Former White House Counsel C. Boyden Gray spoke on PBS NewsHour about Attorney General William Barr’s summary of the Mueller report, and what happens next.
On the false narrative of Russian collusion, Gray said:
“There’s a narrative that always underlay much of the investigation, which was that here’s a man who does everything Putin wants him to do. And so that creates a suspicion. And what I find so difficult about that is, is that he is – has done very well the one thing that hurts the Russians most, that brought down the Soviet Union in the mid-80s’, which is press our energy policy to really endanger their core financial solidarity. So he was not doing Putin’s bidding. And that’s a false narrative from the very, very beginning.”
Asked about whether the Mueller report’s failure to exonerate the President on obstruction of justice would cast a cloud on the President, Gray said:
“I don’t see how. I don’t see why, because, in a sense, once the special counsel decides he cannot prosecute, for whatever reasons – and I don’t think it’s because he felt he couldn’t indict a sitting President – I think . . . he never got to that point. Once that happens, it’s really over. I do agree that it’s a very good thing that Rosenstein and the Attorney General both, both the Deputy and the Attorney General, agreed on this outcome, because that means the top leadership of the Department was backing up – in a sense, backing up Mueller’s findings. But it is absolutely and definitely not the province of any prosecutor, any special counsel to exonerate or convict anybody. Only a jury or a judge can convict. And there’s no reason to even mention exoneration, because no prosecutor can exonerate.”
Addressing claims that Congress could take action against the President, Gray said:
“Some talk yesterday, throughout the day was, well, this is really for Congress to decide. Barr can’t do it. No, Congress doesn’t prosecute. But they can – they can make a decision about impeachment, high crimes and misdemeanors. But for an actual criminal prosecution, they have no say.”
The full transcript and a video of the appearance is available here.