Testifying in front of the Senate Judiciary Committee Wednesday morning, Attorney General Bill Barr stated that President Trump was falsely accused of colluding with the Russian government during the 2016 presidential election.
“If the President is being falsely accused, which the evidence now suggests the accusations against him were false and he knew they were false, and he felt that this investigation was unfair, propelled by his political opponents and was hampering his ability to government. That is not a corrupt motive for replacing an independent counsel,” Barr said.
The remarks came during questioning from Ranking Member Dianne Feinstein. The Democrat Senator asked the Attorney General about whether President Trump obstructed justice by asking for Robert Mueller to be removed during private conversations with White House staff. He explained that because President Trump was telling the truth about no collusion, his intentions toward ending the Special Counsel investigation were rooted in frustration about not being able to govern, rather than being an attempt to cover up wrong doing. The 400-page Special Counsel report, which was released two weeks ago, revealed President Trump was very concerned the appointment of Robert Mueller would severely hamper his ability to govern.
“Attorney General was his most important appointment and that Sessions had ‘let [him] down’ contrasting him to Eric Holder and Robert Kennedy. Sessions recalled that the President said to him, ‘you were supposed to protect me,’ or words to that effect,” the Special Counsel report states. “The President returned to the consequences of the appointment and said, ‘Everyone tells me if you get one of these independent counsels it ruins your presidency. It takes years and years and I won’t be able to do anything. This is the worst thing that ever happened to me.'” While Special Counsel Mueller shirked his duty on coming to a final conclusion on obstruction of justice, Barr did make a determination.
“The Special Counsel’s investigation did not find that the Trump campaign or anyone associated with it conspired or coordinated with Russia in its efforts to influence the 2016 U.S. presidential election. As the report states: “[T]he investigation did not establish that members of the Trump campaign conspired or coordinated with the Russian government in its election interference activities,” a four page letter Barr sent to Capitol Hill in March states. “After reviewing the Special Counsel’s final report on these issues; consulting with Department officials, including the Office of Legal Counsel; and applying the principles of federal prosecution that guide our charging decisions, Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein and I have concluded that the evidence developed during the Special Counsel’s investigation is not sufficient to establish that the President committed an obstruction-of-justice offense.”