Less-Redacted Mueller Report to Be Released to Select Members of Congress

April 18, 2019 Updated: April 19, 2019

Attorney General William Barr said he will release two versions of special counsel Robert Mueller’s report in an effort to accommodate congressional requests.

The Justice Department released a redacted version of Mueller’s report just after 11 a.m. on April 18. The nearly 500-page report details how the special counsel concluded that there was no collusion between the Trump campaign and Russia to influence the 2016 presidential election.

The report also found that the special counsel did not provide enough evidence to substantiate that the president obstructed justice.

In his address on April 18, Barr said that he will make available another version of the report with all redactions removed except those relating to grand-jury information or to comply with court orders. This report will only be seen by a bipartisan group of leaders from several Congressional committees and to the “Gang of Eight”—which includes the top two Republicans and Democrats in both the House and Senate.

“These members of Congress will be able to see all of the redacted material for themselves—with the limited exception of that which, by law, cannot be shared,” Barr said.

Barr explained in his letter addressed to Congress on April 18 that most of the redactions were required to protect grand-jury secrecy or to comply with judicial orders aimed at protecting the release of sensitive discovery information and on orders that prevent the disclosure of information related to ongoing investigations and criminal proceedings including the Internet Research Agency and Roger Stone cases.

“I believe that this accommodation, together with my upcoming testimony before the Senate and House Judiciary Committees, will satisfy any need Congress has for information regarding the Special Counsel’s investigation,” he added.

The attorney general has also reiterated his offer to testify before the Senate and House Judiciary Committees on May 1 and May 2 respectively.

Barr said he had always intended to accommodate the requests to release the report to the fullest extent possible. But he also said on many occasions that the special counsel’s report contains sensitive material and information that by law cannot be made public.

Attorney General William Barr speaks during a press conference on the release of the redacted version of the Mueller report at the Department of Justice April 18, 2019 in Washington. (Win McNamee/Getty Images)

Weeks before the report’s anticipated release, lawmakers and members of the public repeatedly demanded that Barr release the full report unredacted, despite Barr’s explanation.

Six committee chairs in the House of Representatives wrote to Barr (pdf) on March 25, making the demands 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.

The House Democrats sent another letter on April 1 to continue their pressure on Barr and to threaten him with subpoenas for the full report and other materials.

They subsequently voted to authorize the chairman to issue subpoenas for Mueller’s report on April 3, where 24 Democrats voted to give Judiciary Chairman Jerrold Nadler (D-N.Y.) the option to issue subpoenas for the final report, its exhibits, and any underlying evidence or materials prepared for Mueller’s investigation.

Barr Re-affirms ‘No Collusion’ Finding

Also in his remarks on April 18, Barr reiterated that no member of the Trump campaign, or any other American, colluded with Russia—a finding that he had already released in a letter on March 24.

Barr said the special counsel “did not establish that members of the Trump Campaign conspired or coordinated with the Russian government in its election interference activities,” while quoting the Mueller report.

He said that Russia did attempt to interfere with the 2016 presidential elections, including efforts like the alleged hacking of emails belonging to the Democratic National Committee, but that the Trump campaign did not have anything to do with it.

Read the full special counsel’s report here:

Mueller Report by on Scribd

Follow Janita on Twitter: @janitakan
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