Monday, 22 April, 2019

US President Trump says has not read Mueller report

Rep. Hank Johnson Georgia Democrat Democrat Hank Johnson Suggests Attorney General Barr May Have ‘Obstructed Justice’ AP Paul AbellKRISTINA WONG5 Apr 2019
Leonard Rios | 09 April, 2019, 02:05

President Trump's personal attorney Rudy Giuliani said on Sunday that he's upset with the media for reporting on leaks from Special Counsel Robert Mueller's team that Attorney General William Barr failed to properly summarize the contents of the highly anticipated inquiry.

Even as Trump and his loyalists mounted a lengthy and largely one-sided public relations war against the special counsel, Mueller stayed silent.

The first public confrontation is imminent, with Barr scheduled to appear Tuesday and Wednesday before the House and Senate Appropriations committees for hearings ostensibly about the Justice Department's budget. Besides, the Beltway 500 reasoned, the actual full Mueller Report was coming any day now.

Barr has faced scrutiny from Democratic lawmakers for his four-page summary of Mueller's report, which took 22 months to complete, and is reportedly almost 400 pages long.

And last Thursday, committee chairman Jerry Nadler demanded Mr Barr turn over all communications between his office and Mr Mueller's, following the reports that Mr Mueller's staff were unhappy with the way Mr Barr presented their conclusions.

The department said Attorney General William Barr must strike confidential information from the almost 400-page document as reports surfaced in the news media that members of Mueller's team were unhappy with the way Barr had characterized its main conclusions.

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Barr is working with Rosenstein, Mueller, and their key aides to produce an edited version of the report.

While they searched to learn whether the sitting president or members of his campaign conspired with the Russian government during the 2016 election and if anyone obstructed justice after learning of the investigation's existence. That could include the June 2016 meeting at Trump Tower in NY in which a Russian lawyer promised "dirt" on Clinton to senior campaign officials, as well as a secret January 2017 meeting in the Seychelles investigated as a possible attempt to set up a back channel between the incoming Trump administration and the Kremlin while Democrat Barack Obama was still president.

The meeting included a discussion about a proposal to resolve the conflict in Ukraine in terms favourable to the Kremlin, an issue that has damaged Russia's relations with the West. Prosecutors also said Manafort shared Trump campaign polling data with Kilimnik, although the significance of that act remains unclear. Mueller's prosecutors always declined to comment.

House Judiciary Committee chairman Representative Jerrold Nadler, a New York Democrat, has been pushing the attorney general to ask a judge to approve the release of grand jury material, but Barr has made no move to do so. Russia's government has denied interfering in the US election.

According to Barr, Mueller turned the obstruction question over to Barr, who said he concluded there is no evidence Trump had a criminal intent to try to derail the Mueller probe.

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