Mueller defends the investigation after the team member criticizes the Russian investigation

Mueller defends the investigation after the team member criticizes the Russian investigation

In a book published on Tuesday, one of Mueller’s former top prosecutors, Andrew Weissmann, described the lack of pressure for more information from Trump or Trump’s ties with Russia as a bargaining chip – while the White House took advantage of Mueller because Trump never had intended to give complete answers to the catheter. Weissmann singled out Mueller deputy Aaron Zebley for criticism.

“It is not surprising that members of the Office of the Special Adviser did not always agree, but it is disappointing to hear criticism of our team based on a lack of information,” Mueller said in a statement.

“My deputy, Aaron Zebley, was secretive in the full field of research and in everything that was controversial. I chose him for this role because I knew from the ten years we have been working together that he is meticulous and grounded. He was a valuable and trusted advisor from beginning to end, “said Mueller, adding that he supported the decisions he made in the investigation as well as the” conclusions of our investigation “.

Mueller and Zebley continue to work together in a private law firm in Washington. Weissmann is now an MSNBC commentator, law professor and associate at a different company.

In his book, “Where the Law Ends: Inside Mueller’s Research,” Weissmann blamed Mueller for not fully answering the question of why Trump acted so pro-Russian during the campaign, because Russian investigators did not fully request the president’s financial records.

He also criticized Zebley specifically for blocking or disagreeing with the measures Weissmann wanted to take in prosecuting former Trump campaign president Paul Manafort and other parts of the investigation.

Weissmann also disagreed with Mueller’s decision not to decide whether Trump should be prosecuted for obstructing justice.

The special adviser’s office operated for months for fear of being fired if they took investigative steps that the president did not like, Weissmann claims in his book.

“We still do not know if there are any other financial ties between the president and the Russian government or the Russian oligarchs. “We do not know if he had any other Russian business deals during his presidency, how they could have helped or curtailed his campaign, or even if they continue to do so,” he wrote. affect his presidency … The inability to pursue all the financial advantages, or to look at all the crimes, which seemed to me, and still does. ”

Instead of stealing Trump as a witness, Mueller received written answers that raised even more questions for his team. After recording several episodes in which Trump tried to end the investigation prematurely, Mueller refused to decide whether to accuse him of obstructing justice, in part because of a Justice Department policy that prevents the president from being ousted.

However, he described several times when Trump’s actions met the legal limit for obstruction. Attorney General William Barr and other top Justice Department officials have denied the allegations.

CNN’s Paul LeBlanc contributed to this report.

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