Attorney General Barr Says Mueller ‘Could’ve Reached a Decision’ on Obstruction

Jim Bourg/Reuters

U.S. Attorney General William Barr said Special Counsel Robert Mueller, who led a probe into Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election, could have reached a decision on whether President Donald Trump obstructed justice, but chose not to.

Mueller said this week that he could not indict Trump because of a Justice Department policy that prohibits indicting a sitting president, and was not even willing to conclude if a crime was committed out of fairness to the president.

But Barr, a Trump appointee who oversaw the final stages of the Russia investigation, gave a starkly different opinion than Mueller’s – saying the special counsel could have made a judgment call even if he could not indict the president.

“I personally felt he could’ve reached a decision,” Barr said, according to an excerpt released on Thursday from an interview with CBS “This Morning.”

“The opinion says you cannot indict a president while he is in office, but he could’ve reached a decision as to whether it was criminal activity,” Barr added. “But he had his reasons for not doing it, which he explained and I am not going to, you know, argue about those reasons.”

Mueller documented numerous occasions in which Trump sought to quash the probe, including by firing former FBI Director James Comey, but he did not reach a decision one way or the other if Trump had obstructed justice.

Barr and former Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein, however, later concluded on their own that the report lacked ample evidence to charge Trump with obstruction.

Mueller also found multiple contacts between Trump’s campaign and Russia but he did not establish evidence of a criminal conspiracy.

In his first public comments since starting the investigation in May 2017, Mueller appeared to indicate that Congress could take the matter of deciding whether Trump had committed obstruction of justice into its own hands.

Barr, when asked about this on CBS, said he wasn’t sure what Mueller was referring to with that comment.

“The Department of Justice doesn’t use our powers of investigating crimes as an adjunct to Congress,” Barr said.

(Reporting by Sarah N. Lynch; Editing by Alistair Bell)

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Bonnie Keever
Member

Trump had a right to fire Comey and that is what Muller thinks is obstructing it is not he can do that if Clinton would of won she would of fired him too he even stated the Russia involvement and them hacking into the system was due to Clinton private email

General Confusion
Member

“But he had his reasons for not doing it, which he explained and I am not going to, you know, argue about those reasons.” Barr

If he truly believed that a sitting president could have a judgment laid against him, why didn’t he unshackle Mueller from his opinion? The A.G. is supposed to protect the American people.

I am confused.

Ronald
Guest

Impeachment is a form of indictment, so it has always been up to the House.
The entire fiasco by Mueller was an unnecessary investigation.
If the Dimms really felt there was something wrong, they should have started impeachment 2 years ago.
By starting it now it will guarantee the re-election of President Trump. MAGA.

Guest
Guest
Guest

Barr should investigate where every single dollars of that $40 million went! Follow the money and then indict!

Cherl
Member

If Mueller really believed he couldn’t indict a sitting president then for what was $30 million spent? Every citizen should be incensed by Mueller’s so called conclusion. But Barr isn’t finished just yet…..fingers crossed.

Otis
Member

Thirty-five million plus dollars for indecision seems a bit pricey.

James B. Moore
Guest
James B. Moore

Just as in Watergate, if you want to know why all this is happening, “Follow the money!”

Walter Swartz
Guest
Walter Swartz

Every president after being elected has contact with foreign dignitaries. Even BEFORE they are elected. Take Obama and his meetings with those same dignitaries in Germany… Or Clinton when he went to Israel… during the campaign. So why was it wrong for Trump? The establishment swamper’s fear exposure of their crimes. Soon, we’ll hear more about them.

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