The Mueller Report: What does it mean for Trump?


Tom Williams

Robert S. Mueller giving his testimony.

Stephanie Robinson, Contributing Writer

On Thursday, April 18, the Department of Justice released a redacted version of the Final Report of the Special Counsel Into Donald Trump, Russia, and Collusion; or as it’s more commonly known, the Mueller Report. This special report first began in 2016, and in May, 2017, Deputy Attorney General Rod J. Rosenstein appointed former F.B.I. Director Robert Mueller as special counsel to oversee the Russian collusion case. From then, it became synonymous with the effort to impeach Donald Trump. Many Trump opposers believed that the results of the report could convict Trump, while other weren’t so sure.

The 448-page document extensively covers Donald Trump, his campaign team, and his associates’ interactions with Russia, and how all of this could have impacted the 2016 presidential election. Mueller found insufficient evidence to charge collusion or tampering with an election; that’s to say he did not find Trump or the Trump campaign guilty, but he also did not find them innocent, either. Yet, it did find and bring to light many suspicious activities, which have resulted in the indictment of nine US citizens associated with Trump, twelve intelligence agents for the Russian GRU (Russian intelligence service), thirteen Russian citizens and three associated companies. From this investigation, Mueller predicts that several more investigations will begin, both into Trump and other individuals.

A defining feature of the released report is its many sections of redacted material. These sections are redacted because they may contain information that is classified and sensitive or because they include evidence that is part of a ongoing investigation. Another reason for redactions is to protect the interests of the United States. Giving away all information could reveal intelligence techniques. Some evidence was acquired through grand jury testimony, which is private by law. In total, about 7.25% of the report was redacted.

Despite the media frenzy surrounding this report, its final results are fairly neutral. Senior Lily Denneen commented that “it was really hyped up, but didn’t actually do anything.” Although Trump was not indicted to have colluded with Russia, some Democrat lawmakers are still fighting.

Later this week, on Thursday, May 2nd, Attorney General William Barr is scheduled to appear before the House Judiciary Committee to present the Mueller Report findings. However, he is only being questioned by lawyers and Senate staff. Democrat senators argue that he should appear directly before them and have issued subpoenas against Barr.

Some students are just exasperated with these continuous turns of events. Senior Emma Busby pointed out that “it’s kind of a gray area whether or not Trump broke the law, and since it’s a gray area, I would prefer that lawmakers don’t continue spending time on this report or proving for sure whether Trump broke the law… I would prefer that lawmakers spend time on passing legislation to help the American people than pursuing this legal question.”

This investigation, spurned from the 2016 presidential election, is entering into its third year. At this point, any sort of punishment or impeachment of President Trump is highly unlikely. Although it is important to maintain the integrity of American elections and elected figures, there are other pressing matters. Perhaps members of Congress could better spend their time enacting measurements to protect the next election, so that a large scale investigation is not necessary. The 2016 election and the following investigation highlighted multiple flaws in the current American political system. By fixing them now, it could insure fair and democratic freedom for the future citizens of this country.