UPDATE 2 – Trump exerts privilege over unredacted Mueller report

                                               ADDS CONTEMPT VOTE IN GRAFS 6-7; MOVES UP LAST GRAF AND REFRAMES</p>  <p>By Michael Hernandez</p>  <p>WASHINGTON (AA) - U.S. President Donald Trump exerted executive privilege Wednesday on the unredacted version of Special Counsel Robert Mueller's report on Russian interference in the 2016 election.</p>  <p>The House Judiciary Committee subpoenaed the Justice Department for an unredacted copy of the report as well as all underlying evidence. Committee Chairman Jerry Nadler had set a Monday deadline for the department to comply, but it came and passed as the committee and the department continued talks to breach the impasse.</p>  <p>Those discussions broke down late Tuesday. </p>  <p>Nadler said the president decided to invoke privilege on the document as the committee prepared to hold Attorney General William Barr in contempt of Congress for failing to adhere to the subpoena.</p>  <p>&quot;The department seemed open to sharing these documents with us just yesterday. This decision represents a clear escalation in the Trump administration's blanket defiance of Congress' constitutionally-mandated duties,&quot; Nadler said ahead of the contempt vote.</p>  <p>The committee voted 24-16 later Wednesday to hold Barr in contempt, sending the matter to the full House where the Democratic majority will likely follow suit and trigger a criminal referral to the U.S. Attorney for the District of Columbia.</p>  <p>Jessie Liu, the U.S. attorney, would then decide whether a prosecution would be pursued. </p>  <p>Barr released a redacted version of the Mueller report to Congress and the public last month, but Democrats have insisted on receiving an uncensored copy.</p>  <p>The White House sharply criticized Nadler, saying in a statement that &quot;neither the White House nor Attorney General Barr will comply with Chairman Nadler’s unlawful and reckless demands.</p>  <p>&quot;Faced with Chairman Nadler’s blatant abuse of power, and at the Attorney General’s request, the President has no other option than to make a protective assertion of executive privilege,&quot; spokeswoman Sarah Sanders said in a statement. 

UPDATE – Trump exerts privilege over unredacted Mueller report

                              ADDS WHITE HOUSE STATEMENT, DETAILS THROUGHOUT</p>  <p>By Michael Hernandez</p>  <p>WASHINGTON (AA) - U.S. President Donald Trump exerted executive privilege Wednesday on the unredacted version of Special Counsel Robert Mueller's report on Russian interference in the 2016 election. </p>  <p>The House Judiciary Committee subpoenaed the Justice Department for an unredacted copy of the report as well as all underlying evidence. Committee Chairman Jerry Nadler had set a Monday deadline for the department to comply, but it came and passed as the committee and the department continued talks to breach the impasse.</p>  <p>Those discussions broke down late Tuesday. </p>  <p>Nadler said the president decided to invoke privilege on the document as the committee prepared to hold Attorney General William Barr in contempt of Congress for failing to adhere to the subpoena.</p>  <p>&quot;The department seemed open to sharing these documents with us just yesterday. This decision represents a clear escalation in the Trump administration's blanket defiance of Congress' constitutionally-mandated duties,&quot; Nadler said ahead of the contempt vote.</p>  <p>Barr released a redacted version of the Mueller report to Congress and the public last month, but Democrats have insisted on receiving an uncensored copy.</p>  <p>The White House sharply criticized Nadler, saying in a statement that &quot;neither the White House nor Attorney General Barr will comply with Chairman Nadler’s unlawful and reckless demands.</p>  <p>&quot;Faced with Chairman Nadler’s blatant abuse of power, and at the Attorney General’s request, the President has no other option than to make a protective assertion of executive privilege,&quot; spokeswoman Sarah Sanders said in a statement. </p>  <p>The Judiciary Committee is likely to vote in favor of holding Barr in contempt of Congress when it votes later Wednesday, sending the matter to the full House where the Democratic majority will likely follow suit and send the matter to the U.S. Attorney for the District of Columbia. 

Trump exerts privilege over unredacted Mueller report

             By Michael Hernandez </p>  <p>WASHINGTON (AA) - U.S. President Donald Trump exerted executive privilege Wednesday on the unredacted version of Special Counsel Robert Mueller's report on Russian interference in the 2016 election. </p>  <p>The House Judiciary Committee subpoenaed the Justice Department for an unredacted copy of the report as well as all underlying evidence. Committee Chairman Jerry Nadler had set a Monday deadline for the department to comply.</p>  <p>But Nadler said the president decided to invoke privilege over the document as the committee prepared to hold Attorney General William Barr in contempt of Congress for failing to adhere to the subpoena.</p>  <p>&quot;The department seemed open to sharing these documents with us just yesterday. This decision represents a clear escalation in the Trump administration's blanket defiance of Congress' constitutionally-mandated duties,&quot; Nadler said.

US: FBI refutes spying allegations on Trump campaign

                                  By Michael Hernandez</p>  <p>WASHINGTON (AA) - FBI Director Christopher Wray broke with Attorney General William Barr on Tuesday, denying the bureau spied on President Donald Trump's 2016 campaign.

Wray contradicted congressional testimony last month in which Barr said he thinks "spying did occur" on the campaign.

"That's not the term I would use," Wray told the Senate Appropriations Committee under questioning from Senator Jeanne Shaheen. "I believe that the FBI is engaged in investigative activity, and part of investigative activity includes surveillance activity of different shapes and sizes, and to me the key question is making sure that it is done by the book."

Asked directly by Shaheen if he has any evidence to support allegations the bureau acted illegally in its investigation, Wray said he does not.

The Justice Department did not immediately return Anadolu Agency's request for comment.

Trump claimed federal investigators spied on his campaign, citing investigations that were conducted on at least one advisor to his campaign.

The FBI received Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) court warrant in 2016 to surveil Carter Page, who was advising the campaign on foreign policy matters, on suspicions he was working with Russia to interfere in the 2016 election.

Trump and his partisan allies have cited the matter as alleged evidence the bureau was covertly spying, claiming the court order was granted under a flimsy pretext.

The Justice Department's inspector general is currently reviewing the process that led to the granting of the FISA warrants.

That process is expected to be completed this month or June, according to Barr.

US House Speaker accuses Barr of lying to Congress

             By Michael Hernandez</p>  <p>WASHINGTON (AA) - House Speaker Nancy Pelosi issued a stark warning to Attorney General William Barr on Thursday, alleging the top law enforcement official lied during congressional testimony. </p>  <p>&quot;The attorney general of the United States of America was not telling the truth to the Congress of the United States,&quot; she said. &quot;That's a crime.&quot;</p>  <p>Barr skipped testimony Thursday before the House Judiciary Committee after he was grilled Wednesday by its Senate counterpart for his handling of the release of Special Counsel Robert Mueller's report on Russian interference in the 2016 election and allegations of Trump campaign collusion.</p>  <p>Pelosi was likely referring to Barr's testimony April 10.  </p>  <p>During that testimony before the Senate Judiciary Committee Barr said he did not know if Mueller agreed with his conclusions on the report, particularly his decision to clear U.S. President Donald Trump of obstruction of justice. </p>  <p>But within hours of his scheduled appearance before the Senate Judiciary Committee, the Washington Post reported that Mueller wrote to Barr complaining over the summary he issued to the public about the special counsel's findings.</p>  <p>Barr's summary, Mueller wrote, &quot;did not fully capture the context, nature, and substance of this Office's work and conclusions&quot;.</p>  <p>Pelosi said if anyone else had done what Barr did &quot;it would be considered a crime.&quot;</p>  <p>&quot;Nobody is above the law. Not the President of the United States, and not the attorney general,&quot; she said.</p>  <p>Asked pointedly if Barr should go to jail, Pelosi said &quot;there's a process here&quot; the Judiciary Committee will determine how to proceed on.</p>  <p>The Justice Department did not immediately respond to requests for comment on Pelosi's allegations.  

Top US lawyer grilled by Congress on Mueller report

            By Michael Hernandez</p>  <p>WASHINGTON (AA) – U.S. Attorney General William Barr was on the receiving end of blistering criticism from Senate Democrats on Wednesday over his handling of the release of Special Counsel Robert Mueller's long-awaited report on Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election. </p>  <p>Democrats lambasted the top lawyer over their concerns that he worked to spin the conclusions of Mueller's two-year probe in President Donald Trump's favor and in doing so violated the Justice Department's and his integrity through his decision to clear the president of obstruction of justice. </p>  <p>In defending his decision, Barr insisted that he believes the Justice Department does not have a prosecutable case against the president.</p>  <p>In a particularly tense moment, Senator Mazie Hirono said Barr is among the ranks of &quot;people who sacrificed their once decent reputation for the grifter and liar who sits in the Oval Office&quot;.</p>  <p>&quot;Your used every advantage of your office to create the impression that the president was cleared of misconduct. You selectively quoted fragments from the special counsel's report, taking some of the most important statements out of context and ignoring the rest. You put the power and authority of the office of the attorney general and the Department of Justice behind a public relations effort to help Donald Trump protect himself. Finally, you lied to Congress,&quot; she said. </p>  <p>&quot;Being attorney general of the United States is a sacred trust. You have betrayed that trust. America deserves better. You should resign,” Hirono added. </p>  <p>Barr, however, remained defiant in the face of criticism that was re-energized heading into the hearing when The Washington Post reported Tuesday evening that Mueller sent a letter to the attorney general complaining over the summary he issued to the public about the special counsel's findings. </p>  <p>The summary, Mueller wrote, &quot;did not fully capture the context, nature, and substance of this Office's work and conclusions”.</p>  <p>Barr said Mueller's letter was &quot;a bit snitty&quot; and claimed it &quot;was probably written by one of his staff people&quot;.</p>  <p>The attorney general recalled a telephone call between himself and Mueller where he asked the special counsel &quot;what's with the letter? Why didn't you just pick up the phone?&quot;</p>  <p>Asked specifically if anyone had taken notes on that conversation, Barr said some notes were taken, but then said he would not hand them over to Congress. </p>  <p>&quot;Why not?&quot; asked Senator Richard Blumenthal.</p>  <p>&quot;Why should you have them?&quot; Barr replied. 

“Mueller, Ruslarla gizli iş birliğine dair delil bulamadı”

WASHINGTON (AA) – ABD Adalet Bakanı William Barr, Özel Yetkili Savcı Robert Mueller'ın yürüttüğü Rusya soruşturmasında, "ABD Başkanı Donald Trump veya onun seçim ekibi ile Ruslar arasında herhangi bir gizli iş birliği yapıldığına dair delil bulunmadığı" sonucuna ulaşıldığını açıkladı.

ABD Adalet Bakanı Barr, Rusya soruşturmasıyla ilgili Özel Yetkili Savcı Mueller'ın hazırladığı rapor hakkında basın toplantısı düzenledi.

Barr, "Rus hükümeti başkanlık seçimlerimize müdahale etmeyi amaçladı ancak Mueller’ın raporuna göre, Ruslar Trump ya da onun seçim kampanyası ile herhangi bir gizli iş birliği sağlayamadı." dedi.

Adalet Bakanı Barr ayrıca Mueller'ın "Trump'ın adaleti engellemeye yönelik girişimlerde bulunduğu" şeklindeki yorumlarına katılmadığını, bu sürecin şeffaf ve hassas bir şekilde yürütüldüğünü ve Beyaz Saray'dan herhangi bir baskı görmediklerini ifade etti.

  • Raporu Kongreye gönderdi

Soruşturma sonucunda Trump'ın aklandığı değerlendirmesini yapan Barr, ABD Başkanı'nın "öngörülemez" bir süreçle karşı karşıya kaldığını ve bu süreçte medyada ortaya çıkan atmosferin de kendisi aleyhine çalıştığını söyledi.

Barr, "Başkan'ın kişisel olarak suçlanması konusunda medyada güçlü bir spekülasyon süreci yaşandı fakat kendisinin de başından beri söylediği gibi gerçekten de (Ruslarla) gizli bir iş birliği yoktu." diye konuştu.

Raporun kamuya açık versiyonunu Kongreye ileteceğini belirten Barr, Kongreye gönderildikten sonra raporun kopyasının Adalet Bakanlığının internet sitesinde de yayımlanacağını belirtti.

Barr'ın basın açıklamasından kısa bir süre sonra Mueller raporunun redakte edilmiş hali Adalet Bakanlığının internet sitesinde yayımlandı.

  • Trump sonuçtan memnun

Barr'ın basın toplantısından bir süre sonra Beyaz Saray'da konuyla ilgili olarak basın mensuplarına açıklamalar yapan Trump, "Bugün çok iyi bir gün geçiriyorum." dedi.

Trump, "(Ruslarla) Hiçbir zaman gizli iş birliği yoktu. Bu hile başka bir başkanın başına gelmemeli." ifadesini kullandı.

Öte yandan, Trump'ın Twitter hesabından "Game of Thrones" adlı Amerikan dizisine gönderme yaparak "Oyun bitti: Gizli iş birliği yok, adaleti engelleme yok." şeklinde paylaşımda bulunması dikkati çekti. Trump'ın paylaşımı kısa sürede Twitter'da en çok konuşulan konular arasına girdi.

Özel Savcı Mueller, yaklaşık 2 yıl süren Rusya soruşturması raporunu 22 Mart'ta Adalet Bakanı'na teslim etmiş, William Barr da ertesi gün Kongreye soruşturma sonuçlarıyla ilgili gönderdiği mektubunda, "Özel Yetkili Savcı'nın soruşturmasında, Trump kampanyasının veya onunla ilişkili herhangi bir kişi veya yetkilinin, 2016 başkanlık seçimlerini etkileme çabasında Rusya ile komplo veya iş birliği yaptığı tespit edilmemiştir. Adalet Bakanlığının bulguları ABD Başkanı'nı tam ve kesin olarak aklıyor." değerlendirmesinde bulunmuştu.

Top US lawyer disagrees with Mueller reasoning

             By Michael Hernandez</p>  <p>WASHINGTON (AA) - Attorney General William Barr said Thursday he disagrees with some of Robert Mueller's legal reasoning related to possible obstruction of justice charges against U.S. President Donald Trump. </p>  <p>The Mueller report on Russian interference in the 2016 election caps his two-year probe into the matter, which has led to several guilty pleas from members of Trump's inner circle on matters unrelated to collusion, the conviction of Trump's former campaign chairman on unrelated charges and dozens of indictments. </p>  <p>In a vigorous defense of the president, Barr said Mueller found no evidence any individual in the Trump campaign, nor any American, colluded with the Russian influence campaign, but said Mueller &quot;did not make a traditional prosecutorial judgment regarding&quot; possible obstruction of justice by the president. </p>  <p>Instead, Barr told reporters at the Justice Department that Mueller pointed to 10 &quot;episodes&quot; the president is involved in that pose questions of obstruction, and the report &quot;discusses potential legal theories for connecting these actions to elements of an obstruction offense.&quot;</p>  <p>&quot;After carefully reviewing the facts and legal theories outlined in the report, and in consultation with the Office of Legal Counsel and other Department lawyers, the Deputy Attorney General and I concluded that the evidence developed by the Special Counsel is not sufficient to establish that the President committed an obstruction-of-justice offense,&quot; Barr said. </p>  <p>While the public is set to receive a redacted copy of Mueller's report later Thursday, Barr said he will make a relatively unredacted copy available to a select group of bipartisan lawmakers.</p>  <p>The public release will be redacted based on four criteria, Barr said, including whether the information was grand jury material, disclosed sensitive intelligence methods, pertained to an ongoing case, or involved &quot;peripheral third parties.&quot;  </p>  <p>Trump loudly proclaimed victory in a Game of Thrones-inspired image he posted to Twitter, declaring &quot;No obstruction. No collusion. For the haters and the radical left Democrats - Game Over.&quot;

House panel votes to subpoena full Mueller report

             By Michael Hernandez</p>  <p>WASHINGTON (AA) - The House Judiciary Committee voted Wednesday to authorize the subpoena of Special Counsel Robert Mueller's full report, setting up a showdown with the Justice Department.</p>  <p>Attorney General William Barr said late last month he is making redactions to the report alongside Mueller's team, and anticipates it will be released by mid-April. </p>  <p>But Wednesday's 24-17 committee vote authorizes Chairman Jerry Nadler to issue a formal subpoena to the Justice Department for the full, unredacted version of the report.</p>  <p>Nadler said there is &quot;reason to suspect this Administration’s motives&quot; in redacting the report, further suggesting it &quot;isn’t the 'total exoneration' the president claims it to be.&quot;</p>  <p>&quot;The Constitution charges Congress with holding the President accountable for alleged official misconduct,&quot; Nadler said. &quot;That job requires us to evaluate the evidence for ourselves—not the Attorney General’s summary, not a substantially redacted synopsis, but the full report and the underlying evidence.&quot;</p>  <p>Barr had set an April 2 deadline to hand over the full report, but it passed without it being provided, setting the stage for Wednesday's vote. </p>  <p>Mueller's conclusions span 400 pages in addition to supporting materials. They are the culmination of his two-year probe into Russia's attempts to influence the 2016 presidential election, and suspicions the Trump campaign colluded with that effort.</p>  <p>In a four-page letter to Congress last month, Barr said Mueller did not find any evidence Trump's presidential campaign conspired with Russia to influence the election.</p>  <p>Regarding specifically questions of obstruction of justice fueled by the president's action, particularly his firing of former FBI Director James Comey, Barr said the report &quot;does not conclude that the president committed a crime, it also does not exonerate him.&quot;</p>  <p>But in a follow-up letter Barr sent to the Senate and House judiciary chairmen, Barr said his initial missive &quot;was not, and did not purport to be, an exhaustive recounting of the Special Counsel's investigation or report.&quot;

Trump: Mueller probe 'attempted takeover' of government

            By Servet Gunerigok</p>  <p>WASHINGTON (AA) - President Donald Trump said late Wednesday that a just- concluded investigation against him by Special Counsel Robert Mueller was an &quot;attempted takeover&quot; of the U.S. government.</p>  <p> &quot;We can never allow ... these treasonous acts to happen to another president,&quot; Trump told Fox News. </p>  <p>In a four-page letter to Congress on Sunday, Attorney General William Barr said Mueller did not find any evidence that Trump's campaign conspired with Russia to influence the 2016 election.</p>  <p>On the question of obstruction of justice, the letter said: &quot;While the report does not conclude that the president committed a crime, it also does not exonerate him.&quot;</p>  <p>&quot;This was an attempted takeover of our government, of our country, an illegal takeover,&quot; Trump said. &quot;If it were the other way around, where I was doing it to [former] President [Barack] Obama or a Democrat, it would be virtually the maximum sentence that you can find.&quot;</p>  <p>He also said that if such a thing had happened to Obama, 100 people would be &quot;in jail right now and it would be treason&quot;.</p>  <p>&quot;It would be considered treason and they'd be in jail for the rest of their lives,&quot; he added. </p>  <p>Trump has repeatedly denied collusion with a Russian effort that U.S. intelligence agencies determined set out to undercut 2016 Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton's chances of winning the White House.</p>  <p>Mueller has eschewed the public spotlight throughout his investigation, which has during its course resulted in sweeping indictments being handed down to top Trump campaign officials, including former chairman Paul Manafort. </p>  <p>In all, five people with close ties to the campaign have pled guilty to charges brought by Mueller, including Manafort; his deputy, Rick Gates; former National Security Advisor Michael Flynn; campaign advisor George Papadopoulos and longtime Trump attorney Michael Cohen. </p>  <p>But no officials tied to Trump have been indicted on charges related to Russian influence efforts. </p>  <p>