William Barr's Comments About Mueller's "Legal Theories" On Obstruction Of Justice Add To The Drama
On Thursday, April 18, the day finally arrived when Attorney General William Barr will let the public see Special Counsel Robert Mueller's full report — barring some redacted information. One of the main aspects of the report that the public will be looking at is Mueller's complete findings regarding whether or not President Donald Trump committed obstruction of justice, a subject on which the report expressly stated Mueller had not come to a conclusion. While all those details haven't been made public just yet, William Barr's comments about Mueller's "legal theories" on obstruction of justice at his Thursday morning press conference just add to the drama.
Barr held a press conference on Thursday, April 18, to discuss the redacted report prior to its release. Despite Barr's release of a summary of the report on March 24, his press conference offered some additional info, particularly about how Mueller's findings were viewed within the Department of Justice (DOJ). While Barr did not provide extensive details, the AG did tell reporters that he and Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein disagreed with some of Mueller's "legal theories" surrounding the possible obstruction of justice. According to Barr, the pair “disagreed with some of the special counsel’s legal theories and felt that some of the episodes did not amount to obstruction as a matter of law."
When a reporter present at the conference pressed Barr on what specifically he disagreed on, he did not offer specifics, but rather said that in a meeting with Mueller the special counsel had not said he would have found a crime. He 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 about the disagreement, but did not immediately hear back.
Before Thursday's press conference — well actually, before Barr even agreed to hand over the full report to Congress — he wrote in his first summary that the special counsel left it up to the DOJ to decide whether any obstruction of justice had occurred, and the department didn't find "sufficient" evidence to determine whether Trump had committed a crime. The DOJ did not respond to Elite Daily's request for comment regarding the letter at the time. But, the tune of Barr's comments during Thursday's conference was a little different. As Chris Matthews, host of NBC's Hardball, pointed out in an April 18 tweet, why didn't Barr say he "disagreed" in his first summary? The office of the AG did not immediately respond to Elite Daily's inquiry as to why Barr did not mention the disagreement in his originally summary.
Barr's comments only added to the confusion and drama surrounding the possible obstruction of justice, and Twitter took note.
If you're tired of the all the drama, join the club, but I suspect it's not going to simmer down anytime soon.
More to come...