US attorney general ready to release Mueller report 'within a week'

Posted April 10, 2019

Mr. Barr later released a four-page letter to Congress laying out what he said were Mr. Mueller's main findings and wrote that the Mueller probe did not establish that members of Mr. Trump's election campaign conspired with Russian Federation.

Attorney General William Barr provided new information about the process of redacting special counsel Robert Mueller's report, and said he will likely release the highly anticipated report to the public "within a week".

The first public confrontation is imminent, with Barr scheduled to appear Tuesday and Wednesday before the House and Senate Appropriations committees for hearings ostensibly about the Justice Department's budget. And given Barr's statements on Tuesday, it seems that beginning impeachment proceedings may be best, or at least the most efficient, way to get it. Barr wrote that he and Deputy Attorney-General Rod Rosenstein weighed the evidence themselves and determined that they could not make a case that Trump obstructed justice.

Democratic chairwoman of the House Appropriations Committee Nita Lowey said she was taken aback that Mr Barr had reduced Mr Mueller's report to a four-page letter in just two days.

Barr said he did not have insight into why some on Mueller's team were upset. Barr, with Mueller's assistance, has spent weeks redacting material that might compromise ongoing investigations or intelligence-gathering sources and methods. Since an impeachment investigation is akin to a judicial proceeding, impeachment counts as a reason to release grand jury information. There are few exceptions. If Nadler tries to use his power to issue a subpoena, that could lead to a court case.

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The Justice Department declined to comment on the requests by the members of Congress.

"The president's made clear that he wants strong health-care legislation and he wants to protect preexisting conditions, in the event that the court accepts the legal arguments we've presented", he said.

Rep. Doug Collins (R-GA) is asking that House Judiciary Chairman Jerry Nadler (D-NY) request that special counsel Robert Mueller testify before Congress "without delay".

Right out of the gate, Committee Chairman Rep. José Serrano (D-N.Y.) pressed Barr on why he didn't use the summaries of the Russian Federation report that were created by the Mueller team.

Barr later defended his department's decision to side with the judge.

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"The amount of legitimate redactions should be quite small, " he said. "I also think under appropriate safeguards, there is a way of people verifying these categories (of redactions) were not abused". And Collins likely hopes he'll be able to put concern about a "cover-up" to rest with two questions: "Do you believe that Attorney General Barr has deliberately worked to soften your report's impact on President Trump, and does the public version of the report accurately represent the scope of your findings?"

Some members of Mueller's investigative team have been quoted recently in USA media reports as saying that Barr unfairly summarized the report. But Barr's phrasing in that letter is somewhat ambiguous.

"But I am relying on my own discretion to make as much public as I can", he added.

"He has done exactly what one would expect from someone who follows the book".

Attorney General William Barr has assembled a team to review controversial counterintelligence decisions made by Justice Department and Federal Bureau of Investigation officials, including actions taken during the probe of the Trump campaign in the summer of 2016, according to a person familiar with the matter.

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The author of that 30-year-old memo was the head of the OLC at that time: William Barr.