Attorney General Barr Says Mueller Report to Made Public 'Within the Week'

As Mueller release nears White House renews attacks

Although lawmakers and the public have yet to see the full report into Russia's meddling in the 2016 campaign and the Trump team's alleged involvement, the attorney general is already preparing to look into the counterintelligence decisions made by the Justice Department and FBI officials that led to the special counsel investigation.

House Appropriations Committee Chairwoman Nita Lowey, D, challenged the Attorney-General on how he could have synthesised the almost 400-page Mueller report into a four-page document so quickly, surmising "your mind must have already been made up".

The Democratic majority on the House Judiciary Committee voted to authorize Nadler to issue a subpoena for Mueller's work product and evidence if necessary, but Barr's comments on Tuesday suggested that might not be necessary - although granting access to Nadler might also take place after the redacted Mueller report has been released. "Until someone shows me a provision" permitting the release of grand jury material, Barr added, "Congress doesn't get" that material.

"That's what got everyone outraged at what FBI Director Comey did in the case of Hillary Clinton", 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.

Mr Barr was summoned to Congress to talk about his department's budget request, but lawmakers still asked about the Mueller report as they waited to see it.

Barr, who received the report on March 22 at the end of Mueller's 22-month investigation, said he rapidly revealed Mueller's conclusions because the public would not tolerate a weeks-long delay in knowing what the investigation had found.

Mr Barr's opening remarks focused on funding requests for immigration enforcement and the fights against violent crime and opioid addiction, not mentioning the special counsel's report at all. At the same time, you know, the attorney general has said that he wants to be transparent with this report. Democrats have expressed concern that his version will hide wrongdoing by the president and are frustrated by the four-page summary letter he released last month that they say paints Mueller's findings in an overly favorable way for the president.

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Barr, an appointee of Trump who last month announced what he said were the main findings of the report, said he would be as open as possible about redactions of sensitive information when he hands over the full document.

In congressional testimony a year ago, though, Comey rejected the underlying thesis - that the Russian Federation investigation was prompted by the dossier.

With the goal to discredit what's coming, Trump and his allies have unleashed a series of broadsides against Mueller's team and the Democrats pushing for full release of the final report.

Facing the intensifying concerns from Democrats that he may have whitewashed Mueller's findings, Barr has twice moved to defend, or at least explain, his handling of the process since receiving the special counsel's report.

"I don't know whether Bob Mueller supported my conclusion", Barr said.

Justice Department officials have said Barr intends to continue most of the policies advocated by his predecessor, Jeff Sessions, a former senator from Alabama and strong backer of Trump during the 2016 campaign.

Barr served previously as attorney general in the early 1990s, in the George H.W. Bush administration.

Senate Democrats also argued to Barr that he could provide Congress with grand jury material, saying Barr was within his discretion to go to court to do so.

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