Faced with a bombshell Washington Post report revealing that special counsel Bob Mueller was unhappy with Attorney General Bill Barr’s March 24 letter summarizing his long-awaited report, Barr is blaming Mueller for the weeks-long gap between the completion of the report and its release.
Barr began his Wednesday hearing before the Senate Judiciary Committee with an open statement complaining, yet again, about the form in which Mueller submitted the report to the Justice Department.
Barr explained that he asked Mueller at a March 5 hearing to identify 6E material (grand jury information) that must be redacted when he submitted the report to Barr.
“I reiterated to special counsel Mueller that in order to have the shortest possible time before I was in a position to release the report, I asked that they identify 6E material,” Barr said Wednesday morning.
“Unfortunately it did not come in that form and it quickly became apparent that it would take about three or four weeks to identify that material and other material that had to be redacted,” Barr added. “So there was necessarily going to be a gap between the receipt of the report and getting the full report out publicly.”
In his letter, Mueller said his team intentionally submitted executive summaries that were thoroughly vetted so that they could be released to the public as soon as his report was submitted. Mueller urged Barr to make the summaries available, but Barr declined, instead releasing what he claimed were the special counsel’s “top-line conclusions.”
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