William Barr’s Mueller cover-up reveals America’s delusional dreamland about democracy | Will Bunch

Attorney-General William Barr appears before a House Appropriations subcommittee

Attorney General William Barr submitted a four-page summary of Mueller's report to Congress, in which he indicated the special counsel had not found evidence of criminal collusion or conspiracy between Trump's presidential campaign and Russian Federation during the 2016 election cycle.

Barr bluntly defended his dealing with the report and said portions must remain hidden to comply with the law.

Barr also said that he could be open to releasing some redacted details after consulting with congressional leaders, though he said he did not have plans to ask a court for permission to disclose secret grand jury testimony. He said they may have wanted more from the final Mueller report out in the public sooner, but that he had to balance not releasing sensitive material with giving the public the bottom line conclusions as soon as possible.

Barr repeatedly limited his responses about the report, indicating that he would make himself available to answer any questions from both the House and Senate judiciary committees after the redacted report is released. "He has been unresponsive to our requests".

Pennsylvania congressman Matt Cartwright said during a House Appropriations Subcommittee hearing Tuesday, where Barr was testifying, that millions would lose their health insurance if a challenge to the Affordable Care Act won its case in Texas. While opening the hearing, subcommittee Chairman Jose Serrano of NY called it "the elephant in the room".

Barr said his authority came from the regulation that sets up the Special Counsel, which provides for the Special Counsel report to go to him, and for him to decide what to release, consistent with longstanding DOJ policy.

The Justice Department's Inspector General is also reportedly conducting their own separate investigation into whether or not James Comey mishandled classified information.

Democrats say they will not accept any redactions.

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In the Republican-controlled Senate, the threat of a subpoena is significantly lower for Barr, but he'll still have to face off with Democratic senators who are likely to push him on the report redactions as well as his four-page summary of Mueller's conclusions.

William Barr, 68, appeared on Capitol Hill yesterday to talk about budget matters but faced complaints about his letter of March 24 in which he said that the special counsel Robert Mueller had cleared the Trump presidential campaign of conspiring with Russian Federation, and that there was evidence both for and against obstruction of justice.

Democrats have criticized Barr for not releasing Mueller's report in full since it was finished on Friday, March 22.

"Even for someone who has done this job before, I would argue it's more suspicious than impressive", Lowey said. "So numerous questions here today have gone toward a grassy knoll conspiracy theory", Aderholt said.

"Although the House is expected to be in recess that week, I think we can agree this business is too important to wait, and members of the committee will surely return to Washington at such a critical moment in our country's history", he said.

He said he had offered Mr Mueller the chance to review his four-page letter, but that Mr Mueller declined. Barr said he and Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein then concluded that there was insufficient evidence for an obstruction crime.

Facing the intensifying concerns from Democrats that he may have whitewashed Mueller's findings, Barr has twice moved to defend, or at least explain, his handling of the process since receiving the special counsel's report.

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