The Latest: Democrats insisting on release of full report
WASHINGTON (AP) — The Latest on Congress and the special counsel’s Russia investigation (all times local):
The battle over releasing the special counsel’s report is intensifying as Democrats in Congress insist Attorney General William Barr must quickly release its full findings.
Barr says he’ll release at least a partial version in April.
Skepticism has mounted over the four-page synopsis Barr released on Sunday. It said special counsel Robert Mueller found no evidence President Donald Trump’s campaign “conspired or coordinated” with the Russian government to influence the 2016 presidential election.
The longer it takes to release the full findings from Mueller, the more Democrats, in particular, warn they will question the legitimacy of Barr’s actions.
The push comes as the House moves ahead with its own oversight of the Trump administration, including an Intelligence Committee hearing scheduled for Thursday on Russia’s role in the 2016 election.
The chairman of the House Judiciary Committee says special counsel Robert Mueller’s Russia report is “very substantial” in length and breadth.
New York congressman Jerrold Nadler says he spoke with Attorney General William Barr for about 10 minutes on Wednesday and Barr described the report to him. Nadler says he isn’t authorized to say how long the report is, but that it’s long enough that Barr’s four-page summary can’t do it justice.
Nadler says he’s “very concerned” that the Justice Department will not meet a Tuesday deadline that House Democrats set for the release of the report. He suggests lawmakers will consider a subpoena if that deadline isn’t met.
He says Barr “wouldn’t commit” to releasing Mueller’s full, unredacted report and supporting evidence.
Attorney General William Barr says he hopes to release special counsel Robert Mueller’s report to Congress in April.
That’s according to South Carolina Sen. Lindsey Graham, who told The Associated Press on Wednesday that he had dinner the previous evening with Barr.
Graham, the chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, says Barr is combing through Mueller’s report, removing classified and other information. Barr said he is willing to testify before Graham’s committee after he sends the report to Congress.
Barr on Sunday released a summary of Mueller’s report, saying it found no evidence that Trump colluded with the Russians to influence the 2016 elections. By Barr’s account, Mueller made no finding on whether the president obstructed justice, a question now in Congress’ hands.
Attorney General William Barr is combing through the special counsel’s report on the Russia probe, removing grand jury and classified information in hopes of releasing it in April and testifying to Congress.
That’s according to Republican Sen. Lindsey Graham, who had dinner with Barr on Tuesday.
Graham tells The Associated Press the attorney general is going through the report now to make sure there’s nothing that could compromise national security or intelligence “sources and methods.”
Graham said Barr also wants to check with prosecutors who have cases stemming from the Russia probe so any release won’t undercut their ongoing investigations.
Special counsel Robert Mueller gave his report to the Justice Department last week.
President Donald Trump says the summary of the special counsel’s report “could not have been better,” but congressional Democrats are insisting that more information needs to be released from the two-year investigation into Russia’s election interference.
Trump took a victory lap of sorts Tuesday when he visited Capitol Hill for a gathering of Senate Republicans. Those attending a luncheon say the president was in a lively mood over the report’s favorable findings yet also wanted to move on to other issues.
House Democrats had their own get-together, with House Speaker Nancy Pelosi urging calm and a renewed focus on policy matters such as health care, jobs and oversight of the Trump administration.
Meanwhile, Justice Department officials say more from the special counsel’s report could be released in a few weeks.