American President Donald Trump may have tweeted a relieved âGame Overâ after the much-awaited 448-page report by special counsel Robert Mueller failed to nail him on colluding with Russia on derailing Hillary Clintonâs 2016 presidential campaign in his favour. But US attorney-general William Barrâs view that Mr Trump only had ânon-corrupt motivesâ and Mr Trumpâs own relieved âhaving a good dayâ are completely at odds with reality. The conclusion that the President didnât commit a crime doesnât clear him of the more damning âobstruction of justiceâ charge.
Mr Trumpâs efforts to derail the former FBI chiefâs investigation and force his removal are just a part of the findings that lay out the Presidentâs attempts to influence the 22-month inquiry. Mr Mueller details 10 episodes of Mr Trumpâs obfuscation, including refusing to answer written questions, repeated attempts to alter the investigationâs course by issuing direct instructions to White House staff not to cooperate, dangling a pardon to one aide, instructing another to fire Mr Mueller, and ensuring the specifics of meetings his son Donald Trump Jr and son-in-law Jared Kushner had with campaign chief Paul Manafort â the latter prosecuted for his contacts with Russians â werenât shared.
In fact, calling on Congress to investigate âthe Presidentâs corrupt exercise of the powers of officeâ leaves the door wide open for impeachment. And while no Democrat or Republican will back the move right now, it could become a powerful campaign tool in the run-up to the 2020 presidential polls. More so, once Mr Mueller testifies before Congress next week and the redacted report is made available in full. Mr Trump may have dodged a bullet. Not the smoking gun.