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Trump tried to seize control of Mueller probe, report says

Chad Day, Eric Tucker and Michael Balsamo
Associated Press
In this March 28, 2019 photo, President Donald Trump speaks at a campaign rally in Grand Rapids, Mich. Trump is suggesting he will defer until after 2020 his push for a Republican health care plan to replace the Affordable Care Act. Trump tweeted late Monday that Congress will vote on a GOP plan after the elections, ”when Republicans hold the Senate & win back the House.” (AP Photo/Manuel Balce Ceneta)

WASHINGTON – Public at last, special counsel Robert Mueller’s report revealed to a waiting nation Thursday that President Donald Trump had tried to seize control of the Russia probe and force Mueller’s removal to stop him from investigating potential obstruction of justice by the president.

In a previously unreported episode, the report said that in June 2017, Trump directed White House Counsel Don McGahn to call the acting attorney general and say that Mueller must be ousted because he had conflicts of interest.

McGahn refused – deciding he would rather resign than trigger what he regarded as a potential Saturday Night Massacre of Watergate firings fame.

For all of that, Mueller said in his report that he could not conclusively determine that Trump had committed criminal obstruction of justice.

The Justice Department posted a redacted version of the report online Thursday morning, 90 minutes after Attorney General William Barr offered his own final assessment of the findings.