On Tuesday, the Wall Street Journalreported that Attorney General William Barr is preparing to release the entirety of special counsel Robert Mueller’s report on Russian interference into the 2016 presidential election to Congress and to the public.
But perhaps more significantly, according to the report, the Justice Department does not plan to hand over the report to the White House before it is released to lawmakers:
Attorney General William Barr released a four-page summary of the Mueller report to lawmakers on Sunday. He has been working with members of Mr. Mueller’s team to determine what further information he can release, based on the law and the Justice Department protocol.
The official said there were no plans to show the White House the report ahead of its release to Congress.
Barr’s summary of the Mueller investigation stated that Mueller did not find evidence that President Donald Trump or anyone on his campaign deliberately conspired with the Russian government, and did not make a determination either way on whether the president obstructed justice in the course of the investigation.
Trump and his allies have hailed this as an exoneration, but in fact it is not, and without Congress and the public seeing the full report, a broader conclusion cannot be reached.
Trump, for his part, has stated that he is fine with the report being released to the public, but it is unclear exactly how much of it Barr plans to disclose. At the very least, he is likely to try to withhold secret grand jury information, as is typical protocol for prosecutors.
House Democrats have given the Justice Department a week to deliver the full report, and have threatened to subpoena information they suspect is being withheld from them. They plan to call Barr to testify, and may call Mueller himself.