Barr has team reviewing origins of Russian Federation investigation

Minnie Murray
April 11, 2019

'My original timetable of being able to release this by mid-April stands....'

Barr was testifying before the House Appropriations Committee about the Department of Justice budget, but questions about Mueller's report dominated the hearing.

"I think he understands the role of the attorney general is not as a lawyer for the president", Budd added, "but as a lawyer for the people of the United States".

In his first public remarks since declaring President Donald Trump cleared of conspiracy to collude with Russian Federation and obstruction of justice, Mr Barr said his office was still editing out sensitive materials in Special Counsel Robert Mueller's final report.

Barr's handling of the almost 400-page report has roiled Washington in recent weeks, with Democrats pressing to learn the full scope of what the Special Counsel's investigation found.

Barr was also questioned about the initial Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) warrants approved to surveil members of the Trump campaign.

Attorney General William Barr reacts as he appears before a Senate Appropriations subcommittee to make his Justice Department budget request, Wednesday, April 10, 2019, in Washington.

He said he had offered Mr Mueller the chance to review his four-page letter, but that Mr Mueller declined. Barr is up against Democratic Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerrold Nadler and Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff.

"Even for someone who has done this job before, I would argue it's more suspicious than impressive", Ms Lowey said. Only 19 days into his job as acting attorney general, Barr ordered the Federal Bureau of Investigation to mount a rescue mission. The inquiry is separate from the Justice Department's inspector general probe on the matter, a source told Bloomberg News.

Aderholt was referring to the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) warrant the Federal Bureau of Investigation used to surveil former Trump campaign associate Carter Page over the course of a year.

Barr's four-page letter highlighted Mueller's major findings that the special counsel's investigation did not establish a criminal conspiracy between President Trump's campaign and the Russian government. 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.

As he said: "I don't intend at this stage to send the full, unredacted report to the committee".

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.

The House Judiciary Committee has approved, but not sent, subpoenas for the report, and top Democrats have said they are willing to take the battle to court.

"I assume we will get the redacted report within a week".

Barr is likely to testify on May 1 before the Republican-controlled Senate Judiciary Committee.

Trump seems to be of the same mind. He noted that every page of the Mueller report was marked sensitive and that nothing in the special counsel's submission was "sanitized" for immediate release. "When we do so, if we don't get everything, we will issue a subpoena and go to court".

The chairman of the Ways and Means subcommittee, Democrat Jose Serrano, told Barr there were "serious concerns about the process by which you formulated your letter; and uncertainty about when we can expect to see the full report".

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