WASHINGTON, D.C. (NBC) – After almost two years, a redacted version of Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s Russia investigation is being released to Congress and the public. But Attorney General William Barr has come under fire for briefing the White House first about the report before sending it to Congress.
Democrats are accusing Barr of spinning the report to favor the president and are already talking about their next step.
“The president’s personal lawyers were not permitted to make or did not request any additional redactions,” Barr said. “Significant portions of the report contain material over which the president could have asserted privilege and he would have been well within his rights to do so.”
Barr, who was appointed by the president, repeatedly said there was no collusion between the Trump campaign and Russian operatives, despite efforts by the Russians to influence the 2016 election. Barr concluded the president did not try to obstruct the investigation although Mueller didn’t ask for that determination.
“I didn’t talk to him directly that we were making this decision,” Barr stated, “but I was told he was okay with my prerogative to make that decision as attorney general to make that decision.”
Democrats are now blasting Barr for reportedly briefing the White House and press before Congress and spinning the results. They now want Mueller himself to testify.
House Judiciary Committee member Rep. Jerry Nadler (D-NY) said, “We will find it helpful to ask Mueller to testify and may ask members of his team to testify,
Democrats want to see the full report with no redactions. Barr argued he had to adhere to grand jury secrecy rules and protect witnesses including intelligence informants.
Democrats want to investigate possible obstruction by the president further. His reaction on Twitter: “Presidential harassment!” as the president continues to claim total exoneration.
The public can also see the redacted version of the Mueller report HERE courtesy of NPR.