In the newly released redacted version of the Mueller report, special counsel Robert Mueller wrote at length about how President Trump tried multiple times to interfere with the Russia investigation and said that officials could not definitely claim that the president did not commit obstruction of justice, Politico reports.
The report is far from the "complete and total exoneration" that President Trump has flaunted in the past few weeks, presenting behavior that will likely spark Democratic investigations and influence the course of the 2020 presidential campaign narrative. In one instance, Trump depended on staffers to write an email absolving him of any wrongdoing. In others, the report notes that Trump was more knowledgeable of an aide's questionable behavior than he expressed and that the president was scared that the probe would reveal more crimes unrelated to the Russian collusion.
Although the exhaustive 448-page document confirms that Mueller found no definite collusion between the Trump camp and the Russians, it points out several unfavorable incidents related to obstruction of justice and reveals why the special counsel chose to neither exonerate nor continue pressing charges against Trump.
Mueller's prosecutors stated that while the president appeared sure that investigators would find no conspiracy between Russia and his 2016 campaign, he expressed anxiety about other things they might find in their investigation. One of these concerns was that Trump was still pursuing business endeavors during the 2016 campaign, including a plan to construct a Trump Tower in Moscow.
“The evidence does indicate that a thorough FBI investigation would uncover facts about the campaign and the President personally that the President could have understood to be crimes or that would give rise to personal and political concerns,” the report reads.
The excerpt provides an explanation for Trump's intent when he acted in manners that both authorities and his own aides interpreted as efforts to potentially hinder the investigation.