The Washington Post reports that Special Counsel Robert Mueller wrote a letter to the Justice Department expressing his “frustration” that Attorney General William Barr’s 4-page summary of his investigation “did not fully capture the context, nature, and substance” of the two-year probe.
At the time Mueller’s letter was sent to Barr on March 27, Barr had days prior announced that Mueller did not find a conspiracy between the Trump campaign and Russian officials seeking to interfere in the 2016 presidential election. In his memo to Congress, Barr also said that Mueller had not reached a conclusion about whether Trump had tried to obstruct justice, but that Barr reviewed the evidence and found it insufficient to support such a charge.
Days after Barr’s announcement, Mueller wrote the previously undisclosed private letter to the Justice Department, laying out his concerns in stark terms that shocked senior Justice Department officials, according to people familiar with the discussions.
“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 conclusions,” Mueller 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.”
Mueller sent his letter on March 24. But in early April, Barr testified to Congress that he didn’t know why there were reports that Mueller’s team was privately frustrated by Barr’s summary.
Asked by Rep. Charlie Crist (D-Fla.) if he knew why Mueller’s team might be frustrated, Barr said, “No, I don’t.”
On April 20, Sen. Chris Van Hollen asked Barr, “Did Bob Mueller support your conclusion?” His answer was, “I don’t know whether Mueller supported my conclusion.”
We now know Mueller stated his concerns on March 27th, and that Barr totally misled Congress and the public.
Rep. Adam Schiff (D-CA) told CBS This Morning that Barr should resign since the 4-page memo misled the American people in favor of Donald Trump.
“I think his statement is deliberately false and misleading, and yes, most people would consider that to be a lie,” said Schiff. “Look, there’s no sugar coating this, I think he should step down. It’s hard, I think, for the country to have confidence in the top law enforcement official in the country if he’s asked a direct question as he was and he gives a directly false answer, so this is serious business.”
“After two years and work and investigation implicating the president of the United States, for the attorney general to mislead the public for an entire month before releasing that report is inexcusable.”
Barr is testifying before the Senate Judiciary Committee this morning. The WaPo report should make Barr’s morning that much more interesting.