Attorney General William Barr on Tuesday assembled a team to investigate the origins of Special Counsel Robert Mueller's investigation into the Trump campaign's interactions with Russia, Fox News reported.
Nita Lowey, chairwoman of the House Appropriations Committee, said Barr's letter summarizing the Mueller report appears to "cherry-pick from the report to draw the most favorable conclusion possible for the president".
"Within a week I will be in position to release that report to the public and then I will engage with the chairmen of both judiciary committees about that report, about any further requests that they have", Barr said at his first appearance before Congress since receiving the report on March 22.
Barr said he did not believe Mueller's evidence was sufficient to prove that Trump had obstructed justice.
And in his testimony on Tuesday, Barr expressed skepticism that giving Congress - let alone the public - grand jury information, as covered in the law referred to as "6 (e)", could ever be appropriate. "I don't know if people should get their hopes up for the full Mueller report, because based on Barr's letter, there's probably not going to be a chapter in there called 'Impeachable Stuff.'" Still, Roy Wood Jr. had a solution for people still holding out hope for really damning news.
Republicans have called for a careful review as to whether the Federal Bureau of Investigation, in violation of Page's constitutional rights and Federal Bureau of Investigation procedures, misled the FISA court or withheld exculpatory information, and Barr testified that a DOJ review of the FBI's FISA practices was in progress. That is a change from Barr's past statement just 11 days ago when he said in a letter sent to the chairmen of the House and Senate Judiciary committees.
Justice Department officials are scouring the report to remove grand jury information and details relating to pending investigations, among other materials. Specifically, Barr is looking into the standard for opening counterintelligence investigations.
To be transparent about what would be redacted, he told lawmakers he intends to "color code the excisions from the report" and provide "explanatory notes describing the basis for each redaction". "As things stand now, I don't think that they will be redacted".
Though he said the document will be redacted to withhold negative information about peripheral figures in the investigation, he said that would not apply to Trump, who is an officeholder and central to the probe.
But Democrats also want as much of the special counsel's report and the evidence he gathered as they can possibly obtain.
CHANG: Yeah. OK. So beyond the Mueller report, Barr mentioned another investigation today related to the Russian Federation probe. "But, I'll have to say, until someone shows me a provision in 6 (e) that permits its release, Congress doesn't get 6 (e)".
The top Republican on the House Intelligence Committee, California Rep. Devin Nunes, told Fox News on Sunday that he was sending eight criminal referrals to the Justice Department, apparently linked to investigations he started in the last Congress about the beginnings of the Russian Federation probe.