Rep. Nita Lowey Grills Bill Barr on ‘Unacceptable’ Handling of Mueller Report

Rep. Nita Lowey Grills Bill Barr on ‘Unacceptable’ Handling of Mueller Report

Rep. Nita Lowey Grills Bill Barr on ‘Unacceptable’ Handling of Mueller Report

Barr is expected to submit a redacted copy of the report but Democrats have called for it to be released in full.

The chairman responded to Barr's comments on Tuesday in a post on Twitter that appeared to hold the view that no negotiations are required: The law grants Congress access to the material that Nadler has requested, he argues, irrespective of the views of the attorney general.

Barr said in the summary released last month that Mueller did not reach a conclusion on whether the president obstructed justice, instead presenting evidence on both sides of the question.

Barr said he gave the Mueller team a chance to review his summary of the Mueller report, but they declined. Rep. Nita Lowey (D-NY) claimed Barr seemed to "to cherry pick from the report to draw the most favorable conclusion possible for the President".

On March 24, Barr released a four-page letter to congress laying out what he said were Mueller's main findings.

Barr told lawmakers that he was able to provide a summary of the report's top findings because he and other top officials at the Justice Department "had been interacting" with Mueller about the special counsel's investigation and its likely conclusions.

She also suggested Barr had made up his mind on the obstruction question long ago, pointing to a memo he wrote in June 2018 on his view that a president can not legally obstruct justice.

Representative Robert Aderholt of Alabama, the subcommittee's top Republican, said it was unfortunate that "so numerous questions here this morning are going toward a "grassy knoll" conspiracy theory regarding the Mueller report".

Attorney General William Barr arrives to deliver remarks at a Justice Department African American History Month event in Washington, U.S., February 26, 2019.

Right out of the gate, Committee Chairman Rep. José Serrano (D-N.Y.) pressed Barr on why he didn't use the summaries of the Russian Federation report that were created by the Mueller team.

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Barr told lawmakers that the Justice Department's inspector-general would be completing an investigation of how surveillance applications were used in the Russian Federation investigation by "May or June". And while he generally stayed cool under fire, he actually revealed quite a few new pieces of information about the national mystery surrounding his intentions with respect to the release of the Mueller report. He added that intelligence agencies are also reviewing details that might harm sources and methods. "And we want to make sure that none of the information in the report would impinge upon either the ability of the prosecutors to prosecute the cases, or the fairness to the defendants".

Fourth is information that implicates the privacy or reputational interests of peripheral players, where there is a decision not to charge them.

The attorney general said the redactions in the report will be color-coded to indicate which rationale was used to withhold the information.

Mueller's team, Barr said, was "helping us select the information in the report that falls into those four categories".

As a matter of fact, Barr said in the hearing of a House appropriations subcommittee, he already affirmed his concern about the issue in his confirmation hearing.

The Justice Department has said a redacted version of Mueller's report will be made public in mid-April.

House Democrats have demanded that the Mueller report be released in its entirety.

The special counsel wrote that "while this report does not conclude that the president committed a crime, it also does not exonerate him".

He also criticized those calling for the report's release as hypocritical.

'I look forward to reviewing the Mueller report myself, and I know my constituents do as well.

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