No Rush To Release Mueller Report: DC Judge

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Attorney General Bill Barr has not hesitated to assume full control of the Justice Department, and he appears unafraid of the brewing fight with Democrats in Congress over the release and redactions of Special Counsel Robert Mueller's report on the Russian Federation investigation.

Lowey, the chair of the full House Appropriations Committee, blasted Barr for his "unacceptable handling of special counsel Robert Mueller's report". Instead, after the initial release of the report to the public, Barr said he plans to engage with the chairmen of both Congressional judiciary committees in order to deal with potential backlash.

"I am reviewing the conduct of the investigation and trying to get my arms around all the aspects of the counterintelligence investigation that was conducted during the summer of 2016", Barr told a House panel on Tuesday.

Continetti described Barr as the antithesis of former Federal Bureau of Investigation director James Comey.

Mueller turned over his confidential report to Barr on March 22 following a 22-month-long probe into whether Donald Trump may have colluded with Russian Federation during his 2016 presidential campaign and whether Trump later obstructed inquiries into the matter.

Barr also wrote that Mueller's office neither fully implicated nor exonerated Trump on the question of obstruction of justice; Barr and Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein decided Mueller's findings were "not sufficient" for charges, Barr wrote.

Barr said that Mueller was given the opportunity to review the summary Barr released last month detailing the Mueller's conclusions, and the special counsel declined to do so.

"My original timetable of being able to release this by mid-April stands", Barr testified, saying that Congress will be in possession of what he called "the first pass" of the report "within a week".

Barr appeared at the hearing Tuesday to submit the department's budget requests for fiscal 2020.

To be transparent about what would be redacted, he told lawmakers he intends to "color code the excisions from the report" and provide "explanatory notes describing the basis for each redaction". "But I would hope my budget is there to protect the people of the United States, and protect the Affordable Care Act, and protect the rights of citizens who worry about how they're going to be treated in the courts".

In addition to Mueller questions, Barr may also be pressed on the Justice Department's role in Trump's polarizing immigration policies, including its role in "zero tolerance" policies that led to the separation of immigrant families at the border, as well as the administration's request for additional immigration judges to ease a backlog of cases.

Barr is testifying before a House appropriations subcommittee.

Avlon said that Barr could just say that he would not answer questions about the Mueller report until later this month when it's finally released - and the entire hearing could boil down to "irresistible force, meet immovable object".

Barr did say he found it important for Congress to receive as much information as possible to learn about Mueller's investigation. The reports said that some of the evidence against Trump was more damning than Barr's letter indicated.

Barr said that even in providing the full report to Congress, which he said he would do by the end of the week, he still may have to black out some portions for security purposes.

"I personally believe not all of it is going to be great for the White House", Burr said.

Barr also said that some on the Mueller team might be frustrated because they "may have wanted more put out" in his four-page summary.

He said the White House did not review the letter to Congress laying out Mueller's findings before he sent it.

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