Published: Wed, April 10, 2019
Worldwide | By Lisa Hogan

Barr to release Mueller report ‘in a week’

Barr to release Mueller report ‘in a week’

His primary concern, he insisted, is protecting confidential grand jury material included in the document.

"I'm operating under a regulation that was put together during the Clinton administration and does not provide for the publication of the report", Barr told lawmakers.

"I don't intend at this stage to send the full unredacted report to the committee", he said, referring to the House Judiciary Committee, which last week threatened the attorney general with a subpoena.

Barr's handling of the almost 400-page report has roiled Washington in recent weeks, with Democrats pressing to learn the full scope of what the Special Counsel's investigation found.

Barr did not commit to providing the full report to Congress, despite requests by Democratic lawmakers. "That's something that has been really important to us".

Mr. Mueller turned over his confidential report to Mr. Barr last month following his 22-month-long probe into whether Donald Trump may have colluded with Russian Federation during the presidential campaign and if he then obstructed inquiries into the matter. Barr says Mueller's thinking was "not a mystery" to Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein and other senior Justice Department leaders who had been supervising the probe for almost two years. And I think most people would agree. He knows everyone is going to want to know what's behind the black ink, ' said Rep. Matt Cartwright, a Pennsylvania Democrat who will have a chance to question Barr at Tuesday's hearing. Democrats have salivated over the quote, hanging their hopes on the possibility that the report does contain damning information on Trump.

Barr also said that he could be open to releasing some redacted details after consulting with congressional leaders, though he said he did not have plans to ask a court for permission to disclose secret grand jury testimony. "You'll recall that the special counsel did spin off a number of cases that are still being pursued", Barr said.

"This process is going along well", Barr said at the hearing Tuesday.

"I haven't seen the referrals yet from Congressman Nunes, but obviously if there is a predicate for an investigation it will be conducted", Barr said. Even Attorney General William Barr's swiss-cheese release of Mueller's findings won't be as glowing as Trump gloated about publicly because you can't add the word "exonerated" where it doesn't exist.

The Attorney General appeared defensive during questioning about reports that members of Mueller's team were unhappy with his characterizations of their findings. He said the redactions are necessary to protect classified information and ongoing litigation.

Mr Barr was summoned to Congress to talk about his department's budget request, but lawmakers still asked about the Mueller report as they waited to see it.

Trump, on the other hand, disregarded the line completely and has been crowing about "TOTAL EXONERATION" on Twitter since Barr's summary went public. "It's hard to have that discussion without the contents of the report, isn't it?" he said.

Barr also may opt to redact portions that discuss people who were investigated but not charged such as Trump's son-in-law Jared Kushner. "And in many ways, your letter raises more questions than it answers".

Before they lost control of the House in last November's election, Jordan and Republican allies including Devin Nunes of California conducted a two-year campaign to show players in the Federal Bureau of Investigation and Justice Department were out to get Trump.

Barr told lawmakers that the Justice Department's inspector-general would be completing an investigation of how surveillance applications were used in the Russian Federation investigation by "May or June".

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