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Russia to discuss peace initiatives for Donbass, Syria and Korea at UN General Assembly this week

Russia will also raise the pressing issue of UN organisational reform.

The Duran

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MOSCOW (Sputnik) – The escalation of tensions on the Korean peninsula, a UN peacekeeping mission in Donbas and Syrian civil war could be among the priority issues that the Russian delegation headed by Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov will raise during the high-level segment of the UN General Assembly next week.

The bilateral agenda of the Russian delegation is also expected to be eventful, as the Russian foreign minister is scheduled to hold several dozens of such meetings on the sidelines of the General Assembly. The talks with US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson are among the most anticipated, as the meeting will be held against the backdrop of the ongoing “diplomatic crisis” between the two countries. Besides, Lavrov is scheduled to meet with UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres, NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg and French Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian.

SIXTH MEETING WITH REX TILLERSON

Lavrov’s talks with Tillerson on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly will become the sixth meeting of the two top diplomats. Earlier this year, they held meetings in Bonn, Hamburg, Moscow, Washington and Manila.

It is expected that de-escalation zones in Syria, the Ukrainian crisis and peacekeepers deployment in Donbas, North Korea’s missile launches, as well as bilateral issues will become the central topics on the agenda of the upcoming meeting.

The upcoming talks will be held against the backdrop of the ongoing standoff regarding the work of the diplomatic missions of both countries. In July, Moscow reduced US diplomatic personnel in Russia to 455 representatives, the same number of Russian diplomatic staff in the United States at the time. In response to the move, in early September, the United States shut down Russia’s Consulate General in San Francisco and trade missions in New York City and in Washington, DC. After Russian diplomats left the diplomatic compounds, US security agents entered the premises and conducted searches there. Moscow has labeled such actions as a “raid” and said it would file a lawsuit over the situation.

Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergey Ryabkov expressed hope that Lavrov and Tillerson would send the international community a “positive signal” on the possibility of solving “at least some of the existing problems” after the meeting.

NORTH KOREA NOT CARING A STRAW ABOUT SANCTIONS

The UN Security Council unanimously adopted its toughest resolution yet against North Korea over its latest nuclear test and repeated missile launches almost simultaneously with the beginning of the 72nd Regular Session of the UN General Assembly. However, just three days after the resolution was adopted, North Korea launched a ballistic missile, that flew over Japan and traveled a total of 3,700 kilometers (2,299 miles), which made it a missile capable to reach Guam, where the US military bases are located.

North Korean leader Kim Jong Un said on Friday that his country was close to reaching its goal of “completing its nuclear force.”

During an emergency meting on Friday, the UN Security Council condemned recent highly provocative actions of North Korea. Washington called on all countries to unite to address “this global problem short of war”, while Moscow stressed the importance of holding “meaningful negotiations” as soon as possible to resolve the crisis.

The need for resuming the six-party talks on North Korea, which were not held since Pyongyang withdrew from the talks in 2009, has been mentioned in the latest UN resolution. Russian President Vladimir Putin and German Chancellor Angela Merkel also underlined their commitment for such negotiations in the latest phone talks on Monday.

In early September, Lavrov said that Guterres may be involved in mediation efforts within the framework of resolution of the Korean peninsula issue, adding that “this may be useful.” On Wednesday, Guterres said that he would be glad to provide his assistance to the UN Security Council, that was due to decide which political actions should be taken. The UN secretary-general also noted that he intended to involve in the settlement of the North Korea situation his predecessor on the UN chief’s post, Ban Ki-moon.

PROGRESS IN SYRIAN RECONCILIATION

The multilateral meeting on creating a contact group on Syria will be among the most important talks on the sidelines of the General Assembly.

“We believe that it is important to start making a transition to the political phase of the resolution of the conflict in Syria. The issue related to this contact group and its format will be discussed by the five permanent members of the UN Security Council, including Russia, in New York next week,” French Ambassador to Russia Sylvie Bermann told Sputnik on Saturday.

She also announced the plans for meeting between Lavrov and Le Drian on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly in New York next week.

On Friday, the three Syrian ceasefire guarantor states – Russia, Turkey and Iran – have made a breakthrough in reducing violence in Syria by reaching an agreement on all four de-escalation zones, including the one in the Idlib province. The sides also agreed that monitoring in the de-escalation zone in Idlib would be carried out by Iranian, Russian and Turkish forces, while the remaining zones would be maintained by Russian military police.

The United States have not made any official statements regarding the results of the sixth round of Astana talks on Syrian reconciliation, however, on Thursday, just a day before the milestone agreement was reached, Tillerson called Lavrov and discussed the situation in Syria, according to the Russian Foreign Ministry.

UN Special Envoy for Syria Staffan de Mistura said Friday he would consult Guterres and the UN Security Council in New York on the results of the sixth Astana talks on Syria before announcing the date of the next round of Geneva talks. De Mistura added that he would also hold meeting with representatives of the countries, which were having an impact on the process of the Syrian settlement.

PEACEKEEPERS IN DONBAS

The Ukrainian issue and the initiative to deploy a UN peacekeeping mission are also likely to be among the hot topics at the upcoming discussion in the General Assembly.

In early September, Russian President Vladimir Putin expressed his support for the idea of sending peacekeepers to Ukraine in order to ensure the security of the OSCE observer mission in Donbas. Putin also said the issue should be decided in direct contact with representatives of the self-proclaimed Donetsk and Luhansk people’s republics. However, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov noted that Russia had flexible position on the deployment of peacekeepers in Donbas.

Guterres said in an interview with RIA Novosti that the United Nations would do everything to help solve the crisis in Donbas if there is consensus regarding the idea to deploy peacekeepers to east Ukraine.

US State Department official told Sputnik on Wednesday that the option of having UN peacekeepers in eastern Ukraine is worth examining, noting that such force should have a broad mandate for peace and security throughout the occupied Donbas region.

Kiev also insists that the UN mission should be deployed up to the border with Russia. It also refuses to coordinate the parameters of work of UN peacekeepers in Donbas with local militias.

Ukrainian Ambassador to the United Nations Volodymyr Yelchenko said that Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko was expected to raise the issue of peacekeepers deployment in Donbas on Wednesday during his speech in the UN Security Council.

“The president of Ukraine will address the UN Security Council on September 20, there will be a special meeting on the peacekeepers. I think this will be another opportunity to share our view on the role of the UN mission in Donbas,” Yelchenko told the Radio Svoboda broadcaster.

Kiev and Moscow have already prepared separate draft resolutions for the UN Security Council on deployment of peacekeepers in the Donbas region.

UN REFORM

The issue of UN reform will also be brought on the table during the upcoming high-level segment of the UN General Assembly.

On Friday, US Presidential National Security Adviser Herbert McMaster said that Trump would raise the issue of the UNSC reform at the General Assembly. McMaster noted that the United Nations had huge potential, but is should be used “more efficiently and effectively.”

It was reported on Thursday that the discussion would be held during Trump’s meeting with the world leaders on Monday, a day prior to the US president’s speech at the UN headquarters. Following the meeting, the sides may adopt a declaration on broad reforms, proposed by UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres.

Earlier in the day, Russian Ambassador to the United Nations Vasily Nebenzya said that Moscow probably would not sign the resolution. He noted that none of the ideas proposed by Washington complied with what had been suggested by the Secretary-General, adding that one could not “undertake the UN reform and change the UN through a declaration.”

Nebenzya stressed that the UN reform should be reformed through the intergovernmental procedures, noting that the document prepared by the United States was a declaration of the countries who shared the same stances on the UN reform, rather that an instruction to the UN Secretary General.

On Friday, Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said that Russia supported the initiative for the UN reform and advocated “adjusting the organization to the realities of today’s world while maintaining the United Nations’ intergovernmental nature and strict compliance with the principle of separation of its main organs’ powers provided for in the UN Charter.”

“We support realistic initiatives to rationalize the activities of the UN General Assembly. We prioritize improving working methods, streamlining of overloaded agenda,” Zakharova told a briefing.

The high-level segment of the UN General Assembly session will be held on September 19-25. It will bring together heads of state, government officials and foreign ministers from nearly 200 countries.

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André De Koning
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André De Koning

And that they may finally talk about the UN changing back to an organ where international law is upheld by the UN members!

Walter Dublanica
Member
Walter Dublanica

Putin and Russia talk PEACE which is what the world wants. Our defense secretary is nicknamed ” mad dog”. The world ( most of it) used to like America. No more , much of it dislikes or hates us.

dave3200
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dave3200

Such a shame. Most of the American citizens are not aware of this and would not condone it if they knew.

Shahna
Guest

Twaddle!
All polls show they’re gung-ho happy to go bomb North Korea and their lawmakers refused to end that 9/11 shite that “allows” them to go bomb whom they want, whenever they want and wherever they please. Nothing more than a nation entire of murdering cucking funts!

tiredofthemedialies
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tiredofthemedialies

and the rest revile you.

Matt Hol
Guest
Matt Hol

I guess the rebels dont feel that they should take Mariupol ? Hmm.. I think they should leave that option open. If the US sends weapons, take Mariupol and then call it done.

Shahna
Guest

on Friday, the UN Security Council condemned recent highly provocative actions of North Korea.
———————
It’s WAAAAY past time the UBSC (and the UNGA) condemned the provocative actions (AND THE WARS) of the United States!

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Parliament Seizes Control Of Brexit From Theresa May

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Schaeuble, Greece and the lessons learned from a failed GREXIT (Video)

The Duran Quick Take: Episode 117.

Alex Christoforou

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The Duran’s Alex Christoforou and Editor-in-Chief Alexander Mercouris examine a recent interview with the Financial Times given by Wolfgang Schäuble, where the former German Finance Minister, who was charged with finding a workable and sustainable solution to the Greek debt crisis, reveals that his plan for Greece to take a 10-year “timeout” from the eurozone (in order to devalue its currency and save its economy) was met with fierce resistance from Brussels hard liners, and Angela Merkel herself.

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Via FT

“Look where we’re sitting!” says Wolfgang Schäuble, gesturing at the Berlin panorama stretching out beneath us. It is his crisp retort to those who say that Europe is a failure, condemned to a slow demise by its own internal contradictions. “Walk through the Reichstag, the graffiti left by the Red Army soldiers, the images of a destroyed Berlin. Until 1990 the Berlin Wall ran just below where we are now!”

We are in Käfer, a restaurant on the rooftop of the Reichstag. The views are indeed stupendous: Berlin Cathedral and the TV Tower on Alexanderplatz loom through the mist. Both were once in communist East Berlin, cut off from where we are now by the wall. Now they’re landmarks of a single, undivided city. “Without European integration, without this incredible story, we wouldn’t have come close to this point,” he says. “That’s the crazy thing.”

As Angela Merkel’s finance minister from 2009 to 2017, Schäuble was at the heart of efforts to steer the eurozone through a period of unprecedented turbulence. But at home he is most associated with Germany’s postwar political journey, having not only negotiated the 1990 treaty unifying East and West Germany but also campaigned successfully for the capital to move from Bonn.

For a man who has done so much to put Berlin — and the Reichstag — back on the world-historical map, it is hard to imagine a more fitting lunch venue. With its open-plan kitchen and grey formica tables edged in chrome, Käfer has a cool, functional aesthetic that is typical of the city. On the wall hangs a sketch by artists Christo and Jeanne-Claude, who famously wrapped the Reichstag in silver fabric in 1995.

The restaurant has one other big advantage: it is easy to reach from Schäuble’s office. Now 76, he has been confined to a wheelchair since he was shot in an assassination attempt in 1990, and mobility is an issue. Aides say he tends to avoid restaurants if he can, especially at lunchtime.

As we take our places, we talk about Schäuble’s old dream — that German reunification would be a harbinger of European unity, a step on the road to a United States of Europe. That seems hopelessly out of reach in these days of Brexit, the gilets jaunes in France, Lega and the Five Star Movement in Italy.

Some blame Schäuble himself for that. He was, after all, the architect of austerity, a fiscal hawk whose policy prescriptions during the euro crisis caused untold hardship for millions of ordinary people, or so his critics say. He became a hate figure, especially in Greece. Posters in Athens in 2015 depicted him with a Hitler moustache below the words: “Wanted — for mass poverty and devastation”.

Schäuble rejects the criticism that austerity caused the rise of populism. “Higher spending doesn’t lead to greater contentment,” he says. The root cause lies in mass immigration, and the insecurities it has unleashed. “What European country doesn’t have this problem?” he asks. “Even Sweden. The poster child of openness and the willingness to help.”

But what of the accusation that he didn’t care enough about the suffering of the southern Europeans? Austerity divided the EU and spawned a real animus against Schäuble. I ask him how that makes him feel now. “Well I’m sad, because I played a part in all of that,” he says, wistfully. “And I think about how we could have done it differently.”

I glance at the menu — simple German classics with a contemporary twist. I’m drawn to the starters, such as Oldenburg duck pâté and the Müritz smoked trout. But true to his somewhat abstemious reputation, Schäuble has no interest in these and zeroes in on the entrées. He chooses Käfer’s signature veal meatballs, a Berlin classic. I go for the Arctic char and pumpkin.

Schäuble switches seamlessly back to the eurozone crisis. The original mistake was in trying to create a common currency without a “common economic, employment and social policy” for all eurozone member states. The fathers of the euro had decided that if they waited for political union to happen first they’d wait forever, he says.

Yet the prospects for greater political union are now worse than they have been in years. “The construction of the EU has proven to be questionable,” he says. “We should have taken the bigger steps towards integration earlier on, and now, because we can’t convince the member states to take them, they are unachievable.”

Greece was a particularly thorny problem. It should never have been admitted to the euro club in the first place, Schäuble says. But when its debt crisis first blew up, it should have taken a 10-year “timeout” from the eurozone — an idea he first floated with Giorgos Papakonstantinou, his Greek counterpart between 2009 and 2011. “I told him you need to be able to devalue your currency, you’re not competitive,” he says. The reforms required to repair the Greek economy were going to be “hard to achieve in a democracy”. “That’s why you need to leave the euro for a certain period. But everyone said there was no chance of that.”

The idea didn’t go away, though. Schäuble pushed for a temporary “Grexit” in 2015, during another round of the debt crisis. But Merkel and the other EU heads of government nixed the idea. He now reveals he thought about resigning over the issue. “On the morning the decision was made, [Merkel] said to me: ‘You’ll carry on?’ . . . But that was one of the instances where we were very close [to my stepping down].”

It is an extraordinary revelation, one that highlights just how rocky his relationship with Merkel has been over the years. Schäuble has been at her side from the start, an éminence grise who has helped to resolve many of the periodic crises of her 13 years as chancellor. But it was never plain sailing.

“There were a few really bad conflicts where she knew too that we were on the edge and I would have gone,” he says. “I always had to weigh up whether to go along with things, even though I knew it was the wrong thing to do, as was the case with Greece, or whether I should go.” But his sense of duty prevailed. “We didn’t always agree — but I was always loyal.”

That might have been the case when he was a serving minister, but since becoming speaker of parliament in late 2017 he has increasingly distanced himself from Merkel. Last year, when she announced she would not seek re-election as leader of the Christian Democratic Union, the party that has governed Germany for 50 of the past 70 years, Schäuble openly backed a candidate described by the Berlin press as the “anti-Merkel”. Friedrich Merz, a millionaire corporate lawyer who is the chairman of BlackRock Germany, had once led the CDU’s parliamentary group but lost out to Merkel in a power struggle in 2002, quitting politics a few years later. He has long been seen as one of the chancellor’s fiercest conservative critics — and is a good friend of Schäuble’s.

Ultimately, in a nail-biting election last December, Merkel’s favoured candidate, Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer, narrowly beat Merz. The woman universally known as “AKK” is in pole position to succeed Merkel as chancellor when her fourth and final term ends in 2021.

I ask Schäuble if it’s true that he had once again waged a battle against Merkel and once again lost. “I never went to war against Ms Merkel,” he says. “Everybody says that if I’m for Merz then I’m against Merkel. Why is that so? That’s nonsense.”

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The conclusion of Russiagate, Part I – cold, hard reality

The full text of Attorney General William P Barr’s summary is here offered, with emphases on points for further analysis.

Seraphim Hanisch

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The conclusion of the Russiagate investigation, led by Special Counsel Robert Mueller, was a pivotal media watershed moment. Even at the time of this writing there is a great deal of what might be called “journalistic froth” as opinion makers and analysts jostle to make their takes on this known to the world. Passions are running very high in both the Democrat / anti-Trump camps, where the reactions range from despondency to determined rage to not swallow the gigantic red pill that the “no collusion with Russia” determination offers. In the pro-Trump camp, the mood is deserved relief, but many who support the President are also realists, and they know this conflict is not over.

Where the pivot will go and what all this means is something that will unfold, probably relatively quickly, over the next week or two. But we want to offer a starting point here from which to base further analysis. At this time, of course, there are few hard facts other than the fact that Robert Mueller III submitted his report to the US Attorney General, William Barr, who then wrote and released his own report to the public Sunday evening. We reproduce that report here in full, with some emphases added to points that we think will be relevant to forthcoming pieces on this topic.

The end of the Mueller investigation brings concerns, hopes and fears to many people, on topics such as:

  • Will President Trump now begin to normalize relations with President Putin at full speed?
  • In what direction will the Democrats pivot to continue their attacks against the President?
  • What does this finding to to the 2020 race?
  • What does this finding do to the credibility of the United States’ leadership establishment, both at home and abroad?
  • What can we learn about our nation and culture from this investigation?
  • How does a false narrative get maintained so easily for so long, and
  • What do we do, or what CAN we do to prevent this being repeated?

These questions and more will be addressed in forthcoming pieces. But for now, here is the full text of the letter written by Attorney General William Barr concerning the Russia collusion investigation.

Dear Chairman Graham, Chairman Nadler, Ranking Member Feinstein, and Ranking Member Collins:
As a supplement to the notification provided on Friday, March 22, 2019, I am writing today to advise you of the principal conclusions reached by Special Counsel Robert S. Mueller and to inform you about the status of my initial review of the report he has prepared.
The Special Counsel’s Report
On Friday, the Special Counsel submitted to me a “confidential report explaining the prosecution or declination decisions” he has reached, as required by 28 C.F.R. § 600.8(c). This report is entitled “Report on the Investigation into Russian Interference in the 2016 Presidential Election.” Although my review is ongoing, I believe that it is in the public interest to describe the report and to summarize the principal conclusions reached by the Special Counsel and the results of his investigation.
The report explains that the Special Counsel and his staff thoroughly investigated allegations that members of the presidential campaign of Donald J. Trump, and others associated with it, conspired with the Russian government in its efforts to interfere in the 2016 U.S. presidential election, or sought to obstruct the related federal investigations. In the report, the Special Counsel noted that, in completing his investigation, he employed 19 lawyers who were assisted by a team of approximately 40 FBI agents, intelligence forensic accountants, and other professional staff. The Special Counsel issued more than 2,800 subpoenas, executed nearly 500 search warrants, obtained more than 230 orders for communication records, issued almost 50 orders authorizing use of pen registers, made 13 requests to foreign governments for evidence, and interviewed approximately 500 witnesses.
The Special Counsel obtained a number of indictments and convictions of individuals and entities in connection with his investigation, all of which have been publicly disclosed. During the course of his investigation, the Special Counsel also referred several matters to other offices for further action. The report does not recommend any further indictments, nor did the Special Counsel obtain any sealed indictments that have yet to be made public. Below, I summarize the principal conclusions set out in the Special Counsel’s report.
Russian Interference in the 2016 U.S. Presidential Election.
The Special Counsel’s report is divided into two parts. The first describes the results of the Special Counsel’s investigation into Russia’s interference in the 2016 U.S. presidential election. The report outlines the Russian effort to influence the election and documents crimes committed by persons associated with the Russian government in connection with those efforts. The report further explains that a primary consideration for the Special Counsel’s investigation was whether any Americans including individuals associated with the Trump campaign joined the Russian conspiracies to influence the election, which would be a federal crime. The Special Counsel’s investigation did not find that the Trump campaign or anyone associated with it conspired or coordinated with Russia in its efforts to influence the 2016 U.S. presidential election. As the report states: “[T]he investigation did not establish that members of the Trump Campaign conspired or coordinated with the Russian government in its election interference activities.”
The Special Counsel’s investigation determined that there were two main Russian efforts to influence the 2016 election. The first involved attempts by a Russian organization, the Internet Research Agency (IRA), to conduct disinformation and social media operations in the United States designed to sow social discord, eventually with the aim of interfering with the election. As noted above, the Special Counsel did not find that any U.S. person or Trump campaign official or associate conspired or knowingly coordinated with the IRA in its efforts, although the Special Counsel brought criminal charges against a number of Russian nationals and entities in connection with these activities.
The second element involved the Russian government’s efforts to conduct computer hacking operations designed to gather and disseminate information to influence the election. The Special Counsel found that Russian government actors successfully hacked into computers and obtained emails from persons affiliated with the Clinton campaign and Democratic Party organizations, and publicly disseminated those materials through various intermediaries, including WikiLeaks. Based on these activities, the Special Counsel brought criminal charges against a number of Russian military officers for conspiring to hack into computers in the United States for purposes of influencing the election. But as noted above, the Special Counsel did not find that the Trump campaign, or anyone associated with it, conspired or coordinated with the Russian government in these efforts, despite multiple offers from Russian-affiliated individuals to assist the Trump campaign.
Obstruction of Justice.
The report’s second part addresses a number of actions by the President most of which have been the subject of public reporting that the Special Counsel investigated as potentially raising obstruction-of-justice concerns. After making a “thorough factual investigation” into these matters, the Special Counsel considered whether to evaluate the conduct under Department standards governing prosecution and declination decisions but ultimately determined not to make a traditional prosecutorial judgment. The Special Counsel therefore did not draw a conclusion one way or the other as to whether the examined conduct constituted obstruction. Instead, for each of the relevant actions investigated, the report sets out evidence on both sides of the question and leaves unresolved what the Special Counsel views as “difficult issues” of law and fact concerning whether the President’s actions and intent could be viewed as obstruction. The Special Counsel states that “while this report does not conclude that the President committed a crime, it also does not exonerate him.”
The Special Counsel’s decision to describe the facts of his obstruction investigation without reaching any legal conclusions leaves it to the Attorney General to determine whether the conduct described in the report constitutes a crime. Over the course of the investigation, the Special Counsel’s office engaged in discussions with certain Department officials regarding many of the legal and factual matters at issue in the Special Counsel’s obstruction investigation. After reviewing the Special Counsel’s final report on these issues; consulting with Department officials, including the Office of Legal Counsel; and applying the principles of federal prosecution that guide our charging decisions, Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein and I have concluded that the evidence developed during the Special Counsel’s investigation is not sufficient to establish that the President committed an obstruction-of-justice offense. Our determination was made without regard to, and is not based on, the constitutional considerations that surround the indictment and criminal prosecution of a sitting president.
In making this determination, we noted that the Special Counsel recognized that “the evidence does not establish that the President was involved in an underlying crime related to Russian election interference,” and that, while not determinative, the absence of such evidence bears upon the President’s intent with respect to obstruction. Generally speaking, to obtain and sustain an obstruction conviction, the government would need to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that a person, acting with corrupt intent, engaged in obstructive conduct with a sufficient nexus to a pending or contemplated proceeding. In cataloguing the President’s actions, many of which took place in public view, the report identifies no actions that, in our judgment, constitute obstructive conduct, had a nexus to a pending or contemplated proceeding, and were done with corrupt intent, each of which, under the Department’s principles of federal prosecution guiding charging decisions, would need to be proven beyond a reasonable doubt to establish an obstruction-of-justice offense.
Status of the Department’s Review
The relevant regulations contemplate that the Special Counsel’s report will be a “confidential report” to the Attorney General. See Office of Special Counsel, 64 Fed. Reg. 37,038, 37,040-41 (July 9, 1999). As I have previously stated, however, I am mindful of the public interest in this matter. For that reason, my goal and intent is to release as much of the Special Counsel’s report as I can consistent with applicable law, regulations, and Departmental policies.
Based on my discussions with the Special Counsel and my initial review, it is apparent that the report contains material that is or could be subject to Federal Rule of Criminal Procedure which imposes restrictions on the use and disclosure of information relating to “matter[s] occurring before grand jury.” Fed. R. Crim. P. 6(e)(2)(B) Rule 6(e) generally limits disclosure of certain grand jury information in a criminal investigation and prosecution. Id. Disclosure of 6(e) material beyond the strict limits set forth in the rule is a crime in certain circumstances. See, e.g. 18 U.S.C. 401(3). This restriction protects the integrity of grand jury proceedings and ensures that the unique and invaluable investigative powers of a grand jury are used strictly for their intended criminal justice function.
Given these restrictions, the schedule for processing the report depends in part on how quickly the Department can identify the 6(e) material that by law cannot be made public. I have requested the assistance of the Special Counsel in identifying all 6(e) information contained in the report as quickly as possible. Separately, I also must identify any information that could impact other ongoing matters, including those that the Special Counsel has referred to other offices. As soon as that process is complete, I will be in a position to move forward expeditiously in determining what can be released in light of applicable law, regulations, and Departmental policies.
* * *
As I observed in my initial notification, the Special Counsel regulations provide that “the Attorney General may determine that public release of” notifications to your respective Committees “would be in the public interest.” 28 C.F.R. § 600.9(c). I have so determined, and I will disclose this letter to the public after delivering it to you.
Sincerely,
William P. Barr
Attorney General

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