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Nadler blasts Barr for making decision on 2-year Mueller probe in less than 48 hours

Trump reacts to Mueller report
Trump calls Mueller report an "illegal takedown that failed" 04:52

Democratic Rep. Jerry Nadler, the chairman of the House Judiciary Committee, slammed Attorney General William Barr for determining there was insufficient evidence to prove President Trump committed obstruction of justice only two days after receiving special counsel Robert Mueller's long-awaited report, which was submitted Friday.

"Attorney General Barr, who auditioned for his role with a memo saying that it was almost impossible for any president to commit obstruction, made a decision in under 48 hours," Nadler told lawmakers during a press conference in New York on Sunday evening, referring to a memo Barr authored last year in which he said, "Mueller's obstruction theory is fatally misconceived" and based "on a novel and insupportable reading of the law."

In his four-page summary of the special counsel's report, Barr said Mueller did not find Trump campaign associates had "conspired or coordinated" with the Russian government during the 2016 campaign. The attorney general added that he and Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein also determined that Mueller's findings were not "sufficient" to prove Mr. Trump committed obstruction of justice.

Jerrold Nadler
House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerrold Nadler, D-N.Y, seen March 24, 2019. AP

The letter was hailed as a vindicating triumph by both Mr. Trump and his Republican allies in Congress. The White House called it a "total and complete exoneration" of the president, whose first two years in office have been clouded by Mueller's investigation and the indictments of some of his former campaign aides and confidants.

Nadler, however, said the president was misrepresenting the findings of the summary authored by Barr, who the New York Democrat accused of making "questionable legal judgments."

"It is unconscionable that President Trump would try to spin the findings as if his conduct was acceptable," he added, after noting that according to Barr's summary, Mueller said his report did not "exonerate" the president on the accusations of obstruction of justice.

Echoing remarks from House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and the Senate's top Democrat, Sen. Chuck Schumer, Nadler called on the Justice Department to release Mueller's full report to Congress and American public. He also reiterated that he will ask Barr to testify before the House Judiciary Committee.

Probes into Trump's business and campaign finances still ongoing 02:13

Rob Legare contributed to this report.

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