Attorney General releases redacted version of Mueller report

The Justice Department's release of the redacted report comes just weeks after Barr wrote a four-page letter summarizing the special counsel's "principal conclusions."
5:59 | 04/18/19

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Transcript for Attorney General releases redacted version of Mueller report
And for the first time tonight, the American public is learning what Robert Mueller found. He has not spoken in nearly two years, but tonight, the evidence uncovered by Mueller and his team speaks for itself. We knew Mueller found no collusion, but it was president trump's pick for attorney general who then declared no obstruction of justice. But tonight, the Mueller report is hardly a clean bill of health. 448 pages long, and a staggering amount of detail, far more damning to the president than the troeshg initially indicated. Tonight here, the moment the president reportedly said "This is the end of my presidency." And this evening, did several members of the president's team save him by refusing to do what he was and inning they do? ABC's chief justice correspondent Pierre Thomas leading us off. Reporter: Today, special counsel Robert Mueller driving into work, silent, as he has been nor early two years. But now, his 448-page report is out, and it speaks volumes. Mueller tonight declaring, "If we had confidence after a thorough investigation of the facts that the president clearly did not commit obstruction of justice, we would so state." But they did not. Instead, in painstaking detail, Mueller painted a picture of a president who relentlessly sought to use top white house staffers, political aides and the justice department itself to curtail the investigation. The report recounts ten episodes involving the president. Reporter: Ten episodes looked at as possible obstruction. The report vividly describes the moment in the oval office when then-attorney general Jeff sessions informed trump a special counsel had been appointed. "The president slumped back in his chair and said, oh, my god. This is terrible. This is the end of my I'm blanked. How could you let this happen, Jeff?" Less than a month later, the report says the president repeatedly pressured then white house counsel don mcgahn to get Mueller fired. "The president called mcgahn at home and directed him to call the acting attorney general rod Rosenstein and say that the special counsel had conflicts of interest and must be removed. Call rod, tell rod that Mueller has conflicts and can't be the special counsel." Mcgahn recalled the president telling him, "Mueller has to go. Call me back when you do it." Mcgahn refused, deciding that he would resign rather than trigger what he regarded as a potential Saturday night massacre." At the time, the president denied he was trying to oust the special counsel. Mr. President, have you thought about or considered leading to dismissal of the special counsel? I haven't given it any thought. Reporter: The president made no secret of his fury with sessions for recusing himself. I have now decided to recuse myself. I'm very disappointed with the attorney general. Reporter: According to the report, sessions told investigators the president had asked him to unrecuse himself, but he would not. In fact, Mueller writes, "The president's efforts to influence the investigation were mostly unsuccessful, but that is largely because the persons who surrounded the president declined to carry out orders or accede to his requests." And while Mueller stopped short of taking a position on obstruction, his words suggest congress now has a role to play. He writes, quote, "We concluded that congress has authority to prohibit a president's corrupt use of his authority in order to protect the integrity of the administration of justice." Still, attorney general bill Barr cleared the president and today, I asked him, is that what Mueller wanted? The special counsel indicated that he wanted you to make the decision or that it should be left for congress? Special counsel Mueller did not indicate that his purpose was to leave the decision to congress. I hope that was not his view. I didn't talk to him directly about the fact that we were making the decision. Reporter: Obstruction not the only part of the special counsel's report. More than half those 448 pages devoted to Russian interference in the election. Mueller writes, "The investigation also identified numerous links between the Russian government and the trump campaign." Among the trump aides involved, campaign advisers Carter page and George papadopoulos, campaign chairman Paul manafort, attorney general sessions and the president's son-in-law, Jared Kushner. Still, Mueller determined a prosecution would encounter difficulties, proving that campaign officials or individuals connected to the campaign willfully vie lated the law." Mueller also examined that trump tower meeting involving Donald Trump Jr., manafort, Kushner and a Russian lawyer they believed had dirt on Hillary Clinton. The special counsel determining "The government would unlikely be able to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that they had general knowledge that their conduct was unlawful." Russia, if you're listening, I hope you're able to find the 30,000 emails that are missing. Reporter: According to Mueller, the Russian intelligence service, the gru, was listening. "Within approximately five hours of trump's statement, gru officers targeted, for the first time, Clinton's personal office." Mueller's team says the president's aides and his family also worked to spread the divisive messages Russia had posted on social media. But the special counsel said "The evidence does not show the trump team acted in coordination with Russia." Pierre Thomas live at the justice department tonight. And Pierre, we already know the Mueller investigation led to other criminal investigations, but we had no idea the number, now revealed in the Mueller report today. There are 14 other investigations? Reporter: That's right, David. The aftershocks of Mueller will continue even though his work is done. According to his report, his investigators uncovered 14 cases of possible criminal activity that were outside of his jurisdiction. He only identified two suspects in those cases, one of them Michael Cohen, who soon goes to prison. So, there's 12 other cases being investigated by the justice department and the fb we don't get know about. The mystery surrounding 12 other criminal cases tonight. Pierre Thomas leading us off, thank you.

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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