WASHINGTON (Sinclair Broadcast Group) — Attorney General William Barr faced more questions on Capitol Hill Wednesday about his plan to release a redacted version of special counsel Robert Mueller’s report on his investigation of Russian interference in the 2016 election, as well as Barr’s own review of the origins of that probe.
Members of a Senate Appropriations subcommittee pressed Barr on details of Mueller’s investigation, Barr’s communications with the White House about it, and his intent to review the conduct of FBI and Department of Justice officials who he accused of “spying” on President Donald Trump’s 2016 campaign. Though he deflected a number of questions during sometimes-heated hearings this week, Barr suggested he might have more to say once Mueller’s report is made public.
"I'm landing the plane right now and I've been willing to discuss my letters and the process going forward, and the report is going to be out next week and I'm not going to go into the details until the plane is on the ground," Barr said.
Last month, Barr released a four-page letter summarizing the primary findings of Mueller’s nearly 400-page report, quoting from the original document sparingly to reveal the investigation did not find that Trump’s campaign colluded with Russia’s efforts to influence the election. Though he quoted Mueller saying the probe did not exonerate Trump on possible obstruction of justice, Barr determined there was insufficient evidence to support charges.
Since Barr’s letter containing only about 100 words directly from Mueller’s report came out, Democrats have been clamoring for the release of the full report. Barr said Tuesday he expects a redacted version will be ready for release within a week, but House Democrats have indicated that is unacceptable, warning they will issue a subpoena for the unredacted report if necessary.
"I intend to take up with the House and Senate Judiciary committees what other areas they feel they have a need to have access to the information and see if I can work to accommodate that," Barr said Wednesday.
According to Rep. Russ Fulcher, R-Idaho, Democrats know certain material must be redacted to protect intelligence sources, but they want to keep the issue alive. He has voted to release whatever can be made public from Mueller’s report, but he encouraged his colleagues to accept its findings once that happens.
“We should all just be happy,” Fulcher said. “There wasn’t collusion. That’s a good thing. Let’s just move on and govern.”
Author: Stephen Loiaconi
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