"My original time table, releasing this by mid-April, stands from my standpoint".
U.S. Attorney General William Barr told lawmakers on Tuesday that he intends to release "within a week" a redacted version of the long-awaited report on Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election from Special Counsel Robert Mueller. Barr released the four-page letter summarising the report two days later and said he would release a redacted version of the full report by mid-April, "if not sooner". "I will be in a position within a week to release the report".
Rep. Jose Serrano, D-N.Y., said he has concerns about the process Barr used to draft a four-page letter of Mueller's "principal conclusions" last month. There are no indications about what Barr will say about the report, but Democrats are planning to pepper him with questions about what will be redacted.
Barr told the House Appropriations subcommittee, where he was appearing Tuesday to testify on the budget, that he was willing to work with Nadler to provide some additional information to the committee beyond the redacted report.
He said Barr's testimony "totally undercuts" the Democratic narrative that the summary of Mueller's report was somehow "bogus" and biased in favor of President Trump.
Barr wrote in a letter to House Judiciary Committee chairman Jerry Nadler (D-NY) and Senate Judiciary Committee chairman Lindsay Graham (R-SC) less than two weeks ago that "there are no plans to submit the report to the White House for a privilege review".
"I personally believe not all of it is going to be great for the White House", Burr said. "But as the attorney general, you take positions based on the law".
Congressional Republicans - and the president - have alleged that officials improperly relied on that dossier to obtain a secret warrant to spy on former Trump campaign adviser Carter Page.
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"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.
Barr's own stance before he was chosen by Trump to be attorney general - that Mueller had no legal grounds to investigate Trump for obstruction - has also drawn questions about how he reached his conclusion.
Nonetheless, Avlon said Barr would have to eventually face Congress's questions about the report - and he listed off some of the burning questions that he would need to answer.
"More generally, I am reviewing the conduct of the investigation and trying to get my arms around all the aspects of the counterintelligence investigation that was conducted during the summer of 2016", Barr said. But he said he would not accede to Democrats' demands that he provide the full, unredacted report to Congress, arguing that he can not legally release grand jury material and that he did not plan to ask a court to release it.
Trump seems to have belatedly recognized the political danger.
It is not clear, however, if Mueller's report found that Trump obstructed justice during the investigation. On Monday morning he tweeted, "The Russian Hoax never happened, it was a fraud on the American people!" They also want all of the evidence that supports the reports findings and have threatened to subpoena the information.
Cartwright told CNN that the hearing would also address the committee's oversight responsibilities, but he was optimistic Barr would at least explain some of his thinking process when it comes to Mueller's report and findings.
Barr could mollify some angst when he releases the report, even though some portions will be redacted.