Under pressure, U.S. Justice Department defends handling of Mueller report

Under pressure, U.S. Justice Department defends handling of Mueller report

Under pressure, U.S. Justice Department defends handling of Mueller report

"The Special Counsel's investigation did not find that the Trump campaign or anyone associated with it conspired or coordinated with Russian Federation in its efforts to influence the 2016 United States presidential election", Barr's letter said.

If Special Counsel Robert Mueller thought he was safe from the president's Twitter-based criticism now that he's turned in his report to the Department of Justice, he's in for a rude awakening.

"There is simply no reason for this Court to allow Plaintiff to circumvent this orderly process".

Justice Department lawyers even note that the timing of Barr's planned release of a redacted version of the report is well before politically charged dates, such as Barr's possible testimony to Congress in May, and the 2020 primaries and general election.

The statement Thursday came as Barr confronts concerns that his four-page letter summarizing Mueller's conclusions unduly sanitized the full report in President Donald Trump's favor, including on the key question of whether the president obstructed justice.

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Barr did not meet a demand by Democrats in the US House of Representatives to provide the unredacted report to lawmakers by April 2.

US President Donald Trump waves while walking on the South Lawn of the White House before boarding Marine One in Washington, DC, on Oct 26, 2018.

The Kremlin has consistently denied any involvement in the 2016 United States presidential elections.

Yet Barr also conceded that Mueller did compile evidence of obstruction, and quoted the special counsel as saying that: "While this report does not conclude that the president committed a crime, it also does not exonerate him". Two days later when Barr released his slap-dash book report, the must-say-something crowd grew so eager to take Trump's total exoneration bait hook, line, and sinker.

With Mueller failing to reach a decision on obstruction, Barr, a Trump appointee as the country's top law enforcement official, and Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein decided that obstruction charges against Trump were not warranted. House Democrats on Wednesday approved subpoenas for Mueller's entire report and any exhibits and other underlying evidence that the Justice Department might withhold.

The department said those summaries include secret grand jury information that can not under law be made public.

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