On Tuesday, United States Attorney General William Barr said that the Mueller Report will be delivered to the Congress and public “within a week.”
That would live up to his earlier promise that it would be available by mid-April.
Barr testified before the House Appropriations Committee, saying he would be transparent about redactions in the report. But he demurred when asked whether he has briefed the White House on it.
The Justice Department inspector general expects to finish an examination of aspects of the Russian investigation by May or June, Barr revealed.
The attorney general has tried to keep the appropriations hearing focused on the department’s proposed $29.2 billion budget, which includes money for 100 new immigration judges as President Trump hardens his stance on immigration along the southwestern border.
Democrats immediately hit Barr with questions about his handling of the Mueller report. He reiterated his vow to be as transparent as possible.
Going over categories of information he must black out – like information that is subject to grand-jury secrecy rules – Barr said that whatever he censors in the report, he will identify the reason.
“This process is going along very well and my original timetable of being able to release this by mid-April stands,” he said. “And so I think that from my standpoint, within a week, I will be in a position to release the report to the public.”
Rep. Jose E. Serrano, D-New York and the head of the appropriations subcommittee that covers the Justice Department, pressed Barr to say whether special counsel Robert S. Mueller III or his staff had played any role in drafting or reviewing two letters that Barr sent to Congress late last month about the report.
Barr said the special counsel had not participated in writing those letters, nor seen them in advance, though he gave Mueller the chance to see his letter summarizing the investigation’s main findings.
“The letter of the 24th, Mr. Mueller’s team did not play a role in drafting that document, although we offered him the opportunity to review it before we sent it out and he declined that,” Barr said. “The letter on the 29th, I don’t believe that that was reviewed by Mr. Mueller or that they participated in drafting that letter.”
He said he was studying the FBI’s decision to begin investigating ties between Russia and Trump’s campaign during the 2016 election.
Barr said he was trying to get his “arms around all the aspects of the counterintelligence investigation.”