Newly revealed Bill Barr meeting raises more questions about his Mueller report summary
William Barr was invited to meet with three officials from the Department of Justice the same day he sent an unsolicited memo to President Donald Trump criticizing special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation.
Barr, who was a private attorney at the time and a former attorney general under George H.W. Bush, ate lunch three weeks later with the officials and was then nominated six months later to become Trump’s attorney general, reported The Guardian.
Steve Engel, head of the Office of Legal Counsel at the Department of Justice, arranged the meeting — which has not been publicly disclosed until Friday’s report.
The meeting raises new questions about the White House decision to nominate Barr to oversee the Justice Department, and the Mueller investigation of Trump campaign ties to Russia.
Barr summarized Mueller’s hundreds of pages of findings in a four-page letter that claimed the special counsel had not found sufficient evidence of collusion or obstruction of justice, but investigators have pushed back against those claims and Democratic lawmakers have called for the report’s full release.
A source with knowledge of the matter told The Guardia that Engel invited Barr on June 8, the day his memo arrived at the Justice Department, to a “brown bag” lunch where he could speak with other staffers.
A Justice Department spokeswoman confirmed the lunch meeting but insisted “the timing was coincidental and the memo was not discussed.”