Mueller expressed misgivings to Barr about 4-page memo

Mueller expressed misgivings to Barr about 4-page memo

Mueller expressed misgivings to Barr about 4-page memo

Special counsel Robert Mueller expressed frustration to Attorney-General William Barr last month about how the findings of his Russian Federation investigation were being portrayed, a US Justice Department official has said.

Neither side broke much ground Wednesday on the specifics of Mueller's investigation, though Barr did articulate a robust defence of Trump as he made clear his firm conviction that there was no prosecutable case against the president for obstruction of justice.

Mr. Mueller suggested that the entire 448-page report be released, with redactions for various legal and investigative reasons.

Republicans, including Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Lindsey Graham, have questioned whether the Federal Bureau of Investigation overstepped its authority by monitoring Trump aides who were suspected of being potential Russian agents during the campaign.

The letter was released Wednesday morning by the Justice Department after the Washington Post reported on it Tuesday.

"Attorney General Barr misled the public and owes the American people answers", House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, a California Democrat, tweeted after the Mueller letter leaked on Tuesday. 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.

Kupec, the Justice Department spokeswoman, said Barr and Mueller discussed in their phone call whether additional context from the report could be quickly released. But now, CBS News has confirmed that Mueller in fact wrote a letter to the attorney general, expressing his concerns and later had a "cordial and professional conversation" regarding the summary, according to the Justice Department.

Barr also claimed that the Office of Legal Counsel's memo which argued a sitting president can not be indicted didn't factor into Mueller's decision-making. The criticism adds a whole new level of scrutiny for Barr, who was already facing sustained criticism for Democrats who had accused Barr of mischaracterizing Mueller's findings.

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Before the report was released to Congress and the public, however, Barr sent a four-page letter summarizing his "principal conclusions" of Mueller's investigation to lawmakers.

Democrats are likely to press Barr on statements and actions in the last six weeks that have unnerved them.

In that correspondence, Mueller took the nation's top cop to task for, in his four-page summary, not fully capturing "the context, nature, and substance" of the special counsel's report. Barr didn't appear to make any of his testimony personal, but clearly the two men had some disagreements at the end of this investigation - and just as clearly, Mueller's weird punt on obstruction has left everyone confused even without Barr's letter.

Barr was pressed during earlier testimony in April about Mueller's reservations on the summary of the report, to which he told lawmakers he was not aware of such concerns.

Calling Barr the "chief propagandist for President Trump", Van Hollen said he should "resign immediately".

Barr is also due to testify before the House Judiciary Committee on Thursday.

House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerrold Nadler, D-N.Y., has also invited Mueller to testify and subpoenaed former White House counsel Don McGahn.

After the letter's release, Barr raised eyebrows anew when he told a congressional committee that he believed the Trump campaign had been spied on, a common talking point of the president and his supporters.

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