AG Barr defends handling of Mueller report in Senate hearing

Channel: Fox Business
Published: 05/01/2019 05:30 PM

Former Deputy Assistant Attorney General Tom Dupree on Attorney General William Barr's handling of the Mueller report. FOX Business Network (FBN) is a financial news channel delivering real-time information across all platforms that impact both Main Street and Wall Street. Headquartered in New ...

Former deputy assistant attorney general pomp degree what he makes of all this time, always good to have you my friend, thank you for joining us to you. Neil one thing that struck me is interesting: mcmillon kind of paraphrase i was taking notes earlier, while he was speaking that he referring to muller, couldn't decide about obstruction so essentially bill barr did by saying there wasn't enough t ...
ere to go after the president and not enough To exonerate the president, what did he get wrong? It sounds like that is exactly what the report kind of concluded. That'S right, and i think in that respect it's very hard to find fault in what the attorney general initially reported asfar as muller's conclusions. It seems like the area of disagreement here, neil between barr and the special counsel is that the special counsel wanted the attorney general to provide more underlying context of why muller reached the decisions that he did. Barr testified today that his focus was on delivering the bottom line, verdict of the muller report to the american people to get the news out of the bottom line conclusion in an efficient fashion. It sounds like what bob muller wanted was maybe a little more detail and explanation as to what led muller to reach the verdicts that he did all right. So that would have desiccated adlai. Getting the report out to provide more ofthat context. Maybe muller would have been okay with that. What'S your sense, well see, that's the thing. I think if we turn the clock back to a few weeks ago, when everyone was so eager to figure out what muller concluded we knew the report came in. We didn't know what he said.

You remember it was over a weekend. We were all watching our tvs, trying to find out what did muller find, what didn't he find, and so it's out of that context that i think the attorney general basically spent the entire weekend in his office going through the report so as to be able to Provide a succinct, bottom-line description of what muller found ofcourse. The attorney general knew that, within a matter of days or weeks, the report as a whole, except for the redacted portions, the report as a whole would become public. So i don't think that really would been emotional to lie or dissemble, knowing that this whole thing was gon na become a public document in a matter of days. So do you believe the attorney general what he says what bowlers problem was was the way the press. You know portrayed those findings without that context and that bugged him. I suspect that is what in fact was bothering bob muller. We know that as soon as the report came out and barre summarized the report that there wasa lot of press basically saying total vindication on the collusion part muller didn't reach a conclusion on the obstruction part. But barr reached the conclusion that there was no obstruction and i think what muller wanted was a little more nuance into why muller didn't find obstruction and i think, from muller's perspective, barr was suggesting that muller was basically agnostic on this issue when, as we know from The report muller offered some reasons as to the his ultimate decision not to reach a conclusion on that piece of the investigation. You know you talk about being agnostic about it. I got the impression you're the expert, but, as you know, i read a prompter, so i thinki qualified anyway mahler couldn't decide on that issue right. So that seemed a surprise barr and, by extension, the outgoing deputy attorney general rod, rosen sign that he hadn't reached a formal conclusion when i guess both of these gentlemen thought he would so they took the liberty to put a bow on it, even when they didn't Definitively conclude one way, the other, which was the gist of muller's finding right, and i think, from the attorney general's perspective, the department of justice is tasked with making these decisions, whether to prosecute or not, to process.

Why did he do it? That way? I know it's a dumb question, but muller had to have known that the wholeworld was watching for some sort of a definitive. You know statement here and he didn't provide it, leaving it open-ended a navy to your point earlier. I know you've told me about that. He would leave it in congress's hands and then see what they do, but it to me. It sounds like turning from your duty here well and here's the thing. I think there are two things that were animating bob muller. I think number one was this point about. You can't indict a sitting president under long standing, justice, department, guidance, that's the reason, a reason. I assume that's absolutely that's. I mean it goes back decades. It'S all settled doj guidance, the department of justicerespects that decision. So i think that was a piece of it.

I suspect there also was a piece of whether bob muller himself thought that the evidence would be sufficient to prove obstruction or not. Here i think it's a little ambiguous. Certainly he never came out and said, but for that opinion i would have charged obstruction. On the other hand, he did have that sentence where he said. If we could have exonerated the president, we would have. That was a very unusual sentence for someone like bob muller, to put in the report, and i suspect we will learn more about why he included that sentence in the report. If and when bob muller testifies beforecongress but you're a very good lawyer as well. Do you see having read the report yourself? I'Ve got a sense that these these instances the democrats were seizing on today about the president advising is counseled to go ahead and try to get muller fired. The president denies that, by the way that such actions - and there were several others - are acts of obstruction yeah. I guess my take on that. Neil'S is several points number one is. I did not like a lot of what i read in the report.

I was disappointed to see what was going on behind the scenes at the same time. What do you need you like the president's behavior, all right rightright? I didn't. I didn't like seeing what he was doing behind the scenes. At the same time, i respect the decision of the attorney general to look at it and make the determination as to whether there was sufficient evidence of criminal motive in what the president was doing. The attorney general looked at that he reached a conclusion that there wasn't sufficient motive, no matter what you think of the conduct and whether the president should have done it or shouldn't have done it. Whether it crossed the bar to be able to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that there was criminal activity here, that's what the attorney general ultimately concluded, because i read it earlier with theexpertise that you have and i've read the initial conclusions or bullet points that barb aide And i don't think he was off on those bullet points that was my read of it and i had no ax to grind with either side here your thoughts, i think barr gave an accurate summary of what bomb all are found to be sure he could have Written the 20 page document, but he didn't have the time to do that right. He had to get that out fast, really wasn't right. So right he borrowed to get moe bottom line conclusion into the hands the american people as soon as he could that's what he said he was gon na do that'swhat. He did. Could he have said more? Of course he could, but he didn't have to especially bc knew the report was gon na be coming out in a matter of days. All right. Thank you very, very, very much hunt debris the former deputy assistant attorney general and very patient with idiotic questions thrown his way.

Thomas. Thank you. My friend.

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