mueller white house
© Associated Press
Special counsel Robert Mueller walks past the White House
Now that the redacted 448-page Mueller report has been released to the public, people on both sides of the aisle have been madly poring over the results of the special counsel's 22-month Russia probe.

Prosecutors closely examined whether Donald Trump or members of his 2016 campaign conspired with Russia to release emails which were damaging to Hillary Clinton's campaign and the DNC, and/or any involvement with the Kremlin's social media disinformation campaigns.

The investigation also covered whether Trump associates operated as unregistered Russian (and in one case Israeli) agents, and whether the infamous June 9, 2016 Trump Tower meeting with a Russian attorney violated campaign finance laws as a "thing-of-value" offered by foreign governments, or crossed any other legal boundaries.

At the end of the day, Mueller and his team did not find that any Trump campaign associates were operating on behalf of a foreign government in connection with the 2016 election. Mueller did, however, find Trump campaign manager Paul Manafort and his deputy Rick Gates guilty of crimes connected to their work for the Ukrainian government prior to their involvement with Trump.

There are a mountain of pages and footnotes to go through, but here are some takeaways so far:

Mueller was unable to establish that Trump committed any underlying crimes.

"Unlike cases in which a subject engages in obstruction of justice to cover up a crime, the evidence we obtained did not establish that the president was involved in an underlying crime related to Russian election interference," the report reads.

Mueller considered pressing charges in connection with the Trump Tower meeting.

The special counsel's office considered prosecuting the Trump Tower meeting as a campaign-finance violation, however declined because they didn't have "admissible evidence" likely to prove that Trump officials "wilfully" acted, or that the information offered by the Russians exceeded the threshold for prosecution.

Interestingly - the Mueller report completely omits the involvement of Fusion GPS in the Trump tower meeting - as the Russian attorney involved in it, Natalia Veselnitskaya, was a Fusion GPS associate and met with founder Glenn Simpson before and after the Trump Tower meeting.


Also noteworthy is that the Trump Tower meeting investigation "did not identify evidence connecting the events of June 9 & the GRU's hack-and-dump operation.


Mueller looked at charging Trump aide George Papadopoulos as an agent of Israel.




Trump worried that the Special Counsel investigation would end his presidency

According to the Mueller report, when then-Attorney General Jeff Sessions let Trump know about the appointment of a special counsel, Trump replied: "Oh my God. This is terrible. This is the end of my presidency. I'm fucked," adding "How could you allow this to happen, Jeff?"

Trump goes on to say: "Everyone tells me if you get one of these independent counsels it ruins your presidency. It takes years and years and I won't be able to do anything. This is the worst thing that ever happened to me."

Former White House attorney Don McGahn threatened to resign.

McGahn was ready to hand in his resignation as White House counsel in June 2017 when Trump directed him to tell Deputy Attorney Rod Rosenstein that "Mueller has to go," per the report.

"In response to that request, McGahn decided to quit because he did not want to participate in events that he described as akin to the Saturday Night Massacre," during the Nixon administration. McGahn would stay on as White House counsel for for another 16 months.

More takeaways: