No Rush To Release Mueller Report: DC Judge

Geraldine Edwards
April 10, 2019

US Attorney General Bill Barr said Tuesday that his review of the Mueller Russia meddling investigation report is on schedule and he could release a redacted version by next week.

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.

Pressure has mounted on Barr to release the full report since his March 24 summary cleared President Donald Trump of both collusion with Russian Federation and obstruction of justice - though Mueller himself made no judgment on obstruction allegations.

"I can envision a situation where under appropriate safeguards, that information can be shared", Barr said.

While the USA public has clamored for a full disclosure of the report with as few redactions as possible, Barr said the redactions to the report-currently underway-will be based upon legal requirements concerning material produced by the grand jury, classified intelligence material, information connected to open or ongoing investigations, and material that would impact the privacy or reputations of individuals peripheral to the probe.

Democrats have raised questions about how Barr was so quickly able to boil down Mueller's report into four pages. If Collins asks Mueller that, and Mueller endorses Barr's handling of the probe, it's hard to see how the cover-up theory could survive it.

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The House Appropriations Committee is not among those examining Trump, his finances and his foreign contacts, and only one member of the subcommittee that questioned Barr also sits on any of those panels that are.

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

"Within a week I will be in a position to release the report to the public", Barr told the House Appropriations Committee.

Barr said that Mueller was given the opportunity to review the summary Barr released last month detailing the Mueller's conclusions, and the special counsel declined to do so.

He said the White House did not review the letter to Congress laying out Mueller's findings before he sent it.

A federal judge in Washington refused on Tuesday to fast-track the release of Special Counsel Robert Mueller's report on the Russian Federation investigation, ruling that a group suing for those records had failed to show that it would be irreparably harmed by a slower disclosure process.

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Barr's opening statement did not mention Mueller's report, instead outlining the Justice Department's budget priorities.

Testifying before the House Appropriations Subcommittee, ostensibly to discuss other matters, Barr told representatives that he is preparing to release the report within a week.

"Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein and I have concluded that the evidence developed during the Special Counsel's investigation is not sufficient to establish that the President committed an obstruction of justice offense", Barr said.

Barr also said that he will tell Congress about his rationale for any redactions in the report, which is said to be almost 400 pages long.

That's why Nadler and his colleagues say they're so eager to see Mueller's full findings and discoveries, without relying on the interpretation provided by the attorney general.

Democrats say they can't know what to make of Mueller's findings until they see them for themselves, but Barr's office has been working with Mueller's team to redact material before anyone outside a handful of Justice Department officials sees the report. Nadler is authorized to subpoena Mueller's full report, with the committee voting along party lines Wednesday to grant him that ability, though to date, none has been issued.

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