Barr’s finding of no obstruction by Trump triggers firestorm of democratic criticism
U.S. Attorney General William Barr is facing a firestorm of mostly Democratic criticism over declaring that President Donald Trump did not obstruct the Russia investigation, a move that came after Special Counsel Robert Mueller wrapped up his probe Friday without drawing a conclusion on the thorny question.
Barr announced his decision Sunday in a four-page summary of Mueller’s report which concluded that there was no evidence that Trump or his campaign colluded with the Russians during the 2016 U.S. election.
In the letter to key members of Congress, the attorney general wrote that while the special counsel did not decide one way or another whether Trump obstructed justice, Barr and his deputy, Rod Rosenstein, had determined that Trump’s actions during the investigation did not amount to obstruction.
“Given Mr. Barr’s public record of bias against the Special Counsel’s inquiry, he is not a neutral observer and is not in a position to make objective determinations about the report,” Democratic House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer said in a statement over the weekend.
Barr did not disclose what actions the special counsel examined in trying to determine whether Trump obstructed justice, as he has yet to release any of Mueller’s detailed final report.
But he said Mueller looked at “several actions” by Trump that raised questions about whether the president sought to impede the federal investigation of Trump campaign interactions with Russian meddlers. Most of these actions, Barr said, have been publicly reported.
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