The differences between Attorney General William Barr's and Special Counsel Robert Mueller's conclusion on obstruction are night and day, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) said on Thursday.
Pelosi and Schumer in a statement said the "differences are stark between what Attorney General Barr said on obstruction and what Special Counsel Mueller said on obstruction." They also said that Mueller's report, the redacted version of which was released hours earlier, "appears to undercut" Barr's conclusion that Trump did not obstruct justice.
Barr had said in his four-page summary to Congress that Mueller's report does not make a determination on obstruction but "also does not exonerate him." Barr explained that he and Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein determined there was insufficient evidence that Trump criminally obstructed justice.
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While the report indeed does not reach a conclusion obstruction, it does outline 10 instances of potential obstruction and says that "if we had confidence after a thorough investigation of the facts that the president clearly did not commit obstruction of justice, we would so state." Mueller's report also says that Congress has the authority to make this determination. Barr said in a press conference prior to the report's release that he "disagreed" with some of Mueller's legal theories on obstruction.
Senate Intelligence Committee Vice Chairman Mark Warner (D-Va.) also slammed Barr on Thursday, saying he "fundamentally mischaracterized" the report during his Thursday press conference, while House Judiciary Chair Jerrold Nadler (D-N.Y.) said Barr's statements were "disingenuous" and "misleading."
Editor's note: An earlier version of this story misstated Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer's title. It has sine been corrected. We regret the error.
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