President Trump wants America to know that he is totally innocent. At the same time, he seems increasingly nervous about the public seeing a redacted version of Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s findings, which Attorney General William Barr says he will release Thursday. Though Trump has in the past expressed indifference to the potential release of the report, he’s now railing against the efforts of Democratic lawmakers to obtain the full, unredacted report, while renewing criticisms of the investigation he simultaneously says has already proved his innocence.
“Mueller, and the A.G. based on Mueller findings (and great intelligence), have already ruled No Collusion, No Obstruction,” he tweeted Monday morning. “These were crimes committed by Crooked Hillary, the DNC, Dirty Cops and others! INVESTIGATE THE INVESTIGATORS!”
Mueller, and the A.G. based on Mueller findings (and great intelligence), have already ruled No Collusion, No Obstruction. These were crimes committed by Crooked Hillary, the DNC, Dirty Cops and others! INVESTIGATE THE INVESTIGATORS!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) April 15, 2019
This is not true. When Attorney General William Barr released his “principle conclusions” of the report last month, he quoted it as noting that the investigation “did not establish that members of the Trump Campaign conspired or coordinated with the Russian government in its election interference activities.” Mueller did not, however, contend that Trump did not obstruct justice, writing that his team was not able to “exonerate” the president. It was Barr, along with Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein, who concluded the report did not contain enough evidence “to establish that the President committed an obstruction-of-justice offense.”
But earlier this month, members of Mueller’s team leaked to the Washington Post that they found “alarming and significant” evidence of obstruction that “was much more acute than Barr suggested.” The Times later reported that Mueller’s team believes what they found is “more troubling for President Trump than Mr. Barr indicated.”
The White House is worried. On Sunday, ABC’s Jonathan Karl revealed that the administration hasn’t been all smiles since it was briefed “in broad brushstrokes” on the full report. “There is significant concern on the president’s team about what will be in this report and that will be unredacted,” he said, noting that though “the good news is already out there” regarding Barr’s conclusion of no conspiracy, there is worry about new information regarding obstruction of justice. Karl specifically referenced Trump’s potential efforts to fire Mueller and the circumstances surrounding his dismissal of FBI Director James Comey.