Special Counsel Told Barr Mueller Report Was Mischacterized

Special Counsel Told Barr Mueller Report Was Mischacterized

Robert Mueller, the special counsel, wrote a letter in late March to Attorney General William Barr objecting to his early description of the Russian Federation investigation's conclusions that appeared to clear President Donald Trump on possible obstruction of justice, according to the Justice Department and three people with direct knowledge of the communication between the two men. "This threatens to undermine a central goal for which the Department appointed the Special Counsel: to assure full public confidence in the outcome of the investigations".

His opening statement for the hearing is divided into four categories addressing various aspects of his handling of the redacted Mueller report: preparation for public release, bottom-line conclusions, Russian interference and and obstruction of justice.

Democrats want Barr to face extended questioning from staff lawyers once the customary round of questioning by lawmakers is complete, and sit for a closed-door session to discuss redacted portions of Mueller's report.

Mueller reportedly penned a letter of his own to Barr days later to say that he felt the letter "threaten [ed] to undermine" the point of appointing a Special Counsel in the first place by jeopardizing the public's confidence in the process.

The Justice Department's stance appears consistent with the Trump administration's broader strategy of "undermining Congress as an institution", said Elliot Williams, who previously served as deputy assistant attorney general in the department's legislative affairs office in the Obama administration. The Times reports the disagreement had been building for some time, with AG Barr upset that Mueller failed to reach a definite conclusion in the report.

Justice Department officials said that, in some ways, the phone conversation was more cordial than the letter that preceded it, but that the two men did express some differences of opinion about how to proceed.

More news: Sri Lanka bans burqas for 'public protection' after bomb attacks

The House Judiciary Committee has extended an invitation to the special counsel to appear publicly, but they've yet to receive an answer.

But the question now is why this story about the letter is being leaked to both the Times and the Post.

After the new reporting today, Presidential Candidate Julian Castro tweeted "Attorney General Barr willfully misled the American people to cover up attempted crimes by Donald Trump".

Mr. Mueller suggested that the entire 448-page report be released, with redactions for various legal and investigative reasons. Rosenstein is far more tractable (and implicated) than Barr, so the new AG really screwed up the big plans to use SC report and the media to continue to harass the president. "The distortion is not by Barr", Gingrich said. The House Ways and Means Committee is pursuing Trump's tax returns, the Intelligence Committee is looking into Trump's businesses and the Judiciary Committee has subpoenaed Justice Department officials for the full report and its underlying intelligence sources. In his press conference on the morning of April 18, Barr repeatedly claimed that Mueller found "no collusion".

Rep. Jerrold Nadler (D-N.Y.), the House Judiciary Committee chairman, was adamant following the discussion that "there is no middle ground" in the panel's standoff with Barr over the terms of his hearing.

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