Just days after Attorney General William Barr sent Congress a 4-page summary of the 448-page report on Russian interference in the 2016 election, special counsel Robert Mueller sent the attorney general a letter of his own.
The letter, dated March 27, was the second correspondence Mueller sent to Barr after the attorney general provided a summary of the Russia report to Congress on March 24. (Mueller also sent a letter the day after, on March 25.) In them, the special counsel expressed concern that Barr’s interpretation failed to capture the complexities of his nearly two-year investigation.
“The summary letter the Department sent to Congress and released to the public late in the afternoon of March 24 did not fully capture the context, nature, and substance of this Office’s work and conclusions,” Mueller wrote to Barr on March 27. Barr didn't make the full report public until April 18.
Mueller added: “There is now public confusion about critical aspects of the results of our investigation. This threatens to undermine a central purpose for which the Department appointed the Special Counsel: to assure full public confidence in the outcome of the investigations.”
Mueller’s report — as originally summarized by Barr — only partially quoted aspects of the special counsel’s findings, such as when he wrote: "[T]he investigation did not establish that members of the Trump Campaign conspired or coordinated with the Russian government in its election interference activities."
But that wasn’t the whole quote. Here’s what Barr left out: “Although the investigation established that the Russian government perceived it would benefit from a Trump presidency and worked to secure that outcome, and that the Campaign expected it would benefit electorally from information stolen and released through Russian efforts …"
All in all, the investigation resulted in 34 indictments, including guilty pleas or charges against several top officials close to Trump.
Read the full letter below:
Editor's note 10:57 a.m. ET: This post has been updated to reflect that special counsel Robert Mueller sent two letters to Attorney General William Barr about the Russia investigation.
Cover image: In his first appearance on Capitol Hill since taking office, and amid intense speculation over his review of special counsel Robert Mueller's Russia report, Attorney General William Barr appears before a House Appropriations subcommittee to make his Justice Department budget request, Tuesday, April 9, 2019, in Washington. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik)