President Donald Trump’s personal lawyers and White House attorneys were given a partially redacted version of special counsel Robert Mueller’s report to review before Congress or the public got a chance to see it.
“Earlier this week, the president’s personal counsel requested and was given the opportunity to read a final version of the redacted report before it was publicly released,” Barr said.
“That request was consistent with the practice followed under the Ethics in Government Act which permitted individuals named in a report prepared by an independent counsel the opportunity to read. They were not permitted to make and did not request any redactions,” he continued.
The president didn’t invoke executive privilege to redact any part of the report, the attorney general also noted.
NOTABLE: Barr confirms that the White House was given a redacted version of the Mueller report before its public release. pic.twitter.com/n32k4MPD6Z— Aaron Rupar (@atrupar) April 18, 2019
This is all stunning. Mueller spent nearly two years looking into whether Trump or any of his campaign officials or associates colluded with Russia to win the 2016 presidential election. He also looked into whether Trump himself tried to obstruct justice as the probe proceeded.
For Trump’s lawyers to see the report before anyone else, including Congress, only adds to suspicions that Barr is taking great pains to mollify Trump throughout this process. His performance during the press conference may add to those suspicions still.