April 23, 2019

Barr Has A 'Team' Looking Into The Mueller Investigation

12 April 2019, 12:01 | Silvia Roy

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In one exchange, Barr was asked whether the White House saw the Mueller report before Barr issued his March 24, 2019 letter or since then.

House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerrold Nadler of NY tweeted that Barr's comments "directly contradict" what the Justice Department previously has said, and intelligence committee Chairman Adam Schiff of California said Barr's testimony surely pleases Trump but "also strikes another destructive blow to our democratic institutions".

Barr said he did not believe the evidence in the report was sufficient to prove the president had obstructed justice. Now, the objective is to create a cloud of suspicion around Barr which, I guess, will cast doubt on the Mueller report.

LUCAS: Well, we got more details on how the department is handling the process of redacting the report before it's released to Congress and the public.

Democrats scolded Barr over his handling of the report, telling him they were concerned that a summary of its main conclusions he released last month portrayed the investigation's findings in an overly favorable way for President Donald Trump.

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The chairman of the Ways and Means subcommittee, Democratic representative Jose Serrano of NY, told Mr Barr there were "serious concerns about the process by which you formulated your letter; and uncertainty about when we can expect to see the full report".

Critics of the Russian Federation investigation say the warrant on Page was unjustified and have also seized on anti-Trump text messages sent and received by one of the lead agents involved in investigating whether the Trump campaign was colluding with Russian Federation. She also suggested Barr had made up his mind on the obstruction question long ago, pointing to a memo he wrote in June 2018 on his view that a president can not legally obstruct justice.

The new attorney general's budget testimony - traditionally a dry affair, and often addressing the parochial concerns of lawmakers - came as Democrats were enraged that he was redacting material from the report and frustrated that his summary framed a narrative about Trump before they were able to see the full version.

"You refuse to head down that path for political reasons, and have chosen the path of greatest resistance, and least legality - attacking the attorney general for refusing to break the law while misleading the American public about what the law requires or allows", Collins wrote.

He falsely claimed that the Mueller report had found "no obstruction".

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"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". "It was not", Comey told House lawmakers.

CHANG: That is a redacted version of the special counsel's report on the Russian Federation investigation.

Repeatedly, Democrats tried to expose that Barr is not entirely being honest when he claims, as he did during Tuesday's hearing, that he believes it's "important for the public to have an opportunity" to read Mueller's full report.

First is grand jury information, or "6 (e)" material that was obtained during grand jury proceedings, which under the law has to be redacted.

Fourth is information that implicates the privacy or reputational interests of peripheral players, where there is a decision not to charge them.

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Barr said he is working with the Special Counsel to identify information that falls under those four categories, and that any redactions will be color-coded and accompanied by explanatory notes describing the basis for that redaction. He said today that he should get all of the materials from this.

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