Mueller's team breaks silence, suggests report is more damaging to Trump than Barr let on

The special counsel submitted a report last month on its probe of possible collusion between Trump's campaign and Russia to influence the 2016 presidential elections in his favor.


                            Mueller's team breaks silence, suggests report is more damaging to Trump than Barr let on

The investigative team of Special Counsel Robert Mueller, after nearly two years of silence, is reportedly breaking silence on the famed report, suggesting that Mueller's final report has a lot more damning content than was revealed in Attorney General William Barr's four-page summary.

The Special Counsel and his team produced a report last month, marking an end to the probe of possible collusion between Trump's campaign and Russia to influence the 2016 presidential elections in his favor.

U.S. President Donald Trump speaks to members of the media after he arrived at a Senate Republican weekly policy luncheon at the U.S. Capitol March 26, 2019 in Washington, DC. Congressional top Democrats have demanded Attorney General William Barr to release special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation report for the alleged Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election. (Getty Images)
U.S. President Donald Trump speaks to members of the media after he arrived at a Senate Republican weekly policy luncheon at the U.S. Capitol March 26, 2019 in Washington, DC. Congressional top Democrats have demanded Attorney General William Barr to release special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation report for the alleged Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election. (Getty Images)

Members of Mueller's team, in multiple stories published by the Washington Post and the New York Times, made clear that they were not content with Trump-appointed AG Barr's cursory letter to the Congress on the report.

The succinct letter summarized the Mueller report's findings, stating that the Special Counsel had found no evidence of collusion.

The Post cited anonymous sources close to the special counsel's probe, stating that the investigative team unearthed evidence of obstruction of justice which was "alarming and significant," with one team member telling the outlet: "It was much more acute than Barr suggested.”

Special counsel Robert Mueller walks with his wife Ann Mueller on March 24, 2019 in Washington, DC. Special counsel Robert Mueller has delivered his report on alleged Russian meddling in the 2016 presidential election to Attorney General William Barr. (Getty Images)
Special counsel Robert Mueller walks with his wife Ann Mueller on March 24, 2019 in Washington, DC. Special counsel Robert Mueller has delivered his report on alleged Russian meddling in the 2016 presidential election to Attorney General William Barr. (Getty Images)

While the NYT's report on the issue stated that "Barr failed to adequately portray the findings of their inquiry” and that the findings of the probe were "more troubling for President Trump than Mr. Barr indicated.” The outlet also cited sources close to the Mueller investigation.

Barr's letter had added that Mueller had presented evidence of a possible obstruction charge which the AG himself decided not to pursue. His letter quoted a few incomplete sentences from the Mueller report — a document which is believed to be some 400 pages long.

The news outlets revealed that the Mueller report's authors had included detailed and extensive summaries of the findings suitable for public consumption, and are now perturbed that Barr did not release them publicly.

The investigative team had reportedly written the document "so that the front matter from each section could have been released immediately — or very quickly," The Post cited a source as saying.

U.S. Attorney General William Barr departs his home March 22, 2019 in McLean, Virginia. It is expected that Robert Mueller will soon complete his investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election and release his report. (Getty Images)
U.S. Attorney General William Barr departs his home March 22, 2019 in McLean, Virginia. It is expected that Robert Mueller will soon complete his investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election and release his report. (Getty Images)

"It was done in a way that minimum redactions, if any, would have been necessary, and the work would have spoken for itself," the source added.

The stories were published by the outlets after Barr missed a deadline set by the Congress to deliver the report in full to them. The House Judiciary Committee has also voted to authorize subpoenaing the document and its underlying evidence. 

Shortly after the news reports, Trump referred to the probe on Thursday morning and again called it a "witch hunt."



 

 

The Department of Justice on Thursday also defended releasing an initial summary on the report stating it could not disclose the full report because it contained protected grand jury information.

A spokesperson from the department said that Barr provided the initial findings “with the understanding that the report itself would be released after the redaction process” and “does not believe the report should be released in serial or piecemeal fashion.”