In a press conference held shortly after Attorney General Bill Barr released his summary of the special counsel investigation, House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerry Nadler (D-NY) questioned Barr’s conclusion that there was not enough evidence to prove that President Trump obstructed justice.
“Attorney General Barr, who auditioned for his role with an open memorandum suggesting that the obstruction investigation was unconscionable and that a president — and that it was almost impossible for any president to commit obstruction of justice since he’s the head of the executive branch. Made a decision about that evidence in under 48 hours,” Nadler said. “His conclusions raise more questions than they answer.”
Nadler said he would push for Barr to release special counsel Robert Mueller’s full report and the underlying evidence.
“We cannot rely on what may be a hasty, partisan interpretation of the facts,” he said.
Later, when asked about Barr’s conclusion on the question of obstruction, Nadler said that Barr’s push to release his finding that Trump did not obstruct justice just two days after Mueller completed the probe was “a bit much.”
“I would in fact wonder if the attorney general pressured the special counsel into not making that finding so he could make the finding,” Nadler added. “I’m not aware of any other case where an attorney general made the decision on a prosecution or non-prosecution for obstruction of justice.”
Nadler said that he would call Barr to testify before the committee and did not rule out issuing a subpoena to the attorney general.
The House Judiciary Committee chairman also said that Trump was wrong to claim that Mueller’s report exonerated him.
“This report does not amount to a so-called total exoneration,” Nadler said.
Nadler predicted that any attempt by the Trump White House to claim that parts of the Mueller report are subject to executive privilege would be unsuccessful, noting that the courts ultimately mandated the release of recordings of President Richard Nixon.