Muller report in a week, Barr tells lawmakers

It appears a conflict is imminent between Attorney General William Barr and Democrats in Congress

But he said he would not accede to Democrats' demands that he provide the full, unredacted report to Congress, arguing that he can not legally release grand jury material and that he did not plan to ask a court to release it.

Mr Mueller sent his final report to Barr on 22 March, ending his nearly two-year investigation into possible ties between Mr Trump's 2016 presidential campaign and Russian Federation.

Barr said "the letter speaks for itself" and revealed that he gave Mueller an opportunity to review the letter but the special counsel declined.

At a hearing in Washington, EPIC lawyer Alan Butler argued the Justice Department should be required to immediately begin the process of producing the Mueller report, along with related records. Barr's letter, for instance, hinted that there would be at least one unknown action by the president that Mueller examined as a possible act of obstruction.

Representative Nita Lowey, a Democrat from NY, accused Barr of "cherry-picking" aspects of the Mueller report to be more favorable toward the president during her opening statement on Tuesday morning.

During Barr's appearance before the House Appropriations Committee, Congresswoman Nita Lowey (D-NY) said it was "unacceptable" for him to "cherry-pick" Mueller's report for a four-page summary that mostly draws a favorable conclusion for Trump without broader context. The almost 400-page report is being scoured now to remove grand jury information and details relating to pending investigations. The attorney general also reminded Serrano that the Special Counsel is different from the Independent Counsel as far as their reporting requirements go.

Democrats have raised questions about how Barr was so quickly able to boil down Mueller's report into four pages.

"So we had an inkling as to what was coming our direction, and so even more thinking within the Department was done about that over that time, that was a matter of weeks".

Rep. Matt Cartwright said the committee needs to be judicious in using the power of the purse to force lawmaker positions because "we have to be the sober ones in the room, we have to be the grownups here on appropriations, because we work for the American people". Barr also said he did not alert the White House in advance about his letter's release or consult anyone in the White House when writing his letter.

Attorney General William Barr is facing congressional lawmakers for the first time since receiving the special counsel's report on the Russian Federation investigation. He added that he didn't know what's in the Mueller report, "but there are going to be things that maybe cause some people to say, 'Oh, gosh, I didn't know that existed.' Now, does it reach a threshold?"

US, China, Russia Should Invest in Peace Instead of Spending on Weapons
This was a promise made by Xi as part of the ceasefire deal on 1 December 2018 (see CNBC, 1 April). -China trade negotiations. Trump didn't announce a summit with Xi - a meeting Trump has said is critical to finalizing an agreement.

"My intention is not to ask" a judge to authorize the public release of grand jury information, Barr said. "We want to make sure that non of the information in the report impinge upon either the ability for prosecutors to prosecute the cases for the fairness to the defendants".

USA attorney general William P Barr told lawmakers Tuesday he hopes to release the full Mueller report into Russian meddling "within a week", which would be mid-April as he had previously indicated. That decision ruled that courts only have the authority to order the release of grand jury information if it falls squarely within the exceptions listed in Rule 6 (e).

It's still unknown how much - if anything - Barr will say about the special counsel during his testimony Tuesday or when he returns for a Wednesday Senate appropriations hearing.

Barr said that the administration is "very worried" about them.

"That's what got everyone outraged at what FBI Director Comey did in the case of Hillary Clinton", Barr 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".

"I'm operating under a regulation that was put together during the Clinton administration and does not provide for the publication of the report", Barr told lawmakers.

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

"I look forward to reviewing the Mueller report myself", she added later in her remarks.

"If you think it's such an outrageous position", Barr told the congressman, "then you have nothing to worry about".

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