Drew Angerer/Getty Images(WASHINGTON) — Just days after the release of the highly anticipated Mueller report, one of President Donald Trump’s top advisers, Kellyanne Conway, said Sunday the investigation found Trump committed no crime — and even predicted another term for the president.
“The job of a prosecutor is to gather evidence and decide whether to indict or to decline to indict. They declined to indict,” the White House counselor said on “This Week.” “The president is not going to jail. He’s staying in the White House for five and a half more years. Why? Because … they found no crime, no conspiracy. That was the central premise.”
“So you think this [report] totally exonerates him … from obstruction of justice?” co-anchor Martha Raddatz asked Conway.
“Yes, and the word exoneration was unnecessary in the Mueller report and I would say inappropriate,” she responded.
Conway referenced the press conference former FBI Director James Comey gave in July 2016 in which he announced the Justice Department was declining to prosecute Democratic presidential candidate and former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, while at the same time saying there was “evidence of potential violations” of handling classified information and called her action’s “extremely careless.”
“You just don’t do that,” Conway added. “You either prosecute or you don’t. You either bring an indictment of your don’t.”
On Thursday, members of Congress and the public were finally able to read the report from special counsel Robert Mueller on Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election. The report, parts of which were redacted, laid out the “sweeping and systematic fashion” with which the Russian government meddled in the election with the goal of electing Trump.
While the report detailed multiple points of contact between members of the Trump campaign and members of the Russian government — or those claiming to be — Mueller concluded these instances didn’t amount to a criminal conspiracy or coordination with the Russians.
The special counsel outlined 11 possible instances of obstruction of justice, but ultimately did not make a determination on the issue.
“If we had confidence after a thorough investigation of the facts that the President clearly did not commit obstruction of justice, we would so state. Based on the facts and the applicable legal standards, we are unable to reach that judgment,” the report reads. “Accordingly, while this report does not conclude that the President committed a crime, it also does not exonerate him.”
In a March 24 letter, Attorney General William Barr said he, in consultation with Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein, determined that “the evidence developed during the [investigation was] not sufficient to establish that the President committed an obstruction-of-justice offense.”
According to the report, Trump called former White House counsel Don McGahn at his home twice on June 17, 2017, both times directing McGahn to call Rosenstein, who was overseeing the special counsel investigation because former Attorney General Jeff Sessions recused himself, to tell him that Mueller “had conflicts that precluded him from” overseeing the investigation.
McGahn told the special counsel that Trump said to him, “Mueller has to go,” and “Call me back when you do it.”
McGahn did not follow the order.
When Trump was asked in August if he had considered dismissing Mueller, he told reporters he hadn’t “given it any thought.”
“I’m not dismissing anybody,” he added.
The report also notes that seven other members of his administration, including former FBI Director James Comey and Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein, and one outside adviser — former campaign manager Corey Lewandowski — didn’t carry out presidential orders related to influencing the Russia investigation.
“The President’s efforts to influence the investigation were mostly unsuccessful,” the Mueller report says. “But that is largely because the persons who surrounded the President declined to carry out orders or accede to his requests.”
In the days following the report’s release, the president has railed against the probe, Democrats and the media, all while asserting it concluded there was “No Collusion, No Obstruction!”
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