The Mueller report is on track for a public release in the next week, per Attorney General Bill Barr.
“I think that from my standpoint, within a week I will be in a position to release the 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.
He made the comments at a congressional subcommittee hearing Tuesday, where he appeared to testify about the Justice Department’s budget request. But since this was his first testimony since special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation concluded, Barr was naturally asked many questions about the probe and the report.
The attorney general said the process of redacting certain information from Mueller’s report so it could be publicly released has been going well, and that his initial timetable for a mid-April release stands.
Yet though Barr answered several questions about the process of preparing Mueller’s report for release, he conspicuously declined to say whether he’d let the White House review the report’s findings. “I’ve said what I’m gonna say about the report today,” he responded.
Before that, he did offer a few more details about how Mueller wrapped up his work and what the public release of the report might look like.
- On March 5, Barr and Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein met with Mueller about the report — so, Barr says, he had “an inkling” of what was coming.
- Barr said he offered Mueller’s team the opportunity to review his March 24 letter to Congress describing their findings, but Mueller “declined” to do so.
- Barr confirmed that Mueller has spun off “a number of cases that are still being pursued” by other Justice Department offices.
- Barr said his version of the report will “provide explanatory notes describing the basis for each redaction.” (That is, the public version of the report will notate whether material is being redacted because it’s grand jury information, because it relates to ongoing investigations, because it could compromise sources and methods, or because it compromises peripheral figures’ privacy rights.)
- The Justice Department inspector general’s investigation into whether the Russia investigation abused the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act process should be complete by May or June.
- In response to Republican questioning, Barr said he was “more generally” reviewing the Russia investigation to get a better sense about how it was handled.
The attorney general did not offer to let members of Congress see the full, unredacted Mueller report, and said he did not “intend” to do so “at this stage.” But he also did not entirely close the door on that possibility. He said the first step is to release this redacted version, and that if key members of Congress want more information after that, it could be discussed afterward.