The Department of Justice is expected to release a redacted version of the Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s report on his Russia probe “by mid-April, if not sooner,” the attorney general said on March 29.
In a letter to Congress, Attorney General William Barr updated lawmakers with the progress of the report, saying that they are making the appropriate redactions with the assistance of the special counsel.
NEW: AG Bill Barr told Congress today that he anticipates releasing special counsel Robert Mueller’s report by mid-April, “if not sooner.” The report is nearly 400 pages, Barr says pic.twitter.com/JhkaT3Rpqa
— Zoe Tillman (@ZoeTillman) March 29, 2019
“I share your desire to ensure that Congress and the public had the opportunity to read the Special Counsel’s report,” he wrote. His letter was addressed to Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) and House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerrold Nadler (D-N.Y.)
This update comes as lawmakers and members of the public call for the release of the final report. Barr has already sent a four-page summary (pdf) of the “principal conclusions” on March 24, which did not find proof that “Trump campaign or anyone associated with it conspired or coordinated with Russia in its efforts to influence the 2016 U.S. presidential election.”
It also concluded that the special counsel didn’t provide enough evidence to substantiate that the president obstructed justice.
Barr said his redactions are related to sensitive material that by law cannot be made public, material the intelligence community identifies as potentially compromising sensitive sources and methods, material that could affect other ongoing matters, including those that the Special Counsel has referred to other Department offices, and information that would impact on third parties’ personal privacy and reputational interests.
He added that the department’s current progress with the redactions would put them in “a position to release the report by mid-April, if not sooner.” Barr says later in the letter that the report is almost 400-pages long, without counting tables and the appendices.
Barr continued that, “Although the President would have the right to assert privilege over certain parts of the report, he 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.”
The attorney general also offered to testify to the Senate Judiciary Committee on May 1 and the House Judiciary Committee May 2 after the redacted report is released.
On March 25, six committee chairs in the House of Representatives wrote to Barr (pdf), demanding that he made Mueller’s report available while giving him a deadline of April 2.
“Your four-page summary of the Special Counsel’s review is not sufficient for Congress, as a coequal branch of government, to perform [its] critical work,” the Democratic chairs wrote.
They also drew Barr’s attention to a resolution passed on March 14—H. Con. Res. 24—calling for the release of the report.
Nadler reiterated the Democrats’ deadline for the report in his response to Barr’s March 29 letter.
“As I informed the Attorney General this week, Congress requires the full and complete Mueller report, without redactions, as well as access to the underlying evidence, by April 2. The deadline still stands,” Nadler wrote.
“As I informed him, rather than expend valuable time and resources trying to keep certain portions of this report from Congress, he should work with us to request a court order to release any and all grand jury information to the House Judiciary Committee.”
Read my response to AG Barr’s latest letter here: pic.twitter.com/NmuFkWBE0N
— (((Rep. Nadler))) (@RepJerryNadler) March 29, 2019
On the other hand, Graham’s response to Barr’s update was, “I appreciate the update from Attorney General Barr on the status of the Mueller report.”
“The Attorney General has indicated that he would be available to testify before the Senate Judiciary Committee on May 1st, 2019,” he said.
I appreciate the update from Attorney General Barr on the status of the Mueller report. The Attorney General has indicated that he would be available to testify before the Senate Judiciary Committee on May 1st, 2019.
— Lindsey Graham (@LindseyGrahamSC) March 29, 2019
“I look forward to hearing from Attorney General Barr on May 1st,” he added.