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Contrary to circulating rumors, "the thinking of the special counsel was not a mystery to the people at the Department of Justice prior to his submission of the report", Barr said.

The attorney general said a redacted Mueller report would be released within a week, and the special counsel team did not play a role in drafting his letter to Congress.

Attorney General William Barr is returning to Capitol Hill for a second time this week as lawmakers, the White House and the American public anxiously await his release of special counsel Robert Mueller's Russian Federation report.

Barr's statement Wednesday that he expected to release a redacted version of Mueller's almost 400-page report next week marked a slight change from the estimate he gave Tuesday, when he said the release would be within a week.

The group's lawsuit, filed under the Freedom of Information Act, also argued the public was entitled to see what Mueller said about any attempt by President Donald Trump to obstruct the investigation into Russia's interference.

Barr said he hoped to release a redacted version within a week.

They, along with their colleagues, say the report should be released without redactions.

Barr's handling of the almost 400-page report has roiled Washington in recent weeks, with Democrats pressing to learn the full scope of what the Special Counsel's investigation found.

Mueller sent his final report to Barr on March 22, ending his nearly two-year investigation into potential ties between the Trump campaign and Russian Federation. Barr anticipated referrals from House intelligence committee ranking member Devin Nunes (R-California), but denied having yet seen the referrals.

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"The process is going along very well", Barr said, "and my original timetable of being able to release this by mid-April stands".

"We still have not heard from the attorney general", he added.

Barr released a four-page summary of the almost 400-page Mueller report last month that stated the special counsel had found no collusion between the Trump campaign and the Kremlin but said Mueller had not reached a conclusion on whether the president obstructed justice during the investigation. The case against Sessions was eventually closed without charges.

Barr appeared before the House Appropriations Committee, a hearing that would typically be a fairly dry affair focused on how the Justice Department intends to spend billions of dollars on matters such as prisons and national security.

The chairman of the Ways and Means subcommittee, Democratic representative Jose Serrano of NY, told Mr Barr there were "serious concerns about the process by which you formulated your letter; and uncertainty about when we can expect to see the full report".

Some good news, other than Barr's stellar performance, is that Barr is investigating the origin of the entire Trump-RUSSIA travesty. Rep. Jerrold Nadler, a New York Democrat and chairman of the House judiciary panel, confirmed the May 2 date on Twitter and said he would like Mueller to testify.

Asked about reports that members of Mr Mueller's team were unhappy with his handling of the report, Mr Barr said he suspected any discontent may have reflected their desire to put out more information.

Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Lindsey Graham, a Republican, has said he would be satisfied hearing only from Barr and not Mueller. "When we do so, if we don't get everything, we will issue a subpoena and go to court".

"Trump made an impressive effort at creating an obstruction case against himself, but it's no easy task to obstruct an investigation where prosecutors do not believe there's an underlying crime", George Washington University law professor Jonathan Turley said.


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