Wednesday 23 October 2019

Redacted Mueller report expected to be released by mid-April

Mr Mueller officially concluded his investigation last Friday and submitted his confidential report to Mr Barr.

Special counsel Robert Mueller (Cliff Owen/AP)
Special counsel Robert Mueller (Cliff Owen/AP)

By Michael Balsamo and Eric Tucker, Associated Press

A redacted version of special counsel Robert Mueller’s report on the Russia investigation will be sent to Congress by mid-April and will not be shared with the White House beforehand, Attorney General William Barr said.

In a letter to the chairmen of the House and Senate judiciary committees, Mr Barr said he shares a desire for Congress and the public to be able to read Mr Mueller’s findings, which are included in the nearly 400-page report the special counsel submitted last week.

While Mr Barr said President Donald Trump would have the right to assert executive privilege over parts of the report, President Trump “has stated publicly that he intends to defer to me and, accordingly, there are no plans to submit the report to the White House for a privilege review”.

Attorney General William Barr (Kevin Wolf/AP)

Mr Mueller officially concluded his investigation when he submitted the report last Friday. Two days later, Mr Barr sent a four-page letter to Congress that detailed Mueller’s “principal conclusions”.

Mr Mueller did not find that the Trump campaign coordinated or conspired with Russia, Mr Barr wrote, and did not reach a conclusion on whether President Trump obstructed justice.

Mr Barr said he and Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein decided on their own that Mr Mueller’s evidence was insufficient to establish that the president committed obstruction.

Mr Barr said he is preparing to redact multiple categories of information from the report and Mr Mueller is helping the Justice Department identify sections that will be blacked out in the public version.

Those include grand jury material, information that would compromise sensitive sources and methods; information that could affect ongoing investigations, including those referred by Mr Mueller’s office to other Justice Department offices and information that could infringe on the personal privacy and reputation of “peripheral third parties”.

The letter that Attorney General William Barr sent to Congress (Wayne Partlow/AP)

“Our progress is such that I anticipate we will be in a position to release the report by mid-April, if not sooner,” Mr Barr wrote.

Mr Barr said last week’s letter detailing Mr Mueller’s “principal conclusions” was not intended to be an “exhaustive recounting” of the special counsel’s investigation.

Mr Barr described Mr Mueller’s report as nearly 400 pages long, not including the tables and supporting materials, which he said sets forth Mr Mueller’s analysis, findings and the reasons for his conclusions.

“Everyone will soon be able to read it on their own,” Mr Barr wrote. “I do not believe it would be in the public’s interest for me to attempt to summarise the full report or to release it in serial or piecemeal fashion.”

Mr Barr’s letter drew a quick — and critical — response from Rep Jerrold Nadler, the chairman of the House Judiciary Committee, who had demanded the full Mueller report by April 2.

Mr Nadler said that deadline still stands and called on Mr Barr to join him in working to get a court order allowing the release of grand jury information to the committee, rather than spending “valuable time and resources” keeping portions of the report from Congress.

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