WASHINGTON – In the 22 months of their investigation, investigators at Robert S. Muller III investigated numerous documents and questioned dozens of witnesses, including some of the White House's highest-ranking lawyers and assistants, to determine if President Trump was obstructing justice. In the end, however, the Special Prosecutor came to no conclusion – instead, he produced a report that provided only evidence on both sides.
Then Attorney General William P. Barr, a political employee Mr. Trump had appointed less than a month ago, began reading Mr. Miller's report on Friday, and entered. With the agreement of his deputy Rod J. Rosenstein, Mr. Barr took the opportunity to pass judgment ̵
The correctness of this step by Mr. Barr – who unsolicitedly wrote a memorandum last year arguing that Mr. Miller should not be allowed to investigate Mr. Trump for obstruction of justice – is certainly a focus of political debate when the congress deals with him What he now knows about the still secret report Mueller.
Representative of New York Democratic Member Jerrold Nadler, chair of the House Judiciary Committee, cited Mr. Barr's memo on suspicion and suspicion grounds that Mr. Barr's behavior may constitute a "premature biased interpretation of the facts." ,
He again requested to disclose the report of the special advocate himself, saying that he would bear witness to Mr. Barr, added Mr. Nadler: "I would In fact ask myself if the Attorney General urged the Special Prosecutor not to accept this statement meet so he could make the determination.
But Mr. Barr's Clearing by Mr. Trump will equip the Republicans with new arguments to dismiss the Democrats' investigations as politically motivated. The Supreme Republican in the Judiciary Committee, MEP Doug Collins of Georgia, urged Mr Nadler to delete the issues dealt with by Mr Mueller in his report.
Trump's lawyers had believed that, of all the questions that Mr. Muller examined, the President was most exposed to criminal attacks by investigating the obstacles. Mr. Muller had investigated a number of acts of the President as a possible disability: under pressure from James B. Comey, then the F.BI. Director to close an investigation into Michael T. Flynn, the first national security adviser to Mr. Trump; fire Mr. Comey; and the president's lawyer has pardons for witnesses.
The pattern of behavior raises the question of whether Mr. Trump violated the law against violations that deem it a crime to prevent an investigation with a corrupt intent. Courts have decided that otherwise lawful acts can be such a crime if the motive is malicious.
Investigators never had a chance to question Mr. Trump about his motives. The president's lawyers were concerned about his preference for untruths and the question of whether he could convict himself and persuaded the special team to accept written answers to their questions.
The result was a victory for Mr. Trump's attorneys, who had initially urged the President to cooperate with the investigation, but he later prevented him from talking to the investigators of Mr. Müller about what he had thought when he did Took steps that may have involved the investigation.
Anything that the public – or the congress – at this point about Mr. Müller's findings is how Mr. Barr presented them in a four-page letter he sent to the legislature on Sunday. Mr. Miller cataloged numerous lawsuits by Mr. Trump, Mr. Barr wrote – he did not state, but said that most were publicly known – and that the Special Advisory Report provided evidence that Mr. Trump had violated the law. 19659002] But in an unusual move, Mr. Barr did not explain this question. Mr. Müller left this question open. He noted that "this report does not support the conclusion that the President has committed a crime, but has not relieved him," A brief excerpt from the special advisory report quoted by Mr. Barr. With the approval of Mr. Rosenstein, Mr. Barr embraced this opening to declare that the President has not broken any law.
"The Special Representative's decision to describe the facts of his investigation, without any legal conclusions, leaves it to the Attorney General to examine whether the behavior described in the report is a crime," Barr wrote. He added that he and his deputy "have concluded that the evidence obtained in the investigation of the Special Lawyer is insufficient to prove that the President has committed a criminal offense.
Mr. Barr wrote that his decision that Mr. Trump did not violate any criminal violations of the Justice Block was not based on the Ministry of Justice's (19459008) view that the Constitution does not allow the indictment of a seated president. If he had relied on that theory, Mr. Trump might face indictment after leaving office.
Mr. Barr, however, seemed to be implicitly applying to other controversial constitutional arguments about the President's power and the question of whether obstruction laws could do so to restrict certain acts of a president. Without formulating it, Mr. Barr cited the Special Advisory Report as "difficult questions" of the law and the facts as to whether the president's actions and intentions could be considered an obstacle.
In particular, Mr. Trump's lawyers have accepted this. The position that Congress does not have to restrict in any way as the President exercises his constitutional powers to oversee the executive, including deciding whether he should The Ministry of Justice has ordered that it complete an investigation, dismiss a subordinate, and pardon someone. "Mr. Barr himself advocated this view in his June 2018 memo to the Trump administration when he was a private lawyer.
Even if a president abusing his power by acting for corrupt reasons, this would not be unconstitutional for Congress to make it a crime.Many jurists dispute this view, but the Supreme Court has never addressed this issue.
From Mr. Barr's letter it was difficult to know what would set Mr. Müller to rest aroused, noted Samuel Buell, who now acted as a prosecutor, teaches business criminal law at Duke University. Without looking at Mr Müller's underlying report, it is impossible to assess the merits of Mr Muellers Demurral and Mr Barr's decision to make a final statement in favor of Mr Trump.
"We really need to see what this report says – we need to see the analysis," he said, adding, "How much of this is Müller and how much of it is Barr? And it certainly seems to be a relevant fact that Barr happens to be someone who, before becoming Attorney General, was registered as someone who was skeptical of the obstacle problem. "
Mr. Muller's refusal to draw any conclusions about disability was coupled with a more definite finding that "the evidence does not prove that the president was involved in an underlying crime related to the Russian elections" (19659002) justice without an underlying one Crime, Mr. Barr wrote that he and Mr. Rosenstein nonetheless considered this separate discharge from Mr. Trump as he considered how he should interpret Mr. Trump's intention regarding the disability where Mr. Müller's evidence had been collected.
It is well known that obstruction cases are hard to prove beyond any doubt, as the prosecution must prove that the accused acted with corrupt intentions, and the evidence is often ambiguous.
Essentially, this meant that Trump meant to take advantage of the doubt: Mr. Miller's report, "wrote no actions that could be proved in court at our discretion" – a crime against obstacles.
David Kris, who heads the Department of Justice's national security department and now heads consulting firm Culper Partners, said he was impressed that Mr. Muller failed to reach an agreement on prosecuting Trump. After nearly two years of work, Mister decided Barr, however, with the help of Mr. Rosenstein on a single weekend.
"It is very unusual to talk about this kind of decision," he said about Mr. Müller. "If we read this report and walk a mile in his shoes, we may be able to judge what he did and why he did it. But I confess that I found it surprising. "