Attorney General William Barr has assembled a team to review controversial counterintelligence decisions made by Justice Department and Federal Bureau of Investigation officials, including actions taken during the probe of the Trump campaign in the summer of 2016, according to a person familiar with the matter. The almost 400-page report is being scoured now to remove grand jury information and details relating to pending investigations.
Though he said the document will be redacted to withhold negative information about peripheral figures in the investigation, he said that would not apply to Trump, an officeholder and someone central to the probe.
Barr defends the infamous four-page letter: Barr has been heavily criticized by Democrats for the four-page letter he sent to Congress upon reviewing Mueller's report; specifically, the portion where he determined that President Donald Trump should not be charged with obstruction of justice based on the available evidence.
Attorney General William Barr has reportedly formed a team to review long-standing allegations that the FBI and Justice Department investigation into collusion between President Donald Trump and Russian Federation was biased from the start. The letter said that Mueller did not find a criminal conspiracy between Russian Federation and Trump associates in the 2016 campaign, and that Barr did not believe the evidence in the report was sufficient to prove the president had obstructed justice. "Even for someone who has done this job before, I would argue it's more suspicious than impressive", Lowey said, referring to Barr's first tenure as attorney general in the early 1990s.
Barr said "the letter speaks for itself" and revealed that he gave Mueller an opportunity to review the letter but the special counsel declined. Democratic lawmakers expressed frustration after the hearing that Barr wouldn't answer certain questions, such as whether the White House had been briefed about the Mueller report.
Barr is to testify on the report itself at separate hearings before the Senate and House Judiciary committees on May 1 and May 2.
Mr Barr would not discuss the substance of Mr Mueller's findings but did explain his process for receiving and reviewing the report.
This issue is likely to get more attention Wednesday when Barr appears for his second day of testimony before Congress this week, this time before a Republican-led panel in the Senate.
"I felt I should state bottom-line conclusions, and I tried to use special counsel Mueller's own language in doing that", he said. And intelligence committee Chairman Adam Schiff of California said Barr's comments were sure to please Trump, but strike "another destructive blow to our democratic institutions". If, as Democrats expect, Barr releases another "Mueller report" that is not actually the Mueller report, there's every sign that they plan to raise hell and work to break through the blatant cover-up.
In the House, Barr was squaring off with Democrats who have subpoena power and have already authorized a subpoena in the Judiciary Committee to obtain the full Mueller report and underlying evidence. Barr has yet to release Mueller's report but has promised to do so soon, after appropriate "redactions" are complete.
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