Ex-Watergate prosecutor says Barr presented a 'mischaracterization' of Mueller report

Former Watergate special prosecutor Richard Ben-Veniste said in an interview that aired Tuesday on "Rising" that Attorney General William BarrWilliam Pelham BarrThe Hill's Morning Report - Presented by JUUL Labs - House to vote to condemn Trump tweet House poised to hold Barr, Ross in contempt Harris campaign accepts money from partners of law firm she criticized over Epstein case MORE gave the American people a "mischaracterization of the conclusions" in special counsel Robert MuellerRobert (Bob) Swan MuellerTop Republican considered Mueller subpoena to box in Democrats Kamala Harris says her Justice Dept would have 'no choice' but to prosecute Trump for obstruction Dem committees win new powers to investigate Trump MORE's report into Russia's election meddling. 

"What he gave them was a mischaracterization of the conclusions of that report," Ben-Veniste told Hill.TV's Jamal Simmons on Monday, adding that Barr was "banking on the ... suspicion that most Americans will be too lazy to read the report." 

"It certainly doesn't show that the president was entirely cooperative. It shows that the president refused to testify under oath, [and] refused to sit down for an interview," he said. "So how is that cooperative?" 

The Justice Department released a redacted version of Mueller's report last week, which said that the Trump campaign did not conspire or coordinate with Russians during the 2016 presidential election. Investigators did not reach a decision on whether President TrumpDonald John TrumpEsper sidesteps question on whether he aligns more with Mattis or Trump Warren embraces Thiel label: 'Good' As tensions escalate, US must intensify pressure on Iran and the IAEA MORE obstructed justice in the probe. 

Democrats argue that Barr botched the rollout of the report, and has worked to protect Trump publicly, citing the attorney general's comments. 

— Julia Manchester