Garland Shifts as Justice Dept. Grapples With Trump Inquiries Into Mueller Investigation
President Donald Trump’s personal lawyer, Rudy Giuliani, and the U.S. attorney in New York, Geoffrey Berman, have become increasingly critical of the investigation by special counsel Robert Mueller and others into Russian attempts to influence the 2016 election, and even more critical of the Justice Department, despite their recent attempts to play down the seriousness of the investigation and to deflect criticism.
After the release of the Mueller report on July 13, Giuliani said he told Barr he would want to see a report about what he called a “subpoena” by Mueller to President Trump, which would have to be reviewed by Barr. The investigation has now been going on for nearly two years.
At the White House press briefing at the end of the week, Trump said Barr would say he did not feel any obligation to call Mueller, but that a White House lawyer would say he should. Barr also emphasized that he had learned that nothing improper, let alone “obstructive,” had been done during the special counsel investigation by anyone who had served in the administration.
But on the day he delivered his statement to Congress on Mueller’s report, Barr offered Mueller four different interpretations of what he and Mueller have concluded. And Barr’s defenders would say they want to be able to look at such a report, which they expect to produce soon.
Giuliani has been making news for his attacks over the past week, and also for his attack on Trump’s lawyers, led by Giuliani, who has been in the spotlight since the Mueller report was released. From a legal perspective, Giuliani’s attacks on Trump’s personal lawyer, and on Trump himself, could be viewed as obstruction of justice, since he is acting at the behest of the president when he is attacking the investigation.
Berman was appointed to head the New York U.S