Former FBI Director James Comey said on CNN that Attorney General William Barr deserves the “benefit of the doubt” when it comes to his handling Robert Mueller’s report of the same investigation. Comey was fired in 2017 by President Donald Trump while heading the investigation into potential collusion between Trump’s advisers and Russia to influence the 2016 presidential election.
Mediaite reports that although Barr claims that the report will be released in mid-April at the latest, he also says that it will come with redactions. His decision has many Democrats pushing for the full release of the report, as The Inquisitr reported, but Comey suggests they should wait and see what Barr has to show first.
“I can’t say for sure until we see it. Those are reasonable concerns for Democrats to have, but Bill Barr, our attorney general, deserves the benefit of the doubt. Give him a chance to show us what he feels like he can’t show us. I have to imagine that former director Mueller wrote the report with an eye towards it being public someday, so I can’t imagine a lot needs to be cut off of it, but let’s wait and see. The attorney general deserves that chance.”
When asked by CNN’s Christiane Amanpour what normal redactions are, Comey said that the public can expect a “good faith effort” by the Justice department to protect classified information that could damage ongoing investigations. He added that the redactions might also address people who could potentially be smeared despite not having a role in the investigation.
But Comey did break from Barr with his opinion of obstruction cases, stating that even when the underlying crime cannot be charged or proven, it is important to continue the investigation. Per CNN, he highlighted the criminal charges against Martha Stewart in the early 2000s, suggesting that people obstruct in order to protect their businesses, family, and friends, and to avoid embarrassment. He claims that these kinds of obstruction cases are “really important” because if they are not addressed, an incentive to obstruct is created.
As of now, Barr claims that the evidence from Mueller’s investigation was not enough to prove that Trump committed obstruction of justice. However, Mueller claims that while he could not come to a decision, Trump is not exonerated from the potential crime. As The Inquisitr reported, NPR public editor Elizabeth Jensen highlighted the importance of remembering that all conclusions of the report thus far have been reported by Barr.