Former Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s public comments on his Russia collusion investigation report was probably the worst moves he could have made because he opened the door for some devastating criticisms.
Barr was among the first to walk through that door. He slammed Mueller for not actually having made a call on the obstruction charges. Watch below:
Not My Job
In both the report and in his statement, Mueller took the path of least resistance. He fell back on the precedent that the Justice Department has a policy of not charging a sitting president.
Since that policy is in place, he never even considered accusing Trump of a crime.
That was not his job, though. His job was to conduct a truth-finding operation and determine if a crime was actually committed.
While he did make that call on collusion, he was much more iffy about the obstruction charges.
It’s All in the Wording
When reading the report, it would appear that while there was cause for concern, there was not enough evidence to determine whether Trump committed obstruction of justice. Mueller did his best to present both sides of the argument, ultimately deciding to not make a definitive statement either way.
After releasing the report, Mueller and Barr reportedly had a conversation about the conclusions reached. Barr stated that he repeatedly asked Mueller if he would have charged Trump if the precedent did not exist.
According to Barr, Mueller repeatedly told him that directive had nothing at all to do with him not charging Trump.
During his press conference, Mueller more or less stuck by that narrative, but the way in which he worded his statement was something Democrats were able to latch onto to continue to push this narrative.
Barr’s opinion is that even though the rule to protecting sitting presidents exists, it was still Mueller’s job to say if a criminal act took place.
Barr is right to be upset with Mueller because he made a commitment he never planned on fulfilling. If Mueller felt that way, he should have turned down the appointment from the outset.