WASHINGTON – The Special Adviser, Robert S. Miller III wrote a letter to Attorney General William P. at the end of March. Bar, opposed to his early explanation of the findings of the investigation in Russia, which seemed to clear President Trump for possible obstruction of justice, according to the Justice Department.
The letter adds to the growing evidence of cleavage among them and is another indication of anger among the special investigators for the characterization of Mr Barr of their findings, which enabled Mr. Trump to wrongly claim to have been justified.
It was not clear what kind of specific remarks Mr. Miller expressed in his letter. Mr Barr defended his descriptions of the findings of the investigation in the talks with Mr Miller during the days after he sent the letter, according to two people with knowledge of their discussions.
Mr Barr, who was to testify Wednesday before the Senate Judiciary Committee on the investigation, publicly stated that he disagreed with some of the legal reasoning in Miller's report. Senior Democratic MPs invited Mr. Miller to testify in the coming weeks, but failed to provide a date for his testimony.
"The Special Counselor stressed that nothing in the lawyer's letter of March 24th is not true or wrong," Justice Department spokeswoman Kerry Kupche said in response to a request for comment on Tuesday afternoon. "But he expressed frustration over the lack of context and media coverage stemming from the analysis of the obstruction of the special council."
A spokesman for the special council office declined to comment.
The central issue in the conflict is how the public's understanding of Miller's report was formed after the special adviser completed his investigation and handed him his report from 448 pages to March 22 to the Attorney General, his boss and long-time friend. On the four-page letter, which Mr Barr sent to Congress two days later, gave little detail on the findings of the Special Adviser and gave the impression that Mr. Miller's team did not find an offense, allowing Mr Trump to declare released.
But when Mr Miller's report was released on April 18, he painted Mr. Thrump's much more dangerous picture and showed that Mr Miller believed there was considerable evidence that Mr. Trump was hindering justice.
During the past month there have been other signs of a conflict between the chief prosecutor and the special council on issues such as the legal theories of constitutional protections given to the presidents to carry out their work and how the team carried out the investigation.
In testimony to the Congress in April before the release of the report, Mr Bar resigned to the question whether he believed the investigation was a "witch hunt" – a preferred term for Mr Trump. It "depends on where you sit," replied Mr. Barr.
"If you are someone who falsely accuses you of something, I would like to see the investigation as a witch hunt," he said, an obvious referral to the president.
His testimony was contrary to the comments he gave during his questioning in January. "I do not believe that Mr. Miller will be involved in witch hunting," he said then.
The problem between men appeared to develop in intervening months as a special council completed its investigation.
Mr Barr and senior Justice Department officials were frustrated with how Mr Miller completed his investigation and prepared his report, according to two people with knowledge of the discussions and another person informed about the issue.
They expressed irritation that Mr. Miller failed to complete his task, refusing to make a decision as to whether Mr Trump violated the law. That left Mr. Barr cleared Mr. Trump without the support of a special adviser.
Senior department officials also cited Mr. Miller's explanation that he would not decide whether Mr. Trump committed a crime to be confusing and contradictory, and concluded that Mr Miller's report had shown that there was no case against Mr. Miller, Mr. Trump.
But Mr Miller made evidence against the President. After explaining that he had refused to rule on the prosecution, citing as a factor in the Justice Department that the attitudes of the presidents can not be blamed, the special adviser has detailed the more than a dozen attempts by the president to obstruct the investigation. He also left the door open for charges after Mr Trump left his post.
"If we had confidence after a thorough investigation into the facts that the president obviously did not obstruct justice, we will state that," wrote Miller and his researchers. "On the basis of facts and applicable legal standards, however, we can not reach that verdict."
The report by Mr. Miller, the Attorney General and other senior police officials believed that it was read as if it was written for consumption by the Congress and the public, and not as a confidential report to Mr. Barr, as required by the regulations governing the Special Adviser.
Some researchers at the special council told collaborators that they were angry at Mr. Barr's initial characterization of their findings, government officials and others, and that their conclusions are more disturbing for President Trump than Mr. Barr has cited in his four-page letter. It turned out to be a case.
At one point, Mr. Barr took Mr Miller's words out of context to suggest that the president had no motive to hinder justice. In another case, he took out a fragment of the sentence in Miller's report, which made the conclusion seem less damaging for the president.
Investigators wrote: "Although the investigation finds that the Russian government believes it will benefit from the Trump presidency and will work to ensure that outcome, and that the campaign expects it to benefit from the electoral information that has been stolen and released through Russian efforts, the investigation has not established that the Trump campaign members have spoken or coordinated with the Russian government in election-related interference activities. "
Letter of Mr. Bar just quoted the statement that the investigation found no conspiracy or coordination.
It is unclear whether the members of Mr. Miller's team were angered by these points, or whether he quoted Miller's letter.
Despite the disagreement over the report, Mr Miller's team members worked together with justice ministry officials to process sensitive information from the report before being released.
A few hours before the publication of Miller's report, Mr Bar told a news conference that he "did not agree with some of the legal theories of the special council" about what constituted a presidential obstruction of justice. He also repeatedly said that the special council did not find a "plot" between the Russian government and the Trump campaign. President Trump often uses this term, but Mr. Miller's investigators pointed out that they had no legal standard and left it beyond their verdicts.
Instead, the inspectors wrote that they did not find evidence to prove a criminal plot between the Trump campaign and the Russians.
Mr Bar also said at a news conference that some of Mr Trump's efforts to halt the investigation should be placed in a "context".
"There is considerable evidence to show that the president was frustrated and angry over the sincere belief that the investigation undermined his presidency, fueled by his political opponents and fueled by illegal leaks," he said.