Trump White House is preparing for a full report on Mueller







The White House

Some of Donald Trump's allies said the White House was going to have a rude awakening. | Jose Luis Magana / AP Photo

White House

The aides insist that they have nothing to fear from the special advocate report of nearly 400 pages, even if all the president's allies are not so confident.

By ELIANA JOHNSON, DANIEL LIPPMAN and DARREN SAMUELSOHN

Update


While most Washington officials are on the verge of waiting for the release of the full report by special advocate Robert Mueller, Trump White House staffers dismiss this blazing anticipation with a simple message: to be there, done.

Several aides to President Donald Trump have acknowledged that the nearly 400-page report, which Attorney General Bill Barr plans to release next week, will likely include new details about Trump's behavior, to say the least embarrassing .

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But they believe they have a powerful shield against the new Democratic indignation and the media review in the form of the main conclusions that Barr set out in a four-page letter three weeks ago – namely that the Trump campaign in 2016 was not conducted in concert with the Russian government. enough evidence to prove that Trump obstructed justice.

"This is a report that everyone already knows the result," said David Bossie, Trump's assistant campaign manager for 2016. Trump, he added, "wants it. He just wants to finish with. "

"In 400 pages, there will inevitably be something that the media will say embarrassing for the president, and that will be history," said a White House official, "but will act it will be a collapse? Will it be an obstruction? Will it be a plot? Will it be crime? No, no, no and no.

Even though more than a dozen Trump assistants and associates interviewed by POLITICO said they believed the report would cause little further damage to a president who would have already been exonerated by Barr, some of his allies Trump said the White House was going to experience a brutal awakening.

The confetti and banners that followed Barr's letter last month were "totally unfounded," said a former White House official who called his former colleagues "totally ignorant of what's going to happen".

Barr's March 24 letter indicated that Mueller had found no evidence of a criminal plot between the Trump campaign and the Russian government and that this evidence "was not sufficient to establish" that Trump had prevented the investigation of the Ministry of Justice in Russia. Legal experts and Democratic investigators are looking for potentially damning new information, ranging from Trump's efforts to thwart Mueller's work to possible signs of Kremlin influence over the president who, even though he is still in power. they are not criminals, could sound serious alarms for national security.

Democrats say this explains why a White House and Barr counter-offensive is already under way, pushing back not only House Democracy's further investigations into the president's actions but also calling for investigations of his opponents, including those who helped open Mueller's investigation.

"Why should the radical left-wing Democrats in Congress have the right to retry and consider the $ 35 million (two years of creation) No Collusion Mueller report, when the crime committed was Crooked Hillary, the DNC and Dirty Cops? " round of golf at his golf club in Virginia on Saturday. "Attorney General Barr will make the decision!"

Trump's allies are already on the message. "We are going to move on and discover the beginning of these insidious years," said Bossie.

Mr. Barr paved the way for a possible investigation into a Senate statement on Wednesday, telling lawmakers that the FBI's Trump campaign monitoring under the Obama administration could constitute an abuse of power .

"I think spying on a political campaign is a big problem," Barr said, adding that he was considering whether this spying was "sufficiently grounded".

Trump's allies are confident that the president and his aides will be unscathed in the report section on Russia's interference in the campaign. They are aware that embarrassing and potentially damaging information will be in another section of the report on obstructing justice, where Mueller refused to prosecute Trump but said the report "does not exonerate him".

Nevertheless, the president's advisers – including his lawyers, a Republican National Committee team and pro-Trump outside groups – are preparing to review and respond to the report. Trump's lawyer, Jay Sekulow, has a team made up of half a dozen lawyers and staff, each assigned to a particular section of the report in order to be able to react quickly.

With Sekulow, Trump's lawyer, Rudy Giuliani – who has recently maintained a relatively low profile – will also play a major public role in responding to the report, according to a person familiar with the plans.

Giuliani, who has spent more than a year undermining public confidence in the Mueller investigation, has made some television appearances since the end of January when he claimed that the talks on the Construction of a Trump tower in Moscow could have lasted until November 2016, the Trump month was elected. The statement contradicts the president's public assertions about the lack of trade relations with Russia during the election campaign – and makes the White House furious.

In a text message addressed to POLITICO, Giuliani suggested that the presentation of a nearly 400-page report on the president by a team of seasoned prosecutors would not matter and that he would have read it in a very lively way from beginning to end.

"Of course, why not start on the front page – and if that's what I think, I can do it quickly," wrote the former mayor of New York.

And while on vacation in Palm Springs, Trump's legal advisor, Joe DiGenova, was even more relaxed about the imminent release of the report. "I did not think about it very much," he said.


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