Trump calls Mueller probe an “illegal takedown that failed”

President Trump reacted to the attorney general’s summary of special counsel Robert Mueller’s report on Sunday, calling it a “complete and total exoneration.”

“It was just announced there was no collusion with Russia, the most ridiculous thing I’ve ever heard,” Mr. Trump told reporters in Florida before boarding Air Force One. “This was an illegal takedown that failed and, hopefully, somebody’s going to be looking at the other side.”

In a letter to lawmakers on Sunday, Attorney General William Barr summarized Mueller’s report and his office’s investigation into accusations Mr. Trump obstructed justice. Mueller’s obstruction probe was a “thorough factual investigation” that made no determination as to whether the president broke the law. Mueller wrote that “while this report does not conclude that the President committed a crime, it also does not exonerate him,” according to Barr.

Mueller deferred the question of criminality to Barr and Rosenstein. Barr wrote he and Rosenstein had determined the available evidence was insufficient to establish Mr. Trump obstructed justice.

“In cataloguing the President’s actions, many of which took place in public view, the report identified no actions that, in our judgment, constitute obstructive conduct, had a nexus to a pending or contemplated proceeding, and were done with corrupt intent,” Barr wrote in his Sunday letter. 

Citing that passage in a statement Sunday evening, Mr. Trump’s legal team called the report “a complete and total vindication of the President.” 

“As we have stated from the very beginning, there was no collusion and no obstruction,” the lawyers, including Rudy Giuliani and Jay Sekulow, wrote.

Democratic leaders cited the president’s comments to demand Barr release the full Mueller report to the public.

“For the president to say he is completely exonerated directly contradicts the words of Mr. Mueller and is not to be taken with any degree of credibility,” Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said in a statement.

The president was returning to Washington on Sunday after spending the weekend at his Mar-a-Lago resort in Florida.

“No collusion, no obstruction. Thank you,” Mr. Trump said before boarding the plane.

Source: https://www.cbsnews.com/news/mueller-report-trump-calls-report-complete-and-total-exoneration-illegal-takedown-that-failed-today-2019-03-24/

Comments