Former Director of National Intelligence James Clapper told CNN on Monday that he was baffled by Attorney General Bob Barr’s declaration that President Donald Trump did not obstruct justice.
During a panel discussion on CNN, Clapper praised special counsel Robert Mueller for his work on the probe of Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election, but he said the question of whether the president committed obstruction of justice looms large over his work.
“For me, as a layman, not as an attorney, it sure looked like obstruction was committed to me,” he said.
He went on to say that as much of the Mueller report should be made public as possible and that “the intense interest in this demands that.”
Lisa Monaco, a former chief of staff for Mueller during his tenure as FBI director, said that she was not surprised that Mueller did not make a determination for whether the president obstructed justice given that Department of Justice guidelines dictate that sitting presidents cannot be indicted.
However, she said Attorney General Bob Barr’s decision to add his own conclusion on the obstruction question tipped the balance in the president’s favor.
“What I think is quite striking is the attorney general’s decision to weigh in,” she said. “It seems to be that, what may be the case, is that Bob Mueller and his team laid out a… road map if you will for the next phase in this process, for Congress.”
Watch the video below.
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"Well, what we're going to see is people who have never read the report, which is most everybody, and they have only heard President Trump and the attorney general say he's been exonerated. It does not," he told host Christi Paul. "So, what's going to happen is that they're going to be hearing Robert Mueller in his own words say that the president obstructed justice. The American people have not read this thing."