Lawyer who wrote special counsel rules says Trump should not take victory lap

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A lawyer who helped draft the special counsel rules in the late 1990s said that President Trump should not take a victory lap after a summary of the findings of Robert Mueller’s investigation were released.

“There are any number of reasons the president should not be taking a victory lap,” Neal Katyal wrote in a New York Times op-ed.

“First, obviously, he still faces the New York investigations into campaign finance violations by the Trump team and the various investigations into the Trump organization. And Mr. Barr, in his letter, acknowledges that the Mueller report ‘does not exonerate’ Mr. Trump on the issue of obstruction, even if it does not recommend an indictment,” Katyal writes.

{mosads}”But the critical part of the letter is that it now creates a whole new mess. After laying out the scope of the investigation and noting that Mr. Mueller’s report does not offer any legal recommendations, Mr. Barr declares that it therefore ‘leaves it to the attorney general to decide whether the conduct described in the report constitutes a crime.’ He then concludes the president did not obstruct justice when he fired the F.B.I. director, James Comey,” he added.

“Such a conclusion would be momentous in any event. But to do so within 48 hours of receiving the report (which pointedly did not reach that conclusion) should be deeply concerning to every American.”

According to Attorney General William Barr’s letter to Congress late Sunday, Mueller’s probe found no evidence of collusion between Trump’s 2016 campaign and Russia.

However, Mueller did not make a determination on whether Trump obstructed justice while president.

Barr said he and Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein decided not to pursue an obstruction charge after reviewing the special counsel’s findings.

The Trump administration has celebrated the report’s findings, calling them a “complete and total exoneration.”

Democrats have jumped on the obstruction question, renewing their calls for the full report to be made public.

Katyal said in his op-ed that Barr’s letter “raises far more questions than it answers” by not sharing the evidence Mueller gathered on obstruction of justice.

Specifically, he said Barr should interview Trump to determine whether the president acted with “corrupt intent” when firing Comey.

Katyal also called on Congress to call in Barr and Mueller for testimony.

Tags Donald Trump James Comey Robert Mueller Rod Rosenstein
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