Mueller Report Page 301 of 448

Text Translation

the Special Counsel. Also during this time period, the President reached out to Christie to get his
thoughts on firing the Special Counsel. This evidence shows that the President was notjust seeking
an examination of whether conflicts existed but instead was looking to use asserted conflicts as a
way to terminate the Special Counsel.

b. Nexus to an official proceeding. To satisfy the proceeding requirement, it would
be necessary to establish a nexus between the President’s act of seeking to terminate the Special

Counsel and a pending or foreseeable grand jury proceeding.

Substantial evidence indicates that by June 17, 2017, the President knew his conduct was
under investigation by a federal prosecutor who could present any evidence of federal crimes to a
grand jury. On May 23, 2017, McGahn explicitly warned the President that his “biggest exposure”
was not his act of firing Comey but his “other contacts” and “calls,” and his “ask re: Flynn.” By
early June, it was widely reported in the media that federal prosecutors had issued grand jury
subpoenas in the Flynn inquiry and that the Special Counsel had taken over the Flynn
investigation?” On June 9, 2017, the Special Counsel’s Office informed, the White House that
investigators would be interviewing intelligence agency officials who allegedly had been asked by
the President to push back against the Russia investigation. On June 14, 2017, news outlets began
reporting that the President was himself being investigated for obstruction of justice. Based on
widespread reporting, the President knew that such an investigation could include his request for
Comey’s loyalty; his request that Comey “let[] Flynn go”; his outreach to Coats and Rogers; and
his termination of Comey and statement to the Russian Foreign Minister that the termination had
relieved “great pressure” related to Russia. And on June 16, 2017, the day before he directed
McGahn to have the Special Counsel removed, the President publicly acknowledged that his
conduct was under investigation by a federal prosecutor, tweeting, “I am being investigated for
firing the FBI Director by the man who told me to fire the FBI Director!”

c. Intent. Substantial evidence indicates that the President’s attempts to remove the
Special Counsel were linked to the Special Counsel’s oversight of investigations that involved the
President’s conduct—and, most immediately, to reports that the President was being investigated
for potential obstruction of justice.

 

Before the President terminated Comey, the President considered it critically important that
he was not under investigation and that the public not erroneously think he was being investigated.
As described in Volume Ii, Section III), supra, advisers perceived the President, while he was
drafting the Comey termination letter, to be concerned more than anything else about getting out
that he was not personally under investigation. When the President learned of the appointment of
the Special Counsel on May 17, 2017, he expressed fithher concern about the investigation, saying
“[t]his is the end of my Presidency.” The President also faulted Sessions for recusing, saying “you
were supposed to protect me.”

On June 14, 2017, when the Washington Post reported that the Special Counsel was
investigating the President for obstruction of justice, the President was facing what he had wanted

6“ See, e.g., Evan Perez et al., CNN exclusive: Grand jury subpoenas issued in FBI ’s Russia
investigation, CNN (May 9, 2017); Matt Ford, Why Mueller Is Taking Over ihe Michael Flynn Grand Jury,
The Atlantic (June 2, 2017).

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