Barr to release Mueller report ‘in a week’

Jerry Nadler and Robert Mueller

Jerry Nadler and Robert Mueller

Attorney General William Barr promised lawmakers Tuesday he will release the full report by special counsel Robert Mueller by next week, with color-coded redactions that describe why some passages are kept confidential.

During a congressional hearing, Barr was repeatedly challenged by Democrats who raised suspicions that he may have misrepresented Mueller's report to paint the Republican president in a better light.

Democrats said they were concerned that a four-page summary letter of the report's main conclusions Barr released last month portrayed the investigation's findings in an overly favorable way for President Donald Trump. "This process (of scrubbing it) is going along very well, and my original timetable of being able to release this by mid-April stands, and I think that, from my standpoint, within a week, I will be in a position to release the report to the public", Barr told lawmakers.

With the goal to discredit what's coming, Trump and his allies have unleashed a series of broadsides against Mueller's team and the Democrats pushing for full release of the final report. "If they did it on the House side, I don't see the Senate going anywhere with that".

Congress is-as a matter of law-entitled to each of the categories AG Barr proposed to redact from the Special Counsel's report.

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.

But one quote from Mueller's conclusions that Barr revealed suggested a different view on obstruction.

Barr told Congress earlier this month he expected to release a redacted version of Mueller's almost 400-page report by 'mid-April, if not sooner.' He said four types of information would be redacted, including grand jury material, classified information, material tied to ongoing investigation, and information that could harm 'peripheral third parties'.

Barr is testifying before a House appropriations subcommittee Tuesday.

The public - not Congress - will get the first look at the redacted report.

Akira Ioane gets All Blacks call, Nonu overlooked
Also included is Chiefs flank Sam Cane , who has not played since fracturing his neck against the Springbok in October a year ago .

Parts of the report are expected to be blacked out to protect information deemed sensitive.

Mr. Barr said he was working with Mr. Mueller to redact sensitive information in four areas: secret grand jury information; information that could expose intelligence-gathering sources and methods; information relating to ongoing criminal cases; and information that "implicates the privacy or reputational interests of peripheral players where there is a decision not to charge them".

Trump has said he will not use a legal doctrine called executive privilege, which allows a president to withhold information about internal executive branch deliberations from other branches of government, to block portions of the report.

In a subsequent post, Nadler said that no discussions of any kind are now underway: "We still have not heard from the attorney general". Barr says he worked closely with Rosenstein in authoring the letter.

Barr is testifying at a House appropriations subcommittee hearing to discuss the Justice Department budget and the department's priorities, but the Mueller report - which Barr is in the process of redacting before releasing publicly - will loom over the proceedings.

Serrano said Americans have been "left with many unanswered questions" about Mueller's investigation.

The attorney general also said the door appears open to more investigations or reports about the conduct of the Russian Federation investigation - music to the ears of Republicans who have followed the lead of President Trump in calling it a "witch hunt" or suggesting it is the product of a conspiracy by the FBI and the Justice Department.

Trump's GOP allies in Congress are also hedging their bets by continuing to cast doubt on the origins of Mueller's investigation.

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. He said that the letter may have been read to them, but they did not get a hard copy of it. The attorney general said the Trump administration has hired more of the judges in the last two years than the previous seven years combined.

Democratic leaders of the House Appropriations Committee plan to raise the report and Barr's summary in their opening statements, according to excerpts released Monday, making clear that Mueller will be front and center at the hearing.

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