Rep. Nita Lowey Grills Bill Barr on ‘Unacceptable’ Handling of Mueller Report

Rep. Nita Lowey Grills Bill Barr on ‘Unacceptable’ Handling of Mueller Report

Rep. Nita Lowey Grills Bill Barr on ‘Unacceptable’ Handling of Mueller Report

Contrary to circulating rumors, "the thinking of the special counsel was not a mystery to the people at the Department of Justice prior to his submission of the report", Barr said.

Barr reaffirmed to members of the House Appropriations Committee that the first version of the report he plans to release - within one week, he said - would be redacted.

Attorney General William Barr told a House panel on Tuesday that he put together a team to look at how the FBI's investigation into the Trump campaign and Russian interference started in the summer of 2016.

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.

This indicates that Barr is looking into allegations that Republican lawmakers have been pursuing for more than a year - that the investigation into President Donald Trump and possible collusion with Russian Federation was tainted at the start by anti-Trump bias in the FBI and Justice Department.

Barr said the mid-April deadline for releasing the report still stands.

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

"I don't intend at this stage to send the full, unredacted report to the committee", Barr said, adding that wouldn't ask a court to release grand jury material "Until someone shows me a provision" that allows it to be released. The Republicans on the Intelligence Committee cited Barr's summary stating that Mueller's probe did not establish a criminal conspiracy to jointly call for Schiff's resignation as chairman last month. Now, in my letter of the - March 29, I identified four areas that I feel should be redacted and I think most people would agree.

"A headline today is that William Barr's personally reviewing the conduct of the Federal Bureau of Investigation in launching the Trump Russia collusion hoax". The almost 400-page report is being scoured now to remove grand jury information and details relating to pending investigations. 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.

With a tinge of sarcasm in her voice, Lowey called it "extraordinary" that Barr was able to "evaluate hundreds of pages of evidence, legal documents, and findings based on a 22-month-long inquiry and make definitive legal conclusions in less than 48 hours".

Representative Nita Lowey, chairwoman of the House Appropriations Committee, criticized Barr's handling of the report, calling it "unacceptable" and saying his summary "seems to cherry-pick from the report".

Rep. Jerry Nadler of NY, the Democratic chairman of the House committee, tweeted Monday that he planned to eventually call Mueller to testify.

Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., has said he would be satisfied hearing only from Barr and not Mueller. "When we do so, if we don't get everything, we will issue a subpoena and go to court".

And - having told lawmakers previously that his department was scrubbing the report with an eye on a mid-April release - Barr confirmed the Justice Department was on course to make the report public in the next seven days.

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

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