U.S. Attorney General William Barr will hold a news conference Thursday morning to discuss the report by special counsel Robert Mueller which found no collusion between Donald Trump and Russia in the 2016 presidential campaign.
Barr is releasing the redacted, 400-page document which spells out Mueller’s complete findings in the two-year probe.
Wednesday afternoon, the New York Times reported “numerous conversations” have been taking place between White House lawyers and the Justice Department in the run-up to the release.
The paper stated: “Justice Department officials have had numerous conversations with White House lawyers about the special counsel’s conclusions in recent days, according to people with knowledge of the discussions. The talks have aided the president’s legal team as it prepares a rebuttal to the report and strategize for the coming public war over its findings.”
It then added: “A sense of paranoia is taking hold among some of the president’s aides, some of whom fear Mr. Trump’s backlash more than the findings themselves, the people said. The report might make clear which of Mr. Trump’s current and former advisers spoke to the special counsel, how much they said and how much damage they did to Mr. Trump — providing a kind of road map for presidential retaliation.”
Barr has already issued a four-page summary of the Mueller report, in which he noted the special counsel found no evidence of any kind of conspiracy or coordination between Moscow and the Trump campaign in order to sway the 2016 race.
Regarding allegations of obstruction of justice by Trump, Barr quoted Mueller saying the report “does not conclude that the President committed a crime, [but] it also does not exonerate him.”
The final decision was left to Barr and Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein, who concluded: “The evidence developed during the special counsel’s investigation is not sufficient to establish that the president committed an obstruction of justice offense.”
President Trump called Barr’s summary of the Mueller probe a complete vindication for himself, and referred to the entire investigation numerous times as a “witch hunt.”
The news conference is set for 9:30 a.m. Eastern Time.
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