Members of Robert Mueller's team believe the report is worse for Trump than the public has been led to believe: report

News & Politics

Multiple members of Special Counsel Robert Mueller's team believe the final report on the Russia investigation is more damning for President Donald Trump than the public has been led to believe by Attorney General William Barr, according to a new report in the New York Times.

Barr has already released a four-page letter summarizing what he called the "principal conclusions" of the report. He backtracked somewhat in a follow-up letter, clarifying that it was not a "summary" of the report.

The Times reported:

The special counsel’s investigators had already written multiple summaries of the report, and some team members believe that Mr. Barr should have included more of their material in the four-page letter he wrote on March 24 laying out their main conclusions, according to government officials familiar with the investigation. Mr. Barr only briefly cited the special counsel’s work in his letter.

Noah Schactman, editor in chief at the Daily Beast, said on Twitter that his own team had heard similar reports.

The Times cited "government officials and others" who are familiar with the "simmering frustrations" of some of the special counsel team members in question.

It continued:

The officials and others interviewed declined to flesh out why some of the special counsel’s investigators viewed their findings as potentially more damaging for the president than Mr. Barr explained, although the report is believed to examine Mr. Trump’s efforts to thwart the investigation.

Barr's letter revealed that Mueller's report concluded that he could not "establish" that Trump or any of his allies conspired with the Russian government in its effort to influence that 2016 election. To many observers' surprise, Barr also revealed that Mueller had not reached a conclusion on whether Trump obstructed justice during the investigation, and instead only laid out the case for and against such a charge. Barr, however, took it upon himself, in consultation with Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein, to determine that there was not enough evidence to conclude Trump obstructed justice.

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