Attorney General William Barr told congressional leaders he plans to release a redacted version of special counsel Robert Mueller’s nearly 400-page report on alleged collusion between the Trump campaign and Russia in the 2016 presidential election by mid-April.
“Everyone will soon be able to read it on their own,” Barr wrote in a letter to Republican and Democrat leaders in the House and Senate on Friday.
The Justice Department head also stated he is prepared to testify before both the Senate and House Judiciary committees regarding Mueller’s findings on May 1st-2nd. Barr told lawmakers while President Trump could assert executive privilege on certain materials, the president intends to “defer to me” on such matters. He also said the Justice Department has no plans to provide the Mueller report to the White House.
— NBC News (@NBCNews) March 29, 2019
The development comes after the Justice Department announced Sunday that Mueller’s investigation did not find evidence that the Trump campaign “conspired or coordinated” with Russia in the last election. Barr said that Mueller did not “exonerate” the president of obstructing justice, noting that his summary “sets out evidence on both sides of the question.”
Meanwhile, top House Democrats have made repeated calls for the entire report to be made public. Appearing Wednesday on SiriusXM Progress channel’s Make It Plain, House Speaker Rep. Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) said it was “a little bit arrogant” of Barr to believe Democrats would accept only seeing his four-page summary of Mueller‘s report.
“We just haven’t even seen the Mueller report, and we don’t expect to accept just the attorney general’s interpretation of it. A little bit arrogant of him to think that that would be the case,” Pelosi said. “We have to get the report. They, to their peril, will keep that report.”
Despite Mueller’s findings, numerous Democrats such as House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff (D-CA) refuse to concede the Trump campaign colluded with the Kremlin. In an interview with the Washington Post Wednesday, the California Democrat said he believes “Undoubtedly there is collusion.”
“We will continue to investigate the counterintelligence issues. That is, is the president or people around him compromised in any way by a hostile foreign power? … It doesn’t appear that was any part of Mueller’s report,” he told the Post.
House Intelligence Committee Republicans on Thursday called on Schiff to step down as chairman from the powerful panel, citing his consistent promotion of the “demonstrably false” Trump-Russia collision narrative.