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8 big takeaways from the Mueller report

I’ve outlined a few of the major takeaways that are circulating through the news right now.

SALT LAKE CITY — The results of special counsel Robert Mueller’s nearly two-year investigation into Russian interference into the 2016 presidential election were released to the public on Thursday.

Mueller’s report, which you can read on the Department of Justice website, identified a number of key takeaways.

I’ve outlined a few of the major ones that are circulating through the news right now.

Trump's possible efforts to influence investigation were unsuccessful because ...

The report said Trump's efforts to influence the election were unsuccessful. But there's a reason why.

On page 370, the Mueller report says "the President's efforts to influence the investigation were mostly unsuccessful, but that is largely because the persons who surrounded the President declined to carry out orders or accede to his requests."

Trump's campaign reportedly had its eye on several states early in 2016.

Per Nate Silver of FiveThirtyEight, “The Trump campaign was apparently targeting Wisconsin, Michigan, Pennsylvania and Minnesota as early as mid-summer, at least according to Rick Gates's account of the briefing (Paul) Manafort gave to Konstantin Kilimnik.”

Press Secretary Sarah Sanders reportedly admitted to lying.

The report says that Sanders told investigators that she lied to the press about the White House’s decision to fire FBI Director James Comey, according to the New York Post.

“The president’s draft termination letter … stated that morale in the FBI was at an all time low and Sanders told the press after Comey’s termination that the White House had heard from ‘countless’ FBI agents who had lost confidence in Comey,” the report said.

“But the evidence does not support those claims. The president told Comey at their January 27 dinner that ‘the people of the FBI really like (Comey),’” Mueller’s report said.

“No evidence suggests that the president heard otherwise before deciding to terminate Comey, and Sanders acknowledged to investigators that her comments were not founded on anything.”

White House Counsel Don McGahn refused to get involved, according to the report.

According to the The Associated Press, “the report said that in June 2017, Trump directed White House Counsel Don McGahn to call the acting attorney general and say that Mueller must be ousted because he had conflicts of interest. McGahn refused."

Russia may have targeted Clinton’s personal office really quickly.

According to The Hill, Russia military officers tried to hack Secretary of State Hillary Clinton five hours after Trump called for Moscow to find her emails.

The report said that on July 27, 2016, "candidate Trump made public statements that included the following: ‘Russia if you're listening, I hope you're able to find the 30,000 emails that are missing. I think you will probably be rewarded mightily by our press.’ ... Within approximately five hours of Trump's statement, GRU officers targeted for the first time Clinton's personal office."

Mueller and team concluded that Congress can police obstruction of justice.

The report said Congress still has the ability to find if the president obstructed justice, according to CNN.

“(W)e concluded that Congress has the authority to prohibit a president’s corrupt use of his authority in order to protect the integrity of the administration of justice," the report said.

The report doesn’t fully exonerate Trump.

The report doesn't fully exonerate Trump. According to BuzzFeed News, Mueller said he would have exonerated the president on obstruction if the evidence supported it. But he couldn't find any such evidence.

On page 220, Mueller’s report says, "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 ... while this report does not conclude that the President committed a crime, it also does not exonerate him."

Congress could recommend prosecution.

As The Guardian reported, the Mueller report didn’t recommend any prosecution. But Congress still could, according to the report.

“The conclusion that Congress may apply the obstruction laws to the President’s corrupt exercise of the powers of office accords with our constitutional system of checks and balances and the principle that no person is above the law."