AG Barr says he may provide lawmakers with conclusions of Mueller report this weekend - Southern Business Review

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Friday, March 22, 2019

AG Barr says he may provide lawmakers with conclusions of Mueller report this weekend

Attorney General William Barr on Friday notified lawmakers that he intends to provide information about the conclusions of special counsel Robert Mueller's report "as soon as this weekend."


"The Special Counsel has submitted to me today a 'confidential report explaining the prosecution or declination decisions' he has reached," Barr wrote in a letter sent to the Republican and Democratic leaders of the House and Senate Judiciary Committees.


"I am reviewing the report and anticipate that I may be in a position to advise you of the Special Counsel's principal conclusions as soon as this weekend," he wrote.

Barr said in the letter that over the course of Mueller's investigation, there were no instances in which Mueller was blocked from pursuing an action. He pledged "as much transparency as possible" and wrote that he would keep lawmakers informed of the status of his review.


Mueller was appointed in May 2017 to oversee an investigation into links between President Donald Trump's 2016 campaign and the Russian government. He has since brought charges against nearly three dozen people, including six former Trump advisors and 26 Russian nationals.


Read more: Robert Mueller's report is finally finished. This is what we know about his probe so far


White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said that the next steps are up to Barr.


"The White House has not received or been briefed on the Special Counsel's report," Sanders wrote in a post on Twitter.


Trump has blasted the probe since the outset and has accused Mueller of leading a partisan "witch hunt."


Barr said he will consult with Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein and Mueller about which information, beyond the report's principal conclusions, he will be able to provide to lawmakers and the public.



Democrats immediately pushed the Department of Justice to make Mueller's report available to Congress.


In a joint statement, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Democratic Leader Chuck Schumer said it was "imperative for Mr. Barr to make the full report public and provide its underlying documentation and findings to Congress."


The two pressed Barr not to provide a "sneak preview" to Trump or his staff and wrote that "the White House must not be allowed to interfere in decisions about what parts of those findings or evidence are made public."


House Judiciary Chair Rep. Jerry Nadler, D-N.Y., wrote on Twitter that he looked forward to "getting the full Mueller report and related materials."


"Transparency and the public interest demand nothing less," Nadler wrote. "The need for public faith in the rule of law must be the priority."


The full text of Barr's letter is below:



Dear Chairman Graham, Chairman Nadler, Ranking Member Feinstein, and Ranking Member Collins:


I write to notify you pursuant to 28 C.F.R. § 600.9(a)(3) that Special Counsel Robert S. Mueller III has concluded his investigation of Russian interference in the 2016 election and related matters. In addition to this notification, the Special Counsel regulations require that I provide you with "a description and explanation of instances (if any) in which the Attorney General" or acting Attorney General "concluded that a proposed action by a Special Counsel was so inappropriate or unwarranted under established Departmental practices that it should not be pursued." 28 C.F.R. § 600.9(a)(3). There were no such instances during the Special Counsel's investigation.


The Special Counsel has submitted to me today a "confidential report explaining the prosecution or declination decisions" he has reached, as required by 28 C.F.R. § 600.8(c). I am reviewing the report and anticipate that I may be in a position to advise you of the Special Counsel's principal conclusions as soon as this weekend.


Separately, I intend to consult with Deputy Attorney General Rosenstein and Special Counsel Mueller to determine what other information from the report can be released to Congress and the public consistent with the law, including the Special Counsel regulations, and the Department's long-standing practices and policies. I remain committed to as much transparency as possible and I will keep you informed as to the status of my review.


Finally, the Special Counsel regulations provide that "the Attorney General may determine that public release of" this notification would be in the public interest." 28 C.F.R. § 600.9(c). I have so determined, and I will disclose this letter to the public after delivering it to you.


Sincerely,


William P. Barr


Attorney General


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