In an interview published Thursday, Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein defended Attorney General William Barr, stating that Barr is “being as forthcoming as he can,” Axios reports.
“He’s being as forthcoming as he can, and so this notion that he’s trying to mislead people, I think is just completely bizarre,” he said.
The Democrats have long alleged that Barr is covering for Trump, despite the fact that the attorney general had directly quoted Robert Mueller. As previously reported by The Inquisitr, in his letter to Congress, quoting Mueller, Barr revealed that the special counsel failed to prove coordination or conspiracy between Trump campaign officials and the Russian government.
Nevertheless, prominent Democrats — led by House Intelligence Chairman Adam Schiff and House Judiciary Chairman Jerry Nadler — continue to allege conspiracy and collusion, accusing the attorney general of withholding information from the public in order to protect Donald Trump.
Barr, who has faced intense pressure from the Democrats to release the Mueller report as soon as possible, announced during his House Appropriations Committee that a redacted version of the report will be released “within a week.” As Axios notes, Mueller cleared Trump of collusion, but refused to weigh in on obstruction of justice, seemingly leaving the matter up to the attorney general.
Rosenstein refused to comment on Mueller’s refusal to exonerate Trump of obstruction, but adamantly defended William Barr. According to Rosenstein, Barr was aware of the fact that the public had been anxiously awaiting the special counsel’s report, and therefore decided to reveal Mueller’s key findings before “processing” the document in its entirety.
“It would be one thing if you put out a letter and said, ‘I’m not going to give you the report.’ What he said is, ‘Look, it’s going to take a while to process the report. In the meantime, people really want to know what’s in it. I’m going to give you the top-line conclusions.’ That’s all he was trying to do.”
Donald Trump has continued to publicly boast about being exonerated by Mueller — even though the special counsel did not exonerate him of obstruction of justice — viciously criticizing the Democratic Party, and the media for its coverage of the Russia probe.
William Barr’s testimony before the House Appropriations Committee provided the president with another opportunity to weaponize the Russia investigation against the opposition party. As reported by The Hill, during his hearing Barr announced an investigation into the origins of the Russia probe, accusing intelligence officials of spying on Trump’s 2016 campaign.
In his first interview since the Mueller probe ended, Rod Rosenstein beat back suggestions that William Barr is trying to mislead the public https://t.co/toxrLBT7ny
— Sadie Gurman (@sgurman) April 11, 2019
In response to Barr’s comments, Trump — who has long accused the Democrats of orchestrating an intelligence operation against him in 2016 — said that there “absolutely” was “unprecedented” spying.
“You’re very lucky I was the president during this scam,” the president told the media during an Oval Office meeting.