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Attorney General William Barr said Thursday that he and Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein concluded there was no criminal obstruction of justice by President Trump because it is their responsibility as prosecutors to make that decision.
“The very prosecutorial function and all our powers as prosecutors, including the power to convene grand juries and compulsory process that’s involved there, is for one purpose and one purpose only: it’s to determine, yes or no, was alleged conduct criminal or not criminal,” Barr said during a press conference before the release of the special counsel report.
That is our responsibility, and that’s why we have the tools we have, and we don’t go through this process just to collect information and throw it out to the public. We collect this information, we use that compulsory process, for the purpose of making that decision. And because the special counsel did not make that decision, we felt the Department had to, and that was a decision by me and the deputy attorney general.
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Barr held a press conference at the Justice Department just before the planned release of special counsel Robert Mueller’s report, which concluded that there was no collusion between the Trump campaign and Russia, but did not make a decision either way on if the president obstructed justice.
Barr revealed at the press conference that Mueller and his team looked at ten episodes involving the president and discussed potential legal theories for connecting his actions to elements of an obstruction offense but did not come to a traditional prosecutorial judgment.
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Barr said he and Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein, in consultation with Justice Department lawyers, concluded that the evidence developed by Mueller “is not sufficient to establish that the president committed an obstruction of...
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