Robert Mueller Privately Smacked Down William Barr's Report Summary

Trump Administration

Special counsel Robert Mueller reportedly wrote a letter to Attorney General William Barr expressing concerns about the summary of his investigation into President Trump’s dealings with Russia that was initially released to the public, according to the Washington Post.

In the letter, Mueller apparently wrote that Barr’s summary did not capture the “context, nature, and substance” of his report.

The Post reports that the letter was followed by a phone call to Barr in which Mueller encouraged the AG to release executive summaries of the report.

Details on how this went down and how we found out about it are still sketchy. But if it’s true, this is a big deal. Mueller has been exceedingly quiet throughout the two years of his investigation and since its release. If he did break that silence to reprimand Barr for his depiction of the report in the summary, he must have been pretty pissed.

Update, 8:30 p.m.:

The Post has released a bit of text from Mueller’s letter.

“The summary letter the Department sent to Congress and released to the public late in the afternoon of March 24 did not fully capture the context, nature, and substance of this office’s work and conclusions,” Mueller wrote. “There is now public confusion about critical aspects of the results of our investigation. This threatens to undermine a central purpose for which the Department appointed the Special Counsel: to assure full public confidence in the outcome of the investigations.”

Meanwhile, the New York Times reports that Mueller wrote the letter in late March. A Justice Department spokeswoman says that the conversation between the two took place shortly after Barr released the summary.

“The special counsel emphasized that nothing in the attorney general’s March 24 letter was inaccurate or misleading,” Justice Department spokeswoman Kerri Kupec told the Times. “But he expressed frustration over the lack of context and the resulting media coverage regarding the special counsel’s obstruction analysis.”

According to Kupec, the two discussed “whether additional context from the report would be helpful and could be quickly released” but Barr decided against releasing the report in a “piecemeal fashion.” She called the call a “cordial and professional conversation.” It’s already clear that this isn’t how many Democrats will represent the letter and cal.

Members of Congress are now demanding that Mueller’s letter to Barr is released and that Mueller is allowed to testify to Congress. Barr is scheduled to testify tomorrow morning.

Nadler also noted that this revelation casts doubt on previous testimony Barr made to Congress.

Others, including 2020 presidential candidate Julián Castro, are demanding that Barr resign.

This story is developing and will be updated as more information becomes available.

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