“In addition to the report completely vindicating the President, both Attorney General Bill Barr and Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein … concluded there was not a single instance in which the elements of any crime were met,” wrote the four member team of Rudy Giuliani, Jay Sekulow, Jane Raskin and her husband Marty Raskin.
Yet even as they held up the report by special counsel Robert Mueller as proof of their client’s innocence, Trump’s lawyers also sought to undermine the veracity of the report itself, and the scores of damaging revelations contained within it.
The report included vivid details of more than a dozen instances during which the president appears to have sought to interfere in the special counsel’s Russia probe.
“The report itself is nothing more than an attempt to rehash old allegations” wrote Trump’s lawyers. The attorneys also suggested that the report might violate rules which prohibit the Justice Department from “insinuating or alleging that an individual who has not been charged with a crime is nevertheless guilty of some wrongdoing.”
For those in Trump’s political firmament, however, the damaging revelations in the report appeared not to exist at all.
“President Trump has been fully and completely exonerated yet again,” Brad Parscale, Trump’s 2020 campaign manager, said in a statement to the press.
“Now that the collusion and obstruction conspiracy theories have been exposed for the pathetic hoaxes they always were,” the statement read, “the Obama-era DOJ and FBI must answer for their misdeeds and the scam that they perpetrated against the American people.”
Republican National Committee chairwoman Ronna McDaniel called the report “a complete and total vindication of President Trump” in her public statement. She added: “It is increasingly clear that the only scandal here is the Obama administration’s repeated failure to act against Russian cyber meddling. Instead, they prioritized spying on a political opponent – the Trump campaign – and used a phony DNC-funded dossier as justification.”
Both McDaniels’ and the Trump campaign’s statements sought to dismiss the contents of the report and focus on the unfounded allegation that Trump’s 2016 presidential campaign had been placed under improper surveillance due to its myriad contacts with people suspected of connections to Russian intelligence.
Yet as the amount of damaging information about the president’s actions grew larger and more public Thursday, it was unclear how long Trump’s political operation would be able to go on focusing exclusively on the Attorney General’s conclusions, while ignoring the report’s contents.