Special counsel Robert Mueller sent a letter to Attorney General William Barr expressing concern that his four-page summary to Congress of the “principal conclusions” of Mueller’s 400-page report did not incorporate fully its findings, said a source familiar with the special counsel’s letter.
Justice Department officials added that the two men also later spoke on the phone and that Mueller voiced his belief that his report was more “nuanced” on obstruction of justice than Barr’s short letter, although the letter itself was not inaccurate, CNN informs. The officials also noted that Mueller expressed frustration with media coverage and wanted more of the report to be released publicly.
Barr reportedly said he would not do so partially and asked that Mueller’s team finish the redactions of the full report as soon as possible.
The White House did not comment on the matter, but senior DOJ officials have expressed puzzlement over the special counsel’s failure to reach a conclusion on the issue of obstruction of justice and the President’s attorney Rudy Giuliani criticized Mueller for not doing so.
“Mueller should have made a decision and shouldn’t be complaining or whining now that he didn’t get described correctly,” Giuliani said.
The Washington Post first reported the one-page letter, which a source said was sent on March 27 and was subsequently reviewed by Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein’s office. Another source said that Barr likewise reviewed the letter and later called Mueller. Their conversation was polite, but there was disagreement between the two men, according to the source.
“In a cordial and professional conversation, the Special Counsel emphasized that nothing in the Attorney General’s March 24 letter was inaccurate or misleading. But he expressed frustration over the lack of context and the resulting media coverage regarding the Special Counsel’s obstruction analysis,” said Justice Department spokesperson Kerri Kupec on Tuesday.
He added that Mueller and Barr also discussed “whether additional context from the report would be helpful and could be quickly released.” They agreed to release the full reports, rather than just parts of it.