President Donald Trump faced an "unprecedented situation" when he became president, but still cooperated fully with Special Counsel Robert Mueller's investigation, Attorney General William Barr said Thursday.
"Federal agents and prosecutors were scrutinizing his conduct before and after taking office and the conduct of some of his associates," Barr told reporters in a press conference shortly before he was to release a redacted version of the report to members of Congress.
"At the same time, there was relentless speculation in the news media about the president's personal culpability. Yet as he said from the beginning, there was, in fact, no collusion."
However, there was substantial evidence shown in the report that Trump was "frustrated and angered by his sincere belief that the investigation was undermining his presidency, propelled by his political opponents and fueled by illegal leaks."
The White House "fully cooperated with the special counsel's investigation, providing unfettered access to campaign and White House documents, directing senior aides to testify freely, and asserting no privilege claims," said Barr.
Trump took "no act that, in fact, deprived the special counsel of the documents and witnesses necessary to complete his investigation," said Barr, and "apart from whether the acts were obstructive, this evidence of non-corrupt motives weighs heavily against any allegation that the president had a corrupt intent to obstruct the investigation."
This means, said Barr, that the "evidence of non-corruptive motives" weighs heavily against allegations that he had a "corrupt intent to obstruct the investigation."
Barr said his redactions were done in four categories, including grand jury material, information that would reveal sources and methods, information that impairs other cases, and information that indicates privacy and reputation interests.
Further, the decision about whether to assert executive privilege over any of the report rested with Trump, and it would have been "well within his rights to do so," but in the interest of transparency and full disclosure, "he would not assert privilege."
Trump's attorneys were not permitted to make or request redactions, said Barr.
© 2021 Newsmax. All rights reserved.