Mueller Rejects Trump’s ‘Witch Hunt’ Label and Warns of Russian Meddling – The New York Times

“They’re doing it as we sit here,” he said of Russia’s tampering in American elections.

Looming over the hearing was the question of whether Mr. Mueller’s testimony might shift the ground in Congress and propel more lawmakers to push for Mr. Trump’s impeachment. Only one new call emerged for impeachment hearings by late afternoon Wednesday, from Representative Lori Trahan, Democrat of Massachusetts, and lawmakers will soon depart Washington for a summer recess. It was too soon to say whether the spectacle would change Americans’ opinions about Mr. Mueller and his work that have only hardened over time, and whether Democrats would return to their districts and encounter more vigorous calls for Mr. Trump’s removal.

The questioning on Wednesday reflected a bitter philosophical divide, both on the committees and in the country as a whole: whether it was Mr. Trump, or those investigating him, who committed crimes. Throughout the day, the Democrats hit the high points from Mr. Mueller’s report: the June 2016 Trump Tower meeting, the efforts by Mr. Trump to fire Mr. Mueller, the discussions between Michael T. Flynn and a Russian ambassador about Obama-era sanctions, the strategy by President Vladimir V. Putin of Russia to sow chaos before the election.

The Mueller report cataloged numerous meetings between Mr. Trump’s advisers and Russians seeking to influence the campaign and the presidential transition team — encounters set up in pursuit of business deals, policy initiatives and political dirt about Hillary Clinton, Mr. Trump’s 2016 Democratic opponent.

Mr. Mueller concluded that there was “insufficient evidence” to determine that the president or his aides had engaged in a criminal conspiracy with the Russians, even though the Trump campaign welcomed the Kremlin sabotage effort and “expected it would benefit electorally” from the hackings and leaks of Democratic emails.


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