As Mueller release nears, White House renews attacks

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He said Mueller's report will have portions redacted but they would be color-coded to indicate why the information could not be made public. However, it will be redacted, with some - possibly much - information concealed from public view.

Barr also disclosed that Mueller declined an offer by Justice Department officials to review the attorney general's four-page letter he sent to Congress on March 24 that summarized the special counsel's main findings.

Nonetheless, Democrats have blasted him for not releasing the report immediately and have accused him of selectively picking from Mueller's report so that the conclusions were as favorable as possible for President Trump. 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. Barr says he worked closely with Rosenstein in authoring the letter.

The attorney general appeared before a House appropriations subcommittee to discuss his department's budget request - normally a sleepy affair - but Democrats, in particular, were more interested in asking questions about the report.

Attorney General William Barr arrives to deliver remarks at a Justice Department African American History Month event in Washington, U.S., February 26, 2019.

Barr replied: "As I said in my confirmation hearing". It was his first testimony before lawmakers since special counsel Mueller submitted his final report on the Russian Federation investigation to the DOJ last month. He has also said that Mueller did not reach a conclusion on whether the president obstructed justice, instead presenting evidence on both sides of the question.

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Rep. Matt Cartwright (D-Pa.) asked Barr during the House Appropriations subcommittee hearing during a contentious exchange.

Pressure has mounted on Barr to release the full report since his March 24 summary cleared President Donald Trump of both collusion with Russian Federation and obstruction of justice - though Mueller himself made no judgment on obstruction allegations. Democrats pressed Barr on exceptions to Rule 6 (e) that would allow him to release this information. And while he generally stayed cool under fire, he actually revealed quite a few new pieces of information about the national mystery surrounding his intentions with respect to the release of the Mueller report.

Barr's comments Tuesday come ahead of a brewing clash between Congress and the Trump administration over the Mueller report, as Democrats are indeed prepared to go to court in an effort to obtain the unredacted Mueller report and the special counsel's underlying evidence. While Burr said he didn't know exactly what's in the report, he added, "but there are going to be things that maybe cause some people to say, 'Oh, gosh, I didn't know that existed'". "I also think there may be, under appropriate safeguard, a way of people verifying that these categories were not abused, and at the end of the day, that the information is bona fide, privacy-related information and so forth, I'm willing to work with the Judiciary Committees on that".

Lowey said the Judiciary Committee has the responsibility and right to subpoena the full report and fight to see any redacted information. The House Judiciary Committee voted last week to authorize a subpoena for the full report and evidence.

Avlon said that Barr could just say that he would not answer questions about the Mueller report until later this month when it's finally released - and the entire hearing could boil down to "irresistible force, meet immovable object".

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