Former President Donald Trump celebrated the release of a Justice Department memo supporting Attorney General William Barr‘s decision not to prosecute him for obstruction of justice in the Russia investigation.
A cheeky statement released by his Save America PAC on Wednesday thanked the left-leaning government watchdog group, Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics, for successfully suing to secure the release of the unredacted document more than three years after Robert Mueller’s inquiry came to an end.
“In the nine-page memo it was revealed that, ‘Nothing would warrant a prosecution for obstruction of justice,'” Trump said. “It underscored that ‘Mueller had not found sufficient evidence to charge any underlying crime,’ and that the President ‘reasonably believed that the Special Counsel’s investigation was interfering with his governing agenda.'”
“The memo concluded that ‘the evidence was insufficient to support a criminal charge — even if Trump were not president,'” Trump added. “It was stated that my ‘conduct primarily reflected a frustration with the Mueller probe and what [I] perceived to be the politics behind it,’ in addition to what I believed were absolutely flawed and Fake News reports. Sound familiar?”
Mueller, in his report, said he could not establish a criminal conspiracy between Russia and the Trump campaign. He also outlined 10 instances of possible obstruction of justice, including a desire by Trump to fire Mueller, but did not reach any conclusions on them. The special counsel said he “determined not to apply an approach that could potentially result in a judgment that the president committed crimes” but that “while this report does not conclude that the president committed a crime, it also does not exonerate him.”
Before releasing Mueller’s report in April 2019, Barr said he and Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein concluded that there was not sufficient evidence to establish Trump committed an obstruction-of-justice offense.
“CREW is devastated by these findings, that they worked so hard to ‘expose,’ but may now move on to the even more ridiculous Witch Hunt that has already caused a great Mar-a-Lago Red Wave with the voters of our Nation!” Trump said in a statement.
CREW said Barr used the memo to “undermine” Mueller’s report.
“The memo presents a breathtakingly generous view of the law and facts for Donald Trump. It significantly twists the facts and the law to benefit Donald Trump and does not comport with a serious reading of the law of obstruction of justice or the facts as found by Special Counsel Mueller. Among many other problems, it is premised on the fact that there was no underlying criminal conduct, which is not what Mueller found, and waves its hand at there being no exact precedent to compare it to,” CREW said on its website on Wednesday. “The memo supports the chilling conclusion that any president can interfere with any investigation if they believe it could damage them politically. It is clear why Barr did not want the public to see it.”