Special counsel Robert Mueller’s March 27 letter to US attorney general William Barr criticizing how he had characterized Mueller’s findings in the investigation into Russian meddling in the 2016 presidential election was made public this morning.
“The summary letter the Department sent to Congress and released to the public late in the afternoon of March 24 did not fully capture the context, nature, and substance of this Office’s work and conclusions,” Mueller wrote. “We communicated that concern to the Department on the morning of March 25. There is now public confusion about critical aspects of the results of our investigation.”
Democratic members of the House Judiciary Committee, led by Jerry Nadler of New York, released the letter 15 minutes before Barr testified before the Senate Judiciary Committee on his handling of the Mueller report.
Mueller went on to say that Barr’s version of the findings threatened to “undermine” public confidence in the federal government.
“The Special Counsel’s concerns reflect our own,” Nadler said in a statement yesterday. “The Attorney General should not have taken it upon himself to describe the Special Counsel’s findings in a light more favorable to the President. It was only a matter of time before the facts caught up to him.”
Mueller’s report said Donald Trump repeatedly directed advisors to apply pressure on the Department of Justice, the FBI and other intelligence agencies, and his White House counsel regarding the probe into his campaign’s ties to Russia. “While this report does not conclude that the President committed a crime, it also does not exonerate him,” the report said. Barr subsequently decided Trump’s actions did not constitute obstruction of justice.
Barr testified before the Senate on April 10, almost two weeks after Mueller registered his concerns with the Trump-appointed attorney general. During that hearing, Chris Van Hollen, a Democrat from Maryland, asked Barr if Mueller agreed with his summary of his conclusions.
“I don’t know whether Bob Mueller supported my conclusion,” Barr responded.
Read the full text of Mueller’s letter to Barr below: