House Dem Leadership To Barr: Cancel Your ‘Inappropriate’ Press Conference

on January 17, 2019 in Washington, DC.
Alex Wong/Getty Images North America

House Democrat committee chairs issued a joint statement on Wednesday evening calling on Attorney General William Barr to cancel his “inappropriate” press conference — which he plans to Thursday morning before the Mueller report is delivered to Congress — calling it a partisan attempt to shape the public’s perception of the investigation.

“He should let the full report speak for itself,” Reps. Jerry Nadler (D-NY), Adam Schiff (D-CA), Elijah Cummings (D-MD), Maxine Waters (D-CA) and Eliot Engel (D-NY) wrote in the joint statement.

Read the full statement below:

“The Department of Justice announced today that the Attorney General will hold a press conference tomorrow morning before Congress has even seen Special Counsel Mueller’s report. This press conference, which apparently will not include Special Counsel Mueller, is unnecessary and inappropriate, and appears designed to shape public perceptions of the report before anyone can read it.

“In addition, we understand from press reports that the Department of Justice has had ‘numerous conversations’ with lawyers from the White House about the report, which ‘have aided the President’s legal team as it prepares a rebuttal to the report.’ There is no legitimate reason for the Department to brief the White House prior to providing Congress a copy of the report.

“These new actions by the Attorney General reinforce our concern that he is acting to protect President Trump. The Attorney General previously stated, ‘I do not believe it would be in the public’s interest for me to attempt to summarize the full report or to release it in serial or piecemeal fashion.’ We agree.

“He should let the full report speak for itself. The Attorney General should cancel the press conference and provide the full report to Congress, as we have requested. With the Special Counsel’s fact-gathering work concluded, it is now Congress’ responsibility to assess the findings and evidence and proceed accordingly.”

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