Was the Mueller Report interpreted without any Political Influence?
For the last two years, Robert F. Mueller with his team have been investigating about the Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election. At the end of March 2019, a confidential report was submitted to William P. Barr with the results. A few days later, Barr sent a letter to Congress, summarising the findings in the report. It stated definitively that Mueller did not establish evidence that President Trump’s team or any associates of the Trump campaign had conspired with Russia to sway the 2016 election.
Daniel Medwed, University Distinguished Professor of Law and Criminal Justice at the Northeastern University believes that there is a greater cause for concern raised by the report than Barr would’ve led us to believe. Barr must have presented the findings in a way that minimised Trump’s culpabililty.
“Overall I’m disappointed in the attorney general’s handling of this,” Medwed commented.
Mueller also examined whether Trump sought to obstruct justice during the Russia investigation, but could not come to a definitive conclusion. The report clearly mentioned that, “While this report does not conclude that the president committed a crime, it also doesn’t exonerate him”. However Barr did reach a definitive conclusion in his letter and his remarks. According to him, the evidence developed by the special counsel was not sufficient to establish that the president committed an obstruction of justice offense.
Another professor of political science at the Northeastern University, Costas Panagopoulos, said that Barr put a political spin on the report by emphasising that Mueller found no coordination between Trump and Russian agents and saying that Trump did not obstruct justice. It seemed that Barr was motivated more by political considerations than legal concerns.
“It’s baffling that an attorney general would want to cause further deterioration of trust in the nation’s top law enforcement agency,” Panagopoulos concluded.
Shahjadi Jemim Rahman