Full video: Mueller report release discussed by Bill Barr in press conference | USA TODAY
Full video: Mueller report release discussed by Bill Barr in press conference | USA TODAY Full video: Mueller report release discussed by Bill Barr in press conference | USA TODAYReport to the chairman and ranking members of the Senate and House Judiciary committees, the Department of Justice will also make the report available to the American people by posting it on the department website. It has been delivered to Congress. I’D like to make a few comments today on the report before I do that I want to thank Deputy attorney-general Rod Rosenstein for joining me he today and for his assistance and counsel throughout this process. Rod. As you know, his served at the department for nearly 30 years with dedication and distinction, and it’s been a great privilege and pleasure from to work with him. Since my confirmation he had well deserve plans to set back from public service that were interrupted by my asking him to help in my transition. What has been an invaluable partner, and I am grateful that he is willing to help me and has been able to see the special counsel’s investigation through to its conclusion, thanks rod, I’d like to thank special counsel, Robert Mueller for his service and the thoroughness of his Investigation particular his work, exposing the nature of Russia’s attempts to interfere in our electoral process. You not one of the primary purposes of the special special counsel investigation was to determine whether President Trump’s campaign or any individual associated with it, conspired or coordinated with the Russian government interfere in the 2016 election volume. One of the Special counsel’s Report describes the results of that investigation. As he will see, the Special counsel’s Report states that his quote investigation not established that members of the Trump campaign conspired or coordinated with the Russian government and its election interference activities. I am sure that all Americans share my concern about the parts of the Russian government interfere in our presidential election, as the special counsel report makes clear, the Russian government sought to interfere in our election process, but thanks to the special counsel federal investigation, we now know That the Russian operatives who perpetrated these schemes did not have the cooperation of President Trump or the Trump campaign, or the knowing assistance of any other America for that matter. That is something that all Americans can and should be grateful to have confirmed. The special counsel report outlines two main efforts by the Russian government to influence the 2016 collection. First, the report details efforts by the internet research agency, a Russian company with close ties to the Russian government to so social Discord among American voters who disinformation and social media operations following a thorough investigation of this disinformation campaign, the special counsel brought charges in federal court Against several Russian Nationals and entities for there was active roles in this scheme. Those charges remain pending and the individual defendants remain at large, but the special counsel found no evidence that any American, including anyone associated with the campaign conspired or coordinated with a Russian government or the IRA in this illegal scheme. Indeed, as the report States quote, the investigation did not identify evidence that any us person they are intentionally coordinated with the IRS interference operation on quot put another way. The special counsel found no collusion by any Americans in Ira is illegal activities. Checking the report details, efforts by the Russian military officials associated with the gru, the Russian military intelligence organization to hack into computers and steal documents, an email individuals associated with Democratic party and Hillary Clinton’s campaign for the purpose of eventual eventually publicising these documents. Obtaining such a following a thorough investigation of these hacking operations, the special counsel brought chart record the Russian Military Officers for their respective roles. In these illegal hacking operations. Those charges are still pending and the defendants remain at large. But again, the Special counsel’s Report did not find any evidence that members of the Trump campaign or anyone associated with the campaign inspired or coordinated with a Russian government in these hacking operations. In other words, there was no evidence of the Trump campaign collusion with the Russian government’s hacking. The special Russell’s investigation also examined Russian efforts to publish stolen emails and documents on the internet. The special counsel found that, after the gru disseminated some of the stolen. thanks to entities that it controlled, dcleaks and guccifer to the gr, you transferred some of the stolen materials to WikiLeaks for publication. Wikileaks then made a series of document dumps. The special counsel also investigated whether any member or affiliate of the Trump campaign in car, edged or otherwise played a role in these dissemination efforts under applicable law public. These types of material would not be criminal unless the publisher also participated in the underlying hacking conspiracy. Here to the special counsel report did not find that any person associate it was a trump campaign illegally participated in the dissemination of the materials. Finally, the special counsel investigated a number of links or contacts between the Trump campaign officials and individuals connected with the Russian government. During the 2016 presidential campaign, after reviewing these contacts, the special council did not find any conspiracy to violate US law involving Russia, linked persons and any persons associated with the Trump campaign. So that’s the bottom line. After nearly two years of Investigation, thousands of subpoenas hundreds of warrants and witness interviews. special counsel confirmed that the Russian government sponsored efforts to illegally interfere with the 2016 presidential election, but did not find that the Trump campaign or other Americans colluded in those efforts. After finding. No underlined collusion with Russia. The Special counsel’s Report goes on to consider whether certain actions of the president could amount to obstruction of the special counsel’s invest. Geisha is I addressed in my March 24th letter. The special council did not make a traditional prosecutorial judgment regarding this allegation. Instead, the report or accounts 10 episodes involving the Press and discuss his potential legal theories for connecting those activities to the elements of an obstruction offense after carefully reviewing the facts and legal theories outlined in the report and in consultation with the office, legal counsel and other Department lawyers, the deputy attorney-general and I concluded that the evidence developed by the special counsel is not sufficient to establish that the president committed and instruction of Justice offense. Well, the deputy attorney general and I disagreed with some of the special counsel legal theories and felt that some of the episodes examined did not amount to obstruction as a matter of law. We did not rely solely on that and making our decision. Instead, we accepted the special counsel legal framework for purposes of our analysis and evaluated the evidence, as presented by the special counsel and reaching our conclusions and assessing the president’s actions discussed in the for. It is important to bear in mind to contact President Trump facing unprecedented situation as he entered into office and sought to perform his responsibilities as president federal agents and prosecutors were scrutinizing contact before and after taking office and the conduct of some of his Associates. At the same time, there was relentless speculation in the news media about the president’s personal culpability. Yet, as he said from the beginning, there was in fact no collusion and that’s. The Special counsel’s Report acknowledges there is substantial evidence to show that the president was frustrated and angered by his sincere belief that the castigation was undermining his presidency propelled by his political opponents and fuelled by illegal leaks. Nonetheless, the White House fully cooperated with the special counsel investigation, providing better access to campaign and white house documents directing senior age to testify freely and asserting no privilege claims and, at the same time, the president took no act that in fact the prizes special counsel of The doctor Witnesses necessary to complete his investigation apart from whether the actual obstructive this evidence of non-corrupt motives weighs heavily against any allegation that the president had a corrupt in obstruct the investigation that, before I take questions, I want to address a few aspects of the process For producing the public report that I am releasing today, if I said several times, the reports change limited redactions related to four categories of information to ensure as much transparent transparency as possible. Those word actions have been clearly labeled so that the leaders can tell by the just can’t tell which redactions correspond to which categories. Now, as I get to work, all those categories are: sexy material, grand jury, material information that the icy believes, disclose sources and methods, information that would impair the investigation and prosecution of other cases that are underway and, finally, information that implicates the privacy and reputational interests of Peripheral third parties, as you will see, most of the redactions, were compelled by the need to prevent harm to ongoing herizen to comply with court orders prohibiting the public disclosure of information bearing on ongoing investigations in criminal cases such as the IRA case and the Rodger Stone Case directions were applied by Department of Justice attorneys working closely together with attorneys from the special counsel’s office, as well as the intelligence, community and prosecutors are handling the ongoing cases. The redactions are their work product no redactions done by anybody outside this group. It would know redactions done by anybody outside this group. No one outside this group proposed anywhere.. No one outside the department has seen the unredacted report, with the exception of certain sections that were made available to Ice Age, the intelligence Community for their advice, intelligence sources and methods consistent with long-standing Executive Branch practice. The decision, whether to assert executive privilege over any portion of the report, rested with a president of the United States does the White House had voluntarily cooperated with the special counsel. Significant portions of the report contain material over which the president could have asserted privilege and he would have been well within his rights to do so. Following my March 29th letter, the office of the White House Council requested the opportunity to review the redacted version of the report in order to advise the president on the potential invocation of privilege consistent with long-standing practice. Following that review, the president confirm that, in the interest of transparency and full disclosure to the American people, he would Nada Surf privilege over the Special counsel’s Report. Accordingly, the book report I am releasing today contains word actions only for the four categories that I previously outlined, and no material has been redacted based on Executive Privilege in Edition earlier this week, the president’s personal Council requested and was given the opportunity to read a final Version of the redacted report before it was publicly released that request was consistent with the practice followed under the Ethics in Government Act. Permitted individuals named in a report prepared by an independent Council the opportunity to read the report before publication. The president’s personal lawyers were not permitted to make and did not request any redactions. In addition to making the redacted report public, we are also working with Congress to accommodate their legitimate oversight interest with respect to special counsel investigation. We have been Consulting with German, Graham and she natilis through this process, and we will continue to do so. Given the limited nature of the redactions, I believe that the publicly-released report will allow every American to understand the results of the special counsel investigation. Nevertheless, in an effort to accommodate Congressional requests, we will make available, subject to appropriate safeguards to a bipartisan group of leaders from several congressional committees, a version of the report with all redactions removed except those relating to Grand Jury information. Us these members of Congress will be able to see all of the redacted material for themselves, with a limited exception of that which by law cannot be shared. I believe that this accommodation, together with my upcoming testimony before the Senate and House Judiciary Committee, will satisfy any need. Congress has for information regarding the special counsel investigation. Once again, I’d like to thank you for being here, and I will now have a few questions for not reaching a decision on obstruction of justice and if it had anything to do with the Department’s long-standing guidance on not indicting a sitting. President and you say you disagree with some of his legal., What did you disagree with him on the I’d? Leave it to his description in the report, the special counsel Zone, articulation of of why he did not want to make a determination as to they’re. Not. There was an obstruction of fence, but I will say that when we met with him Deputy attorney general Rosenstein and I met with him along with Ed o’callaghan, who is the principal associate Deputy on March. If we specifically asked him about the olc opinion and whether or not he was taking the position that he would have found a crime but for the existence of the olc opinion – and he made it clear several times that that was not his position – he he was Not saying that, but for the olc opinion he would have found a cry. He made it clear that he had not made the determination that there was given that. Why did you feel the need? You had to take it to the next step? To conclude that there was no crime, especially given that doj policy, the very prosecutorial function and all our powers as prosecutors, including the power to convene grand juries and compulsory process that involve there is for one purpose and one purpose. Only it’s the yes or no was alleged conduct, criminal or not criminal. That is that is our responsibility, and that’s why we have the tools we have and we don’t go through this process just to collect formation and throw it out to the public. We collect this information, we use that compulsory process for the purpose of making that decision and because the special counsel did not make that decision we felt it. Batman had to, and that was a decision by me and the deputy Attorney General Congressional Democrats that you’re acting More as a attorney for the president of other day as the chief one special counsel, Mueller did not indicate that his purpose still leave the decision to Congress. I hope that was not his views, since we don’t convene grand juries and conduct criminal investigations for that purpose. He did not. I didn’t talk to him directly about the fact that we were making the decision, but I am told that his reaction to that was that it was my My Prerogative, his attorney general, to make that decision. Lexus of Russia investigation with her assets have been provided to investigate. Today, I’m really focused just on the process of releasing this report. Robert Mueller Fernanda justice department employee. As of this moment, will you permit him to testify publicly to Congress Republican appointed judge on Tuesday said you have full created an environment and its causes significant part of the American public to be concerned about these reduction. You clear the president on instructions, president, is fundraising off of your comments about spying and here remarks that are quite generous to the president, including acknowledging his feelings and his emotions. What do you say to people on both sides of the aisle we’re concerned that you were trying to protect? The president believes I recognized in the report that there was substantial evidence for that. So I’m not sure what your face is for saying that I’m being generous to the president is there another president for okay, so unprecedented is an accurate description is okay. Why is not your Disqus report today before he did for me as the Attorney General, he is required under the regulation to to provide me with a confidential report, I’m here to discuss my response to that report at my decision entirely discretionary to make it public, since These reports are not supposed to be made public. That’S what I’m here to discuss. The Justice Department will release a redacted version of special counsel Robert Mueller’s report on Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election Thursday, giving the public and Congress the deepest look yet into its investigation of President Donald Trump’s campaign.
Prior to its release, Attorney General William Barr told reporters that Mueller’s investigation confirmed that the Russian government sponsored efforts to illegally interfere with the 2016 presidential election but did not find that the Trump campaign or other Americans joined in its efforts.
“After nearly two years of investigation, thousands of subpoenas and hundreds of warrants and witness interviews, the special counsel confirmed that the Russian government sponsored efforts to illegally interfere with the 2016 presidential election, but did not find that the Trump campaign or other Americans colluded in those schemes,” Barr said. “So that is the bottom line.”
And Barr said Trump’s actions during the probe were not so much obstruction as frustration with an investigation he thought was constraining his presidency.
“The president took no act that deprived the special counsel of the documents and witnesses necessary to complete his investigation,” Barr said.
The long-anticipated report is the culmination of a remarkable inquiry into whether the president’s aides collaborated with the Russian government’s efforts to sway the election in his favor.