White House steps up attacks as release of Mueller report nears

White House steps up attacks as release of Mueller report nears

White House steps up attacks as release of Mueller report nears

Barr was back on Capitol Hill Wednesday for a second day of testimony on the Justice Department budget, this time before a Senate Appropriations Subcommittee, but once again special counsel Robert Mueller's report dominated the conversation. According to Barr, Mueller declined to draw a conclusion on whether Trump obstructed justice in the investigation and left it up to the attorney general to decide whether the president should be prosecuted for that crime.

"I'll be in a position, as I said, within a week to release the report".

Facing the intensifying concerns from Democrats that he may have whitewashed Mueller's findings, Barr has twice moved to defend, or at least explain, his handling of the process since receiving the special counsel's report.

Barr released a four-page summary of the almost 400-page Mueller report last month that stated the special counsel had found no collusion between the Trump campaign and the Kremlin but said Mueller had not reached a conclusion on whether the president obstructed justice during the investigation.

Barr further revealed he met with the special counsel team on March 5, 2019 and that Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein also attended.

"We have made a formal request for all of the information and findings in the counterintelligence investigation, as they're required to provide us under the National Security Act of 1947", the California Democrat said.

Barr also suggested that the report would not be filled with pages of redactions.

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.

The attorney general said on Tuesday that although he is preparing for Congress and Americans to read what they can of Mueller's full report, the conclusions of which they are already aware are clearly important.

And in his testimony on Tuesday, Barr expressed skepticism that giving Congress - let alone the public - grand jury information, as covered in the law referred to as "6 (e)", could ever be appropriate.

Barr reiterated the four categories of information he wants to redact from the Mueller report before its release.

CHANG: That is a redacted version of the special counsel's report on the Russian Federation investigation.

"I've said what I'm going to say about the report today", he said.

Fox News is also told that the Justice Department's Inspector General (IG) is separately looking into whether former FBI Director James Comey mishandled classified information by including a variety of sensitive matters in his private memos, including the name and code name of a confidential human source.

The attorney general said he has not received the criminal investigation referrals from Rep. Devin Nunes (R-Calif.) that the lawmaker mentioned earlier in the week.

They, along with their colleagues, say the report should be released without redactions.

Republicans sought to play down the possibility that the Mueller report might challenge Trump's assertion that he has been exonerated of colluding with Russian Federation, and they asked Barr whether he would now look into whether the conduct of federal law enforcement officials during that investigation had been inappropriate.

First is grand jury information, or "6 (e)" material that was obtained during grand jury proceedings, which under the law has to be redacted.

Barr has been under scrutiny since he released a four-page summary of the investigation's key findings on March 24.

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