ABC, NBC Boast Dems Still Want to Hammer Trump Post-Mueller; ‘They Are Plowing Ahead’

On Friday, ABC’s World News Tonight and NBC Nightly News made sure to include amidst their extensive coverage on the completion of the Mueller Report that, despite the lack of any future indictments from the Special Counsel, House Democrats still have an increasing number of ongoing investigations into every aspect of President Trump’s life that could prove perilous for the White House.

ABC senior congressional correspondent Mary Bruce relayed to anchor David Muir that while Attorney General Bill Barr “has promised lawmakers he'll be as transparent as possible” with the findings, Democrats “are not going to be satisfied until they see the full Mueller report and the underlying evidence.”

 

 

She breathlessly added that a “summary is simply not going to suffice and Democrats are going to use every tool they have available to get this information,” so “[i]t means brace yourself for more subpoenas” and even hearings with Mueller and Barr.

Bruce then concluded (click “expand”):

BRUCE: Also, remember Republicans and Democrats tonight are saying after tens of millions of taxpayer money was spent on this investigation that the American public deserves to see this — some version of the report. David, Democrats are bracing for this to be a long fight for them to get the information that they want and in the meantime, they are not holding back. They are plowing ahead. They are ramping up scores of their own investigations into this administration. David, while Mueller's work may be wrapping up the Hill is just getting started. 

MUIR: Alright, Mary Bruce making it abundantly clear tonight, the next chapter here is how much of this report the American public will see?

Over on NBC, chief White House correspondent Hallie Jackson sang a similar tune, insisting that “[t]his really this is just the beginning” because “[t]here are other investigations coming at him from House Democrats over on Capitol Hill” who “tonight are uniformly calling for more transparency” in “want[ing] the public to be able to draw their own conclusions about the President's actions and judgment.”

In contrast, much of the other analysis and reporting wasn’t as heavy on the gloating. ABC chief legal analyst Dan Abrams told Muir that “I don’t think this is a semantics game” concerning word that there won’t be any further indictments from the Mueller team.

He also laid out what this means for other investigations and the report’s release (click “expand”):

ABRAMS: Those are going to continue in New York and Washington, D.C. But what’s different now is, ultimately, those people report directly to William Barr, the Attorney General. They have don't have the same level of independent that the special counsel had, even though he was also reporting to the Attorney General. So, I think that those investigations are going to continue, but they're little bit different than the Special Counsel office. 

MUIR: And lastly, you made the point late this afternoon that perhaps the biggest mystery inside the Mueller report and we don't know what's in this report, is why there wasn't an indictment of the President. Whether that’s because of Justice Department guidelines or where there was simply no evidence here.

ABRAMS: And the Special Counsel regulations specifically say that he's required to tell the Attorney General why he didn't seek certain prosecutions. So, the question’s going to be: Everyone wants to know, was the President not indicted because there's simply no evidence of collusion, conspiracy with the Russians? Or was there no indictment because he's the President and the President can't be indicted? And that applies both to the collusion question, obstruction of justice, all of it. 

MUIR: And we could know that actually very soon. 

ABRAMS: If that — if the details of the report are made public. 

Pivoting back to NBC one last time, Meet the Press moderator Chuck Todd conceded that the President’s strategy with regards to the Mueller probe has proven to have “worked” “politically” even he’s still in “plenty of jeopardy” from a legal standpoint.

During the previous segment by White House correspondent Kristen Welker, she even pointed out how some Democrats like Congresswoman Rashida Tlaib (D-MI) started lobbying for impeachment “even before the Special Counsel's work was done” and that House Speaker Nancy Pelosi had disagreed.

To see the relevant transcript from ABC’s World News Tonight with David Muir on March 22, click “expand.”

ABC’s World News Tonight with David Muir
March 22, 2019
6:39 p.m. Eastern

DAVID MUIR: First off, no new indictments. Crystal clear from the Department of Justice. Some are going to wonder does that include any potential sealed indictments left to be open?

DAN ABRAMS: I think no new indictments means no new indictments. I don’t think this is a semantics game. 

MUIR: Okay, what about the other investigations that have been sent elsewhere that we’re already reporting on? 

ABRAMS: Those are going to continue in New York and Washington, D.C. But what’s different now is, ultimately, those people report directly to William Barr, the Attorney General. They have don't have the same level of independent that the Special Counsel had, even though he was also reporting to the Attorney General. So, I think that those investigations are going to continue, but they're little bit different than the Special Counsel office. 

MUIR: And lastly, you made the point late this afternoon that perhaps the biggest mystery inside the Mueller report and we don't know what's in this report, is why there wasn't an indictment of the President. Whether that’s because of Justice Department guidelines or where there was simply no evidence here.

ABRAMS: And the Special Counsel regulations specifically say that he's required to tell the Attorney General why he didn't seek certain prosecutions. So, the question’s going to be: Everyone wants to know, was the President not indicted because there's simply no evidence of collusion, conspiracy with the Russians? Or was there no indictment because he's the President and the President can't be indicted? And that applies both to the collusion question, obstruction of justice, all of it. 

MUIR: And we could know that actually very soon. 

ABRAMS: If that — if the details of the report are made public. 

MUIR: Dan Abrams, tonight, thanks so much. I want to get right to Capitol Hill because reaction is pouring in from both the House and senate. Of course, it was just last week the House voting overwhelmingly Republicans and Democrats to make the Mueller Report public. Let's get right to Mary Bruce. She’s up on the Hill tonight monitoring this and, Mary, we have the letter from the Attorney General sent to Congress this afternoon. “The Special Counsel submitted to me today a confidential report.” And that's what’s key. Confidential. It's now his decision here how much the American public will see. 

MARY BRUCE: And David, Barr has promised lawmakers he'll be as transparent as possible. But based on what we area hearing from Democrats, they are not going to be satisfied until they see the full Mueller report and the underlying evidence. Just Barr's summary is simply not going to suffice and Democrats are going to use every tool they have available to get this information. It means brace yourself for more subpoenas. It means we could see Mueller and Barr testifying here on the Hill and it means we could see a long court battle. Also, remember Republicans and Democrats tonight are saying after tens of millions of taxpayer money was spent on this investigation that the American public deserves to see this — some version of the report. David, Democrats are bracing for this to be a long fight for them to get the information that they want and in the meantime, they are not holding back. They are plowing ahead. They are ramping up scores of their own investigations into this administration. David, while Mueller's work may be wrapping up the Hill is just getting started. 

MUIR: Alright, Mary Bruce making it abundantly clear tonight, the next chapter here is how much of this report the American public will see?

To see the relevant transcript from March 22's NBC Nightly News, click “expand.”

NBC Nightly News
March 22, 2019
7:07 p.m. Eastern

KRISTEN WELKER: And the Mueller investigation also raising the specter of impeachment. Some Democrats pushing for it, even before the Special Counsel's work was done. 

CONGRESSWOMAN RASHIDA TLAIB (D-MI): We're going to impeach the [EXPLETIVE]. 

WELKER: Though House Speaker Nancy Pelosi warning against it.

HOUSE SPEAKER NANCY PELOSI: I just don't believe in it. 

(....)

7:08 p.m. Eastern

LESTER HOLT: Chuck, first to you as we await Mueller's findings, what could this mean for the President and how he comports himself the next few days? 

CHUCK TODD: Well, look, we've gotten a preview of how the President's going to comport himself if you just look at the last week. He was clearly been agitated about the coming Mueller report all week long and that frankly is probably the best explanation we can offer when it comes to — to the McCain rants that he went on all week, because he sort of blames McCain for triggering this investigation. The bottom line is I think you're just going to see a more aggressive President as we go on, because politically, this has worked for him. Legally, he's got plenty of jeopardy. Politically, doing what he's done has worked. 

HOLT: Alright, Hallie, give me your thoughts. 

HALLIE JACKSON: And, well, Lester, to Chuck's point, it is the political piece of it that the President will seize on. I would watch for him to claim victory and vindication over these next days and weeks as he heads out onto the campaign trail, already thinking about 2020. But remember. This really this is just the beginning. There are other investigations coming at him from House Democrats over on Capitol Hill. Those Democrats tonight are uniformly calling for more transparency. They want the public to be able to draw their own conclusions about the President's actions and judgment, Lester. 

NBDaily Congress Mueller Report Push to Impeach Trump Conservatives & Republicans Liberals & Democrats Trump-Russia probe ABC World News Tonight NBC NBC Nightly News Video Government & Press Robert Mueller Mary Bruce David Muir Dan Abrams Chuck Todd Hallie Jackson Kristen Welker Donald Trump Nancy Pelosi Rashida Tlaib Bill Barr
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