Attorney General Bill Barr has known for three weeks that special counsel Robert Mueller would not be making a determination on whether President Trump obstructed justice, multiple outlets reported Monday.
A source told CNN that this “unexpected” move on Mueller’s part left it to Barr and Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein to determine how to weigh in on the issue.
There has been much speculation over how it took Barr only 48 hours from the time Mueller’s final report was submitted on Friday to release his Sunday afternoon summary, in which he said he and Rosenstein concluded there was “not sufficient” evidence to bring such a charge. This new development reveals the two Justice Department officials had more time to reach this conclusion. It’s not clear how much of the evidence Barr and Rosenstein were shown before Friday.
Barr noted in his four-page letter that Mueller laid out the evidence on both sides of the obstruction question, stating that, “‘while this report does not conclude that the President committed a crime, it also does not exonerate him.’”
Lawmakers from both parties are still pushing for the full report to be released so the public can know exactly how Mueller determined that the Trump campaign did not coordinate with Russia in 2016, and his reasoning on the obstruction question.