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The Mueller report will be made public by mid-April, though it will be redacted, U.S. Attorney General Bill Barr said in a letter Friday to Sen. Lindsey Graham, chair of the Senate Judiciary Committee.
Barr's been under fierce pressure from Democrats to release the full report, compiled by special counsel Robert Mueller, since it was submitted to the attorney general last Friday. Over the weekend, Barr released his “principal conclusions” of the Mueller report, writing that the special counsel determined that President Donald Trump and his campaign did not collude with the Russians to undermine the U.S. presidential election in 2016. Barr also wrote that Mueller did not make an official decision on whether Trump obstructed justice during the investigation; the attorney general determined the evidence was insufficient to bring charges. That move has caused the most consternation among Democrats.
Barr said the report is nearly 400 pages long, and he’s working with Mueller to decide what will be redacted, which includes four categories:
- Material subject to the rule of criminal procedure
- Material that could compromise intelligence sources or methods
- Material that could affect ongoing matters
- Material that would infringe on the privacy of third parties
Barr, who has faced criticism from Congressional leaders in recent days over the gap between his four-page summary and Mueller’s nearly 400-page report, said he never intended his letter to be viewed as a complete summary.
“My March 24 letter was not, and did not purport to be, an exhaustive recounting of the Special Counsel’s investigation or report,” Barr wrote.
“The Special Counsel's report is nearly 400 pages long (exclusive of tables and appendices) and sets forth the Special Counsel's findings, his analysis, and the reasons for his conclusions. Everyone will soon be able to read it on their own. 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,” he added.
Barr’s also addressed concerns about the White House’s involvement in releasing the report, writing that Trump would have limited input over what is released as part of the public report.
“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 view,” the letter said.
Trump and his allies have celebrated Barr’s finding of Mueller’s report as a total “exoneration” of the president. But Mueller’s report, according to Barr’s original letter, specifically says: “while this report does not conclude that the President committed a crime, it also does not exonerate him.”
Barr said that he believed it was “appropriate” for him to testify before the Senate Judiciary Committee shortly after the report is made public, and offered the dates of May 1st or 2nd.
Cover: In this March 24, 2019, photo, Special counsel Robert Mueller departs St. John's Episcopal Church, across from the White House in Washington. Democrats say they want “all of the underlying evidence” in Mueller’s investigation. But what is all of that evidence? (AP Photo/Cliff Owen)