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AG Barr to release Mueller report in 'weeks not months'

There are no plans to give an advance copy to the White House, a Justice Department official and Senate Judiciary Chairman Lindsey Graham said.
Image: Attorney General William Barr departs his home in Virginia on March 26, 2019.
Attorney General William Barr departs his home in Virginia on March 26, 2019.Win McNamee / Getty Images

WASHINGTON — Attorney General William Barr will make a version of special counsel Robert Mueller's report publicly available in weeks, not months, a Justice Department official and the chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee said Tuesday.

Both the Justice Department official and Senate Judiciary Chairman Lindsey Graham, R-S.C. said there were no plans to give a copy of the report to the White House before it is made public.

In an interview on Fox News, Graham said he had spoken with both Barr and President Donald Trump on Tuesday night. He said Trump told him that he had no objection to the report's being made public and that Barr told him that it was being delayed only for a series of reviews to remove classified information, grand jury information and sensitive materials related to associated cases being brought in other jurisdictions.

Graham said that the report would be made public and that Barr would appear before the Judiciary Committee some time in April. The Justice Department official said the timeline was "weeks, not months."

Barr announced on Friday that Mueller had delivered his report to the Justice Department after a nearly two-year investigation. Barr then sent a four-page letter to Congress on Sunday that said Mueller found no proof that President Donald Trump conspired with Russia in its 2016 election interference campaign.

Barr also wrote that Mueller came to no conclusion on whether Trump committed an obstruction of justice offense, but he and Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein determined that there was insufficient evidence to pursue the matter further.

Barr said that "while this report does not conclude that the President committed a crime, it does not exonerate him."

Six Democratic committee chairs in the House have sent a letter to Barr requesting that he submit the full report from Mueller to Congress by April 2.

Barr's decision on the obstruction question sparked controversy in part because he sent an unsolicited memo to the Justice Department nearly a year ago arguing that Mueller's obstruction of justice investigation is "fatally misconceived."

After releasing his summary of Mueller's findings, Barr drew criticism from Democrats and some former federal prosecutors for making a judgment on the obstruction case just 48 hours after receiving the special counsel's final report.

But Barr had three weeks notice, since Mueller and his team informed him in a March 5 meeting that they would not reach a conclusion on obstruction, according to a person familiar with the gathering.