Saturday March 30, 2019
William Barr says no plans to share report with White House before making it public
In a letter to top Democrats and Republicans on the Senate and House Judiciary committees, U.S. Attorney General William Barr says that 'everyone will soon be able to read [the Mueller report] on their own.' (Carolyn Kaster/Associated Press)
A redacted version of special counsel Robert Mueller's report
on the Russia investigation will be sent to Congress by mid-April and
will not be shared with the White House beforehand, U.S. Attorney
General William Barr said Friday.
In a letter to the chairmen of
the House and Senate judiciary committees, Barr said he shares a desire
for Congress and the public to be able to read Mueller's findings, which
are included in the nearly 400-page report Mueller submitted last week.While
Barr said U.S. President Donald Trump would have the right to assert
executive privilege over parts of the report, Trump "has stated publicly
that he intends to defer to me and, accordingly, there are no plans to
submit the report to the White House for a privilege review."
Mueller officially concluded his investigation when he submitted the report last Friday. Two days later, Barr sent a four-page letter to Congress that detailed Mueller's "principal conclusions."
report did not find that the Trump campaign co-ordinated or conspired
with Russia, Barr wrote, and did not reach a conclusion on whether Trump
obstructed justice. Barr said he and deputy attorney general Rod
Rosenstein decided on their own that Mueller's evidence was insufficient
to establish that the president committed obstruction.
said he is preparing to redact multiple categories of information from
the report. Those include grand jury material; information that would
compromise sensitive sources and methods; information that could affect
ongoing investigations, including those referred by Mueller's office to
other Justice Department offices; and information that could infringe on
the personal privacy and reputation of "peripheral third parties."
"Our progress is such that I anticipate we will be in a position to release the report by mid-April, if not sooner," he said.
said last week's letter detailing Mueller's "principal conclusions" was
not intended to be an "exhaustive recounting" of the special counsel's
"Everyone will soon be able to read it on their
own," Barr wrote. "I do not believe it would be in the public's interest
for me to attempt to summarize the full report or to release it in
serial or piecemeal fashion."
'Congress must see the full report'
letter drew a quick — and critical — response from Rep. Jerrold Nadler,
the chairman of the House judiciary committee, who had demanded the
full Mueller report by April 2.
Nadler, a Democrat from New York,
said that deadline still stands and called on Barr to join him in
working to get a court order allowing the release of grand jury
information to the committee, rather than spending "valuable time and
resources" keeping portions of the report from Congress.
"There is ample precedent for the Department of Justice sharing
all of the information that the attorney general proposes to redact to
the appropriate congressional committees," Nadler said in a statement.
"Again, Congress must see the full report."
Members of Congress
will be in recess for a two weeks beginning April 12, which could mean
that lawmakers will be out of town when the report is delivered.