AP NEWS

Barr: Mueller report undercuts Democrats’ treason, collusion allegations

May 1, 2019

Attorney General William P. Barr scolded President Trump’s critics on Wednesday, wondering “how did we get to the point” where investigators cleared the president of collusion with Russia, yet his critics are refusing to concede.

Testifying to the Senate, Mr. Barr boiled over with incredulity after Democratic senators said they looked at special counsel Robert Mueller’s report and saw evidence of crimes involving Russia, when Mr. Mueller did not.

“The evidence now is that the president was falsely accused of colluding with the Russians and accused of being treasonous and accused of being a Russian agent, and the evidence now is that was without a basis,” Mr. Barr said.

“Two years of his administration have been dominated by the allegations that have now been proven false, and to listen to some of the rhetoric you would think the Mueller report had found the opposite,” he said.

He didn’t say which lawmakers he had in mind, but earlier in the Senate Judiciary Committee hearing a Republican senator had read comments from some House Democrats who’d leveled those sorts of allegations against the president.

Senate Democrats were incredulous at Mr. Barr’s certainty.

Sen. Cory Booker, New Jersey Democrat, said Mr. Barr was acting as though the public should be happy with the Mueller exoneration.

“Nobody should be grateful,” Mr. Booker said, pointing to what he saw as repeated evidence of Trump campaign figures attempting to find common ground with Russian operatives.

Mr. Mueller, in his 400-plus page report, found that the Trump campaign did expect to benefit from Russia’s anger at Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton, but he found no evidence of any successful coordination.

In fact, he found, Russia’s government was so unfamiliar with the Trump campaign that it didn’t know whom to send a congratulatory message when Mr. Trump won the election in 2016.