Ex-federal prosecutor has 'confidence' Barr is doing 'the right thing'

Former federal prosecutor Joseph Moreno is expressing confidence in Attorney General William BarrWilliam Pelham BarrGOP rep predicts watchdog report on alleged FISA abuses will find 'problems' Barr defends Trump's use of executive authority, slams impeachment hearings GOP eager for report on alleged FBI surveillance abuse MORE and his handling of special counsel Robert MuellerRobert (Bob) Swan MuellerHouse impeachment hearings: The witch hunt continues Speier says impeachment inquiry shows 'very strong case of bribery' by Trump Gowdy: I '100 percent' still believe public congressional hearings are 'a circus' MORE’s report on Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election.

“He could have done a better job,” Moreno told Hill.TV, referring to Barr’s rollout of the Mueller report, which drew backlash from Democrats. “But a lot of that is how it was marketed, how it was presented.”

“On the merits, though, I have confidence that he has done and continues to do the right thing,” he added.

Moreno’s comments come after special counsel Robert Mueller held a press conference on Wednesday, marking his first ever public remarks since concluding his two-year investigation.

During his conference, Mueller said that charging Trump of wrongdoing was not an option due to a Justice Department policy that prohibits the indictment of a sitting president, even though in his report the special counsel outlined 10 instances in which Trump may have potentially obstructed justice.

"If we had had confidence that the president clearly did not commit a crime, we would have said so," Mueller added.

Critics said Mueller's remarks conflicted with Barr, who cleared Trump of obstruction in his memo summarizing the special counsel’s findings in April.

But the Justice Department and special counsel’s office later pushed back, asserting that there is “no conflict” between the statements made by Barr and Mueller about the Justice Department’s policy.

“The Special Counsel’s report and his statement today made clear that the office concluded it would not reach a determination – one way or the other – about whether the President committed a crime,” they said in a joint statement. “There is no conflict between these statements.”

—Tess Bonn