Attorney General nominee William Barr sent a memo to the Department of Justice criticizing special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation, particularly those aspects of the probe relating to obstruction of justice in June.
The unsolicited document, whose existence was first reported by The Wall Street Journal, argues President Donald Trump’s dismissal of former FBI Director James Comey does not rise to obstruction of justice, since the president was carrying out his constitutional responsibilities.
“As I understand it, [Mueller’s] theory is premised on a novel and legally insupportable reading of the law,” Barr wrote. “Moreover, in my view, if credited by the Justice Department, it would have grave consequences far beyond the immediate confines of this case and would do lasting damage to the presidency and to the administration of law within the executive branch.”
Barr conceded a sitting president could obstruct justice by destroying evidence or tampering with witnesses, according to the Journal. Still, he insisted that the president cannot commit obstruction of justice when exercising his lawful powers.
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