Published: Mon, April 08, 2019
Global Media | By Garry Long

Under Pressure, US Justice Department Defends Handling of Mueller Report

Under Pressure, US Justice Department Defends Handling of Mueller Report

Late last month, Barr released a four-page summary of the report saying that Mueller had concluded that Trump and his campaign had not colluded with Russian Federation.

Trump's tweet simultaneously criticized members of Mueller's team for becoming mainstream media news sources, and accuses those same media outlets of not having the sources that Trump just got done denouncing.

Mr Barr said he had concluded there was not enough evidence to show that Mr Trump committed the crime of obstruction.

US Attorney General William Barr is tasked with publishing the document and said he plans to make a redacted version public.

But news media reports this week said members of Mueller's team were unhappy with the way Barr, a Trump appointee, had characterised the report's conclusions.

Asked about Trump's thinking on a potential pardon for former National Security Adviser Michael Flynn, Giuliani - who represents Trump as his personal lawyer, not as a White House lawyer - said that "yes", he and Trump had discussed pardons "at the very beginning, and decided the whole question of pardons would be put off".

Democrats on Capitol Hill have stated that they will take Barr to court if their subpoena is again ignored.

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He said his letter was not a summary of Mueller's report.

Mulvaney said Democrats will never see Trump's tax returns, "nor should they". In a March 29 letter to lawmakers, he spelled out four areas that would be redacted: grand jury material, which could include any documents and testimony presented; information that could reveal the government's intelligence-gathering sources or methods; information that could compromise ongoing investigations; and details that would violate the privacy of those deemed "peripheral" to the investigation.

The Kremlin has consistently denied any involvement in the 2016 USA presidential elections.

Barr is now expected to release the entire report, with redactions, by mid-April.

The department said those summaries include secret grand jury information that can not under law be made public. He criticized Rep. Jerry Nadler, the Democratic chairman of the House Judiciary Committee, for comments the New York Democrat made on "Face the Nation" minutes earlier denouncing Barr as a "bias defender" of the president.

In an odd stroke of timing, the federal appeals court in Washington issued a ruling Friday in an unrelated case that buttresses the argument for keeping a close hold on grand jury information. In that letter, Barr, who consulted with deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein over the Mueller report's conclusions, declined to pursue charges against the president or his allies for "obstruction". Giuliani swiftly went on to say that he had no control over what Barr would decide in terms of redactions.

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