Mueller Objected to Barr's Summary of His Report

Special counsel wrote to AG to complain
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted May 1, 2019 1:43 AM CDT
Mueller Complained to Barr About His Summary of Report
In this April 18, 2019 photo, Attorney General William Barr speaks about the release of a redacted version of special counsel Robert Mueller's report during a news conference at the Department of Justice in Washington.   (AP Photo/Patrick Semansky, File)

After William Barr's summary of Robert Mueller's report led President Trump to claim he had been exonerated, a frustrated Mueller wrote to the attorney general to complain about how his findings had been portrayed. The special counsel told Barr that the March 24 memo he had provided to lawmakers "did not fully capture the context, nature, and substance" of his report, according to a copy of the March 27 letter seen by the Washington Post. "There is now public confusion about critical aspects of the results of our investigation," he wrote, per the Post. Sources tell CNN that Barr called Mueller the next day, saying something along the lines of "We've been friends for a long time, let's talk about this," though the disagreement was not resolved.

Barr, in his memo to lawmakers two days after he received Mueller's report, admitted that the report did not exonerate Trump of obstruction of justice, though he failed to mention that Mueller had collected evidence on a dozen instances of potential obstruction, the AP reports. In his letter to Barr, Mueller urged the attorney general to release the report's introductions and executive summaries, saying it would "alleviate the misunderstandings that have arisen." A Justice Department spokeswoman said Tuesday evening that Mueller and Barr had a "cordial and professional" conversation in which the special counsel said nothing in the March 24 letter was "inaccurate or misleading." The spokeswoman said they discussed releasing more material, but Barr decided it would be "unproductive to release the report in piecemeal fashion." (More Mueller report stories.)

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