. >> funding of this presentation is made possible by the freeman foundation, and kovler foundation, pursuing solutions for america's neglected needs. >> what are you doing? >> possibilities. yo day is filled with them >> tv, play "downton abbey." >> and pbs helpsveryone discover theirs.
captioning sponsored by newshour productions, llc >> woodruff: good evening. tm judy woodruff. newshour tonight: special counsel robert mueller delivers his long-awaited final report to the justice department after nearly two years of investigation. mark shields, david brooks and others are here break down what's at stake, now that mueller has completed his dinvestigation into russi the trump campaign. then, america's heard braces for disaster, and a potentially ruined farm season, as floodwaters rise along the missouri river. all that and more, on tonight's pbs newshour.