Special counsel Bob Mueller said in a letter to Attorney General Bill Barr that his letter detailing the conclusions of Mueller’s report failed to “fully capture the context” and “substance” of his team’s conclusions.
In a letter reported by The Washington Post and released on Wednesday, Mueller wrote to Barr on March 28 that his conclusions were inadequate and requested that Barr release the executive summaries included within the report, which Barr did not. Barr later testified to Congress that he did not know if Mueller had any any qualms about his conclusion.
"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’s letter said.
"There is now public confusion about critical aspects of the results of our investigation,” Mueller wrote. “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."
Barr defends his actions:
Barr testified to the Senate Judiciary Committee Wednesday and defended his actions.
“I didn’t feel it was in the public interest to allow this to go on for several weeks without saying anything, so I decided to simply state what the bottom-line conclusions were, which is what the department normally does: make a binary determine—is there a crime or isn’t there a crime?” Barr said.
Barr said that Mueller failed to submit his report in a fashion that would have allowed the Justice Department to redact it quicker and said he wanted to release the full report instead of releasing parts of the report in stages.
“We were, frankly, surprised by that they were not going to reach a decision on obstruction,” Barr added. “We did not understand exactly why the special counsel was not reaching a decision and when we pressed him on it, he said that his team was still formulating the explanation.”
Democrats call on Barr to resign:
Numerous Democrats called on Barr to resign, accusing him of trying to cover up Mueller’s findings.
"I asked Barr, 'Did Bob Mueller support your conclusion?' His answer was, 'I don't know whether Mueller supported my conclusion,'"Maryland Sen. Chris Van Hollen said on Twitter. "We now know Mueller stated his concerns on March 27th, and that Barr totally misled me, the Congress, and the public. He must resign."
California Rep. Maxine Waters said on MSNBC that Barr should face impeachment if he does not step down.
"I think that Barr should resign," she said. "And if he does not resign, he should be facing impeachment proceedings also. He has abdicated on his responsibility. He has lied, he has used the very words coming right out of the president's mouth: 'no collusion.' It is outrageous and he needs to go.”