A recently publicized letter from Robert Mueller to Attorney General Bill Barr from March 27 brings new attention to an exchange the AG had with Rep. Charlie Crist during a House Appropriations Committee hearing on April 9. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said that now that Mueller's letter has become public, Barr is revealed to have lied to Crist about Mueller's opinion of Barr's summary of the special counsel report.
Barr’s brief 4-page memo "did not fully capture the context, nature, and substance" of the 448-page investigation, Mueller said in the letter, according to the Washington Post. The summary said Mueller found Trump did not collude with Russia and came to no conclusion on obstruction of justice. Barr, in his memo, also determined Trump did not obstruct justice.
The Speaker's Republican counterpart, Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy, disputed Pelosi's assertion that Barr "lied," saying, "I believe he has been very transparent through all of this."
"I suspect that they probably wanted more put out, but in my view, I was not interested in putting out summaries or trying to summarize," Barr told Crist about Mueller's team's opinion of his memo. "I felt I should state the bottom line conclusions and I tried to use special counsel Mueller's language in doing that."
A truncated version of the clip tweeted out by the office of Rep. Charlie Crist ends with Barr saying, "no I don't," and leaves out Barr's explanation.
Honest questions deserve honest answers. I'm very concerned that Attorney General Barr's answer on April 9, 2019 wasn't honest.— Charlie Crist (@CharlieCrist) May 1, 2019
If that's true, there will be consequences. pic.twitter.com/CP9JHeKvqt
REP. CHARLIE CRIST: Reports have emerged recently, general, that members of the Special Counsel’s team are frustrated at some level with the limited information included in your March 24th letter, that it does not adequately or accurately necessarily portray the report’s findings. Do you know what they’re referencing with that?
ATTORNEY GENERAL BILL BARR: No, I don’t. I think -- I suspect that they probably wanted more put out, but in my view, I was not interested in putting out summaries or trying to summarize. Because I think any summary regardless of who prepares it not only runs the risk of being underinclusive or overinclusive but also would trigger a lot of discussion and analysis that really should await everything coming out at once.
I was not interested in a summary of the report, and in fact, at the time I put out that March 24 letter, there was nothing from the special counsel that wasn't marked as potentially containing 6(e) [sealed grand jury] material and I had no material that had been sanitized of 6(e) material, so I felt I should state the bottom line conclusions and I tried to use special counsel Mueller's language in doing that.