In an interview with CBS News that aired on Friday morning, Attorney General William Barr claimed that now-former special counsel Robert Mueller failed to find any evidence that Donald Trump or the Trump campaign conspired with Russia during the 2016 U.S. presidential election, and that allegations of a Trump-Russia collusion are “bogus.”
But, as one author of a bestselling book on the Trump-Russia case noted, Barr’s claim is directly refuted by Mueller himself, on volume one, page 10 of his investigative report, which is accessible online via The New York Times. In fact, on that single page in the 448-page report, Mueller also explains that he may have been able to find more evidence of the alleged conspiracy if Trump and his associates had not actively obstructed his investigation.
“Mueller (says) that he has no idea whether he has all the facts on conspiracy,” wrote Seth Abramson, author TheNew York Times bestseller Proof of Collusion, on his Twitter account. “Trump and his allies found every possible way, including but not limited to obstruction, to hide them from him.”
Abramson added that he has become “obsessed” with page 10 of the report because it offers “a clear statement” by Mueller, and believes there may be more evidence of a Trump-Russia conspiracy that has yet to be uncovered.
In his first and last public statement as special counsel — which he delivered on Wednesday, as The Inquisitr reported — Mueller said that his investigation found “insufficient evidence” to bring criminal conspiracy charges against Trump or his associates.
But in his CBS interview, Barr falsely claimed that Mueller found “no evidence” of conspiracy, as quoted by New York Magazine. “So it was bogus, this whole idea that the Trump was in cahoots with the Russians is bogus,” Barr told interviewer Jan Crawford.
However, on page 10 of the first volume of the Mueller report, Mueller writes that he was unable to piece together “a complete picture of the activities undertaken by subjects of the investigation” because some of those subjects “deleted relevant communications” or used encrypted communications that his investigators could not decrypt. In other cases, some subjects invoked their Fifth Amendment right not to answer questions, while other potential witnesses would not be fully questioned. In fact, as the Associated Press reported, Trump himself refused to submit to an interview by Mueller.
Because of the “gaps” created by the obstruction and non-cooperation of the investigation’s subjects, Mueller wrote, he could not “rule out the possibility that the unavailable information would shed additional light on (or cast in a new light) the events described in the report.”
The report — as explained on page five of the first volume (hosted by The New York Times) — also detailed numerous contacts between the Trump campaign and Russians, including “business connections, offers of assistance to the Campaign, invitations for candidate Trump and Putin to meet in person, invitations for Campaign officials and representatives of the Russian government to meet, and policy positions seeking improved U.S.-Russian relations.”