Redacted Mueller report into Trump to be released today
- Author: Joey Payne Apr 21, 2019,
Apr 21, 2019, 0:38
Attorney General William Barr sparred with a reporter during a brief press conference Thursday in which he laid out the release of the Special Counsel Robert Mueller's report into the Russian Federation probe.
Donald Trump Jr., said that anyone still touting that there was collusion between President Donald Trump and Russia was helping Russian President Vladimir Putin in his goal to cause "division and dissension" in the U.S. And as the special counsel's report acknowledges, there is substantial evidence to show that the president was frustrated and angered by his honest belief that the investigation was undermining his presidency, propelled by his political opponents and fueled by illegal leaks.
"Again the special counsel did not find any evidence member of the Trump campaign or anyone associated with the campaign conspired or coordinated with the Russian government", Barr said.
House judiciary committee chairman Jerrold Nadler, a Democrat from NY, said Wednesday he will "probably find it useful" to call Mueller and members of his team to testify after reading the version of the report Barr releases. "There never was, by the way, and there never will be", Trump said at a gathering of wounded veterans.
"As I have already communicated to the Department of Justice, I request your testimony before the Judiciary Committee as soon as possible", Nadler wrote in a letter to Mueller.
Barr and his deputy, Rod Rosenstein, held a press conference at 9:30 a.m ET on the release of the report.
He said he was aware of some reports that Russian President Vladimir Putin had made "complimentary statements" about him.
But Trump's Democratic opponents on Capitol Hill will be combing through the redacted 400-page report to see if any of the "10 episodes" of potential obstruction amount to grounds for impeachment. But it appeared to be the latest move by Trump and his allies to try and shape the narrative surrounding the investigation - featuring his incessant tweeting of "No Collusion" and his attacks on the credibility of the investigators in hopes of undermining their findings.
The Justice Department said it was sending Congress a different version of the Mueller report with fewer redactions.
Democrats on the committee and beyond have made it clear that the redacted document Barr intends to release would be insufficient and incomplete. "At the same time, if we had confidence after a thorough investigation of the facts that the president clearly did not commit obstruction of justice, we would so state".
Barr testified before the Senate last week that he planned to investigate whether the 2016 spying operation against Trump and his presidential campaign was proper and lawful.
According to the report, Mueller did not make a conclusion on whether President Donald Trump had committed obstruction of justice, but did not exonerate him either.
And the way it was framed was pretty much exactly what people were concerned about on Wednesday night when the Barr news conference was announced. Barr, who insisted he was "committed to ensuring the greatest degree possible of transparency", acknowledged that justice department officials met with White House lawyers repeatedly in recent weeks to discuss the contents of the report, in a process that helped the president's team prepare a rebuttal. You can download Volume I and Volume II of Mueller's report here and here, respectively.
Mueller cited "some evidence" suggesting Trump knew about former national security adviser Michael Flynn's controversial calls with the Russian ambassador before Trump took office, but evidence was "inconclusive" and could not be used to establish intent to obstruct.
The release of the report will deepen the discord in Washington between Republicans and Democrats.
Mueller also was tasked with looking into "any matters that arose or may arise directly from the investigation".