HIGHLIGHTS: William Barr says Mueller Report find Trump didn't collude

Nadler Barr waging media campaign on behalf of Trump
The Mueller Report: Watch Live Stream of AG William Barr's Press Conference

21 April, 2019

Attorney General William Barr said Special Counsel Robert Mueller did not indicate, to Barr or in the report, that his objective was to leave the decision on obstruction of justice to Congress. Barr has determined that President Trump did not obstruct justice. Barr also said that Mueller "did not find any conspiracy to violate USA law involving Russia-linked persons and any persons associated with the Trump campaign".

"I concluded that the evidence developed by the special counsel is not sufficient to establish that the president committed an obstruction of justice offence", he said.

The Justice Department on Thursday was expected to release a redacted version of the special counsel's report on Russian election interference and the Trump campaign, opening up months, if not years, of fights over what the document means in a deeply divided country.

Nadler posted a copy of the letter to Twitter shortly after Barr spoke about the redacted version of Mueller's report and said the investigation did not find that President Donald Trump or any members of his campaign worked with Russian Federation during the 2016 presidential election.

Mr Barr said 10 alleged instances of Mr Trump obstructing justice during the special counsel's investigation, including the possibility of firing Mr Mueller, had been examined.

"Apart from whether the acts were obstructive, this evidence of non-corrupt motives weighs heavily against any allegation that the President had a corrupt intent to obstruct the investigation".

"Oh my God", Trump said, according to the report.

In one occasion, the report described, the president asked White House Counsel Don McGahn to fire Mueller, allegedly due to conflict of interest, but he refused to follow the president's directive and threatened to resign.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said before the press conference that there was no need for Barr to preface the report's release by presenting his take on its findings. And it's really important, then, that everyone read the entire report and make their own determination as to what pieces of information on the other side are important in the next election frankly and when we vote in November 2020.

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The redacted 400-page report will be made public later on Thursday. The administration's ever-changing justification for that firing led to speculation that Mr. Trump had fired him to sabotage the Russian Federation investigation.

Late Wednesday, Nadler joined the chairs of four other House committees in calling for Barr to cancel his news conference. They included no questions about obstruction of justice, as was part of an agreement with Trump's legal team.

Adam Schiff, chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, accused Barr, a Trump appointee who was sworn in as attorney general in February, of trying to "shape the public's perception of the report" by hold a press conference ahead of its release.

Details of the president's reaction are recounted in the almost 400-page report, released to the public Thursday.

"President Trump faced an unprecedented situation", Barr said.

Democrats have demanded the full, unredacted report be made public to get a clearer picture of Mueller's investigation and conduct Congressional oversight. Though the report said "the campaign anticipated receiving derogatory documents and information" from Russians that "could assist Trump's electoral prospects", it said "the government would unlikely be able to prove beyond a reasonable doubt" that the participants at that meeting "had general knowledge that their conduct was unlawful".

They said Barr's "partisan handling" of the report has "resulted in a crisis of confidence in his independence and impartiality".

The news media were led into the White House East Room, just before the report came out, for Trump's appearance with wounded warriors. Lawmakers are prepared to go to court to obtain Mueller's full report along with underlying evidence.

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