AG Barr defends response to Mueller report

Washington-DC
AG_Barr_defends_response_to_Mueller_repo_2_20190502000153

WASHINGTON (NEXSTAR) — Democrats on Wednesday grilled Attorney General William Barr on his decision not to charge President Donald Trump with obstruction of justice following the release of the special counsel’s report on Russian meddling in the 2016 election, while Republicans defended the president and declared the matter concluded.

In a nearly four-hour hearing before the Senate Judiciary Committee, Democrats said Barr’s four-page summary of special counsel Robert Muller’s 400-page report downplayed the president’s response to the Russia investigation, which stretched two years.

“We should be sounding alarms as opposed to saying there’s nothing here,” Sen. Corey Booker, D-N.J., said.

Democrats were also troubled by a newly released letter from Mueller to Barr in which Mueller said the summary glossed over facts and favored the president.

“Attorneys don’t put things in writing unless there really serious about them,” Sen. Dick Durbin, D-Ill., said.

Barr defended his summary.

“I asked him (Mueller) if he was suggesting that the March 24th letter had been inaccurate and he said no, but that the press reporting had been inaccurate,” Barr said.

The report lists instances when the president tried to gain control of the Russia investigation, including one in which he asked as White House lawyer to fire Mueller.

“Saying, quote, ‘Mueller has to go. Call me back when you do it,'” Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., read from the report.

She argued that the president’s actions were meant to “mislead the American people and interfere the investigations into Russian interference and obstruction.”

Barr said Trump’s lawyers argue that the president believed Muller had conflicts of interest and only wanted him fired if that was true.

The attorney general told senators there wasn’t enough evidence to charge the president with obstruction. At the questioning of committee Chair Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., he said there was no underlying criminality in the president’s actions.

Republicans worked to hammer home that the president did not work with Russia during the 2016 campaign.  

“Mr. Attorney General, is there any evidence that you’re aware of that suggests even remotely that president trump is a Russian agent?” Sen. Mike Lee, R-Utah, said.

“None that I’m aware of,” Barr said.

Republicans also want an inquiry into what led the FBI to start investigating Trump and possible ties to Democrats, including former Secretary of State and Trump’s presidential election opponent Hillary Clinton.

“Democrats paid for a document created by a foreign national with reported foreign sources,” Sen. Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa, said. “Not Trump but the Democrats.”

“They’re going to coordinate the so-called lock her up defense,” Durbin said in response to that approach. “That is totally unresponsive to the answers the American people want to know.”

Graham said he considers the Mueller investigation over, but Democrats want Mueller himself to testify before the committee before they move on.

Copyright 2019 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

Clear

Abbeville

28°F Clear Feels like 22°
Wind
6 mph N
Humidity
76%
Sunrise
Sunset

Tonight

Partly cloudy skies. Low 24F. Winds N at 5 to 10 mph.
24°F Partly cloudy skies. Low 24F. Winds N at 5 to 10 mph.
Wind
12 mph NNE
Precip
0%
Sunset
Moon Phase
Full
Clear

Crowley

28°F Clear Feels like 19°
Wind
9 mph NNE
Humidity
72%
Sunrise
Sunset

Tonight

Generally clear skies. Low 24F. Winds NNE at 5 to 10 mph.
24°F Generally clear skies. Low 24F. Winds NNE at 5 to 10 mph.
Wind
12 mph NNE
Precip
0%
Sunset
Moon Phase
Full
Clear

Opelousas

26°F Clear Feels like 20°
Wind
5 mph N
Humidity
79%
Sunrise
Sunset

Tonight

A few clouds. Record low temperatures expected. Low 23F. Winds NNE at 5 to 10 mph.
24°F A few clouds. Record low temperatures expected. Low 23F. Winds NNE at 5 to 10 mph.
Wind
12 mph NNE
Precip
0%
Sunset
Moon Phase
Full
Clear

Breaux Bridge

27°F Clear Feels like 18°
Wind
9 mph NNE
Humidity
81%
Sunrise
Sunset

Tonight

Clear skies. Low 24F. Winds NNE at 5 to 10 mph.
24°F Clear skies. Low 24F. Winds NNE at 5 to 10 mph.
Wind
12 mph NNE
Precip
0%
Sunset
Moon Phase
Full
Clear

New Iberia

29°F Clear Feels like 18°
Wind
14 mph NNE
Humidity
78%
Sunrise
Sunset

Tonight

A few clouds from time to time. Low 34F. Winds light and variable.
26°F A few clouds from time to time. Low 34F. Winds light and variable.
Wind
7 mph NE
Precip
0%
Sunset
Moon Phase
Full

Local News

More Local

Sidebar

Trending Stories