Barr has to answer for Mueller report summary, Lindsey Graham says – Washington Examiner
Attorney General William Barr will have to answer for his four-page summary on special counsel Robert Mueller’s report.
Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., said Wednesday’s hearing with Barr will focus on whether Barr misrepresented the findings from the 22-month investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 election and possible collusion by President Trump.
“Well, he gave a four-page summary. Does the report support his summary? Does the report actually indicate there was no collusion between the Trump campaign and the Russians?” Graham said during a “Face the Nation” interview Sunday on CBS.
Barr released a four-page summary of Mueller’s report last month, days after the special counsel investigation came to a close, which said Mueller did not find evidence of conspiracy. The summary also took a partial quote from Mueller that said he did not reach a conclusion on whether Trump had obstructed justice. Barr said he and Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein determined no such crime had been committed.
Barr’s summary has come under heavy scrutiny. Following the redacted release of Mueller’s report, the New York Times published an analytical piece comparing excerpts from Barr’s summary to Mueller’s findings. Critics have slammed Barr’s decision to hold a press conference as a ploy to spin the special counsel’s findings and pointed to instances in the past in which he wrote summaries they view as obscuring the truth.
Democrats have rallied around the report, which lays out nearly a dozen instances of possible obstruction of justice and signals the question should be left up to Congress to answer, as a cornerstone for more investigations into the president.
Graham dismissed the possibility of obstruction outright.
“I think the idea that this President obstructed justice is absurd,” Graham said. He turned over a million documents to the special counsel. Almost everybody around him testified. I can’t think of one thing that President Trump did to stop Mueller from doing his job. He never claimed executive privilege. From my point of view I’ve heard all I need to really know. Now I want to look at it and find out how all this happened.”
He was specifically asked to comment on the report’s excepts about Trump ordering former White House counsel Don McGahn to fire Mueller. “I think it’s just all theater. It doesn’t matter. I don’t care what he said to Don McGahn. It’s what he did. And the president never obstructed,” Graham said.
Graham also discounted the possibility of asking for testimony from McGahn and Mueller. “I’m not going to re-litigate it,” Graham said.
Barr also has hearing on the Mueller report scheduled with the Democrat-led House Judiciary Committee on Thursday, which is now in doubt due to disagreement over parameters. “Discussions are still ongoing, to be picked back up tomorrow,” a Justice Department official told the Washington Examiner.