Here are the 10 'episodes' Mueller probed for potential obstruction by Trump

Special counsel Robert MuellerRobert (Bob) Swan MuellerSchiff: Trump acquittal in Senate trial would not signal a 'failure' Jeffries blasts Trump for attack on Thunberg at impeachment hearing Live coverage: House Judiciary to vote on impeachment after surprise delay MORE’s Russia report, released Thursday, details 10 instances of potential obstruction of justice involving President TrumpDonald John TrumpTrump denies telling Bolton Ukraine aid was tied to investigations Former senior Senate GOP aide says Republicans should call witnesses Title, release date revealed for Bolton memoir MORE.

While Mueller neither concluded that Trump committed obstruction nor exonerated him on the matter, Attorney General William BarrWilliam Pelham Barr DOJ says surveillance of Trump campaign adviser Page lacked evidence Senators press DHS over visa approval for Pensacola naval base shooter Democrats sharpen case on second day of arguments MORE said at a Thursday morning press conference that he and Deputy Attorney General Rod RosensteinRod RosensteinRosenstein says he authorized release of Strzok-Page texts Journalist alleging Obama administration spied on her seeks to reopen case Rosenstein on his time in Trump administration: 'We got all the big issues right' MORE determined there was not sufficient evidence to establish such charges.

ADVERTISEMENT
"Although the deputy attorney general and I disagreed with some of the special counsel’s legal theories and felt that some of the episodes examined did not amount to obstruction as a matter of law, we did not rely solely on that in making our decision," Barr said. "Instead, we accepted the special counsel’s legal framework for purposes of our analysis and evaluated the evidence as presented by the special counsel in reaching our conclusion."

Here are the 10 incidents involving Trump that Mueller raised and Barr reviewed related to potential obstruction of justice, according to a redacted version of the report:

Conduct involving former FBI Director James ComeyJames Brien ComeyCNN's Axelrod says impeachment didn't come up until 80 minutes into focus group NYT: Justice investigating alleged Comey leak of years-old classified info Bernie-Hillary echoes seen in Biden-Sanders primary fight MORE and former national security adviser Michael Flynn

Flynn briefly served as Trump’s national security adviser before being fired in February 2017. Trump later fired Comey as FBI director in May 2017, triggering Mueller's appointment.

Trump said at the time that he fired Flynn for lying to Vice President Pence, but later tweeted he also fired the retired general for lying to the FBI, raising questions about whether the president obstructed justice.

ADVERTISEMENT
Mueller's report cites a Feb. 14, 2017, conversation in which Trump reportedly told an outside adviser: "Now that we fired Flynn, the Russia thing is over."

Flynn pleaded guilty in December 2017, as part of Mueller's probe, to lying to the FBI about his contacts with a Russian official. He is awaiting sentencing.

The special counsel's report also cites a January 2017 meeting in which Trump asked Comey for loyalty, as well as a meeting the following month in which Trump told Comey he hoped the FBI chief could "see your way clear to letting this go, to letting Flynn go."

Trump’s reaction to continuing Russia investigation

Mueller looked at Trump's request in March 2017 to have then-White House counsel Don McGahn ask now-former Attorney General Jeff SessionsJefferson (Jeff) Beauregard SessionsLawmaker wants Chinese news outlet to register as foreign agent Trump-aligned group launches ad campaign hitting Doug Jones on impeachment ICE subpoenas Denver law enforcement: report MORE not to recuse himself from overseeing the Russia investigation.

The special counsel also cited Trump reaching out that same month to the director of national intelligence and the CIA chief — who at the time was Mike PompeoMichael (Mike) Richard PompeoHere's how the US can pressure Lebanon's new government tackle corruption Trump questions why NPR exists after Pompeo clashes with reporter Senate Dems to Pompeo: Comments about NPR reporter 'insulting and contemptuous' MORE, before he became secretary of State — asking the two officials what they could do to publicly dispel the notion that Trump had any connection to Russia's election interference.

The president's termination of Comey as FBI chief

Trump fired Comey on May 9, 2017, just days after he declined to answer questions about whether the president was under investigation.

Mueller noted in his report that Trump decided to fire Comey before hearing the Justice Department's recommendation.

Days later, Trump "told Russian officials that he had faced 'great pressure because of Russia,' which had been 'taken off' by Comey's firing," according to Mueller's report.

In an interview with NBC later that month, Trump said he considered Comey's involvement in "this Russia thing" when he fired him.

The appointment of a special counsel and efforts to remove him

Trump reacted to news of the special counsel's appointment by telling advisers it was "'the end of his presidency,'" Mueller wrote in his report.

Trump asserted that Mueller had conflicts of interest and suggested he should not serve in the position.

Amid reports that Mueller was investigating possible obstruction of justice, Trump asked McGahn in June 2017 to have the special counsel removed.

Mueller wrote that McGahn refused, "deciding that he would resign rather than trigger what he regarded as a potential Saturday Night Massacre." The incident was first reported by The New York Times.

Attempts to curtail the special counsel’s investigation

In June 2017, Trump asked former campaign manager Corey LewandowskiCorey R. LewandowskiLewandowski decides against Senate bid Georgia ready for unpredictable Senate race Trump on Harris dropping out of race: 'We will miss you Kamala!' MORE to tell Sessions to make a public statement that the special counsel's probe had been "very unfair" to the president.

The message was never delivered, as Lewandowski passed it on to another White House official who did not follow through, Mueller wrote.

Efforts to prevent disclosure of evidence related to events like the Trump Tower meeting

Mueller reviewed instances in which Trump sought to contain the spread of information about a June 2016 meeting between campaign officials and a Russian lawyer who promised damaging information on Clinton.

Trump directed aides on "several occasions" not to publicly disclose the emails setting up the meeting, Mueller wrote.

Before the emails became public, Trump dictated a statement to his eldest son, Donald Trump Jr.Donald (Don) John TrumpComedians post fake Army recruitment posters featuring Trump Jr. Trump Jr., Ivanka garner support in hypothetical 2024 poll FWS: There's 'no basis' to investigate Trump Jr.'s Mongolian hunting trip MORE, that indicated the meeting was about Russian adoption policies.

The president's personal lawyer "repeatedly denied the President had played any role" in the statement, Mueller wrote.

Further efforts to have the attorney general take control of the investigation

Mueller said there were multiple instances where Trump spoke with Sessions about the investigation, or possible additional probes into the president's political opponents.

Trump called Sessions at his home in summer 2017 to request that he reverse his decision to recuse himself from overseeing the Russia probe, Mueller wrote.

In an October 2017 meeting, Trump asked Sessions to "take [a] look" at investigating Clinton.

Mueller highlighted a December 2017 meeting following Flynn's guilty plea in which the president told Sessions he would be a "hero" if he took control of the investigation.

Sessions responded that he had not seen anything "improper" on the campaign, and did not take over the investigation.

Efforts to have McGahn deny the president had ordered him to have the special counsel removed

Trump directed White House officials to have McGahn dispute a New York Times story stating the president had asked him to have Mueller removed, according to the report.

McGahn responded by saying the media reports were accurate, after which Trump again urged him to deny the story, according to Mueller.

"McGahn refused to back away from what he remembered happening and perceived the president to be testing his mettle," Mueller wrote.

Conduct toward Flynn, former Trump campaign chairman Paul ManafortPaul John ManafortDOJ releases new tranche of Mueller witness documents Treasury adviser pleads guilty to making unauthorized disclosures in case involving Manafort DOJ argues Democrats no longer need Mueller documents after impeachment vote MORE and an unnamed individual

Mueller's report recounts potential obstruction related to Trump's actions toward Flynn, Manafort and an individual whose name is redacted due to an ongoing investigation.

Flynn's lawyers had a joint defense agreement with Trump's attorneys. After Flynn's attorneys terminated the arrangement, the president's personal counsel told Flynn's lawyer that "he would make sure that the President knew that Flynn's actions reflected 'hostility,'" Mueller wrote.

Mueller further cited Trump's public praise for Manafort during his trial on bank and tax fraud charges.

Trump called Manafort a "brave man" and suggested "flipping" to cooperate with prosecutors "almost ought to be outlawed," Mueller wrote.

The president’s conduct involving his former personal attorney Michael CohenMichael Dean CohenCNN's Axelrod says impeachment didn't come up until 80 minutes into focus group The Hill's 12:30 Report: Democrats turn to obstruction charge Juan Williams: Counting the votes to remove Trump MORE

Mueller's report noted that Trump's behavior toward Cohen shifted after his longtime personal attorney began cooperating with federal prosecutors.

Trump "publicly criticized him, called him a 'rat,' and suggested that his family members had committed crimes," Mueller wrote.

Cohen pleaded guilty to bank fraud, tax fraud and campaign finance law violations, as well as lying to Congress about a potential Trump Tower real estate deal in Moscow.

The special counsel wrote that Cohen provided false testimony about the project and his contacts with Trump about the development.

Mueller's report says Cohen minimized Trump's involvement in the project, but that the two spoke "numerous times" about the real estate development during the 2016 campaign.

Cohen testified to Congress in February and implicated Trump in potential financial crimes. Trump, who initially insisted Cohen would not "flip," has denied wrongdoing.

The president directly contacted Cohen after federal agents raided his home and office, to tell him to "stay strong," and privately sent other messages of support, Mueller wrote.

Cohen later discussed pardons with Trump's personal lawyers, Mueller wrote, "and believed that if he stayed on message he would have been taken care of."

Cohen denied to congressional lawmakers in February that he asked for a pardon.

--Updated at 12:33 p.m.