Trump Russia investigation: Attorney General Barr backs Trump

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The report, which has been eagerly awaited in the U.S. capital and beyond for months, backed up Trump's repeated assertions that he did not collude with Russian intelligence efforts to tilt the 2016 presidential election in his favor. As for obstruction of justice, Barr said that while Mueller's report "does not conclude that the President committed a crime, it also does not exonerate him".

U.S. Attorney General William Barr said on Thursday that most of the redactions made to Special Counsel Robert Mueller's Russian Federation report ahead of its release were made to prevent harm to ongoing legal matters.

"The special counsel's report states that his investigation did not establish that members of the Trump campaign conspired or coordinated with the Russian government in its election interference activities", the attorney general told reporters.

Mr Barr said 10 alleged instances of Mr Trump obstructing justice during the special counsel's investigation, including the possibility of firing Mr Mueller, had been examined.

Don Jr., also reiterated Attorney General Bill Barr's assertion that President Donald Trump did not exert any executive privilege throughout the special counsel's investigation or request any redactions.

Moments after Barr finished speaking, House Judiciary Chairman Nadler sent a letter requesting that Mueller himself testify before his panel "no later than May 23".

Democrats blasted Barr's decision to hold a briefing before the public could see Mueller's findings, portraying it as an effort to spin the findings in Trump's favour.

The report, which is more than 440 pages long, has multiple redactions, including information that has been classified, information that relates to ongoing probes and grand jury information, which includes witness interviews and other records. Barr recently indicated his intention to investigate the origins of Mueller's probe, as well as various counterintelligence decisions made by Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Justice Department officials, bolstering some of the president's allies who have vowed to expose a "deep state" conspiracy that claims there is a covert network entrenched inside the government working to undermine Trump.

Throughout, Trump has labelled the investigation a "witch hunt", while his Democratic opponents have talked up the extraordinary idea that an American president might have been colluding with Russian agents.

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But first, the press conference.

That stands in contrast to the picture painted by Attorney General William Barr, who pre-empted the report's release with an extraordinary press conference in which he said the White House "fully cooperated" with the probe.

File Photo: U.S. President Donald Trump speaks to reporters before leaving for Alabama to survey areas devastated by powerful tornadoes, in Washington D.C., the United States, on March 8, 2019. The decision to assert executive privilege to black out portions of the document rested with the president and Trump chose to not request any redactions, according to Barr. As Shackford noted: "Some people really, really want to believe that Trump must have done something to have kept Mueller from finding evidence of coordination with the Russians".

The news media were led into the White House East Room, just before the report came out, for Trump's appearance with wounded warriors.

'Following that review, the President confirmed that, in the interests of transparency and full disclosure to the American people, he would not assert privilege over the Special Counsel's report, ' Barr said.

Barr's news conference ended abruptly after he bristled at the tone of some questions about how he handled the Mueller report.

Details of the president's reaction are recounted in the almost 400-page report, released to the public Thursday.

Democrats have demanded the full, unredacted report be made public to get a clearer picture of Mueller's investigation and conduct Congressional oversight.

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