Trump Russia investigation: Attorney General Barr backs Trump

Saul Bowman
April 21, 2019

The Justice Department on Thursday is expected to release a redacted version of the special counsel's report on Russian election interference and Trump's campaign, opening up months, if not years, of fights over what the document means in a deeply divided country.

"We now know that the Russian operatives who perpetrated these schemes did not have the cooperation of President Trump or the Trump campaign", Barr told reporters, in a statement that effectively sought to spin the report before it was released.

"The deputy attorney general and I concluded that the evidence developed by the special counsel is not sufficient to establish that the president committed an obstruction of justice offense", Barr said.

Mueller submitted a almost 400-page report to Barr, whose 4-page summary of the report's "principal conclusions" states that there was no evidence of collusion between the Donald Trump's campaign and the Russian government.

The released report says there's "substantial evidence" that Trump fired FBI director James Comey, who subsequently became a prominent "Resistance" hero, for refusing to publicly say Trump wasn't under investigation.

"The only way to begin restoring public trust in the handling of the Special Counsel's investigation is for Mueller himself to provide public testimony in the House & Senate ASAP", he added.

"In assessing the president's actions discussed in the report, it is important to bear in mind the context".

The president's lawyers have said Mr Trump's conduct fell within his constitutional powers, but Mueller's team deemed the episodes deserving of criminal scrutiny. How can the media ask questions about a report it hasn't seen?

The Justice Department provided White House attorneys with a copy of the report in accordance with the law, Barr said.

Mueller took over the Russian Federation investigation after Trump abruptly fired former FBI Director James Comey, a move that raised questions about his potential obstruction of justice.

"It is clear Congress and the American people must hear from Special Counsel Robert Mueller in person to better understand his findings", Nadler tweeted. But the Special Counsel Robert Mueller identified 10 occasions when the president may have obstructed justice - one of the high crimes and misdemeanours as set out by the USA constitution that can lead to impeachment.

Moreover, the report states that the fact that no decision has been made regarding the obstruction case, it does not necessarily exonerate the president. Congressional Democrats are demanding to see the whole document and its evidence.

Barr and his deputy, Rod Rosenstein, held a press conference at 9:30 a.m ET on the release of the report.

"AG Barr presented a conclusion that Donald Trump did not obstruct justice, while the Mueller report appears to undercut that finding", Democrat House Speaker Nancy Pelosi tweeted.

And that, Mueller reports, was a pattern.

Nadler also said he's "deeply troubled" by reports that the White House is being briefed on the Mueller report ahead of its release.

GREENE: Shan - with just a couple of seconds left - the White House apparently reviewed this, which has angered Democrats.

And then the information that was hacked shortly thereafter was made public with respect to Hillary Clinton.

Mueller is known to have investigated multiple efforts by the president over the last two years to influence the Russian Federation probe or shape public perception of it.

Mueller reported that Mr Trump had been agitated at the special counsel probe from its earliest days, reacting to Mueller's appointment by saying it was the "end of his presidency".

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