Special Counsel Robert Mueller detailed in his redacted report released Thursday morning why President Donald Trump failed to commit obstruction of justice: because his associates refused to “carry out orders.”

“The President’s efforts to influence the investigation were mostly unsuccessful, but that is largely because the persons who surrounded the President declined to carry out orders or accede to his requests,” the report said.

Mueller’s report goes on to reveal how Trump ordered White House counsel Don McGahn to dismiss the special counsel shortly after his appointment in 2017, but McGahn declined to do so.


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“McGahn refused to recede from his recollections about events surrounding the President’s direction to have the special counsel removed, despite the President’s multiple demands that he do so,” the report reads. “Consistent with that pattern, the evidence we obtained would not support potential obstruction charges against the President’s aides and associates beyond those already filed.”

Attorney General William Barr exonerated Trump of obstruction of justice late last month, a decision that many Democratic lawmakers quickly criticized.

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