Washington Post: Mueller prosecutor says special counsel 'could have done more' in new book
Posted September 21, 2020 10:02 p.m. EDT
CNN — A former top lawyer on special counsel Robert Mueller's team writes in a new book that the group "could have done more" to hold President Donald Trump accountable, according a forthcoming book obtained by The Washington Post.
Prosecutor Andrew Weissmann -- who had spearheaded the prosecutions of former Ukrainian lobbyists and Trump campaign leaders Paul Manafort and Rick Gates -- writes in "Where Law Ends: Inside the Mueller Investigation," that he now wonders if the team had "given it our all," according to the Post.
"As proud as I am of the work our team did — the unprecedented number of people we indicted and convicted and in record speed for any similar investigation — I know the hard answer to that simple question: We could have done more," Weissmann writes, according to the Post.
CNN has not viewed a copy of the book. A representative for Mueller declined to comment.
According to Weissmann, the special counsel feared prompting outrage from the President, and as a result, "we still do not know if there are other financial ties between the President and either the Russian government or Russian oligarchs."
"We do not know whether he paid bribes to foreign officials to secure favorable treatment for his business interests, a potential violation of the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act that would provide leverage against the President," the books states, according to the Post. "We do not know if he had other Russian business deals in the works at the time he was running for president, how they might have aided or constrained his campaign, or even if they are continuing to influence his presidency."
During the investigation, Weissmann had secured both Gates' and Manafort's convictions and cooperation -- but Manafort lied to the grand jury and Mueller's team, leaving major questions still answered about why he shared American polling numbers with a Russian intelligence-connected associate working in Eastern Europe.
The Mueller investigation didn't charge any Americans with conspiracy in Russia's attempts to help Trump in 2016. But it also couldn't get to all evidence it sought, such as what Manafort knew or deleted text messages between key Trump officials.
Mueller also never subpoenaed Trump for testimony, instead accepting written answers that raised even more questions for the Mueller team. After documenting several episodes in which Trump attempted to end the investigation prematurely, Mueller declined to decide whether to charge him with obstruction of justice. Attorney General William Barr and other Justice Department leaders chose not to indict the President.
Weissmann took issue with Mueller's choice to not reach a conclusion on charging Trump, telling the Post in an interview, "I would have done it."
"I told him why I would have done that," he said.
The release of Weissmann's book next week comes after it was cleared by Trump administration reviewers in July.