Advisers and allies warn Trump against issuing pardons in Russia probe

Alicia Farmer
April 3, 2019

When Attorney General William Barr releases a redacted version of special counsel Robert Mueller's report on the Russian Federation investigation, several publishers will be ready to put it out in book form.

House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerrold Nadler says an April 2 deadline still stands after Attorney General William Barr said he would deliver a redacted version of special counsel Robert Mueller's Russian Federation report by mid-April.

While six House committee chairs have demanded the full Mueller report by April 2, Democrats were not yet ready to say with any certainty that they would subpoena the document or call on Mueller to testify until after the deadline passes.

Gabbard, who lags in 2020 polls behind better-known rivals, said in a video posted to her Twitter account that "now that Mueller has reported that his investigation revealed no such collusion, we all need to put aside our partisan interests and recognize that finding that the president of the United States did not conspire with Russian Federation to interfere with our elections is a good thing for our country".

Republicans pointed to Mr. Barr's synopsis, released Sunday, that said Mr. Mueller's probe didn't find that Mr. Trump's campaign "conspired or coordinated" with the Russian government to influence the 2016 presidential election.

The Attorney-General said the report was almost 400 pages long excluding tables and appendices and "sets forth the Special Counsel's findings, his analysis and the reasons for his conclusions".

Because Mueller did not reach a conclusion, the final decision was left to Barr and Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein.

On April 24, the same day Barr released his summary, a flood of Democratic presidential candidates said the full report should be made public.

In an op-ed Monday, published by the Times, Nadler wrote, "We have an obligation to read the full report, and the Department of Justice has an obligation to provide it, in its entirely, without delay".

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Democrats argue there is precedent for releasing grand jury material, and the aide said they see that as the "primary obstacle" to making the full Mueller report public.

Despite the end of the Mueller investigation, Mr Trump still faces more than a dozen other investigations and lawsuits looking into his businesses, family, and associates - including allegations that he instructed his former lawyer Michael Cohen to pay hush money to two porn stars who have alleged sexual relations with Mr Trump. Special Counsel Robert Mueller, according to Barr's letter, did not make a prosecutorial judgment. Trump became the first Republican to win the popular vote in MI since 1988, when George Bush won the state on his way to the White House.

But does this completely exonerate Trump?

Barr added an optimistic note of future transparency, writing: "Everyone will soon be able to read it on their own".

Despite claims by Trump that he would like to see the entire Mueller report released, so far the president has not renewed those calls.

As that battle brews, House Democrats barreled ahead with their own investigation of the Trump administration, and Mr. Trump resumed his attack on Rep. Adam Schiff, D-Calif., just as the chairman of the intelligence committee was about to gavel his panel into session. He says Mueller's report is almost 400 pages long.

A question, now, for my Democrat friends: Can we move on and work with President Trump rather than against him and focus on policy rather than fantasy?

The heated, partisan back-and-forth at times overshadowed an intelligence hearing meant to discuss Russia's election interference in 2016 and ongoing threats to the United States.

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