Attorney General William Barr appeared before the House Appropriations Committee on Tuesday to talk about budgetary matters, but the only thing anyone cared about was Special Counsel Robert Mueller‘s Russia report and Barr’s four-page letter summarizing of it.
Right out of the gate, Committee Chairman Rep. José Serrano (D-N.Y.) pressed Barr on why he didn’t use the summaries of the Russia report that were created by the Mueller team. Barr would say that, actually, Mueller declined an opportunity to review Barr’s controversial letter on the “principal conclusions” of the report, which anonymous members of Mueller’s team apparently complained about. Serrano said that Congress and the American people need to see the “full report,” but Barr reiterated that there would be redactions in four key areas: grand jury information, intel sources and methods, information on peripheral/uncharged third parties, and information that would jeopardize ongoing DOJ prosecutions.
Barr said that the redactions would be “color-coded” and accompanied by “explanatory notes,” and added that the “special counsel and his staff are helping select the information in the report that falls into those [four] categories.”
“We will distinguish between the various categories,” he said. Barr then made some news by what he did and didn’t say.
“My original table of being able to release this by mid-April stands,” he said. “Within a week, I will be in a position to release the report to the public.”
Committee Chairwoman Rep. Nita Lowey (D-N.Y.) asked Barr point-blank if the White House had seen the report or was briefed on it.
A.G. Bill Barr refuses to answer Nita Lowey's questions about whether the White House has seen the Mueller report or been briefed on the report beyond his four page memo.
— Kyle Griffin (@kylegriffin1) April 9, 2019
“I’ve said what I’m going to say about the report today,” he said.
[Images via Win McNamee/Getty Images, Tasos Katopodis/Getty Images]