Ex-DOJ official: Congress should focus more on Trump's conduct than issues of criminality

A former Justice Department official told Hill.TV on Monday that Congress and the public are getting “lost” in questions over whether President TrumpDonald John TrumpTrump: 'I will not let Iran have nuclear weapons' Rocket attack hits Baghdad's Green Zone amid escalating tensions: reports Buttigieg on Trump tweets: 'I don't care' MORE obstructed justice, and that the focus should instead be on Trump's conduct.

“For us as people and for Congress as a body, the determination should not be: Is it a crime or is it not? It’s is the conduct proper,” said Elliot Williams, who worked at the Justice Department as deputy assistant attorney general for legislative affairs during the Obama administration. “We are getting lost in this question of what’s a crime and what’s not.”

Williams, who is also a former federal prosecutor, said the Mueller report shows improper conduct on behalf of the president with regard to now-former White House counsel Don McGahn. He said one of the accounts consisted of “asking the White House counsel to behave in a manner that made him uncomfortable — uncomfortable enough to step out of the job.”

Williams’s comments come just days after Attorney General William BarrWilliam Pelham BarrClash with Trump marks latest break with GOP leaders for Justin Amash Schiff: Impeachment proceedings could be 'tool' to get information, evidence Trump fires back at 'loser' GOP lawmaker who said he'd engaged in 'impeachable conduct' MORE released a redacted version of Mueller’s report on Thursday. While Mueller found no evidence of collusion between the Trump campaign and Russia, the special counsel was unable to “conclusively determine” whether Trump obstructed justice.

The report includes several instances of possible obstruction of justice.

Media reports emerged last year that Trump had ordered McGahn to disband the Mueller investigation and fire Mueller. According to the Mueller report, McGahn threatened to resign and refused to follow through on the request.

“Each time he was approached, McGahn responded that he would not refute the press accounts because they were accurate in reporting on the President’s efforts to have the Special Counsel removed,” Mueller wrote.

McGahn served in the Trump White House for almost two years and was mentioned throughout Mueller’s report after conducting hours of interviews with the special counsel's team.

House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerrold NadlerJerrold (Jerry) Lewis NadlerDemocrats are running out of stunts to pull from impeachment playbook Trump asks if Nadler will look into Clinton's 'deleted and acid washed' emails Trump tweets conservative commentator's criticism of FBI director MORE (D-N.Y.) said Sunday that Democrats plan to call McGahn to testify, saying Congress needs a more detailed account account of what transpired.

"We have to hear from other people like Don McGahn, who we’re going to call," Nadler told NBC’s “Meet the Press.”

—Tess Bonn