Mueller report justifies obstruction charges vs Trump: ex-US Justice Dept officials

Elias Hubbard
May 8, 2019

Special Counsel Robert Mueller walks past the White House after attending services at St. John's Episcopal Church, in Washington, March 24, 2019.

Quoting former Whitewater independent counsel Robert Ray, Trump tweeted: "The Report sounded an terrible lot as being Comeyesque, in other words, I'm not going to charge this person (there wasn't even close to being a crime), but I'm going to criticize him on the way out the door".

Barr had declared Trump fully cleared of conspiracy with Russian Federation and obstruction of justice shortly after special counsel Robert Mueller presented his 448-page report to the Justice Department.

Democratic House leaders could file a civil lawsuit against the Justice Department to obtain the Mueller report- an option that could take months or even years to resolve.

The Mueller report details extensive contacts between Trump's 2016 campaign but did not find that there was a conspiracy between Moscow and the campaign.

Trump had previously said he would leave the question to Barr, who has said repeatedly that he has no objection to Mueller testifying.

Mr. Trump added, "Bob Mueller should not testify". "No redos for the Dems!"

Mueller did not make a judgment on whether Mr. Trump obstructed justice, but Barr and Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein cleared the president. Congress could issue a subpoena to compel him to appear before the committee. If the Justice Department tries to block Mueller's testimony, Democrats could issue a subpoena to try to compel his appearance. A House vote would send a criminal referral to the US attorney for the District of Columbia, a Justice Department official who is likely to defend the attorney general.

House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerrold Nadler scheduled a Wednesday vote to hold Barr in contempt of Congress, citing the Justice Department's failure to provide the full text of Mueller's report by the Monday morning deadline.

The president is also making sure that the Mueller investigation and related matters stay at the forefront of the news. Two days later, Barr sent Congress a four-page letter detailing Mueller's principal conclusion and giving his own finding that there was insufficient evidence to bring obstruction charges against the president. Scarborough said Barr "wretched" Mueller's report by twisting his words around without proper context, and now Senate Republicans are going down the same road by trying to censor the special counsel. He said a small staff remained at the special counsel's office to "assist in closing the operations of the office".

Hundreds of former federal prosecutors, both Democrats and Republicans, argued in a statement posted online on Monday that President Donald Trump would be charged with obstruction of justice if he was weren't president.

Some House Democrats pushed back against the president, saying Mueller will end up testifying one way or another. They don't have the power to set the hearing schedules or compel officials to appear. The top Republican on the Judiciary Committee, Rep. Doug Collins of Georgia, said "Democrats have launched a proxy war smearing the attorney general" when their anger actually lies with the president.

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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