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Tuesday 20th March 2018

Critics Anxiously Await Thursday's Mueller Report Release


7Dnews London

Tue, 16 Apr 2019 11:52 GMT

US Attorney General William Barr has indicated that a redacted version of the Mueller report, anxiously awaited by critics, will be released on Thursday April 18th.

But one person who is not waiting for the report to be released is US President Donald Trump, who has made his position regarding the report clear.  

In a series of tweets on Monday, April 15th, he wrote "Mueller, and the A.G. based on Mueller findings (and great intelligence), have already ruled No Collusion, No Obstruction," Trump tweeted. "These were crimes committed by Crooked Hillary, the DNC, Dirty Cops and others! INVESTIGATE THE INVESTIGATORS!"

But despite the attorney general's ruling regarding obstruction of justice and special counsel Robert Mueller finding no collusion between Trump, his campaign and the Russians, many remain sceptical. 

Democratic Party representatives are eager to get their hands on the Mueller report to see if the attorney general has missed anything. To this end, Democrats have begun calling for Mueller himself to testify before Congress.

Some Democratic representatives have also said they are concerned about Barr's redaction of the report. There is some concern that the report could be censored so as to protect the president.

The House Judiciary Committee, led by Representative Jerry Nadler of New York, is preparing to compel Barr to release an unredacted version of the report. He also wants all the investigative files pertaining to the report to be released as well.

The Justice Department released a statement on Monday, confirming that the department expects to release the redacted report on Thursday. 

Mueller wrapped up his 22-month investigation late last month. He then submitted the report to Barr. Two days after this, Barr released a four page letter that summarised Mueller's "principal conclusions." 

It was the contents of this letter that sparked much controversy in the United States. Barr wrote that special counsel found no criminal conspiracy between Russia and Trump associates during the campaign.  

While Mueller did not reach any conclusion regarding allegations that Trump obstructed justice, Mueller did present all the evidence collected during the course of the investigation. The final decision rested upon Barr, who, after considering the evidence presented, concluded it was insufficient to prove Trump obstructed justice. Barr also added that the information did not exonerate the president.  

Prior to the report's release, the attorney general said certain sections must be redacted in accordance to the law. The redactions must protect grand jury material, sensitive intelligence, matters that could affect ongoing investigations and damage to the privacy rights of third parties. 

"There was no obstruction, which I don't how you can interpret that any other way than total exoneration," said press secretary Sarah Sanders during a Fox News interview on Sunday.

In response to the criticism and claims that the report could be whitewashed to protect him, Trump and his allies have continued their statements attacking the origins of the report.

According to AP, Trump and his allies are still trying to portray the Russian investigation as a means to bring him down. 

"The Mueller Report, which was written by 18 Angry Democrats who also happen to be Trump Haters (and Clinton Supporters), should have focused on the people who SPIED on my 2016 Campaign, and others who fabricated the whole Russia Hoax. That is, never forget, the crime." Trump tweeted on Monday. 

In a move that shocked many, Trump's claims that his 2016 campaign was spied upon seemed to be given credence from the attorney general himself. While appearing before Congress, Barr said he was of the opinion that "spying did occur" in 2016.

While Barr did go on to soften this position by saying, "I am not saying improper surveillance occurred", he indicated that he still wanted to look into the 2016 investigations. 

US & Canada