Trump Claims Exoneration, but Mueller Report Says Otherwise

The Mueller Report: Watch Live Stream of AG William Barr's Press Conference

William Barr says Mueller found 10 cases of possible Trump obstruction ahead of report's release

Despite Trump's frustration, the White House "fully cooperated" with Mueller's probe, "providing unfettered access to campaign and White House documents, directing senior aides to testify freely, and asserting no privilege claims", Barr said.

Mueller's report is not yet public, but critics have long charged that Trump may have obstructed justice when he fired FBI Director James Comey, reportedly threatened to fire Special Counsel Robert Mueller, dictated a misleading statement to the New York Times on behalf of his son and regularly attacked prosecutors, threatened potential witnesses and praised allies.

In a lengthy opening statement, Barr found just about every way possible to say that there was no coordination, cooperation or conspiracy between the Trump campaign and Russian Federation.

He said the White House counsel reviewed a redacted version of the report before Trump decided not to invoke executive privilege.

The investigation was fueled by a political opposition research document funded by the Democratic National Committee and Hillary Clinton's campaign that was used to obtain a warrant to spy on the Trump campaign.

Trump's 2016 campaign chairman is in the early stages of a 7 1/2-year prison term after being convicted and pleading guilty in two cases linked to financial corruption from his years of lobbying for pro-Russian interests in Ukraine.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said Barr had "thrown out his credibility & the DOJ's independence with his single-minded effort to protect" Trump. "That request was consistent with the practice followed under the Ethics in Government Act, which permitted individuals named in a report prepared by an Independent Counsel the opportunity to read the report before publication".

US President Donald Trump and first lady Melania walk to board Marine One for the short trip to Joint Base Andrews, then on to his estate in Palm Beach, Florida, Thursday, April 18, 2019. "This is bad. This is the end of my presidency".

Eager to judge the report for themselves, Democrats quickly took on Barr's arguments.

At Justice Department headquarters, reporters buzzed around, hearing from Barr and awaiting the Mueller report.

In his news conference, Barr repeatedly claimed that Trump and his campaign associates had been cleared of suspected wrongdoing connected with Russian tampering in the 2016 presidential election.

Minutes after the news conference ended, Mr Trump posted a meme saying it was "game over" for the "haters and the radical left democrats".

Although Barr made no mention of this, Mueller reported that Trump had tried to seize control of the investigation and remove Mueller from his position.

Barr said he will make available to members of Congress the complete report except for specific grand jury material.

Nadler's committee, which holds the authority to launch an impeachment inquiry against Trump, demanded that the attorney general release the Mueller's entire report and its underlying evidence without redactions, arguing Barr's conclusions and his brief summary of Mueller's wide-ranging investigation are both incomplete and insufficient. And of course, you know, his choice of words to say that the president had a honest, quote, unquote, "belief that this was unfair", that, of course, completely begs the question - I mean, if you believed he sincerely felt it was unfair, then obviously he was not really trying to obstruct justice.

"We're accepting apologies today, too", Conway told reporters, adding that Trump watched Barr, talked to his lawyers and was in "a great mood".

Even ahead of the report's release, Democrats cried foul about Barr's press conference, for "spinning the report" in the words of Schumer. But the president's lawyers, I think, very cleverly made sure that that didn't happen.

A Justice Department official confirmed Barr's plan to speak and answer questions about his "process" before the report's public release.

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