Published: Thu, April 11, 2019
Worldwide | By Angelina Lucas

Attorney general says 'spying on a political campaign is a big deal'

Attorney general says 'spying on a political campaign is a big deal'

A full, redacted version of Robert Mueller's collusion report will be released to Congress within a week, Attorney General William Barr said in testimony before a House subcommittee April 9.

Yesterday, Attorney General William Barr appeared before the House Appropriations Committee to talk about the DOJ budget, but that was more of an afterthought as the Democrats used the opportunity to showcase their virtue on the Mueller report. The letter said that Mueller did not find a criminal conspiracy between Russian Federation and Trump associates around the time of the 2016 election and that Barr did not believe the evidence in the report was sufficient to prove the president had obstructed justice.

Barr said he gave the Mueller team a chance to review his summary of the Mueller report, but they declined. "So they will be identifiable", Barr said.

The House Appropriations Committee is not among those examining Trump, his finances and his foreign contacts, and only one member of the subcommittee that questioned Barr also sits on any of those panels that are.

Democrats had their own criticisms of Barr's comments in Tuesday's hearing, particularly his decision not to respond to questions on whether the White House had been briefed on the Mueller report.

"I've said what I'm going to say about the report today". "That's something that has been really important to us". "You will recall that the special counsel did spin off a number of cases that are still being pursued", Barr told lawmakers. As more information becomes available, this post will be updated.

Lowey explained to Barr that she understood some redactions to the report would be necessary, as required by law, but urged "transparency" in the process.

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Justice Department lawyers and officials in Mueller's office are working to redact sensitive information in the lengthy document, a process that is going smoothly, Barr testified before the House Appropriations Committee.

"From a prosecutor's standpoint", he said, "the bottom line is binary, which is charges or no charges".

Contrary to circulating rumors, "the thinking of the special counsel was not a mystery to the people at the Department of Justice prior to his submission of the report", Barr said.

Democrats repeatedly criticized Barr for his handling of the report, including taking it upon himself in the letter to decide that Trump should not be charged with obstruction of justice.

Trump's GOP allies in Congress are also hedging their bets by continuing to cast doubt on the origins of Mueller's investigation. He said that he will colour-code the redactions and provide "explanatory notes" so people know why various sections of the report are not being disclosed. Barr has said he is also removing material from grand-jury proceedings that by law can be made public only through a court order. "When we do so, if we don't get everything, we will issue a subpoena and go to court". He added, "My intention is not to ask for it at this stage".

Inviting Mueller to testify, Collins continued, would ensure "we will all hear the unfiltered truth from a man who conducted his investigation with integrity and professionalism".

"We had an inkling of what was coming in our direction", he said. "I do not believe it would be in the public's interest for me to attempt to summarize the full report or to release it in serial or piecemeal fashion". Trump quickly declared Mueller's report offered him "complete and total exoneration", but House Democrats have since authorized a subpoena to try to obtain it.

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