WASHINGTON — Attorney General William Barr has released a redacted version of Robert Mueller’s report detailing the findings of the special counsel investigation on Thursday.
The redacted report, which is nearly 400 pages, fills in some of the details explaining what Mueller’s team uncovered during the 22-month investigation that looked into possible collusion between President Donald Trump’s team and Russia, and any possible obstruction of justice.
After it was delivered to Congress, it was posted on the special counsel’s website. Barr said he would redact four types of information before making the report public: grand jury material, classified material, material about ongoing investigations and “information that would unduly infringe on the personal privacy and reputational interests of peripheral third parties.”
Lawyers for President Donald Trump reviewed the final redacted version of special counsel Robert Mueller’s report before its public release. He said President Trump’s personal attorneys requested and were granted access to the report “earlier this week.”
However, Barr said Trump’s lawyers “were not permitted to make, and did not request, any redactions.”
“No material has been redacted based on executive privilege,” he added.
Barr said special counsel Robert Mueller’s report recounts 10 episodes involving President Donald Trump that were investigated as potential acts of criminal obstruction of justice. Mueller did not reach a “prosecutorial judgment” and that he and Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein concluded the evidence was not sufficient to establish the president committed an offense.
During the news conference Barr was accompanied by Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein, who oversaw the investigation after Mueller’s appointment in May 2017. Mueller and other members of his team will not attend, special counsel spokesman Peter Carr said.
Trump and Republicans have claimed total exoneration after Barr released a four-page summary last month, in which the attorney general said Mueller did not establish a criminal conspiracy between Trump’s team and Russia and left the obstruction question undecided.
But Democrats have demanded to see Mueller’s full, unredacted report, charging that Barr cannot be trusted to provide an accurate accounting of Mueller’s findings as a Trump political appointee who previously argued against the merits of an obstruction case against the President.
Some Congressional Democrats rose up in anger at Barr’s decision to hold a press conference before the release of the report. Five House Democratic committee chairs said in a joint statement Wednesday night that Barr should cancel the press conference.
“With the Special Counsel’s fact-gathering work concluded, it is now Congress’ responsibility to assess the findings and evidence and proceed accordingly,” the joint statement read.
On Thursday morning, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer jointly called for Mueller to testify before Congress publicly, saying there was a “crisis of confidence” in Barr’s independence and impartiality.
“We believe the only way to begin restoring public trust in the handling of the special counsel’s investigation is for special counsel Mueller himself to provide public testimony in the House and Senate as soon as possible,” they said.
Federal prosecutors said in a court filing related to the case against Trump associate Roger Stone on Wednesday that there would be two versions of the redacted special counsel report, with one for public release and another, less redacted, version for a limited number of members of Congress.
Congressional Democrats have already authorized a subpoena for the full report and the underlying evidence, and they urged Barr to change course and provide them an unredacted version. They’re likely to move forward now with the subpoena, which could spark a court battle between House Democrats and the Trump administration.
Democrats have argued that some of that information cannot be made public, but it should still be turned over to Congress as part of the legislative branch’s oversight role. Nadler made clear the day his panel authorized a subpoena for the full Mueller report that he was willing to take the fight to the courts if the Justice Department would not turn over all of Mueller’s materials.
“If the Department still refuses, then it should be up to a judge — not the President or his political appointee — to decide whether or not it is appropriate for the committee to review the complete record,” Nadler said.