Donald Trump has repeated the Attorney General Bill Barr-created narrative of “no obstruction, no collusion” since the Mueller investigation ended, but prosecutors on Mueller’s investigative team say that they had already determined that Trump obstructed justice long before the report, which determined that Congress was the proper venue for Trump’s adjudication, was written.
Prosecutors working for Special Counsel Robert Mueller privately said that had it not been for the unique nature of the case—the investigation of a sitting president of the United States—they would have advocated that he face federal criminal charges. https://t.co/mJPD4F2Hw3
— Julia Davis (@JuliaDavisNews) April 26, 2019
Those prosecutors say that the determination was left up to Congress because that’s who has the power to hold the president accountable. Barr’s determination that Trump did not obstruct justice is not based on any conclusion that prosecutors made. Murray Waas, a journalist from The New York Review of Books, spoke with Justice Department insiders familiar with the investigation and found that:
‘Prosecutors working for Special Counsel Robert Mueller concluded last year that they had sufficient evidence to seek criminal charges against President Donald Trump for obstruction of justice over the president’s alleged pressuring of then FBI Director James Comey in February 2017 to shut down an FBI investigation of the president’s then national security adviser, Michael Flynn.’
I would like to hear from the DOJ official spinning this how the AG read a dense, detailed memo, weighed the pros and cons, made a decision and wrote a letter to Congress explaining it in 48 hours, all without a back and forth with the prosecutor on the case. It’s a farce. https://t.co/tpSX2aYVb5
— Matthew Miller (@matthewamiller) April 26, 2019
Mueller’s team were reported to have said that Barr’s summary of the report was broadly inaccurate and that information in the report was significantly more damaging to Trump than Barr was telling the public. Now, they’ve gone a step farther, saying that obstruction of justice was a foregone conclusion long before Barr determined that there was none.
‘Privately, the two prosecutors, who were then employed in the special counsel’s office, told other Justice Department officials that had it not been for the unique nature of the case—the investigation of a sitting president of the United States, and one who tried to use the powers of his office to thwart and even close down the special counsel’s investigation—they would have advocated that he face federal criminal charges.’
Former DOJ prosecutor says he would have brought obstruction charges against Trump based on Mueller report https://t.co/NT4BJY0loG
— AlterNet (@AlterNet) April 25, 2019
Mueller’s report stated that “Congress may apply the obstruction laws to the president’s corrupt exercise of the powers of office accords with our constitutional system of checks and balances and the principle that no person is above the law.” However, Trump installed an attorney general whose sole job it was to keep him out of trouble. Throwing the idea of law and order out the window, Barr has done just that.
‘On March 24, without consulting with Mueller, Attorney General William Barr declared that in the absence of a final judgment by Mueller as to whether or not the president broke the law, he, the attorney general, had taken it upon himself to make that determination in a summary he sent to Congress. Barr decided that Trump wouldn’t be charged with a crime. But many career Justice Department employees, former prosecutors for the special counsel, and legal scholars have questioned the propriety and legitimacy of Barr’s making such a decision.’
Mueller prosecutors concluded last year that they had enough for criminal charges against Trump for pressuring Comey to ease up on Flynn, @murraywaas reports.
Unclear what Mueller thought on this, but report treats this episode as among most serious:https://t.co/n7dVuw7IQY pic.twitter.com/NkuA8S7NhJ
— Greg Sargent (@ThePlumLineGS) April 26, 2019
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