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US actions against Russian diplomatic and consular property are illegal–here’s why

US actions against consular and diplomatic property in the United States violate the letter and spirit of the Vienna Conventions. The Vienna Conventions are clearly codified, internationally recognised laws which the UN has sanctioned to prevent the unwarranted molestation of diplomatic and consular property and the individuals working therein.

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The United States has once again seized diplomatic and consular properties belonging to the Russia Federation and is in the process of conducting raid style searches of the properties which are set to formally begin on the 4th of September.

These actions which first took place in the final full month of Barack Obama’s Presidency and are now taking place at additional Russian diplomatic and consular facilities in the United States under Donald Trump’s Presidency, violate clearly codified international laws which are contained in documents known as the Vienna Conventions.

The following are the provisions of the Vienna Conventions that are presently being violated by the United States.

From the Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations

Article 22

1. The premises of the mission shall be inviolable. The agents
of the receiving State may not enter them, except with the consent of
the head of the mission.

2. The receiving State is under a special duty to take all
appropriate steps to protect the premises of the mission against any
intrusion or damage and to prevent any disturbance of the peace of the
mission or impairment of its dignity.

3. The premises of the mission, their furnishings and other
property thereon and the means of transport of the mission shall be
immune from search, requisition, attachment or execution.

From the Vienna Convention on Consular Relations

Article 31

Inviolability of the consular premises

1.Consular premises shall be inviolable to the extent provided in this article.

2.The authorities of the receiving State shall not enter that part of the consular premises which is
used exclusively for the purpose of the work of the consular post except with the consent of the head of the consular post or of his designee or of the head of the diplomatic mission of the sending State. The consent of the head of the consular post may, however, be assumed in case of fire or other disaster requiring prompt protective action.

3.Subject to the provisions of paragraph 2 of this article, the receiving State is under a special
duty to take all appropriate steps to protect the consular premises against any intrusion or damage and to prevent any disturbance of the peace of the consular post or impairment of its dignity.

4.The consular premises, their furnishings, the property of the consular post and its means of
transport shall be immune from any form of requisition for purposes of national defence or public utility.

If expropriation is necessary for such purposes, all possible steps shall be taken to avoid impeding the performance of consular functions, and prompt, adequate and effective compensation shall be paid to the sending State.

In summary, these statues of international law codified by the United Nations in 1961 (Diplomatic) and 1963 (Consular) mean that irrespective of the condition of relations between the sending state (in this case Russia) and the receiving state (in this case the US), the diplomatic and consular properties in question must remain free from any kind of molestation including searches, raids, property seizures and the infringement of normal and dignified working practices.

Each of these items of law has been clearly violated by the United States. The US has prohibited diplomatic and consular workers from pursuing their work under normal circumstances. The US molested the peace and freedom of such workers and their families on a personal level and the US is in the process of preparing raid the diplomatic and consular properties which the law states are clearly inviolable.

Even in times of conflict that run much deeper than the current political disputes between Washington and Moscow, the Vienna Conventions have a precedent of being adhered to.

In 1984, an individual inside the Libyan Embassy in London shot and killed a UK police officer. The shots were fired from inside the embassy onto the street below.

Although many  called for the suspect to be brought to trail in an English court, the UK government at the time, a government that had generally poor relations Libya in any case, observed the Vienna Conventions and allowed the embassy workers to return to Libya safely after being named persona-non-grata, something which is sanctioned by the Vienna Conventions.

The US itself raised a claim in the International Court of Justice against the Islamic Republic of Iran over an incident involving the taking of US hostages at the US Embassy in Tehran in 1980.

In 2005, during the second term of George W. Bush, the United States withdrew from an optional provision of the Vienna Conventions allowing for disputes arising between states on matters involving diplomatic and consular facilities and individuals to be dealt with by the International Court of Justice.

This means that if Russia wanted to take legal action against the US for violating its protections under the Vienna Conventions, Russia would have to file the complaint in a US court which is subject to accusations of bias vis-a-vis an international court dealing with a dispute between sovereign states.

The aggregate effect of this means that the US is breaking international law with impunity while giving the victim of this anti-diplomatic aggression few realistic options to deal with the issue, other than to attempt some sort of equivalent retaliation.

Instead of scrutinising the United States for a flagrant violation of international law, the mainstream media is instead pontificating on why smoke is coming out of the chimney at the soon to be closed Russian Consulate in San Francisco, even though such a matter has no real legal implications. Until the premises is involuntarily vacated, the Russian consular staff have the right to use their facilities as they fit.

Russian Foreign Ministry Spokeswoman Maria Zakharova issued the following statement to the conspiracy theorists who have taken an interest in the smoke,

“Now in San Francisco, another circus begins – a new round of baiting called ‘What are you doing there?’.

After giving 2 days for the emergency conservation of the building and deciding to conduct a search in the premises, which had for many years had diplomatic immunity, a search involving FBI employees, the “host party” in the afternoon of September 1 “accidentally noticed” smoke above the building. The truth is that they also did not happen to notice that the was coming from a  pipe.

Immediately there were prepared photo reports about the “emergency situation”, and, as the top of sadism, fire protection was called. Just in case. Suddenly, Russians need help: they still had a couple of hours left to clear the premises.

And then the questions of American journalists poured down about what kind of trickle of smoke rose over the Russian consulate general.

I answer: measures are being taken to preserve the building. In this regard, the windows can be closed, the curtains can be lowered, the light may turn off, water may come down, the doors may be locked, garbage can be disposed of, heating devices must be switched off, life support systems switched on, and much more.

It is unbearably embarrassing to monitor the actions of the US authorities and the entire information campaign. Later everything will be like it always happens in the USA: there will be those who stood behind all this Russophobic hysteria, another mistake will be recognized, perhaps we will hear miserable apologies. But all this will be, as always, later. And now, at this very minute, instead of the celebrations on the occasion of September 1 and the labor routine for issuing passports and visas, the employees of the Consulate General professionally oriented towards the development of bilateral relations are engaged in the conservation of the building…

The wider truth of the matter is that the only thing up in flames is the American government’s respect for international law.

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K WalkerBased ✓ᴺᵃᵗᶦᵒᶰᵃˡᶦˢᵗgbardizbanianJonFranz Kafka Recent comment authors
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Daisy Adler
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Daisy Adler

“United States violate the letter and spirit of the Vienna Conventions”

Show me ONE international law signed and ratified by the United States, that they respect. ONE.

Franz Kafka
Guest
Franz Kafka

The Law of Unintended Consequences.

Tom Welsh
Guest
Tom Welsh

It seems to me that the US government has chosen to cease observing the Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations. That means, of course, that other nations no longer need to observe the Convention’s rules with regard to US government representatives and property.

Unless the US government chooses to explain to the international community why the Convention should apply to all other nations, but not to the USA.

Muriel Kuri
Guest
Muriel Kuri

We are acting totally against the law. This is despicable.

Voltaire
Guest
Voltaire

The United States proves that it is a Rogue State once again

The United States signs international Treaties and tears them up in public before telling the world that it believes in the Rule of Law….

The United States has gone barabarian….

Isabella Jones
Guest
Isabella Jones

The united states has never been anything else but barbarian and savage, from Day One, I’m afraid. It’s just that, for a while, it did a superb job of pulling the wool over the eyes of millions, and convincing them that it was a beacon of light on a hill.
Turns out the light was from the Bonfire of the Vanities.

Vera Gottlieb
Guest
Vera Gottlieb

And it continues to pull wool over their eyes. What I fail to understand how so many people continue in awe of the US…unless they are totally ignorant of what the US has been pulling.

Franz Kafka
Guest
Franz Kafka

The Scum of the Earth is in awe of the Untied Snakes.

Daisy Adler
Guest
Daisy Adler

It never stopped of being a rogue state, since its creation.
It is absolutely crazy to see the number of wars started by US in merely 240 years of existence.

“The United States has gone barabarian….”
Or better said in Oscar Wilde aphorism, “America is the only country , which jumped from barbarism to decadence, without civilization in between”.

seby
Guest
seby

Excuse me if I cannot take seriously someone protesting against rogue states who ignore international law and have what looks very much like a zionist symbol as their avatar.

Rastislav Veľká Morava
Member
Rastislav Veľká Morava

Hasbara Tactics.

Trauma2000
Guest
Trauma2000

Got to agree with you there Seby.

Franz Kafka
Guest
Franz Kafka

They say it was Clemenceau or someone like that. Not Wilde. I always hoped that it was De Tocqueville.

DarkEyes
Guest
DarkEyes

Never mind Who, it is about what is being said, Franz and I know that you know.

Franz Kafka
Guest
Franz Kafka

The devil is in the details. Facts matter.

Isabella Jones
Guest
Isabella Jones

Nice observation by Wilde – I hadn’t caught up with that one, thanks Daisy. As Sigmund Freud said “America is a mistake. A big big mistake”.

Seán Murphy
Guest
Seán Murphy

The USA “has gone barbarian”? It always was.

Trauma2000
Guest
Trauma2000

Yes… You are correct.

Jon
Guest
Jon

Run by Democrats/Communists for the past 60 years

Daisy Adler
Guest
Daisy Adler

Key provisions of Vienna Convention, regulating diplomatic exchanges between sovereign countries:
Article 31. The host nation may not enter the consular premises, and must protect the premises from intrusion or damage.
Article 35. Freedom of communication between the consul and their home country must be preserved. A consular bag must never be opened. A consular courier must never be detained.

Daisy Adler
Guest
Daisy Adler

“It is unbearably embarrassing to monitor the actions of the US authorities”

It is also mind boggling to know which international laws the US refused to ratify. Among them: Convention on Cluster Munitions, International Convention for the Protection of All Persons from Enforced Disappearance, Protocol to the Convention against Torture, Mine Ban Treaty …

louis robert
Guest
louis robert

Illegal?

Thanks for the detailed demonstration… but, but, but… the Empire has been constantly acting illegally and with impunity for decades upon decades. Illegality is the Empire’s very modus operandi! It respects absolutely nobody and absolutely nothing.

All that matters, really, is therefore how to prevent said Empire from making such a criminal, public nuisance of itself worldwide any longer. In a nutshell, the world must stop and neutralize that Empire asap.

Franz Kafka
Guest
Franz Kafka

Quarantine the USA.

louis robert
Guest
louis robert

You may be too lenient, Franz.

In this case, the disease being not merely a relatively minor contagious one, quarantine may not be quite in order. The disease in question is a major one of the mind, of the soul. Only confinement to one of the most renowned world mental institutions specialized in locking up and treating long, long term, the most violent compulsive criminals would seem to be appropriate, I’m afraid.

Trauma2000
Guest
Trauma2000

Boycott Brand America. Boycott them; one person, one company, on institution at a time: Boycott them all.

Sanctions begin with the individual; by the individual, against the individual. Boycott everything. Food, products, media, Hollywood, electronics, tourism: Choose something OTHER than ‘made in America.’

There is an ENTIRE PLANET of people who would like to do business with you, want to be friends and will treat you with the respect you deserve. Just Boycott Brand America.

This is how the individual Sanctions a Nation. Boycott Brand America.

Gonzogal
Guest
Gonzogal
Franz Kafka
Guest
Franz Kafka

Quis custodiet ipsos custodes? (Who will guard the guards themselves?) That the US Gestapo is 100% unreliable and an extension now of the proxy terrorists inflicted on the people of the multi-polar world is obvious. “What Goes Around Comes Around” as We the Pimple[sic] love to say. Relish the fact alone that Mueller of the FBI was the point man on the Cheney-Silverman/Silverstein WTC demolition. He is now in charge of the demolition of the Democracy in the United States – such as it was, like the WTC damaged beyond repair and full of asbestos. That Quarantine is now the… Read more »

Gonzogal
Guest
Gonzogal

“where will the people of the USA run to”

Only directly into the fire of the destruction from within of their country…their apathy and outright support towards their governments actions in breach of International Law and their support for its illegal wars of conquest “over there” for DECADES means they DO NOT DESERVE a place “to run to”

For those who are awake, aware and against their regimes actions….get out now if you can to a country willing to stand up to the hegemon and hope that your US passport will be accepted!

DarkEyes
Guest
DarkEyes

Houston, we have a problem! It is “America first”, so no way to go?
The American nationals should start to claim their name, properties and their land in their state where they were born, back. They are no property of the US INC. which is nearly bankrupt, so hurry up otherwise you all “have to” pay the debts of the federal government again! May be two hundred trillion Federal Reserve-paper dollars?
IMO, this Banksters trick is running since 1865.

TS
Guest
TS

Perhaps it is better to base the Consulate on the water, a cruise ship [http://www.ships4ever.com/]. NYC property value is still high.

Vera Gottlieb
Guest
Vera Gottlieb

Vienna Convention? Where is Vienna or what is it? As long as the US’ favoured ‘level playing field’ tilts towards the US. The more I read about the US, the sicker I feel to my stomach.

Franz Kafka
Guest
Franz Kafka

The captive people of the US should ask for a ‘no-fly zone’ to be policed by Russia and China so they might have a hope in hell of finally making the only regime change that matters.

Franz Kafka
Guest
Franz Kafka

It is very simple. Nietzsche’s “People of consummate cant” have added Lavrov’s ‘agreement-incapability’ and handed it all over to Hussein’s and Ahmadinejad’s ‘Great Satan’.
If the AntiChrist has a locus, it is certainly on the axis between Tal Habib and Washington.

Franz Kafka
Guest
Franz Kafka

This is Mueller’s doing. The noose tightening around his neck has forced him into rash acts.
He plans to plant evidence. As the point man for the WTC demolition he has some experience in this sort of thing.

ghartwell
Guest

Children need to be taught the common courtesy of please and thank you. They can be disciplined and trained to align with social expectations. But what happens to the world’s peaceful existence when a large strong nation does not follow established law in international relations? Chaos, instability and uncertainty result.

Trust of America again goes down. Russia, China and the peace – loving nations have this counterfoil to display their tolerance and adherence to law.

Putin’s legal training and absolute firm adherence to international law now looks even more attractive.

Gonzogal
Guest
Gonzogal

VERY well said!

DarkEyes
Guest
DarkEyes

And of course his intelligence background and experience not to forget.
Which in these kind of situations is going into the direction of the survival for the world.

Russian Federation for the Nobel Peace Prize I’d say.

Franz Kafka
Guest
Franz Kafka

The US has now committed the one act which, by their own definition, makes them a rogue state desrving of sanctions and military retribution. Like the fetishized object of Anglo-Zionist hatred, Iran did almost half a century ago, The United States have seized an embassy.

Trauma2000
Guest
Trauma2000

Yes. They have “NOT YET” breached international law, but are about to do so.

Boycott Brand America. Boycott Brand America. What what you buy; and extract all your money, commerce and investments from the U.$. (For your own protection)

K Walker
Guest
K Walker

Sanction my country – the USA. The UN needs to set boundaries – better for the citizens here and better for the world.

Gonzogal
Guest
Gonzogal
Trauma2000
Guest
Trauma2000

It is sad, and unwarranted that someone as yourself may suffer as a result of something beyond your control; but unfortunately, America CLAIMS to be a democracy; and as such, the actions of the nation are a reflection on the individual.

Maybe it’s time for you to emigrate?

K Walker
Guest
K Walker

It claims is true but we are a Republic and allegedly governed by the rule of law.

DarkEyes
Guest
DarkEyes

UN? … Are you sure that you need the UN, K?

K Walker
Guest
K Walker

Who else would do it?

Feudal Peasant
Guest
Feudal Peasant

I venture to guess, all on behalf of Netanyahu who needs dirt in Putin

Shahna
Guest

“The wider truth of the matter is that the only thing up in flames is the American government’s respect for international law.”
——————

… and the wider world’s respect for the USA.

Gonzogal
Guest
Gonzogal

BIG difference….Russia followed International Law!
comment image

DarkEyes
Guest
DarkEyes

The US is learning fast from Ukraine how to turn the whole world against you and distrust you.
What the Deep State with her secret service is doing here will come back to hunt them, without a doubt.

To break into international diplomatic codes in this way is a blamage, unforegivable. It looks like a desperate Deep State act which is gearing into under niveau “street fighting”.

ColinNZ
Guest
ColinNZ

US government still trying to prove beyond any reasonable doubt that their ‘leaders’ are playground bullies in a school for children with learning disabilities and attention deficit disorders.

johnplatinumgoss
Guest
johnplatinumgoss

I suspect any country that would bring down skyscrapers and murder its own citizens to go to war all over the Middle East (9/11) would have no compunction in violating the Vienna Convention. Don’t they make decent people sick?

gbardizbanian
Guest
gbardizbanian

By acting this way the US behaves like a rogue state which has no respect for international law.

Based ✓ᴺᵃᵗᶦᵒᶰᵃˡᶦˢᵗ
Guest
Based ✓ᴺᵃᵗᶦᵒᶰᵃˡᶦˢᵗ

USA has been spying on that consulate for decades. I used to live up there in the 70s-80s and every single day there were white vans, PGE trucks, UPS trucks, phone trucks parked across the street from the consulate all day long.

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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!”

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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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