Barr is Still Holding Out

March 29, 2019 4:03 p.m.

We’re still trying to make sense of this letter. It’s ambiguous on a few key points. But there’s one highly relevant thing that seems clear. Attorney General Barr plans to give the extensively redacted version of the Report to Congress too. So Jerry Nadler, Adam Schiff, Nancy Pelosi et al., will only get to see a version of the report that has been extensively redacted under four broad categories.

The categories are 1) grand jury testimony 2) sensitive intelligence information 3) information tied to on-going investigations and finally and most potentially expansive 4) “information that would unduly infringe on the personal privacy and reputational interests of peripheral third parties.”

These are all possibly reasonable for the public report, though I think that’s debatable. (For the public report, redaction categories #2 and #3 are most reasonable.) But I suspect it will be a non-starter in the House that not even the top oversight chairs get to see under these redactions. There’s really no reasonable justification for that. And these four categories could easily hide a great deal of what’s in the report.

Again, the letter does not say this explicitly, that Congress can only see the redacted version. But that’s the clear import. So this will almost certainly be a big fight.

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