On Thursday, Attorney General William Barr expressed disagreement with a few of the legal theories used by special counsel Robert Mueller in his investigation into alleged obstruction of justice committed by President Trump and in the FBI's probe into potential Russian interference, Politico reports.
"Although the Deputy Attorney General and I disagreed with some of the Special Counsel’s legal theories and felt that some of the episodes examined did not amount to obstruction as a matter of law, we did not rely solely on that in making our decision," said Barr at a crucial press conference about the investigation.
According to Barr, Mueller studied 10 episodes that had the potential to lead to obstruction, but that neither he nor Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein concluded that the facts did not amount to evidence that a crime had occurred. The Attorney General previously said that the special counsel reached no conclusion about the allegations against the president.
Rather, Barr argued his theory for Trump's behavior during the investigation: he suggested that the president was justifiably frustrated that the probe was interfering with his policy and leadership and that his opponents were using the investigation to their advantage.
Over the past two years, Trump has repeatedly claimed "no collusion" and that he is innocent. Barr also said that the president had cooperated fully with the investigation, though Trump rejected an interview request from Mueller.
"In assessing the President’s actions discussed in the report, it is important to bear in mind the context," Barr said in his statement. "President Trump faced an unprecedented situation. As he entered into office, and sought to perform his responsibilities as President, federal agents and prosecutors were scrutinizing his conduct before and after taking office, and the conduct of some of his associates. At the same time, there was relentless speculation in the news media about the President’s personal culpability."