Ready for the gift that keeps on giving whether you want it to or not? There's more drama unfolding surrounding Special Counsel Robert Mueller's report on his investigation into possible collusion between the Trump campaign and Russia during the 2016 presidential election. On March 24, Attorney General William Barr released a public, four-page letter briefly summarizing the report's findings, but it looks like Mueller himself didn't think that letter was as accurate as it could have been. He followed up with his own message to Barr, and Robert Mueller's letter to Barr about the report summary is really something.
Barr's original four-page summary of Mueller's report outlined two main points: the first cleared President Donald Trump and his campaign of collusion with Russia, and the second portion stated that Mueller had not come to a conclusion on whether Trump obstructed justice, although it expressly did not exonerate the president. In the public letter, Barr wrote that the Department of Justice (DOJ) did not find "sufficient" evidence that Trump committed a crime. The DOJ did not respond to Elite Daily's request for comment regarding the letter at the time. But as it turns out, Mueller didn't think that Barr did a good job of summarizing his report. In his letter to Barr — dated March 27, three days after Barr's summary — Mueller wrote,
The summary letter the Department sent to Congress and released to the public late in the afternoon of March 24 did not fully capture the context, nature, and substance of this office's work and conclusion.
Mueller then added that Barr's failure to relay the details of his report efficiently has caused "confusion." He wrote,
There is now public confusion about critical aspects of the results of our investigation. This threatens to undermine a central purpose for which the Department appointed the Special Counsel: to assure full public confidence in the outcome of the investigations.
Elite Daily reached out to both the office of the attorney general and special counsel for further comment about the letter, but did not immediately hear back.
The confusion of it all comes in when discussing the obstruction of justice portion of Mueller's report — which is not at all surprising considering how it's been broadcasted to the public. In his March 24 summary of the report, Barr said that the special counsel "did not draw a conclusion" as to whether Trump had obstructed justice and left it "unresolved," and therefore up to the attorney general to decide. However later, shortly before the full redacted report was released publicly, Barr held a press conference on April 18 and told reporters that he and Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein had disagreed with some of Mueller's "legal theories" having to do with possible obstruction of justice. According to Barr, the two felt that some of the "episodes examined did not amount to obstruction as a matter of law."
Barr, when pressed by a reporter at the conference to provide further details on what specifically he disagreed on, said that he left it to Mueller's description. He added that the special counsel had told him in a meeting that he had not said he would have found a crime. Barr said,
I leave it to [Mueller's] description in the report, the special counsel’s own articulation of why he did not want to make a determination as to whether or not there was an obstruction offense. But I will say that when we met with him ... He made it very clear that he had not made the determination that there was a crime.
Elite Daily reached out to the DOJ for any additional comment at the time about the disagreement, but did not immediately hear back.
With Barr and Mueller seemingly at odds over the clarity of the report, is it any wonder that the rest of us are kinda confused? Hopefully, we'll get some kind of final answers. Soon.