AG William Barr testifies before Senate ahead of Mueller report release

President Donald Trump speaks with reporters before boarding Marine One on the South Lawn of the White House Friday

"While [Barr] can testify surrounding his decision to provide the Committee with principal conclusions, it is Special Counsel Mueller who is best-positioned to testify regarding the underlying facts and material in which you are so interested". It may have been premature.

Trump seems to have belatedly recognized the political danger.

Six leading Democrats, however, say they will fight the redactions.

"Do you think they would keep a secret? No". Only because there is overwhelming evidence that the president didn't do anything wrong, they were forced to admit they couldn't find anything on him.

Mr Barr's decision comes following the release of the Mueller report last month which found no links between Trump's 2016 Presidential election campaign and Russian Federation interference.

Barr had a very different reaction about grand jury material, arguing there was nothing in the special counsel regulations that states it should be provided to Congress. Barr released a four-page letter summarizing the report two days later and said he would release a redacted version of the full report by mid-April, "if not sooner".

Trump welcomed that conclusion and has claimed full vindication by Mueller.

That didn't stop the president's allies from declaring victory.

Barr wrote to Congress last month that Mueller's investigation did not establish a conspiracy between Trump's campaign and the Russian interference in the 2016 election. The president himself seethed at a MI rally that the whole thing was an attempt "to tear up the fabric of our great democracy".

Barr said that he reviewed Mueller's evidence and made his own determination that Trump should not face obstruction charges.

Trump's inner circle knows there will likely be further releases of embarrassing or politically damaging information. Asked why, Barr said, "Because it was my letter".

"It is like fundamentally rigging the game before we know what the actual score is", said Harvard Law School professor Laurence Tribe, who worked with Barr on a telecommunications case in the 1990s. And there is fear among some presidential confidants that the rush to spike the football could backfire if bombshell new information emerged. Of course, the news of the impending release of the report did not satisfy all congressional Democrats. "First impressions are important".

Barr could mollify some angst when he releases the report, even though some portions will be redacted.

Barr is to give evidence on the report itself at separate hearings before the Senate and House Judiciary committees on May 1 and 2.

"I personally believe not all of it is going to be great for the White House, " Burr said.

As he said: "I don't intend at this stage to send the full, unredacted report to the committee".

The Justice Department will redact grand-jury information, information that would reveal intelligence sources and methods, information that affects the privacy of "peripheral players" not charged as a result of the investigation, and information that would compromise ongoing prosecutions, Barr said. Asked whether those were different because they were part of formal impeachment proceedings, Nadler said the court has also allowed material to be provided in cases that are "preparatory to a judicial proceeding".

"Time really is of the essence", he said.

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