Mueller report to be redacted, released "within a week": US Attorney General

10 April, 2019, 04:44 | Author: Sue Mclaughlin
  • Jerry Nadler and Robert Mueller

He has said that he did not intend for his four-page summary of Mueller's main conclusions to be an "exhaustive recounting" of his work and that he could not immediately release the entire report because it included grand jury material and other sensitive information that needed to first be redacted.

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.

Asked Tuesday whether he ever conveyed such concerns to the White House, Barr told lawmakers he had "ample opportunity to present my views" to the White House.

Expressing frustration with the lack of information given to Congress, Lowey pointed to news reports suggesting the final report from Mueller's team is between 300 and 400 pages long.

"Call it what you wish", Barr said, after Democrats accused him of asserting executive privilege in refusing to summarize his conversations.

"Of course, we can not hold this hearing without mentioning the elephant in the room", the subcommittee's chairman, Jose Serrano, said in prepared remarks. "This report is too important to all of us".

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. 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.

"I suspect that they probably wanted more put out", Barr acknowledged.

Cartwright noted that if the law was struck down, millions of people who get their coverage through the ACA marketplace would lose their coverage and "tens of millions more would see their premiums skyrocket".

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Barr said he gave the Mueller team a chance to review his summary of the Mueller report, but they declined. And while he generally stayed cool under fire, he actually revealed quite a few new pieces of information about the national mystery surrounding his intentions with respect to the release of the Mueller report. He said that he will colour-code the redactions and provide "explanatory notes" so people know why various sections of the report are not being disclosed.

"I felt I should state bottom-line conclusions, and I tried to use special counsel Mueller's own language in doing that", he said.

Barr also faced questions about the Justice Department's endorsement of a federal court's ruling to invalidate the Affordable Care Act in its entirety, a drastic shift from the administration's previous position that certain facets of the law should be shot down.

"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.

DOJ Inspector General Michael Horowitz has been investigating the use of the (FISA) warrants in the Russian Federation investigation since March a year ago.

"If the Supreme Court rules that Obamacare is out, we'll have a plan that is far better than Obamacare", President Donald Trump said last month.

Barr was summoned to Congress to talk about his department's budget request, but politicians still asked about the Mueller report as they waited to see it. Barr's prepared remarks, sent to the committee on Monday, focused on funding requests for immigration enforcement and the fights against violent crime and opioid addiction, not mentioning the special counsel's report at all.

"From my standpoint, within a week, I will be in a position to release the report to the public", Barr said. Trump has touted Barr's summary as a "complete exoneration" and agreed to releasing the report, saying he had "nothing to hide". "It's hard to have that discussion without the contents of the report, isn't it?" he said. In fact, understanding obstruction of justice as an expression of Congress' constitutional power to safeguard the judicial process means that contrary to Barr's assertions, the motive behind the obstruction matters-particularly when it comes to the president.

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. "So numerous questions here today have gone toward a grassy knoll conspiracy theory", Aderholt said.

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