In other words, Trump appeared to try to obstruct justice but in Barr's opinion, not a single one of those ten times was extreme enough to prosecute. He did not state that collectively they might be, which is also a valid theory. Another valid theory: attempts to obstruct justice can be criminal.
AG Barr on obstruction of justice: “the report recounts 10 episodes involving the president and discusses potential legal theories for connecting these actions to elements of an obstruction offense...” Rosenstein and he concluded the evidence “is not sufficient.”
— Jake Tapper (@jaketapper) April 18, 2019
However, the mere appearance of obstruction of justice is sufficient to warrant impeachment, especially ten times over.
The Attorney General actually blamed the news media for its coverage. He seemed to say the media was guilty of reporting on Trump's actions and behavior, thus upsetting the new president and forcing him to act out.
"It is important to bear in mind the context," AG Barr told reporters, addressing the issue of obstruction of justice. "As he entered into office and sought to perform his responsibilities as president, federal agents and prosecutors were scrutinizing his conduct before and after taking office. 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 no collusion."
Barr justifies his call (w/Rosenstein) to clear Trump of obstruction: "Trump faced an unprecedented situation. As he entered office & sought to perform his responsibilities, prosecutors were scrutinizing his conduct... yet, as he said from the beginning, there was no collusion." pic.twitter.com/o4rYEWBkvg
— Aaron Rupar (@atrupar) April 18, 2019
Barr said the news media's speculation left him "angry and frustrated."
"As the special councils report acknowledges, there was substantial evidence to show that the President was frustrated and angry by his sincere belief that the investigation was undermining his presidency, propelled by his opponents." -Barr#MuellerReport https://t.co/it061a1T6K pic.twitter.com/JzCIx9FI03
— WWMT-TV (@wwmtnews) April 18, 2019
Barr also stated the DOJ's only responsibility is to determine if something is "criminal or not criminal." Which is a far higher bar than impeachment.
On obstruction, the attorney general openly defends the president's motives, saying his acts must be viewed "in context" that he was under attack by "the media" and there was "no collusion," so he was "frustrated."
— Steve Inskeep (@NPRinskeep) April 18, 2019
To summarize: the Attorney General suggests that the Mueller Report presents significant evidence (and supporting legal theory) that Trump obstructed justice, but Barr justifies the obstruction because Trump was facing a lot of criticism and he was frustrated.
— Matt McDermott (@mattmfm) April 18, 2019
GOP strategist and MSNBC, NBC News analyst:
"Frustration" is now a DOJ approved excuse for illegal action.
— John Weaver (@jwgop) April 18, 2019
Number 4: The "anger defense" doesn't hold water pic.twitter.com/kPQNAeh79a
— TheBeat w/Ari Melber (@TheBeatWithAri) April 18, 2019
Barr says he and Rosenstein disagree with Mueller's legal theories about possible obstruction of justice before letting anyone see what Mueller's theories are..and says whatever Trump did was out of his sincere belief that the investigation about collusion was baseless. Wow...
— Jeff Greenfield (@greenfield64) April 18, 2019
This is a breaking news and developing story. Details may change. This story will be updated, and NCRM will likely publish follow-up stories on this news. Stay tuned and refresh for updates.
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