The White House will get the Mueller report before the public does in case it wants to make redactions, Barr says
- Attorney General William Barr will send the special counsel Robert Mueller's report in the Russia investigation to the White House before the public sees it, South Carolina Sen. Lindsey Graham said Tuesday.
- Graham said Barr told him he would send the report to the White House first in case they want to claim executive privilege over any parts of it.
- Mueller's full report likely contains crucial details about the motivations behind the myriad contacts and meetings President Donald Trump's associates had with Russians, as well as Trump's repeated deference to Russian President Vladimir Putin.
- Trump's defense lawyers have previously said they want a chance to review and "correct" the Mueller report before it's made public.
South Carolina Sen. Lindsey Graham said Tuesday that Attorney General William Barr told him he will send the special counsel Robert Mueller's final report on the Russia investigation to the White House before the public sees it, in case they want to make executive privilege claims over any parts of it.
Graham, who chairs the Senate Judiciary Committee, also said Barr told him it will likely take "weeks, not months" to get a version of Mueller's final report out to the public.Barr on Sunday released his own summary of Mueller's report, which found that there was no evidence that the Trump campaign conspired with Russia during the 2016 election. Mueller declined to come to a conclusion on whether Trump obstructed justice in the Russia probe and instead laid out all the evidence prosecutors had collected before handing in his findings to Barr and Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein.
Barr and Rosenstein then concluded that there was not sufficient evidence to determine that Trump obstructed justice. Their conclusion alarmed legal experts, who said Barr's past comments on the obstruction inquiry may have compromised his ability to make impartial decisions about that aspect of the investigation.
Last year, Barr sent a memo to the Justice Department, White House, and Trump's legal team in which he criticized the obstruction probe as a "legally insupportable" investigation that should not be sanctioned by the Justice Department.
House Democrats are now pushing for the full release of the Mueller report, arguing that there are likely crucial details contained in the document that could answer lingering questions about the myriad contacts and meetings between Trump associates and Russians, as well as Trump's repeated deference to Russian President Vladimir Putin during the campaign and after taking office.
The FBI launched a counterintelligence investigation in May 2017 - after Trump fired FBI director James Comey, citing "this Russia thing" as his motivation - into whether Trump was acting as a Russian agent. That inquiry was later folded into the broader Russia investigation. Barr's summary did not provide any details about Mueller's findings in the counterintelligence portion of Mueller's probe, but Justice Department veterans say the special counsel's full report likely answers many of the questions the public still has.Trump's lead defense lawyer, Rudy Giuliani, told INSIDER last year that they want a chance to review the Mueller report before it's made public so they can correct any inaccuracies.
This story is developing. Check back for updates.