Attorney general promises to turn over actual Mueller report by mid-April 'or sooner'
Attorney General William Barr has issued a letter to the Senate and House Judiciary Committees stating that the actual documents that Mueller provided to Barr will be made available within the next few weeks. The letter, addressed to Republican Sen. Lindsay Graham and Democratic Rep. Jerry Nadler, indicates that the impending release is not another summary of the Mueller information, as Barr had written previously, but that “we are preparing the report for release.” Barr also notes that, unlike in the case of the brief summary which he issued earlier, the special counsel’s office is working with them in preparing the document.
However, this will still not be a full and unredacted version. Barr indicates that the documents are being redacted to “protect the privacy … of peripheral third parties,” anything that the intelligence agencies feel would compromise sensitive sources, and material that could affect “other ongoing matters,” including matters the special counsel has referred elsewhere. The document will also be redacted following “federal rule of criminal procedure 6,” which has to do with grand juries and grand jury testimony. However, it’s not clear if this means that testimony before the grand jury will not be included.
In his letter, Barr denies that his previous letter was a “summary” and complains that, despite it being characterized that way in the media, it was “not intended to be an exhaustive recounting” of the special counsel’s findings. Instead, he says, the letter was only meant to meet the obligations under the special counsel law to notify Congress that the investigation was complete and give its “bottom line.”
According to Barr, the actual Mueller report is nearly 400 pages long—not counting tables and appendices, which could include the grand jury material. Barr finishes the letter by offering to testify before the House and Senate on May 1 and May 2.
Despite everything, it appears that the public is going to see the Mueller report after all. Or at least a sizable portion of it. And even the areas that remain redacted, assuming they’re not ridiculously large, may give some clue as to the scope and nature of material that’s been handed off for further investigation and prosecution elsewhere.
Despite his complaints that “the media” has referred to his previous letter as a summary, there is a very good reason that term was used. In the initial letter, Barr described his actions:
I believe it is in the public interest to describe the report and summarize the principle conclusions reached by the Special Counsel and the results of his investigation.
So you can see why he was offended that it was called a summary.
Jerry Nadler responds to the new Barr letter: “As I informed the Attorney General earlier this week, Congress requires the full and complete Mueller report, without redactions, as well as access to the underlying evidence, by April 2. That deadline still stands.”
— Kyle Griffin (@kylegriffin1) March 29, 2019