Mueller Report

CONGRESS AND ATTORNEY GENERAL WRANGLE OVER ACCESS TO SPECIAL COUNSEL MUELLER’S REPORT

By Miriam Raftery

March 29, 2019 (Washington D.C.)—Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s long awaiting report has been submitted to the Justice Department.  A summary written by newly appointed Attorney General William Barr has been made public, but thus far, Congress and the media have not seen the full report.

According to Barr’s summary, Mueller’s two-year investigation did not find evidence of a conspiracy involving President Donald Trump and Russia to tamper with the 2016 election despite “multiple offers from Russian-affiliated individuals to assist the Trump campaign.  But as for whether Trump committed the crime of obstructing justice, Barr states that while Mueller’s report does not recommend prosecution of Trump for obstruction of justice, “it also does not exonerate him.”

Trump called the report “a complete and total exoneration” based on Barr’s summary.

But that’s not fully accurate. The Justice Department has long held that it does not have the power to indict a sitting president, deferring investigation of presidential actions to Congress, which has the power to impeach under the Constitution. Without reading Mueller’s full report it is difficult to speculate on the Special Counsel’s intent, but Mueller could have intended for Congress to weigh any evidence his investigators found with regard to obstruction of justice.