US Attorney General Expected to Face Mueller Report Questions

In his first appearance on Capitol Hill since taking office and amid intense speculation over his review of special counsel Robert Mueller's Russia report Attorney General William Barr arrives to appear before a House Appropriations subcommittee

In his first appearance on Capitol Hill since taking office and amid intense speculation over his review of special counsel Robert Mueller's Russia report Attorney General William Barr arrives to appear before a House Appropriations subcommittee

Barr was testifying before the House Appropriations Subcommittee on Commerce, Justice, Science, and Related Agencies on the Department of Justice's budget request for the 2020 fiscal year, but questions quickly turned toward the Mueller report and a letter Barr sent to Congress on the topline findings of the investigation.

And in his testimony on Tuesday, Barr expressed skepticism that giving Congress - let alone the public - grand jury information, as covered in the law referred to as "6 (e)", could ever be appropriate.

"That's great news he's looking into how this whole thing started back in 2016", Rep. Jim Jordan of OH, the top Republican on the House Oversight and Reform Committee, said Tuesday of Barr's interest in the issue. "And so, I think that, from my standpoint, by the - by - within a week, I will be in a position to release the report to the public".

Democrats scolded Barr over his handling of the report, telling him they were concerned that a summary of its main conclusions he released last month portrayed the investigation's findings in an overly favourable way for President Donald Trump.

On his program Tuesday, Limbaugh said Democrats are being "driven mad", and they can not accept that there is no Trump-Russia collusion nor a conspiracy at the Justice Department to cover it up.

Barr will testify today before the Senate Appropriations Committee.

Republicans sought to play down the possibility that the Mueller report might challenge Trump's assertion that he has been exonerated of colluding with Russian Federation, and they asked Barr whether he would now look into whether the conduct of federal law enforcement officials during that investigation had been inappropriate.

Lowey went on to call the quick turnaround on Barr's letter to Congress "more suspicious than impressive". Barr and Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein concluded the evidence Mueller presented did not amount to an obstruction charge.

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Barr's investigation into the origins of the Russian Federation probe is separate from the long-running Office of Inspector General investigation into the Justice Department's handling of the Russian Federation investigation.

Aderholt was referring to the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) warrant the Federal Bureau of Investigation used to surveil former Trump campaign associate Carter Page over the course of a year.

President Trump has called the special counsel investigation a "witch hunt", and he tweeted in May 2018 that he was demanding the "Department of Justice look into whether or not the FBI/DOJ infiltrated or surveilled the Trump Campaign for Political Purposes".

House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy said Tuesday that Congress shouldn't be given the unredacted Mueller report because it would leak. Jerrold Nadler, a chairman of the House Judiciary panel, confirmed the May 2 date on Twitter and said he would like Mueller to give evidence.

Barr was repeatedly grilled about the coming redaction of the Mueller report.

"Congress is - as a matter of law - entitled to each of the categories AG Barr proposed to redact from the Special Counsel's report", Mr Nadler said Tuesday. "And that's why I suggest we wait until the report is out", Barr told her.

Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Lindsey Graham, a Republican, has said he would be satisfied hearing only from Barr and not Mueller. And Collins likely hopes he'll be able to put concern about a "cover-up" to rest with two questions: "Do you believe that Attorney General Barr has deliberately worked to soften your report's impact on President Trump, and does the public version of the report accurately represent the scope of your findings?" He noted that every page of the Mueller report was marked sensitive and that nothing in the special counsel's submission was "sanitized" for immediate release.

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