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What Barr’s summary of the Mueller report tells us — and what it doesn’t

Judy Woodruff talks to Rudy Giuliani, former mayor of New York City and a personal attorney of President Trump, about why he thinks the Mueller investigation was “maliciously conceived.” Then Mary McCord, Matthew Miller, Robert Ray and C. Boyden Gray join Judy Woodruff to analyze the legal questions around Attorney General William Barr's summary of the Mueller report, and what happens next.

Read the Full Transcript

  • Judy Woodruff:

    And welcome again to this PBS special. As Washington and the whole country take stock of the attorney general's summary of the Mueller report and its limited description of conclusions reached about conspiracy and obstruction of justice, many, especially Democrats, are demanding to see the entire report. With that in mind, I spoke earlier today with President Trump's personal attorney, former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani. Mayor Rudy Giuliani, thank you very much for joining us.

  • Rudy Giuliani:

    Thank you.

  • Judy Woodruff:

    You said earlier today that the Mueller investigation was bad for the country. What do you make of the findings in terms of all we know right now?

  • Rudy Giuliani:

    Well, what I meant by that was, it turns out that this never happened.

    So, there never should have been an investigation. I think the conclusion was good for the country. I think that they came to the conclusion definitively that there was no collusion. They came to the conclusion that they could not charge a crime with regard to obstruction.

    And then the attorney general and Rod Rosenstein, the Office of Legal Counsel, because they punted it to them to make the decision, came to the decision, which I think is quite correct, that there is no element of obstruction here. And, therefore, why do we have this investigation, just to prove — I guess maybe I was in an unusual position.

    I was on the campaign for four or five months. I never saw anything that even gave the whiff of some kind of collusion with Russians. It's — the president from the very beginning has been mystified as to how this could be.

  • Judy Woodruff:

    How comfortable are you concluding that the president is not implicated, if not on the Russia collusion question, but on obstruction of justice, when we are told that Mr. Mueller said he couldn't reach a conclusion about that?

  • Rudy Giuliani:

    I'm not troubled at all.

    First of all, here's the big takeaway. There was never a reason for the investigation. There was no crime committed. They were investigating what turned out to be a non-crime.

    So, as the attorney general points out in his excellent two paragraphs analyzing it, it is very, very hard to commit obstruction of justice when you didn't commit the crime. It is hard to prove the intent for obstruction of justice. Doesn't mean you can't, but it is very hard to do.

    Second, he didn't do any of the acts that traditionally are required for obstruction of justice, meaning, he didn't threaten anybody. He didn't destroy evidence, as Hillary Clinton did. He didn't delete e-mails. He turned over 1.4 million documents. He turned every message, every e-mail, everything they asked for.

    There isn't a single thing they didn't get. You see no complaint about that. He didn't object to any of the witnesses. He could have. Bill Clinton did that. Bill Clinton objected to almost every witness. President Trump didn't object to anyone testifying. They got everything that they asked for.

  • Judy Woodruff:

    Two other quick questions, Mayor Giuliani. One is, you and the president's other attorneys recommended that he not sit down for an interview with the special counsel, Robert Mueller. At one point, you called it a perjury trap.

  • Rudy Giuliani:

    Sure.

  • Judy Woodruff:

    Do you believe that any of these conclusions would have been different, findings would be different, had the president sat down?

  • Rudy Giuliani:

    No. They have all the — they have the explanations that the president would have given, had he sat down for an interview.

    The president has given them on numerous occasions, by interviews, tweeting. They couldn't show us a question that they needed an answer to. So, that is why I believe they only wanted him for the purpose of trapping him into perjury.

  • Judy Woodruff:

    So, you are saying that Mueller and his team didn't act honorably, because you said they were setting a perjury trap? You didn't walk into it.

    (CROSSTALK)

  • Rudy Giuliani:

    Yes.

    You are darn right they didn't act honorably. Look what they did to Manafort. They got him in solitary confinement. They go question him every four days and try to get him to lie.

  • Judy Woodruff:

    But is there a…

  • Rudy Giuliani:

    After a while — after a while…

  • Judy Woodruff:

    Is there…

  • Rudy Giuliani:

    After a while, that gets close to subornation of perjury.

    The first four times — the first four times a guy you are bringing out of solitary tells you it didn't happen the way you want me to say it, by the fifth or sixth time, you are getting pretty darn close to suborning perjury. Luckily, Manafort wouldn't lie.

  • Judy Woodruff:

    So you are saying they didn't act honorably, but their conclusion is the correct one. I mean, is that a contradiction?

  • Rudy Giuliani:

    They had no choice.

    Not at all. They had no choice. What are they going to do, make things up? They had no choice. There is no evidence. They can't create it. They tried darn hard to create it. So, he was cleared by a biased staff, because, hard as they tried, however many rules they just ignored, they couldn't get what they needed, because, how about this, Judy, it didn't happen.

    There was no collusion, and there was no obstruction.

  • Judy Woodruff:

    Will the president, do you think, pardon any of the people who were indicted and found guilty under — by Robert Mueller, whether it is Michael Flynn, Paul Manafort, anybody else?

  • Rudy Giuliani:

    I was asked that question by numerous reporters during the investigation. I was asked that question by some lawyers. And the answer is always the same.

    The president is not going to consider pardons. He's not going to give any pardons. If that happens, it has to happen in the future, and nobody has a promise of it. Nobody should assume it. But he — obviously, he has power to do it. But have I no reason to believe he's going to exercise it.

  • Judy Woodruff:

    Former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani, attorney to the president, thank you very much.

  • Rudy Giuliani:

    Thanks, Judy. Thank you. Thank you.

  • Judy Woodruff:

    From Mayor Giuliani, we turn now to explore some of the legal questions answered and unanswered by the attorney general's summary of the Mueller report.

    And we do that with Mary McCord. She's the former acting assistant attorney general for national security in the Obama administration. And she's a former federal prosecutor. Matthew Miller, he was the spokesman for the Department of Justice during the Obama administration.

    Robert Ray, he was the independent counsel investigating President Clinton during the Whitewater investigation. And C. Boyden Gray, he served as White House counsel for President George H.W. Bush. We welcome all of you to the program. Thank you for being here. So, we just heard from Mayor Giuliani.

    But what I want to ask — talk to all of you about for a few minutes is what we know, and actually how little we know, because it is the summary that the attorney general has given us from the Mueller report.

    First of all, about conspiracy, whether there was conspiracy, coordination with the Russians, and what you have is a conclusion from the attorney general, says, after two years of investigation, Matthew Miller, the conclusion is, reached no conspiracy, no coordination. They don't use the word collusion, but nothing there. So, does Mr. Barr's summary answer all your questions?

  • Matthew Miller:

    No, not at all.

    I think it answers the most significant question, was, could the special counsel prove a crime? Was he ready to charge a crime in court that he could prove beyond a reasonable doubt with respect to conspiracy with the Russian government by either the president or someone on his campaign?

    And the answer to that question is no. It doesn't answer other questions about whether there was, you know, other types of collusion, or whether — it doesn't answer the question of whether he thought that it happened, but he couldn't prove it, whether there was no evidence at all.

    I think the questions that the American people ought to have and that the Congress ought to have, and that hopefully will be answered when they see the full report, is, what could they show? How much evidence was there?

    Did they have a theory that there was in some ways collusion out in the open, where you had the Trump campaign that knew what the Russians were doing, that encouraged them publicly, that encouraged them privately at times, and the Russians, who knew that Trump was a candidate who would back policies they supported?

    And so, while there was no crime that was committed, there was a kind of collusion out in the open, where both sides knew what the other side wanted and were willing to act in a way that would encourage it.

  • Judy Woodruff:

    Robert Ray, what about that, I mean, questions or not coming out of this?

  • Robert Ray:

    Well, the last part of that, I think, is a little too fuzzy for my tastes. And that is not what prosecutors do.

    Prosecutors decided, based upon an investigation, this one taking 22 months, and a lot of witnesses and a lot of subpoenas, and a lot of documents, and a lot of search warrants to decide whether or not you have a case in good faith that a prosecutor believes could be submitted to a jury, and that a jury would unanimously return a verdict as guilty, and that that determination would be sustained on appeal.

    That is all a prosecutor does, gathers facts in order to make a prosecutorial judgment. And the judgment here with regard to collusion, conspiracy, and the Russian interference with the election is that members of the Trump campaign, including the president, that there's not a sustainable case, meaning there's not sufficient evidence to prove that a crime was committed there. That's telling you a fair amount. Does it tell you everything? No.

  • Judy Woodruff:

    Right.

  • Robert Ray:

    I imagine, in the next couple of weeks, probably, we will expect to see a disclosure in some fashion of the report that Bob Mueller provided to the attorney general, because that's what the attorney general has committed to do.

    There are certain impediments we can talk about later…

  • Judy Woodruff:

    Right.

  • Robert Ray:

    … about how it's not going to be every single thing that was disclosed to the attorney general.

    But I imagine, if the attorney general is true to his word — and I expect he will be — it will be transparent.

  • Judy Woodruff:

    Mary McCord, what about this?

    I mean, as you look at this, how many questions are still in your mind? Or does Mr. Barr's summary satisfy you?

  • Mary McCord:

    Well, obviously, it's very limited, the summary. And I agree really what the other — the other panelists have said about some of the limitations of what is in here.

    And I think another point, to be clear, is that conspiracy is an agreement between two or more people to commit a crime or to defraud the United States. And so Mr. Ray got it correctly in saying, of course, that prosecutors have to determine that every element of a crime could be met by evidence beyond — that would prove it beyond a reasonable doubt before they can bring charges.

    So, what this is saying is — and what the — what the quotation from the Mueller report that A.G. Barr included in his letter to Congress is, is that the investigation did not establish that members of the Trump campaign had conspired or colluded with the Russian government.

    So — and, again, conspired meaning to commit a crime, with that — with that knowledge that the — and intent that the goal of the conspiracy was to commit a crime.

    So, that's very different than sort of public encouragement of the activity or expressing approval of it or a desire for it to continue. That's — that's not the same as actually coming to an agreement to commit a crime.

  • Judy Woodruff:

    Or the president, Boyden Gray, at a news conference or a speech saying to the crowd in general, or — and to — he said to the Russians, go ahead and see if you can turn up Hillary Clinton's e-mails.

    I mean, there's a difference here.

  • C. Boyden Gray:

    Oh, there is a big difference, sure, I mean, what he says publicly and what he actually does, and what his staff does, what his campaign aides do or did or did not do.

    That's what really — what really matters. There's a narrative that always underlay much of the investigation, which was that here's a man who does everything Putin wants him to do. And so that creates a suspicion.

    And what I find so difficult about that is, is that he is — has done very well the one thing that hurts the Russians most, that brought down the Soviet Union in the mid-'80s, which is press our energy policy to really endanger their core financial solidarity.

    So, he was not doing Putin's bidding. And that's a false narrative from the very, very beginning.

  • Judy Woodruff:

    You're talking about policy moves that the president made.

  • C. Boyden Gray:

    Yes.

  • Judy Woodruff:

    Well, let's — I mean, there's a lot to talk about here. Again, we don't have the whole report. We have the summary from the attorney general.

    But let's turn now to the other principal conclusion from the Mueller report, and this has to do with obstruction of justice. The attorney general, William Barr, wrote the while the report did not conclude that the president committed that crime of obstruction, neither did it exonerate him.

    But the attorney general also wrote that he and his deputy came down clearly on the side of President Trump on this question, that the evidence isn't there, nor is the intent. That was enough to spark opposing reactions to this.

  • Donald Trump:

    There was no obstruction, and none whatsoever. And it was a complete and total exoneration. It's a shame that our country had to go through this.

  • Rep. Jerrold Nadler D-N.Y.:

    These conclusions raise more questions than they answer, given the fact that Mueller uncovered evidence that, in his own words, does not exonerate the president.

    Given these questions, it is imperative that the attorney general release the full report and the underlying evidence.

  • Judy Woodruff:

    So, Robert Ray, what are we left with here?

  • Robert Ray:

    I mean, I just say, on that point, prosecutors are not in the business of handing out exonerations.

    You don't typically get an exoneration card after a full and fair investigation and apologies from Uncle Sam for investigating you to say, listen, we — we did an investigation, we didn't find anything, and not only are we going to make the determination to prosecute you, but we're going to hold a press conference to say that you have been completely exonerated.

    That typically does not happen. So, I mean, look, the president's entitled to say, based upon a prosecutorial determination by the Justice Department, whether it be Bob Mueller in connection with the collusion piece, or Bill Barr with regard to the obstruction piece, that he's been vindicated, because the department decided that there was insufficient evidence to proceed with a prosecution, right? Exoneration is more of the political notion of, I can walk away from this saying, I was — the president's position — I was right all along. I told you there wasn't collusion.

    And with regard to obstruction, as he's been quoted in the piece that you ran in the special previously, lookit, how — how can you be seen to have obstructed an investigation, as a practical matter, that didn't have foundation to begin with?

  • Judy Woodruff:

    But if you — but when you have the attorney — the special prosecutor, Matt Miller, saying, I don't know — I can't say which one it is, because I have evidence on both sides, it's difficult, and then the attorney general says, well, I think it's this way, what do we make of that?

  • Matthew Miller:

    I find the attorney general's decision to make that determination somewhat troubling, because we don't know why the special counsel didn't make a determination.

    I doubt very much he didn't make the decision because he thought it was too hard, or because he thought it — thought it was difficult. He would have — if he felt it was appropriate for the Justice Department to make that decision, I feel pretty confident he would have made a decision, or at least made a recommendation to the attorney general. It's very unusual for a decision to come to the attorney general without a recommendation from the prosecutors down the line. I suspect — and I think we will see this when we see the full report — that the reason Bob Mueller didn't make a prosecutorial determination on the obstruction question is because the Justice Department's opinion is that the president can't be indicted. So, if he can't be indicted, there's no reason for the special counsel to make that determination.

    In fact, there are good reasons for him not to do so.

  • Robert Ray:

    Although he — the attorney general did say that that did not weigh into…

    (CROSSTALK)

  • Matthew Miller:

    Well, into his — into the attorney general's determination, not necessarily into the special counsel's determination.

  • Robert Ray:

    Well, I — but I think there's more to it than just a factual issue about what Bob Mueller was confronted with. And I think we — I think — I agree with you. I think we're going to find out more. We don't quite know the answer to it.

  • Matthew Miller:

    Right.

  • Robert Ray:

    But I would suggest that, in that regard, I think there's a policy issue that that's created too, by virtue of an investigation of a president and the office of the president, and evaluating conduct relative to the obstruction of justice statutes.

    And, as Attorney General Barr in his now famous memo to the Justice Department prior to his confirmation explained, there's a substantial legal question relative to the president's conduct. When he is the executive branch, he can hire and fire as he pleases…

  • Judy Woodruff:

    And that is…

  • Robert Ray:

    … for any reason or for no reason at all.

    And to try to then evaluate that in terms of what would be needed to be proved in order to make an obstruction — obstruction case, which is corrupt intent, and I think there's not only legal — not only factual barriers to that conclusion, but also some substantial legal hurdles to overcome.

    And from a policy perspective, I think it was important for the Justice Department to speak with one voice. And that voice should be the attorney general, because the resolution of this investigation on the obstruction piece not only resolves it with regard to this president, but this is precedent that will be used and considered for many years to come about how to evaluate presidential conduct in terms of application to the obstruction statute.

  • Judy Woodruff:

    And I want — Boyden Gray, coming back, though, to the fact that the attorney general weighed in on one side or another after the special counsel did not, doesn't that — isn't it going to continue to leave a question, a cloud, whatever you want to call it, over this determination?

  • C. Boyden Gray:

    I don't see how. I don't see why, because, in a sense, once the special counsel decides he cannot prosecute, for whatever reason — and I don't think it's because he felt he couldn't indict a sitting — I think that's — that's — he never got to that point.

    Once that happens, it's really over. I do agree that it's a very good thing that Rosenstein and the attorney general both, the deputy and the attorney general both agreed on this outcome, because that means the top leadership of the department was backing up — in a sense, backing up Mueller's findings.

    But it is absolutely and definitely not the province of any prosecutor, any special counsel to exonerate or convict anybody. Only a jury or a judge can convict. And there's no reason to even mention exoneration, because no prosecutor can exonerate.

  • Judy Woodruff:

    Mary McCord, how do you read this?

  • Mary McCord:

    Well, I would also agree there's no reason to mention exoneration, and that includes President Trump and his counsel shouldn't be mentioning exoneration.

    Clearly, what the special counsel said is, this does not exonerate him. That's crystal clear. That's quoted by A.G. Barr in his letter to Congress.

    I think what's — I think we're not going to know, until — unless and until we see more of the report, why Bob Mueller decided not to make a recommendation. I think it could be — have to do with the fact that the DOJ was never going to indict, and he might have wanted to put this decision to Congress.

    It could be because he reports to the attorney general, or the acting attorney general. Before, it was A.G. Barr, when A.G. Sessions was recused. And he thought that decision in a case of this significance should be made by the attorney general. I have no quarrel with that. I think, though, that what we haven't yet discussed is the fact that it's crystal clear that there is evidence here that at least went toward a potential charge of obstruction. And the A.G. then made the determination, based on really what Supreme Court precedent says is a very limited kind of understanding of what obstruction applies to, and decided to come down with the fact that the evidence would not support and sustain those charges.

    Reasonable minds may differ with that if they see the evidence, if it ever comes to light.

    (CROSSTALK)

  • Judy Woodruff:

    And, as we said, he was joined in by the deputy attorney general.

    (CROSSTALK)

  • Robert Ray:

    Yes, and I think that's about right. I think that's right. C. Boyden Gray: It's not for the Congress.

    Some talk yesterday, throughout the day was, well, this is really for Congress to decide. Barr can't do it.

    No, Congress doesn't prosecute. But they can — they can make a decision about impeachment, high crimes and misdemeanors. But for an actual criminal prosecution, they have no say.

  • Robert Ray:

    Oh, and I totally agree with that.

    And I think it would have been a mistake, as some people have suggested, that Attorney General Barr should not have stepped into that void and should just to have allowed Bob Mueller to refrain from…

  • Judy Woodruff:

    The uncertainty.

  • Robert Ray:

    Leave the uncertainty there.Judy Woodruff: Yes.

  • Robert Ray:

    I think you're absolutely correct. Matthew Miller: He could…

  • Robert Ray:

    The job of the special counsel's investigation leading to — back to the department under the special counsel regulations, is to make a decision, and a decision needed to be made.

  • Judy Woodruff:

    All right, now we're going to turn to literally what's next, what comes after what we know right now, for the legal, for the political ramifications of this investigation.

    Congressional reaction, we have been talking about it. It has fallen mostly along partisan lines, some Republicans questioning the very premise of the investigation in the first place.

  • Sen. Lindsey Graham R-S.C.:

    A counterintelligence investigation is designed to protect the entity being targeted by a foreign power. How did it fail and break down here? Was it a ruse to get into the Trump campaign? I don't know, but I'm going to try to find out.

  • Sen. Chuck Schumer D-N.Y.:

    Neither the Congress, nor the public has seen the report itself. So it's evident, it is self-evident, overwhelmingly, in the public interest for the Mueller report to be released to the people.

  • Judy Woodruff:

    And I want to bring in now reporters covering all of this, all of whom you just saw in that "Frontline" documentary. The "NewsHour"'s Lisa Desjardins, she's at Capitol — Capitol Hill, while Yamiche Alcindor joins us from the White House. And Robert Costa of The Washington Post, he's also moderator of "Washington week," he's with us tonight as well.

    Hello to all of you.

    And, Yamiche, I want to turn to you.

    We have been talking about the president's reaction, and whether and when there is going to be more to see. What is the White House saying right now about how much more we should see, whether we should see the entire Mueller report?

  • Yamiche Alcindor:

    So, the president has been taking a victory lap. That began this weekend when he learned that he had been cleared of the allegation that he colluded with Russia in order to interfere in the 2016 election. And he's also celebrating the fact that Attorney General Barr, of course, said that he — that there was no evidence of him obstructing justice.

    However, the president earlier, before we knew the summary of the report said, he said that he thought that the Mueller report should be made public. Now the White House is somewhat walking that back.

    Sarah Sanders, the White House press secretary, said there might be executive privilege issues, and there might — it might be in the best interests of the country and to protect the presidency if the report did not come out.

    So, what we have is the White House both saying the president is cleared, but also saying, the report, hold on a minute, we might not want that.

    And I want to remind people that there's a fever pitch to see this Mueller report on both — both from Republicans, but also from Democrats.

    And just as I was walking over here, there's a chant going on, a protest a couple feet away from me that said, "We the people demand the Mueller report."

    So there's fever pitch feelings here that the Mueller report should be made public, but no clear answers here.

  • Judy Woodruff:

    Lisa Desjardins at the Capitol, how much of a fever pitch is there, there?

  • Lisa Desjardins:

    I can tell you, just in the past couple of hours, Judy, we have gotten a clear signal from Democrats.

    The five Democratic chairmen of the House committees that have jurisdiction over this area — that includes committees like Oversight, Intelligence, Judiciary — they have written a joint letter to the attorney general tonight.

    And they have said in these words that they demand that he release the full report, and they have given him a deadline of April 2. This is obviously a situation between branches. So it's not clear what would happen if the attorney general does not meet that deadline.

    But they write — and this goes to some of what your panel was speaking about — they write that Congress is permitted the ability to assess the obstruction of justice situation independently.

    And they are asserting what they believe is a right of a co-equal branch here. It's a rather eye-popping letter. They also write, significantly — these are the Democrats, House chairmen — they say: "We have no reason to question the special counsel Mueller's — that he has made well-considered prosecutorial judgments in two areas." They say, one, whether the Trump campaign conspired and, two, on hacking, and basically the charges against the Russians. They're sort of saying, listen, we don't — we're not questioning whether there was any collusion or not. They're clearly questioning the obstruction. That's where the focus of Democrats are going.

    And this letter tells me, Judy, in this constant internal battle for Democrats between cautious restraint and sort of dogged pursuit, these are the voices pushing for dogged pursuit. We will see what voices we hear in the next couple of days after this.

  • Judy Woodruff:

    And, Robert Costa, who's also joining us, Robert, I know you have done a lot of reporting since word of the report first — or we first learned that the report had been turned over to the Justice Department.

    What are you hearing about just how partisan, how divided this fight is going to be over releasing the report and what to do about the report?

  • Robert Costa:

    It's not only partisan, but it's challenging, particularly for Democrats on Capitol Hill, who want to pursue further questions on obstruction.

    Yet, when it comes to obstruction of justice, you have to figure out the person's intent. Was the intent corrupt? Robert Mueller, the special counsel, did not make a firm conclusion on that front. And it will be difficult for Democrats, even on — in the committees with subpoena power, to figure out President Trump's intent in many of his decisions.

  • Judy Woodruff:

    So they would like to paint a fuller picture of the president's conduct. That's why they want to see the full report. But whether it rises to level of an impeachable offense, that remains to be seen. And back to Yamiche on that.

    Is the White House breathing easy? Have they — do they now assume impeachment is off the table because of this?

  • Yamiche Alcindor:

    The sense I have gotten all day is that the White House is very glad that the Mueller report is over and that this Mueller investigation has ended.

    They're not quite breathing easy in the idea of impeachment. But they are saying that Democrats are essentially now on the defense. They feel as though the positions have completely changed. They think, before the Mueller report, there was a lot — there was a lot of caution, especially on the part of the president.

    He didn't speak all weekend, didn't make any comments when we found out that the Mueller report had been filed. And that's because he was waiting to see what the actual summary would say.

    Now that the White House has seen the summary of the attorney general, William Barr, they feel as though they're in a good position, a stronger position, rather. So I think that the president now feels like he has the political upper hand.

    And I should note that the president's political campaign, his campaign for reelection to president, they have actually started fund-raising off the idea that Democrats had a witch-hunt for two years, while he was busy really ushering in a strong economy. So they're also using this as a campaign rallying cry.

  • Judy Woodruff:

    All right. Yamiche Alcindor at the White House, Lisa Desjardins at the Capitol, Robert Costa joining us, all three, thank you very much.

    And I finally come back to our panel here at the table.

    Let's go back at, Mary McCord, this question about how much more the public will get to see, should see, needs to see, in order to really, truly understand what the special counsel concluded.

  • Mary McCord:

    So, certainly, the attorney general has promised that he's undertaking a review, with an eye toward disclosing publicly as much as he is able to and that he thinks is — is in the public interest to disclose.

    And there's things he does have to take into consideration, such as grand jury secrecy rules. And those rules are there for a reason, because, ordinarily, after an investigation, particularly a criminal investigation, although this was not limited to a criminal investigation by the mandate of appointing the special counsel, but, typically, if there's a decision to decline a prosecution, this all remains secret, because a person shouldn't really be tainted with sort of any dirty laundry in there.

  • Judy Woodruff:

    I think it's a very — when the decision was made that there wasn't sufficient evidence to charge a crime. Right.

  • Mary McCord:

    I think we're in a very different situation, where the president, the sitting president of the United States is the person, among others, who were investigated.

    He is — he is campaigning for reelection in this office of a public official that has public trust associated with it. And I think the voters are entitled to know sort of what is this delta between no evidence and evidence, but not enough to prove beyond a reasonable doubt each and every element of the crime.

  • Judy Woodruff:

    Boyden Gray, how much does the public need to see of this report?

  • C. Boyden Gray:

    Oh, well, I would like — I'm sort of with all parties. I think the president all the way down and the Republican Party and all Democrats want to see the whole thing. But, as you have said, there are problems with grand jury. There are problems possibly with sources and methods, national security issues.

    So, there may be some redaction. But I think it all should come out. And I want to make it — make it very, very clear that I agree with Senator Graham, in his press conference today, that, if we're going to have full disclosure, everything comes out, including the background of the FISA warrants, the background of Mueller's appointment, what happened with the Steele dossier. All of that must be equally disclosed, as everything else is.

  • Judy Woodruff:

    But that's not part of the Mueller report, is it? I mean, that would be additional investigation.

  • C. Boyden Gray:

    It's…

    (CROSSTALK)

  • Judy Woodruff:

    Or is it?

  • C. Boyden Gray:

    I would think it is part of the — should be part of the Mueller report.

  • Judy Woodruff:

    I'm asking.

  • C. Boyden Gray:

    It's part — maybe — maybe he didn't write much about it, but it certainly was part of the charge.

    And if it wasn't, let's find out why it wasn't. But we don't know what the charge was. And we need to know what the charge was. And we need to know about the warrants that he issued, that were issued under his name.

  • Judy Woodruff:

    Just quickly, Matt Miller, what about that point? Matthew Miller: Those questions about the dossier have never been substantiated. And, in any event, they're under investigation by the Department of Justice inspector general. That report will be public at some point.

    With respect to what ought to be made public here, I think we all agree that as much as possible ought to be made public, maybe with the exception of grand jury material, because one thing the department has made clear from the beginning of this investigation is, they are not the final arbiter of presidential misconduct. Congress is.

    And for Congress to make that decision, they have to have access to all of the evidence about what the president did. And one of things for the last two years, and even in our discussion tonight, we talk about whether the president's behavior rises to the level of crime or not.

  • Judy Woodruff:

    That's not the only standard for presidential misconduct. That is the lowest possible bar. Congress has to assess the entire matter. Just 15 seconds.

  • Robert Ray:

    I don't agree with that. I don't think that's quite right, because it — the emphasis in the Constitution is on high crimes and misdemeanors, emphasis on the word crime.

    I think the…

  • Matthew Miller:

    But it's not the criminal statutes. It's not the…

  • Robert Ray:

    The impeachment inquiry is going to be circumscribed now by the determination of the special counsel and the Justice Department that, in these areas, no crimes were committed. And that — that's going to slow that train down.

    (CROSSTALK)

  • Judy Woodruff:

    So much to talk about. Robert Ray, Boyden Gray, Mary McCord, Matthew Miller. That is it for now. We thank you for joining us. I'm Judy Woodruff.

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