Barr faces Congress for first time since end of Mueller investigation

Adjust Comment Print

Congress WILL NOT be given unredacted copies of Mueller's full report.

Trump welcomed that conclusion and has claimed full vindication by Mueller.

Rep. Nita Lowey, the Democratic chairwoman of the House Appropriations Committee, said she was taken aback that Barr had reduced Mueller's report to a four-page letter in just two days.

The escalating political battle over Special Counsel Robert Mueller III's report centers on redactions: a lawyerly editing process that has angered distrustful Democrats eager to see the all evidence and conclusions from his 22-month investigation of President Trump's conduct and Russia's elaborate interference operation during the 2016 election. Justice Department officials are scouring the almost 400-page document to remove grand jury information and details relating to pending investigations, among other materials.

In addition to Mueller questions, Barr may also be pressed on the Justice Department's role in Trump's polarizing immigration policies, including its role in "zero tolerance" policies that led to the separation of immigrant families at the border, as well as the administration's request for additional immigration judges to ease a backlog of cases. Most likely, however, the redacted report will answer a lot of questions to satisfaction. "We are very hopeful the attorney general will do the right thing here and make everything public that can lawfully be made public".

William Barr dodged some questions but did promise release of the Mueller report on schedule.

Barr is slated to testify before a U.S. Senate appropriations panel on Wednesday.

Barr told lawmakers that the Justice Department's inspector-general would be completing an investigation of how surveillance applications were used in the Russian Federation investigation by "May or June".

Netanyahu says if re-elected he will extend Israeli sovereignty over West Bank
He suggested the Palestinians may take Israel to the International Criminal Court. State Department declined to comment on Netanyahu's statement.

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. Barr said he would release a redacted report next week, but if Democrats want the entire report they may have to start impeachment proceedings against President Donald Trump. Trump is clearly beginning to realize that, even if Barr can redact tons of damaging information, he can't invent material that wasn't actually there to begin with. "The second is information that the intelligence community believes would reveal intelligence sources and methods", Barr explained.

Fourth is information that implicates the privacy or reputational interests of peripheral players, where there is a decision not to charge them.

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. "You will recall that the special counsel did spin off a number of cases that are still being pursued", Barr told lawmakers. Barr says he worked closely with Rosenstein in authoring the letter.

In his remarks on Tuesday, Barr told lawmakers, "I am relying on my own discretion to make as much public as I can". No longer is the president agreeing that Mueller acted honorably, as he did the day after the special counsel's conclusions were released.

He also criticized those calling for the report's release as hypocritical. "I suspect that they probably wanted more put out", he said.

Lawrence asked Barr: "Are you familiar with the data with the percentage?"

"It's hard to have that discussion without the contents of the report, isn't it, and that's why I'm suggesting that we wait until the report is out, and I'm glad to talk to people after then, and I'm already scheduled to testify about that", he said.