Barr says he expects to release Mueller report within a week as Democrats grill him at hearing

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Attorney General William Barr arrives to testify about the Justice Department’s fiscal 2020 budget request before the House Appropriations Committee’s Commerce, Justice, Science and Related Agencies Subcommittee on Tuesday.

Attorney General William Barr told House lawmakers on Tuesday he expects to be able to release a redacted version of Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s report within a week.

Testifying before a House Appropriations subcommittee on the Justice Department’s budget, Barr was peppered by Democrats who questioned how he summarized Mueller’s findings so quickly and how he would redact the report when it is released to the public.

The New York Times and Washington Post have said Mueller’s report was actually more damaging to President Donald Trump than Barr has revealed to date. According to Barr’s summary, Mueller’s investigation didn’t find evidence Trump’s campaign conspired with Russia to influence the 2016 presidential election. But Barr also quoted the report as saying it didn’t exonerate Trump on obstruction. Trump has slammed the Times’ reporting, saying the newspaper “had no legitimate sources.”

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William Barr

Barr said, “from my standpoint, within a week, I will be in a position to release the report to the public.”

Democrats including Rep. Nita Lowey of New York pressed the attorney general including over redactions, with Barr replying that he will take out items in four areas such as information that would interfere with ongoing prosecutions.

Barr told panel members the redactions made to the Mueller report would be color coded to reflect what category of redactions they are. He also said he wouldn’t initially give lawmakers an unredacted version of the report, but would ask the chairmen of the House and Senate judiciary committees if they “feel they need more information” and see if they could be accommodated.

Less than an hour into the hearing, Barr told lawmakers he wouldn’t discuss the Mueller report any further until it is out. But Democrats kept pressing him.

Late in the hearing, he said the White House didn’t ask for changes to letters he sent to Congress about the probe. But he said the White House was notified before the letters were sent and that the letters “may have been read” to the White House before being released.

Read: Mueller report finds no evidence of collusion, though leaves obstruction question unanswered.

Republicans on the panel, including ranking member Robert Aderholt of Alabama, made no mention of the Mueller report in their opening statements. Aderholt said during the hearing Democrats’ questions had gone toward a “grassy knoll conspiracy theory.”

Barr also fielded questions about Trump’s immigration policies, including a possible return of the president’s decision last summer to separate migrant children from their parents.

“I haven’t heard that,” Barr said. “I support the president’s policy, which is we’re not going to separate families.”

Now read: Trump visits southern border and says ‘our country is full.’



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