Skip to Content

Here’s what we know about: Obstruction of justice

(ABC NEWS) – With the public release of special counsel Robert Mueller’s highly anticipated and redacted report on Thursday, pundits and politicians were parsing its findings on the question of “obstruction of justice.”

Obstruction of justice accounts for a federal crime in which someone “corruptly” attempts to “influence, obstruct or impede” the “due and proper administration of the law” in a pending proceeding, according to federal code. The president’s critics have pointed to his dismissal of former FBI Director James Comey – and subsequent explanations for that decision – as evidence that Trump obstructed justice.

In his letter to Congress describing the “principal conclusions” of Mueller’s report, Attorney General William Barr indicated that while Mueller did find at least some evidence suggesting Trump tried to obstruct the investigation, the evidence did not amount to a criminal offense.

Here’s what the report suggests about obstruction of justice.

Here’s the issue:

The 11 possible instances of Obstruction of Justice investigated

Here’s where you can find it in the report:

Volume 2, pages 3-6

Here’s the summary:

These are the 11 potential actions of obstruction of justice investigated by the special counsel’s office as described in the report. During his news conference Thursday morning before the report’ release, Barr mentioned 10 such instances. Each of these examples is extrapolated upon in both the executive summary and in the report.

Here’s what the report says:

1. The Campaign’s response to reports about Russian support for Trump

2. Conduct involving FBI Director Comey and Michael Flynn

3. The President’s reaction to the continuing Russia investigation

4. The President’s termination of Comey

5. The appointment of a Special Counsel and efforts to remove him

6. Efforts to curtail the Special Counsel’s investigation

7. Efforts to prevent public disclosure of evidence

8. Further efforts to have the Attorney General take control of the investigation

9. Efforts to have McGahn deny that the President had ordered him to have the Special Counsel removed

10. Conduct towards Flynn, Manafort, [REDACTED – HARM TO ONGOING MATTER]

11. Conduct involving Michael Cohen

Here’s the issue:

The President’s conduct involving Michael Cohen

Here’s where you can find it in the report:

Page 134

Here’s the summary:

The Mueller report states that while working on his statements to Congress, President Donald Trump’s then-personal attorney Michael Cohen had “extensive” discussions with the president’s personal counsel. The report also states Trump passed messages of support to Cohen and Cohen discussed pardons with the president’s legal team. Cohen believed if he cooperated he would get a pardon, according to the report.

Here’s what the report says:

“While working on the congressional statement, Cohen had extensive discussions with the President’s personal counsel, who, according to Cohen, said that Cohen should not contradict the President and should keep the statement short and ‘tight.’

“Cohen also discussed pardons with the President’s personal counsel and believed that if he stayed on message, he would get a pardon or the President would do ‘something else’ to make the investigation end.”

ABC News’ John Santucci and Lucien Bruggeman contributed to this report.


READ: Full text of Attorney General’s remarks on Mueller Report

MORE: With redacted Mueller report imminent, Trump celebrates

Kevin Millard

Kevin Millard-Social Media Digital Content Manager for WXOW.

Skip to content