Trump, White House Aides Rebuff Accounts of Damaging Mueller Report
U.S. President Donald Trump and White House officials on Sunday rebuffed reports that release of special counsel Robert Mueller's full report on the 2016 Trump campaign's contacts with Russia would prove more damaging than the initial conclusion that neither Trump nor his aides conspired with Moscow to help him win.
Trump said on Twitter, "Looks like Bob Mueller’s team of 13 Trump Haters & Angry Democrats are illegally leaking information to the press while the Fake News Media make up their own stories with or without sources – sources no longer matter to our corrupt & dishonest Mainstream Media, they are a Joke!"
Attorney General William Barr is reviewing the nearly 400-page report and says he plans to release it in the coming days after redacting confidential information, such as secret grand jury testimony or foreign intelligence that was included in the report.
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Late last month, Barr released a four-page summary of the report saying that Mueller had concluded that Trump and his campaign had not colluded with Russia. At the same time, Barr said the prosecutor had reached no conclusion whether Trump, as president, had obstructed justice in trying to thwart the investigation.
Barr quoted the report in his summary as saying on the obstruction question that “while this report does not conclude that the president committed a crime, it also does not exonerate him.”
With Mueller failing to reach a decision on obstruction, Barr, a Trump appointee as the country's top law enforcement official, and Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein decided that obstruction charges against Trump were not warranted. Trump has claimed the report totally exonerates him, "no collusion, no obstruction, no nothing."
Reports: Mueller Investigators Say Final Report Contains Damaging Evidence
But according to news accounts, Mueller's prosecutors have told associates they were dismayed at the cryptic account of the Mueller report issued by Barr, saying the full report is a more damaging account of Trump's actions. Democratic opponents of Trump in Congress, and some Republicans, have called for release of the full Mueller report, with one Democratic-controlled committee in the House of Representatives last week voting to subpoena the full report and supporting material.
Trump attorney Jay Sekulow told ABC News does not believe the full report will be "more damaging" for Trump.
Mick Mulvaney, the acting White House chief of staff, told Fox News that Democrats "really did believe" that Mueller would conclude that Trump had colluded with Russia, saying, "The Democrat Party is contaminated with Trump Derangement Syndrome."
"If we give the Democrats all 400 pages unredacted that's not going to be the end of the inquiry," Mulvaney said. "Then they're going to want another thousand pages that went into making it. This is not about getting to the truth. This is a political show by the Democrats."
House Democrats have also asked the country's tax agency, the Internal Revenue Service, to turn over the last six years of Trump's federal tax returns, which, breaking custom from previous presidents the last four decades, Trump has refused to disclose.
Mulvaney said Democrats will never see Trump's tax returns, "nor should they."
US House Panel Asks IRS for 6 Years of Trump's Tax Returns
Sekulow said that "if necessary," release of Trump's tax returns "will be litigated."
He said, "We should not be in a situation where… individual private tax returns are used for political purposes."