One MSNBC host explained that Attorney General Bill Barr attempted to go much further than special counsel Robert Mueller did in his full report on the Russia investigation.
MSNBC’s Ari Melber came in to cover the letter produced by Barr on Sunday and explained that the letter had a lot of problems with it that are now being called into question.
“President Trump returning to the White House, he’s breaking his silence to welcome the new letter from hand-picked Attorney General Barr and asserting that the president did not obstruct justice,” Melber began the show saying. “Now, here are the facts. First: the Mueller probe did end without indictments for election conspiracy and collusion and the Barr letter, this is the biggest news of the night if not the year, it did note that.”
However, Melber said, this letter from Barr nor the Mueller report “did not exonerate President Trump.” Both the president and his legal team have announced he’s been fully exonerated of all accusations.
“This did not exonerate president Trump from obstruction of justice,” Melber continued. “That whole issue remains open and that’s according to the best presentation of the evidence on behalf of Donald Trump by his own Attorney General Barr. This is what you need to know tonight: Barr’s letter today, tonight, tries to go much [further] than what Mueller found on obstruction. And you’re going to hear a lot about this tonight and the coming days. It tries to declare that Donald Trump who appointed Barr did not obstruct justice.”
Melber said that it leaves the issue of obstruction “unresolved,” and refused to conclude whether Trump committed a crime.
“While it did not conclude that the president committed a crime it does not exonerate him. That is in this letter. That is an open question,” Melber said. “For you, for the Congress, for anyone who understands that after 22 months Mueller clearly looks pretty fair, a lot of smoke about Russian collusion but no fire.”
“And yet, while Barr could have stopped there and let you or the Congress or the country deal with this, he goes much further tonight,” Melber continued. “This is important I want to bring in my experts in a moment: He says that he decided that while Mueller did not try to resolve if Donald Trump obstructed justice, he’s going to. Now, that’s important because in past probe, whether you agree with the outcomes or not, you may remember in both the Clinton and the Nixon cases these kinds of findings of potential obstruction are referred to the Congress for its judgment.”
Yet, Melber noted, Barr isn’t sending this to Congress. Instead, he’s done something unprecedented by releasing his own findings and his own legal opinion on the Mueller report.
“I would observe that this might become quite controversial,” Melber said. “He stated his own view tonight that he thinks his boss Donald Trump did not obstruct justice and of course the president would be seizing on that to declare no collusion, no obstruction and he broke his silence just now.”
Watch his full opener below: