Mueller criticised attorney-general's summary of Russian Federation investigation

Thursday, 02 May, 2019

Barr is due to appear Wednesday morning before the Senate Judiciary Committee.

A Justice Department legal opinion says sitting presidents can not be indicted.

"I think his statement is deliberately false and misleading and yes, most people would consider that to be a lie", Schiff said.

Kupec said after receiving Mueller's letter, Barr called the special counsel and they had a "cordial and professional conversation". Barr claimed that Mueller's only concern was that the "press reporting had been inaccurate" and that "the press was reading too much into it".

Mueller's letter, dated March 27, conveys his unhappiness that Barr released what the attorney-general saw as the bottom-line conclusions of the special counsel's investigation and not the introductions and executive summaries that Mueller's team had prepared and believed conveyed more nuance and context than Barr's own letter.

Attorney General William Barr is appearing before the Senate Judiciary Committee, where he will be grilled for the first time since the release of the special counsel Robert Mueller's Russian Federation report and a day after reports surfaced that Mueller criticized how Barr characterized his findings.

Barr had offered to allow a limited number of members of Congress, specific leadership and committee chairs, to view a less redacted version of the Mueller report in the offices of the Department of Justice.

Julian Castro, a 2020 Democratic presidential-primary candidate, said Mr. Barr must be removed from office.

While Barr may receive friendly questioning on Wednesday from Republicans who control the Senate panel, he'll be challenged by Democrats who contend that he's misrepresented evidence from Mueller that Trump sought to obstruct justice. The House Ways and Means Committee is pursuing Trump's tax returns, the Intelligence Committee is looking into Trump's businesses and the Judiciary Committee has subpoenaed Justice Department officials for the full report and its underlying intelligence sources.

"This has been done", Barr said.

"The special counsel's concerns reflect our own". The statement came in response to a series of quick-fire questions from Sen.

"Barr also omitted the following from his summary which indicated Trump wasn't found guilty of a criminal conspiracy with Russia: "...the Campaign expected it would benefit electorally from information stolen and released through Russian efforts". The report also detailed a series of actions Trump took to try to impede the investigation. In it, they said the evidence "wasn't sufficient" for an obstruction of justice charge.

It's hard to avoid the suspicion that Mueller's moan was driven by members of his team of Democratic partisans and Trump haters. Barr and the Justice Department's No. 2 official, Rod Rosenstein, then determined there was insufficient evidence to establish that the president committed obstruction of justice.

The decision to release the report, with redactions, was required because of the "extraordinary public interest in this investigation".

The Justice Department said he would not testify if the committee insisted on having its lawyers question Barr. At the same time, if we had confidence after a thorough investigation of the facts that the President clearly did not commit obstruction of justice, we would so state.

House Democrats are also hoping to question Barr on Thursday but the Attorney General has signalled he may not appear. Democrats had rejected the offer as inadequate but Republicans, including Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell accepted.

Graham said that the committee "might" review the email case and vowed to investigate the FBI's investigation. Barr has said he would look into the matter. Democrats who control the committee and the Justice Department are in disagreement over the format of the hearing.

"First, we find out it wasn't the only letter that Mueller sent Barr".

It is unusual for committee counsels to question a witness.

This report includes material from The Associated Press and Reuters.