What We're Learning From the Mueller Investigation Leaks - Rolling Stone
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What We’re Learning From the Mueller Investigation Leaks

The special counsel’s team is breaking its silence, suggesting Attorney General William Barr slanted the truth on Trump, and that Mueller’s final report contains damning details

mueller leaks william barrmueller leaks william barr

Special Counsel Robert Mueller and Attorney General William Barr

Cliff Owen/AP/REX/Shutterstock, Andrew Harnik/AP/REX/Shutterstock

After nearly two years of tight-lipped silence, the investigative team of Special Counsel Robert Mueller is leaking to reporters, and suggesting that there is far more to Mueller’s final report than Trump’s hand-picked attorney general has let on.

In rival stories published Wednesday evening by the Washington Post and the New York Times, members of Mueller’s team made clear they’re unhappy with the cursory letter A.G. William Barr sent to congress summarizing the report’s findings, which Trump and his loyalists have touted as exonerating the president.

Citing anonymous sources close to the special counsel’s Russia probe, the Post describes the team’s unearthed evidence of obstruction of justice as “alarming and significant,” with one team member telling the Post: “It was much more acute than Barr suggested.”

The Times report is thinner, but offers a similar punch from sources close to the investigation. They believe, the paper writes, that “Barr failed to adequately portray the findings of their inquiry” and that the results of Mueller’s probe were “more troubling for President Trump than Mr. Barr indicated.”

NBC News followed with its own reporting Thursday morning, adding an explosive new detail. The Mueller report is said to detail how Trump campaign members were “manipulated by a sophisticated Russian intelligence operation.”

Barr’s letter to congress reported that Mueller had not found a chargeable conspiracy between the Trump campaign and the Russian government. He added that Mueller presented evidence for a possible obstruction charge that Barr, himself, decided not to pursue. The letter quoted a handful of incomplete sentences from the actual report, publishing only dozens of words from a document now understood to stretch some 400 pages.

The newspapers papers both reveal that the authors of the Mueller report had included detailed and extensive summaries of the findings fit for public consumption, and are mystified that the attorney general has not made them public. Barr’s highly selective editing, one source told the Post, was needless. The team had written the document “so that the front matter from each section could have been released immediately — or very quickly.” The source continued: “It was done in a way that minimum redactions, if any, would have been necessary, and the work would have spoken for itself.”

Through a spokesperson, Barr responded that his ability to make any part of the report public was limited by concerns over the secrecy of grand jury proceedings:

The pair of stories published after Barr missed Congress’ deadline to deliver the report in full, and hours after the House Judiciary Committee voted to authorize subpoenaing the document and its underlying evidence appear to be shots across the bow of the White House and the Department of Justice. They suggest that efforts to suppress the report’s findings cannot hold for long.

In response to the leaks, the president’s very capable lawyer, Rudy Giuliani, addressed the nation on Twitter late Wednesday night:

And Trump followed suit Thursday morning, referring to the probe, as he often does, as a “witch hunt:”

He also cast doubt on the Times‘ sources:

Without offering specifics about redactions, Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-IA), the chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, offered this:

This is a developing story and will be updated.


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