Tuesday, 25 June, 2019

Questions of Barr’s Accuracy Will Fall to Mueller

Top Democrat says Mueller will be called to testify to Congress — but with an important caveat White House
Gustavo Carr | 14 April, 2019, 00:23

Yesterday, Attorney General William Barr appeared before the House Appropriations Committee to talk about the DOJ budget, but that was more of an afterthought as the Democrats used the opportunity to showcase their virtue on the Mueller report.

Democrats on the committee pressed Barr for more information on the final report by special counsel Robert Mueller. When asked, Barr said those details would likely be in the public version of the report.

Barr wouldn't discuss the substance of Mueller's findings but did explain some of his process for receiving and reviewing the report and what to expect when it is released: He said the redactions will be color-coded and accompanied by notes explaining the decision to withhold information. He also said that Mueller did not reach a conclusion on whether the president obstructed justice, instead presenting evidence on both sides of the question.

Watch above via NBC News.

In the meantime, Trump and his GOP allies will continue claiming that the Mueller report exonerates him - regardless of what's actually in it.

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.

Another potential category that doesn't apply, Barr has said, is information covered by executive privilege; the president has in effect waived privilege.

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Barr gave no indication of how much of the report will be obscured but said he was working with Mueller on restricting details about secret grand jury information, US intelligence gathering and ongoing criminal cases as well as potentially damaging information about peripheral players who were not charged in the Russian Federation probe.

Attorney General William Barr declared Wednesday he thinks "spying did occur" on Donald Trump's presidential campaign, suggesting the origins of the Russian Federation investigation may have been mishandled and aligning himself with the president at a time when Barr's independence is under scrutiny.

As members of Congress continued to press Barr on questions about the report during an appropriations hearing about the Justice Department's budget request, Barr noted that he will be in a position to answer more questions about the report in testimony before the House and Senate Judiciary committees after he releases the report in the coming days. He said that the letter may have been read to them, but they did not get a hard copy of it.

In response, Rep. Doug Collins, the top Republican on the Judiciary Committee, sent Nadler a letter on Monday, arguing that the committee should invite Mueller to testify about his work during the last week of April, after the redacted report comes out.

"I presume we're going to get the redacted report within a week", Nadler said Tuesday. Trump has also publicly stated that he wants the report made public.

The New York Times and the Washington Post reported last week that some investigators on Mueller's team were unhappy with the way Barr described their findings.