US Attorney General refuses to appear for second day of Mueller testimony

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US Attorney General refuses to appear for second day of Mueller testimony

The United States’ top lawyer said he will not return to Congress for the second day of testimony.

On Wednesday, William Barr was grilled by Senators over his handling of Robert Mueller’s report into alleged election interference and obstruction of justice.

He was scheduled to testify before the lower House of Representatives on Thursday.

CGTN’s Owen Fairclough reports.

U.S. Attorney General William Barr cleared U.S. President Donald Trump in the Mueller inquiry.

Now he’s been forced to defend his conclusions before Congress.

It’s emerged that Special Counsel Robert Mueller wrote privately to Barr, complaining about Barr’s 4-page letter to Congress, outlining the nearly 500-page report’s findings before it went public last month.

Mueller told Barr his lack of detail and context had created public confusion about critical aspects of the investigation—especially over the possibility that Trump obstructed justice.

“He argued for putting out summaries of each volume, the executive summaries that had been written by his office,” Barr told the Senate Judiciary Committee.

“And if not that, then other material that focused on the issue of why he didn’t reach the obstruction question. But he was very clear with me that he was not suggesting that we had misrepresented his report.”

Barr concluded that there was insufficient evidence to charge Trump with a crime—even though Mueller did not exonerate Trump on the obstruction of justice allegation.

Opposition lawmakers rounded on Barr for his interpretations.

“What really struck me, Mr. Mueller wrote that your letter threatened to undermine a central purpose for which the department appointed the special counsel: ensure full public confidence in the outcome of the investigation,” Senator Patrick Leahy said.

Barr was supposed to spend two days testifying but told lawmakers he would not appear before the Democrat-controlled House of Representatives on Thursday.

As for Mueller, he’s expected to appear before Congress this month.