Did AG Barr Decide Days Before Mueller Report that Trump Wasn’t Guilty?
Did U.S. Attorney General William Barr, a Trump appointee, decide days before he received special counsel Bob Mueller’s report that he would not pursue obstruction of justice claims against President Donald Trump?
U.S. Justice Department sources told us earlier today that judging by the speed with which Barr made his announcement over the weekend, it would appear so.
Our Justice Department sources said they fear the “rush” to judgement by Barr may be because he made up his mind days ago that no matter what Mueller came up with, he would not attempt to go after the president.
“Think about this. He (attorney general Barr) was told about three weeks ago that he would not reach a conclusion on the obstruction of justice issue. He then immediately decided that because Mueller would not categorically indict him (the president), he wasn’t going to either,” a source said this morning.
The source was referring to media reports confirming that Mueller told justice department officials three weeks ago of his intention to submit a report that was inconclusive on Trump’s obstruction of justice and Russia collusion questions.
Barr released a four-page summary of Mueller’s conclusions over the weekend. He wrote that special counsel Mueller “did not draw a conclusion — one way or another — as to whether the examined conduct constituted obstruction.”
Barr, instead explained that “for each of the relevant actions investigated, the report sets out evidence on both sides of the question and leaves unresolved what the Special Counsel views as difficult issues of law and fact concerning whether the President’s actions and intent could be viewed as obstruction.”
“Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein and I have concluded that the evidence developed during the Special Counsel’s investigation is not sufficient to establish that the President committed an obstruction-of-justice offense,” Barr wrote in his Mueller report summary to the U.S. Congress.
“Think about this. He (attorney general Barr) was told about three weeks ago that he would not reach a conclusion on the obstruction of justice issue. He then immediately decided that because Mueller would not categorically indict him (the president), he wasn’t going to either.”
Experts question how Barr jumped from “unresolved” to “we do not think he committed obstruction.”
“This is weird. Something fishy is going on here and Congress needs to bring Barr in to explain how he reached that conclusion, especially since he did not interview President Trump before reaching that conclusion,” our source said.
It is also notable that Mueller did not interview Trump throughout his investigation.
“Without interviewing Trump, how did Mueller establish intent? How did he know without looking Trump in the eye what the president was thinking when he made the decisions he made?”
Former acting solicitor general of the United States Neal Katyal said over the weekend that the move by Barr will elicit suspicion of “whitewash.”
“How the heck does he determine [that] in 48 hours after a two-year investigation and particularly without even trying to interview Trump? If the whole question is Trump’s state of mind, I would expect any reasonable prosecutor to try and get that information,” a clearly frustrated Katyal said on MSNBC.
He said he “really wanted” to trust Barr and Rosenstein, “but quite honestly this letter causes me much more concern — grave concerns.”
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