Government - Political Wrangling Over Mueller Report Release
US Congressional Democrats are blasting the Attorney General William Barr for allegedly trying to politically manage the release of special prosecutor Robert Mueller's report on Russian influence over Donald Trump and his 2016 presidential campaign.
On Thursday morning in Washington, DC, Barr is expected to release the report, minus redacted materials in four broad categories of information: grand jury information, classified intelligence, information damaging to unindicted third parties, and information relevant to ongoing investigations. Barr already wrote a summary of the report that wrongly claimed Trump was exonerated of obstruction of justice.
But Barr's plan to hold a news conference 90 minutes before the report is actually released - before reporters know what is actually in it - has Democrats Democrats accusing him of trying to frame the report a second time. Robert Mueller himself will not attend the news conference.
"The central concern here is that Attorney General Barr is not letting the facts of the report speak for themselves, but is trying to bake in the narrative about the report to the benefit of the White House," said House Judiciary chairman Rep. Jerry Nadler, a Demcorat from New York who called the timing troubling. "This is wrong," Nadler said.
"Mr. Barr is acting more like a Trump campaign spokesman than an independent agent of the law," said Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, also a New York democrat. "The American people deserve the truth. They don't need any more pre-damage control or spin."
The House Judiciary Committee plans to follow the release with a flurry of subpenoas for the non-redacted report, materials used in the investigation, and possibly for testimony from Mueller himself.