Mon, 19 Aug 2019

The U.S. Justice Department says Attorney General William Barr will release a redacted version of Special Counsel Robert Mueller's report on Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election on April 18.

Barr and Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein, who appointed Mueller as special counsel nearly two years ago, will hold a press conference the same day to discuss the release of the report.

President Donald Trump, who has repeatedly criticized the Mueller investigation as a 'witch hunt,' said in a radio interview on April 17 that he may hold a news conference after Barr.

Mueller investigated whether Trumps campaign coordinated or conspired with Russia to win the election and if Trump or his associates unlawfully attempted to obstruct justice by trying to hinder the investigation.

Muellers nearly 400-page report was completed on March 22, and Barr sent Congress a summary of the findings two days later in which he said the investigation did not establish that members of the Trump campaign conspired or coordinated with the Russian government in its election interference activities.

Barr also wrote that the evidence uncovered in the probe was 'not sufficient' to establish that Trump had obstructed justice, although Mueller did not exonerate Trump on obstruction.

Democratic lawmakers have been pressuring Barr to release the report in its entirety.

The speaker of the House of Representatives, Nancy Pelosi, said Barr had 'thrown out his credibility & the DOJ's (Department of Justice) independence with his single-minded effort to protect' Trump.

And Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer said, 'The process is poisoned before the report is even released.'

Democrats have expressed concerns that Barr, who was appointed by Trump, is attempting to cover up negative findings about the president.

Barr has said the full report, minus some redactions, will be released.

Barrs summary did not detail what Mueller learned about a range of Trump associates who had Russia-related contacts during the 2016 campaign and postelection transition period.

It also did not explain why several of those Trump associates lied to federal investigators or Congress during the investigation.

Sensitive information could include evidence gathered by a grand jury, classified intelligence sources and methods, and ongoing criminal investigations.

With reporting by Reuters and AP

Copyright (c) 2018. RFE/RL, Inc. Republished with the permission of Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, 1201 Connecticut Ave NW, Ste 400, Washington DC 20036

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