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Defying the Odds

Defying the Odds
New book about the 2016 election.

Thursday, April 25, 2019

Mueller Report: Substantial Evidence

In Defying the Odds, we discuss Trump's dishonesty and his record of disregarding the rule of law.   The update  -- just published --includes a chapter on the 2018 midterms.

Nearly every time the Mueller report (vol. 2) mentions "substantial evidence," it is bad for Trump:
  • After Comey's account of the dinner became public, the President and his advisors disputed that he had asked for Comey's loyalty. The President also indicated that he had not invited Comey to dinner, telling a reporter that he thought Comey had "asked for the dinner " because "he wanted to stay on." But substantial evidence corroborates Comey's account of the dinner invitation and the request for loyalty. (p. 35)
  • In private, the President denied aspects of Comey's account to White House advisors, but acknowledged to Priebus that he brought Flynn up in the meeting with Comey and stated that Flynn was a good guy. Despite those denials, substantial evidence corroborates Corney's account. (p. 44)
  • Substantial evidence indicates that the catalyst for the President 's decision to fire Comey was Corney 's unwillingness to publicly state that the President was not personally under investigation , despite the President's repeated requests that Corney make such an announcement. (p.75)
  • After news organizations reported that in June 2017 the President had ordered McGahn to have the Special Counsel removed, the President publicly disputed these accounts , and privately told McGahn that he had simply wanted McGahn to bring conflicts of interest to the Department of Justice 's attention . See Volume II, Section II.I, infra. Some of the President's specific language that McGahn recalled from the calls is consistent with that explanation. Substantial evidence , however , supports the conclusion that the President went further and in fact directed McGahn to call Rosenstein to have the Special Counsel removed. (p. 88)
  • Substantial evidence indicates that by June 17, 2017, the President knew his conduct was under investigation by a federal prosecutor who could present any evidence of federal crimes to a grand jury. (p. 89)
  • Substantial evidence indicates that the President 's effort to have Sessions limit the scope of the Special Counsel's investigation to future election interference was intended to prevent further investigative scrutiny of the President 's and his campaign's conduct. (p. 97)
  • As previously described, see Volume IT, Section ILE, supra, substantial evidence supports McGahn's account that the President had directed him to have the Special Counsel removed, including the timing and cont ext of the President's directive ; the manner in which McGahn reacted; and the fact that the President had been told the conflicts were insubstantial, were being considered by the Department of Justice , and should be raised with the President's personal counsel rather than brought to McGahn. (p. 118)
  • Substantial evidence indicates that in repeatedly urging McGahn to dispute that he was ordered to have the Special Counsel terminated , the President acted for the purpose of influencing McGahn 's account in order to deflect or prevent further scrutiny of the President's conduct towards the investigation. (p. 120)