Barr defends Trump on obstruction, says he faced ‘unprecedented’ situation

Attorney General William Barr offered a robust defense of President Trump on Thursday at a press conference previewing the release of special counsel Robert Mueller’s report, explaining why he did not find Trump obstructed justice based on Mueller’s findings.

Barr said the report, which is to be released later Thursday, offered a vindication of Trump and that on obstruction it was important to consider the “context” of Trump’s actions analyzed in Mueller’s final report.

Barr said that Trump faced an “unprecedented situation” in the course of Mueller’s investigation as well as “relentless speculation” in the media surrounding Trump’s own possible culpability in Russia’s interference in the 2016 election. Barr also said that Mueller’s report acknowledges the existence of “substantial evidence” showing Trump was frustrated by a “sincere belief that the investigation was undermining his presidency, propelled by his political opponents and fueled by illegal leaks.”

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