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 favorable way for President Donald Trump. He says he's looking forward to explaining his reasoning after he releases a redacted version of Mueller's 400-page report in the coming days.
The US attorney-general said that the redacted Mueller report on Russian election interference would be released within a week, but angered Democrats by saying that Congress would also get only the censored version.
"Looks like Bob Mueller's team of 13 Trump Haters & Angry Democrats are illegally leaking information to the press", Trump tweeted Sunday, taking aim at Muller's team after headlines emerged that their report figures much worse for Trump than Barr's original summary made it seem.
Pennsylvania congressman Matt Cartwright said during a House Appropriations Subcommittee hearing Tuesday, where Barr was testifying, that millions would lose their health insurance if a challenge to the Affordable Care Act won its case in Texas.
Yet, according to a source familiar with his thinking, when Barr spoke of "spying" on the Trump campaign, he meant it in the "classic sense" of intelligence collection.
House Judiciary Chairman Jerry Nadler is preparing to "very quickly" subpoena the Justice Department and go to court seeking to obtain grand jury information, while House Intelligence Chairman Adam Schiff says he's made a formal request to obtain the counterintelligence information from Mueller's investigation to learn whether the President is "compromised" in any way. Barr's promised release does not satisfy those who do not trust the Trump-appointed AG to handle the redaction process appropriately.
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There have been concerns within the Justice Department that it is too easy to open an investigation. But like members of the House on Tuesday, senators are expected to be more interested in the almost 400-page Mueller report than budget details.
"And when he receives, sometime this week from members of Congress, a criminal referral he will read what they are laying out the facts, the evidence and the law which will initiate, I believe, a criminal investigation by Barr".
Barr said today that he expects the inspector general's investigation of these allegations to wrap up by May or June.
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.
Committee Chairwoman Rep. Nita Lowey (D-N.Y.) asked Barr point-blank if the White House had seen the report or was briefed on it.
Mr Barr's opening remarks focused on funding requests for immigration enforcement and the fights against violent crime and opioid addiction, not mentioning the special counsel's report at all.
"Full release of the report to Congress is consistent with both congressional intent and the interests of the American public".
With a tinge of sarcasm in her voice, Lowey called it "extraordinary" that Barr was able to "evaluate hundreds of pages of evidence, legal documents, and findings based on a 22-month-long inquiry and make definitive legal conclusions in less than 48 hours".