Monday, 22 April, 2019

Barr says will release redacted Mueller report within a week

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Leonard Rios | 10 April, 2019, 04:43

However, it will be redacted, with some - possibly much - information concealed from public view.

Inspector General Michael Horowitz's report about that could be done in May or June, Barr said.

Barr said he did not offer to let Mueller help draft his four-page March 24 letter to Congress on the conclusions of the special counsel's investigation.

Democrats are now demanding that the Justice Department turn over documents related to the administration's refusal to defend the Affordable Care Act. "All we have is your four-page summary, which seems to cherry pick from the report to draw the most favorable conclusion possible for the president". Barr is expected to submit a redacted copy of the full report to the public and Congress by mid-April, or even sooner. "So they will be identifiable".

Barr appeared before the House Appropriations Committee, a hearing that would typically be a fairly dry affair focused on how the Justice Department intends to spend billions of dollars on matters such as prisons and national security.

That includes the most crucial and potentially damning information Democrats seek: testimony and documents from Mueller's grand jury, a panel of citizens convened to develop and hear the evidence and depose key witnesses behind closed doors.

Republican Representative Robert Aderholt of Alabama asked Barr during Tuesday's hearing if the Justice Department is investigating "how it came to be that your agency used a salacious and unverified dossier as a predicate for FISA order on a USA citizen?"

"There's a lot of pressure all pointing in the direction of doing a robust release, said John Bies, who held senior roles in the Justice Department during the Obama administration and now works at American Oversight, a liberal watchdog group".

Barr said he is barred by laws and federal rules from releasing information gathered by Mueller's grand jury that might affect continuing criminal investigations and about peripheral figures who were not charged with crimes.

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In excerpts from her opening statement released Monday night, House Appropriations Committee Chairwoman Nita Lowey, D-N.Y., said that Barr's summary letter "raises more questions than it answers".

He said that Mueller's 22-month investigation found no evidence of conspiracy by the Trump campaign to collude with Russians during the 2016 presidential election.

House Democrats have demanded that the Mueller report be released in its entirety. The almost 400-page report is being scoured now to remove grand jury information and details relating to pending investigations. "I'm not going to say anything more about it until the report is out and everyone has a chance to look at it", he said after citing the information he'd already given.

Testifying before the House Appropriations Committee, Barr emphasized that based on regulations put in place during President Bill Clinton's tenure he is required as the Attorney General to review the report and release it based on "public interest" in the findings.

Get more from Chaffetz in the "America's Newsroom" clip above. He said the redactions are necessary to protect classified information and ongoing litigation.

"I've said what I'm going to say about the report today", he said.

"This Congress voted unanimously to see that report", the subcommittee's chairman, Jose Serrano said, adding that he could not simply ignore the "elephant in the room".

Representative Robert Aderholt of Alabama, the subcommittee's top Republican, said it was unfortunate that "so numerous questions here this morning are going toward a "grassy knoll" conspiracy theory regarding the Mueller report".

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