Questions of Barr’s Accuracy Will Fall to Mueller

Questions of Barr’s Accuracy Will Fall to Mueller

Rep. Jose Serrano, D-N.Y., said he has concerns about the process Barr used to draft a four-page letter of Mueller's "principal conclusions" last month.

The Department of Justice inspector general will complete his investigation into potential surveillance abuses against the Trump campaign by May or June, according to Attorney General William Barr. Most of the questioning concerned demands for Barr to give lawmakers special counsel Robert Mueller's full Russian Federation report and the evidence behind it.

While no lawmaker yet knows exactly what is in the report, Barr did release a four-page summary letter a few days after Mueller turned his report in to the Justice Department. The original report submitted by Mueller is over 400-pages long.

Barr filed a written statement on Monday with the House Appropriations Committee ahead of his testimony.

Republican Rep. Robert Aderholt of Alabama asked Barr during Tuesday's hearing if the Justice Department is investigating "how it came to be that your agency used a salacious and unverified dossier as a predicate for FISA order on a USA citizen?"

Barr was repeatedly grilled about the coming redaction of the Mueller report. "That's something that has been really important to us".

Attorney General William Barr provided new information about the process of redacting special counsel Robert Mueller's report, and said he will likely release the highly anticipated report to the public "within a week".

It is not clear, however, if Mueller's report found that Trump obstructed justice during the investigation. As more information becomes available, this post will be updated.

"I think that's a betrayal to what he promised during his confirmation", Schiff told CNN, referring to Barr's refusal so far to not provide Congress with the full report and underlying evidence.

In one exchange, Barr was asked whether the White House saw the Mueller report before Barr issued his March 24, 2019 letter or since then.

Democratic leadership has been loathe to even discuss impeachment, and with Mueller's conclusions in his final report now public, as characterized by Barr, the chances of successfully removing Trump from office seem even more remote than they were before.

"From a prosecutor's standpoint", he said, "the bottom line is binary, which is charges or no charges". He later described in a March 29 follow-up letter what kind of material would be redacted and announced he meant to release the report by mid-April, if not sooner. They are grand jury materials, information that US spy agencies believe could reveal their sources or methods, information that could interfere with ongoing law enforcement investigations and information that touches on privacy or reputational interests of so-called peripheral individuals who weren't charged in the Russian Federation investigation.

"And finally, we intend to redact information that implicated the privacy or reputational interest of peripheral players where there is a decision not to charge them", Barr said.

"I'm glad to talk to Chairman Nadler and Chairman Graham as to whether they feel they need more information and if there's a way we can accommodate that", Barr said.

Democrats have urged Barr to make the case to a judge for an exception to the rules that prevent the Justice Department from releasing grand-jury information to Congress, but Barr said he has no plans to do so. He added, "My intention is not to ask for it at this stage".

Testifying before a House Appropriations subcommittee on the Justice Department's fiscal 2020 budget request, Barr underlined that some modifications would be made to the 400-page report to make some portions colour-coded and footnoted so that the public will get to know why the Justice Department chose to make such a move.

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