Barr Questions Why Mueller Probed For Obstruction Then Never Ruled On It

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Attorney General William Barr took a swipe at special counsel Robert Mueller during his Senate Judiciary hearing Wednesday, questioning why Mueller continued to investigate episodes of President Trump potentially obstructing justice if he was not going to come to a conclusion about it.

“And the other thing that was confusing to me is that the investigation carried on for a while as additional episodes were looked into, episodes involving the President,” Barr said. “And so my question is or was, why were those investigated if, at the end of the day, you weren’t going to reach a decision on them?”

Barr hit the same point again later, saying: “I think that if he felt that he shouldn’t go down the path of making a traditional prosecutive decision, then he shouldn’t have investigated. That was the time to pull up.”

He also expressed his “surprise” that Mueller let him come to a conclusion on the obstruction question. In reality, Mueller did not decide whether or not President Donald Trump obstructed justice, in part, because he believes that a sitting president cannot be indicted. Barr took it upon himself to decide that Trump did not obstruct.

A letter leaked Tuesday shows that Mueller was concerned about that conclusion, saying that Barr’s four-page depiction of his full report did not accurately portray the complexities of the thought process by the special counsel’s office on the question.

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  1. "why were those investigated if, at the end of the day, you weren’t going to reach a decision on them?”

    Gosh…it’s like he didn’t read the report and Mueller’s extensive, careful, detailed, legal explanation of the answer to that question.

    Really, this is a major retreat. If the best they think they’ve got now is “the investigation never should have continued” despite all the evidence Mueller uncovered and recorded for posterity that Trump is a corrupt fucking imbecile, then they’re losing horribly. It’s a joke. Mueller is going to go down as a national hero, except to the Trump KKKult, which is going to revile him to the end of time.

  2. Barr is covering his own fat ass as well as the "Fat Ass In Chief!"

  3. Barr: I’m here to play the role of an idiot today.

  4. Avatar for rs22 rs22 says:

    Yeah, Mueller lays this out clearly: it is so Congress can decide whether to impeach and so future prosecutors can make a decision on whether to indict once Trump is no longer President.

    And, incidentally, the factual and legal analysis make clear that the SCO believes the evidence establishes that Trump’s conduct met all three elements of an obstruction offense on at least 3-4 occasions. My only criticism of Mueller is the unwillingness to say this more explicitly. By not doing so because of the concerns about fairness to the accused, he left this gaping hole that the public couldn’t understand and that Barr could fill. He also let Barr off the hook of having to say that he overruled the SCO, which is effectively what he did.

  5. At Volume 2, pages 1-2. Pages 213-4 of the PDF version. For an important point @rs22 did not mention, see footnote 1 on page 1 (page 213 of the PDF) and the text to to which it is a footnote.

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