The Latest: Barr defends report handling in his testimony
WASHINGTON (AP) — The Latest on Attorney General William Barr’s Senate Judiciary Committee testimony (all times local):
Attorney General William Barr is defending his handling of special counsel Robert Mueller’s (MUHL’-urz) Russia investigation report.
Barr is to testify Wednesday before the Senate Judiciary Committee. His appearance comes hours after it was revealed that Mueller had sent the Justice Department a letter objecting to the way his findings were portrayed.
In prepared testimony released by the Justice Department, Barr says that Mueller finished his investigation without interference and that neither he nor any other Justice Department official overruled any proposed action.
Barr also will defend his decision to release the bottom-line conclusions of Mueller’s report. Barr will say he “did not believe that it was in the public interest to release additional portions of the report in piecemeal fashion.”
Barr initially issued a four-page statement that summarized what he said were the main conclusions of the Mueller report. He later released a redacted version of the report.
Lawmakers have a new line of inquiry to pursue when Attorney General William Barr testifies before the Senate Judiciary Committee.
Barr has been expected in Wednesday’s hearing to defend his actions surrounding the release of special counsel Robert Mueller’s Russia report.
But it emerged Tuesday night that Mueller has expressed frustration to Barr in a letter with how the conclusions of his investigation have been being portrayed.
The letter lays bare a simmering rift between the Justice Department and the special counsel about whether Barr’s summary of the report adequately conveyed the gravity of Mueller’s findings, particularly on the key question of obstruction.
The revelation is likely to sharpen attacks by Democrats who accuse Barr of unduly protecting the president and of spinning Mueller’s conclusions in Trump’s favor.