The White House had a few things to say about Robert Mueller and his investigation in a recent letter to Attorney General William Barr. The letter argued that Mueller’s team included “political statements” in their report and “failed” to behave as traditional prosecutors. They also stated that President Trump reserves the right to invoke his executive privilege on matters that are related to Mueller’s report.
In the letter to the Justice Department, which was dated April 19, White House Counsel Emmet Flood covered several concerns that they had with the Mueller report. In particular, he pointed out the way the team handled the investigation into whether or not President Trump obstructed justice.
According to the letter, which was obtained by Fox News, Flood wrote: “The Special Counsel and his staff failed in their duty to act as prosecutors and only as prosecutors.” Flood continued by complaining that the report “suffers from an extraordinary legal defect” by failing to comply with the “requirements of governing law.”
In the letter, Flood spoke about concerns regarding the team’s failure to reach a conclusion on the question of obstruction, even though they went into great detail about the findings of the investigation. The letter also pointed to a passage that stated that the investigation didn’t clear the president of wrongdoing. That passage read: “The evidence we obtained about the President’s actions and intent presents difficult issues that prevent us from conclusively determining that no criminal conduct occurred. Accordingly, while this report does not conclude that the President committed a crime, it also does not exonerate him.” Flood also pointed out that prosecutors “simply are not in the business of establishing innocence” and described these as “political statements.”
The letter was delivered just one day after a redacted version of Mueller’s report was released to the public. Several points in the letter were in agreeance with Barr’s testimony from this week in front of the Senate Judiciary Committee, in which he said that he didn’t understand why Mueller didn’t come to a conclusion.
In his letter, Flood wrote, “the one thing the SCO (Special Counsel’s Office} was obligated to do is the very thing the SCO — intentionally and unapologetically — refused to do. The SCO made neither a prosecution decision nor a declination decision on the obstruction question.”
He continued by stating that the report was instead “laden with factual information that has never been subjected to adversarial testing or independent analysis.” Flood also said that Mueller “produced a prosecutorial curiosity,” describing the report as “part ‘truth commission’ report and part law school exam paper.”
Even though Trump has claimed that the report exonerated him, the document only stated that Mueller didn’t find evidence of collusion with Russia, while leaving the question of obstruction unanswered. Barr concluded that evidence of obstruction didn’t mean that a crime took place, even though the section in the report on that included details about how the president behaved, including the allegation that he requested for Mueller to be removed.
Flood was in agreeance with the fact that Mueller intentionally left out a conclusion as to whether Trump was guilty of obstruction, and instead, chose to provide information so Congress could decide what to do. “By way of justifying this departure, it has been suggested that the report was written with the intent of providing Congress some kind of ‘road map’ for congressional action,” wrote Flood. He added: “it too serves as additional evidence of the [Special Counsel Office’s] refusal to follow applicable law.”
The White House has made it clear that they intend to oppose any and all subpoenas that might challenge the executive privilege, which is a power sanctioned by the Supreme Court that allows the president and members of the executive branch to shield certain internal communications from being disclosed. While speaking to reporters, Trump said: “We’re fighting all the subpoenas.”