President Trump has disputed the full Mueller report, calling portions “untrue.” But his comments made after the report’s release could be used by Congress, as some Democrats look at whether they can start impeachment proceedings.
CBS News legal analyst Jonathan Turley called the Mueller report a 400-page tale of “self-inflicted wounds.” He told “CBS This Morning” the president is “writing a sequel” by claiming he never told former White House counsel Don McGahn to fire Robert Mueller.
“He’s creating a very important factual dispute that Congress has no choice but to investigate. And if he’s lying, that was part of the first article of impeachment against Richard Nixon,” Turley said.
The Mueller report found that in June of 2017, Mr. Trump directed McGahn to get rid of Mueller. McGahn told the special counsel the president called him twice, saying “Mueller has to go.” But the report found McGahn was prepared to resign instead of following through with the request.
On Thursday, Mr. Trump tweeted, “As has been incorrectly reported by the Fake News Media, I never told then White House Counsel Don McGahn to fire Robert Mueller, even though I had the legal right to do so. If I wanted to fire Mueller, I didn’t need McGahn to do it, I could have done it myself.”
McGahn has been subpoenaed to testify before the House Judiciary Committee.
As for whether the Mueller report provides enough evidence for impeachment on its own, Turley said that comes down to a matter of interpretation.
“If you actually look at Article I of the impeachment of Richard Nixon, it has many of the items that Mueller combed out of his investigation,” Turley said. “Things like suggesting to witnesses that they might be pardoned or given commutations, giving false statements or deceiving the public. All these things that are in the Mueller report actually were part of the Nixon impeachment.”
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