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Rough road: On Robert Mueller report

The investigation report of Special Counsel Robert Mueller is unlikely to end the scandal (controversy; विवाद)) around Russian interference in the 2016 U.S. presidential election that has rocked (caused chaos in; हडकंप मचाना) American politics for the last two and a half years. The redacted (taken back; वापस लिया गया) version that has been released confirms what U.S. Attorney General William Barr had said last month when he released a summary — Mr. Mueller neither indicts (formally accuse; औपचारिक रूप से आरोप लगाते हैं) nor exonerates (declare to be free of blame; दोष मुक्त  घोषित करना ) President Donald Trump. Mr. Mueller concluded that Russia interfered in the election in a “sweeping (extensive) and systematic fashion (manner;तरीके)”. The Russians carried out an information campaign on the Internet against Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton and in favour of Mr. Trump, while Russian hackers hacked into the Democratic National Committee systems as well as Ms. Clinton’s campaign chief’s email account, and dumped the files on the Internet. While there were contacts between the Russians and Trump campaign members, the investigation doesn’t establish that “members of the Trump campaign conspired (worked secretly to accomplish a goal;षड्यंत्र रचना ) or coordinated with the Russian government”. But on the question on obstruction of justice (using authority unethically to interfere in the judicial process; न्यायिक प्रक्रिया में अनैतिक रूप हस्तक्षेप  करना ), the Special Counsel was less emphatic (expressing something forcefully; दृढ़ता से व्यक्त करना ).

The report has damning (facts that prove someone’s wrongful involvement;ऐसे तथ्य जो किसीका अपराध साबित करें) details on how Mr. Trump tried to undermine the investigation. He wanted to fire Mr. Mueller, and when his then-Attorney General Jeff Sessions failed to do so, he wanted him to shut the probe (investigation; जांच). Mr. Trump didn’t succeed as his staff resisted (refused to accept; अस्वीकार करना) the orders. In one such instance, White House attorney Donald McGahn preferred to resign rather than carry out Mr. Trump’s order to fire Mr. Mueller. The report also confirms that the President had asked FBI Director James Comey to go easy on Micheal Flynn, Mr. Trump’s original pick for National Security Adviser. Mr. Comey was fired later. What Mr. Mueller has effectively done is to state the facts of Mr. Trump’s efforts to obstruct the probe, while leaving unanswered the question of whether he obstructed justice. He has left the issue for Congress to decide, saying the legislature “has authority to prohibit (forbid;रोक लगाना) a President’s corrupt use of his authority in order to protect the integrity of the administration of justice”. As soon as the report was out, Mr. Trump had claimed victory by tweeting: “For the haters and the radical left Democrats — Game over.” But the House Judiciary Committee chair has issued a subpoena (legally demand; कानूनी रूप से मांग) to the Justice Department to hand over the full report. Senator Elizabeth Warren, who is running for the Democratic presidential ticket, has called for impeachment proceedings (the official procedure for ousting someone from power;माहाभियोग) against Mr. Trump. The President’s legal troubles are also not over. A Senate Intelligence Committee investigation into the Russian interference scandal is still on. The Trump campaign is also being probed for alleged (using unfair means;अनुचित साधनों का उपयोग करना) campaign finance violations. All this suggests a tough road is ahead for Mr. Trump, though Mr. Mueller stopped short of indicting him.

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