Barr tells Congress when to expect Mueller report
by Harvest Prude & Lynde Langdon
Posted 3/29/19, 04:35 pm
UPDATE: Attorney General William Barr said Friday he should be able to deliver a redacted version of special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigative report to Congress by mid-April. In a letter to the chairmen of the House and Senate Judiciary committees, Barr said he would remove from the report any grand jury material, information that would compromise sensitive sources and methods, facts that could affect ongoing investigations, and anything that could infringe on the personal privacy and reputation of “peripheral third parties.”
Barr said he does not plan to share the report on Russian interference in the 2016 U.S. presidential election with the White House before making it public. He said that though President Donald Trump would have the right to assert executive privilege over certain parts of the report, “he has stated publicly that he intends to defer to me and, accordingly, there are no plans to submit the report to the White House for a privilege review.”
OUR EARLIER REPORT (12:14 p.m.): WASHINGTON—Special counsel Robert Mueller’s report on Russian interference in the 2016 U.S. presidential election is more than 300 pages long, the Justice Department confirmed to The New York Times on Thursday. The information ignited an outcry from Democrats, who called Attorney General William Barr’s four-page summary he sent to Congress on Sunday insufficient. Barr said Mueller did not uncover evidence that the Trump campaign conspired with Russia to influence the election. The attorney general noted that Mueller declined to exonerate or accuse President Donald Trump of obstructing justice, but Barr and Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein decided there was not enough evidence to prosecute the president.
“For Mr. Barr to quickly issue a four-page report in his attempt to try to exonerate Mr. Trump, and now to delay the release of an over 300-page report written by Mueller … has too much of the odor of political expediency to help the man who appointed him,” Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., argued in a speech on the Senate floor.
At a rally Thursday in Grand Rapids, Mich., Trump celebrated Mueller’s findings. “After three years of lies and smears and slander, the Russia hoax is dead,” he said. “This was nothing more than a sinister effort to undermine our historic election victory and to sabotage the will of the American people.”
Trump has given his blessing to the release of the full report, and Republicans have agreed, though they have said Barr can redact sensitive information. By law, Barr cannot release classified information or grand jury testimony. Six Democratic House committee chairmen sent a letter to Barr demanding that the Justice Department release the full report by Tuesday. House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerry Nadler, D-N.Y., said he spoke on the phone Wednesday with the attorney general, who wouldn’t commit to releasing a full, unredacted version of the report. Barr has indicated that it may take weeks for members of his staff, along with Mueller’s team, to review the report and determine what they can make public.
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Harvest is a graduate of the World Journalism Institute and a reporter for WORLD.