Speaking to reporters at the Justice Department Thursday morning, Attorney General Bill Barr addressed questions about obstruction of justice during the Special Counsel investigation into the 2016 presidential election.
During his remarks, Barr argued that not only was there no obstruction of justice, but that the White House cooperated with every aspect of the probe, offered witnesses and provided requested documentation. During this section, he specifically cited the Mueller report.
"The White House fully cooperated with the Special Counsel’s investigation, providing unfettered access to campaign and White House documents, directing senior aides to testify freely, and asserting no privilege claims. And at the same time, the President took no act that in fact deprived the Special Counsel of the documents and witnesses necessary to complete his investigation," Barr said. "Apart from whether the acts were obstructive, this evidence of non-corrupt motives weighs heavily against any allegation that the President had a corrupt intent to obstruct the investigation."
Barr also provided context surrounding President Trump's frustration with the probe, which he cooperated with anyway.
"In assessing the President’s actions discussed in the report, it is important to bear in mind the context. 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," Barr said. "At the same time, there was relentless speculation in the news media about the President’s personal culpability. Yet, as he said from the beginning, there was in fact no collusion. And as the Special Counsel’s report acknowledges, there is substantial evidence to show that the President was frustrated and angered by a sincere belief that the investigation was undermining his presidency, propelled by his political opponents, and fueled by illegal leaks."
When Barr released his four-page letter with the bottom line findings three weeks ago, the White House said President Trump would not assert executive privilege over the contents in the final report. That position still stands.
"Accordingly, the public report I am releasing today contains redactions only for the four categories that I previously outlined, and no material has been redacted based on executive privilege," Barr said.
Shortly after the press conference ended, President Trump tweeted the following.