WASHINGTON -- Attorney General William Barr will release a redacted version of the special counsel's report Thursday morning, a Justice Department spokesman said Monday, the latest step in a dispute with Democratic lawmakers over how much information they are allowed to see.
The report, which runs almost 400 pages, will be released to both Congress and the public, spokesman Kerri Kupec said.
Barr will send the report after lawyers from the Justice Department and the office of the special counsel, Robert Mueller, finish blacking out secret grand jury testimony, classified information, material related to continuing investigations and other sensitive information.
Barr, who was sworn in as attorney general in February, said in a letter to congressional judiciary committee leaders last month that the report "sets forth the special counsel's findings, his analysis and the reasons for his conclusions" in his inquiry into possible links between Donald Trump's 2016 presidential campaign and Russia's election interference, as well as whether Trump illegally obstructed the investigation.
"Everyone will soon be able to read it on their own," Barr said of the report.
Barr and Rod Rosenstein, the deputy attorney general, drew criticism when they concluded that Trump had not committed "an obstruction-of-justice offense" in lieu of a determination from Mueller. Some prosecutors who worked for Mueller have said Barr did not accurately represent their findings after he received the report and shared its main conclusions last month.
Under the special counsel rules, the attorney general can decide whether to share the report with the public and how much of it to release. But Democrats have shown an unwillingness to rely on Barr's judgments.
The House Judiciary Committee voted to authorize its chairman, Rep. Jerrold Nadler, D-N.Y., to subpoena Barr to compel him to turn over an unredacted copy of the special counsel's report and its underlying investigative files.
"As I have made clear, Congress requires the full and complete special counsel report, without redactions, as well as access to the underlying evidence," Nadler said in a statement this month.
Barr has said he will make himself available to testify before the Senate and House Judiciary committees next month.
Rep. Doug Collins of Georgia, the House Judiciary Committee's top Republican, has also asked that the committee invite Mueller to testify. "It is Special Counsel Mueller who is best positioned to testify regarding the underlying facts and material in which you are so interested," Collins wrote in a letter to Nadler.
Ahead of the report's release, Trump on Monday stepped up his criticism of the investigation and its origins.
"Mueller, and the A.G. based on Mueller findings (and great intelligence), have already ruled No Collusion, No Obstruction," Trump tweeted. "These were crimes committed by Crooked Hillary, the DNC, Dirty Cops and others! INVESTIGATE THE INVESTIGATORS!"
"The Mueller Report," he said in another tweet, "which was written by 18 Angry Democrats who also happen to be Trump Haters (and Clinton Supporters), should have focused on the people who SPIED on my 2016 Campaign, and others who fabricated the whole Russia Hoax. That is, never forget, the crime."
He has told confidants in recent days that he was certain the full report would back up his claims of vindication but was also convinced the media would manipulate the findings in an effort to damage him, according to two Republicans close to the White House who were not authorized to speak publicly about private conversations. In the waiting game's final days, the White House has continued to try to shape the narrative.
"There was no obstruction, which I don't know how you can interpret that any other way than total exoneration," White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said on Fox News Sunday.
Information for this article was contributed by Katie Benner of The New York Times; and by Michael Balsamo, Jonathan Lemire and Chad Day of The Associated Press.
A Section on 04/16/2019
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