AG Barr Briefs Congress on Mueller-Report Redactions

US
Attorney General William Barr testifies on Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C., April 9, 2019 (Aaron P. Bernstein/Reuters)

Attorney General William Barr testified before a House Appropriations subcommittee Tuesday and identified to lawmakers the parts of Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s final report that he will redact before releasing it.

The Justice Department will redact grand-jury information, information that would reveal intelligence sources and methods, information that affects the privacy of “peripheral players” not charged as a result of the investigation, and information that would compromise ongoing prosecutions, Barr said.

“You’ll recall that the special counsel did spin off a number of cases that are still being pursued,” the attorney general said. “And we want to make sure that none of the information in the report would impinge upon either the ability of the prosecutors to prosecute the cases, or the fairness to the defendants.”

The redactions will be color-coded based on which of the four categories they fall into, the attorney general added.

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Barr said he plans to release the redacted version of the report “within a week.”

The redaction process is “well along,” DOJ attorney Courtney Enlow told a federal judge on Tuesday, responding to a lawsuit brought by the Electronic Privacy Information Center, which hopes the court will oversee Barr’s redactions of the report.

“The public has the right to know what it can know,” the federal judge in the case, Reggie Walton, said.

Barr released a four-page summary of the nearly 400-page Mueller report last month that stated the special counsel had found no collusion between the Trump campaign and the Kremlin but said Mueller had not reached a conclusion on whether the president obstructed justice during the investigation.

Some investigators on Mueller’s team were reportedly concerned that the DOJ chief’s characterization of the investigation’s results portrayed them as more favorable toward Trump than they actually are. Democrats expressed similar concerns during Barr’s testimony Tuesday. Representative Nita Lowey, chairwoman of the House Appropriations Committee, criticized Barr’s handling of the report, calling it “unacceptable” and saying his summary “seems to cherry-pick from the report.”

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