Special counsel Robert Mueller declined to prosecute Donald Trump Jr. and Jared Kushner for campaign finance violations over the infamous Trump Tower meeting because investigators couldn’t prove they “willfully” violated the law.
Mueller’s partially redacted report details the June 2016 meeting between Trump Jr., campaign chairman Paul Manafort, U.S. President Donald Trump’s son-in-law Jared Kushner and a Russian lawyer who promised damaging information on Hillary Clinton.
WATCH: Here’s why Mueller declined to charge Trump with obstruction of justice
U.S. campaign finance laws prohibit a foreign nation from contributing money or a “thing of value” to any political party. Mueller said although his team considered charges, they determined “the government would not be likely to obtain and sustain a conviction.”
“The government would unlikely be able to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that the June 9 meeting participants had general knowledge that their conduct was unlawful,” the report said. “The investigation has not developed evidence that the participants in the meeting were familiar with the foreign-contribution ban or the application of federal law to the relevant factual context.”
“A prosecution would encounter difficulties proving that campaign officials or individuals connected to the campaign willfully violated the law,” the report continued.
Mueller’s team also said prosecutors would have difficulty proving beyond a reasonable doubt that the value of the promised documents and information exceeds the $2,000 threshold for a criminal violation as well as the $25,000 threshold for felony punishment.
“Taking into account the high burden to establish a culpable mental state in a campaign-finance prosecution and the difficulty in establishing the required valuation, the office decided not to pursue criminal campaign-finance charges against Trump Jr. or other campaign officials for the events culminating in the June 9 meeting,” the report said.
WATCH: Trump admin, U.S. lawmakers react to Mueller report
According to Mueller, as was previously reported, the meeting was proposed to Trump Jr. in an email from publicist Robert Goldstone. Goldstone was reaching out on behalf of his then-client Emin Agalarov, the son of Russian real-estate developer Aras Agalarov.
During a call to Trump Jr., Goldstone “offered to provide the Trump campaign with some official documents and information that would incriminate Hillary and her dealings with Russia.”
The Mueller report released Thursday outlines how White House officials panicked when they found out about emails setting up the meeting.
Former White House communications director Hope Hicks said the emails were “really bad” and their release would be “massive,” according to the report.
“Hicks spoke privately with the president to mention her concern about the emails, which she understood were soon going to be shared with Congress,” the report said.
WATCH: Democrats claim Barr is waging media campaign on behalf of Trump
Trump rejected the idea to leak the emails and instead directed her to say the meeting was about Russian adoption.
“Hicks again wanted to disclose the entire story, but the president directed that the statement not be issued because it said too much,” the report said. “The president told Hicks to say only that Trump Jr. took a brief meeting and it was about Russian adoption.”
Mueller’s report also revealed that Trump tried to seize control of the Russia probe and force Mueller’s removal to stop him from investigating potential obstruction of justice.
Mueller declined to prosecute in part because there was no underlying crime and Trump’s underlings failed to carry out his orders.
Following the release of Mueller’s redacted report, Trump pronounced it “a good day” and tweeted a photo declaring “Game Over” in a typeface mimicking the Game of Thrones logo.
Democrats were outraged over U.S. Attorney General William Barr’s pre-emptive press conference and said the report revealed troubling details about Trump’s conduct in the White House.
“One thing is clear: Attorney General Barr presented a conclusion that the president did not obstruct justice while Mueller’s report appears to undercut that finding,” House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Democratic Leader Chuck Schumer said in a joint statement.
Meanwhile, House Judiciary Chairman Jerrold Nadler said the report “outlines disturbing evidence that President Trump engaged in obstruction of justice and other misconduct.” He sent a letter to the Justice Department requesting that Mueller himself testify before his panel “no later than May 23.″