For more than a month, Americans speculated about Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s reaction to the four-page summary Attorney General William Barr released shortly after he received a confidential copy of the long-awaited report on March 22.
Now, that question is answered.
On Tuesday morning, House Judiciary Democrats released the full letter Mueller sent to Barr on March 27, in which he pointedly noted that the Attorney General’s summary “did not fully capture the context, nature and substance” of the 448-page report his team worked on for more than two years.
The release of the letter came just before Barr’s appearance in front of the Senate Judiciary Committee to discuss the report, which the Attorney General publicly released in redacted form on April 18.
Two days after initially receiving the report, Barr released a four-page summary on March 24 that briefly outlined the report’s “principal conclusions” to Congress. In it, Barr stated that Mueller did not establish a criminal conspiracy between the Trump campaign and Russia, and that he did not conclude whether the President obstructed justice. Trump and some of his allies later falsely used Barr’s summary to claim the President had been exonerated.
Mueller’s March 27 letter lays bare his frustrations with Barr’s summary, and the public reaction to it.
“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. We communicated that concern to the Department on March 25. 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 investigation.”
Read the full letter here: