Read Barr’s prepared remarks for House budget hearing (Mueller isn’t mentioned)

13 April, 2019, 00:16 | Author: Kara Nash
  • Barr expects to release Mueller report within a week

Barr, appearing before a Senate panel, did not say what "spying" had taken place but seemed likely to be alluding to a surveillance warrant the Federal Bureau of Investigation obtained on a Trump associate. Still, his remarks give a boost to Trump and his supporters who insist his 2016 campaign was unfairly targeted by the Federal Bureau of Investigation.

Barr was testifying for a second day at a congressional budget hearing that was dominated by questions about special counsel Robert Mueller's Trump-Russia investigation. While Mueller and his team did not reach a conclusion on whether Trump obstructed justice, and reportedly laid out evidence on both sides of the question, Barr said in his summary that there is not enough evidence to establish the president obstructed justice - a conclusion some lawmakers felt was premature without the full report in hand. Democrats have expressed concern that his version will hide wrongdoing by the president and are frustrated by the four-page summary letter he released last month that they say paints Mueller's findings in an overly favorable way for the president. And Democrats immediately called for Mueller to testify and for his entire 400-page report to be released.

"In rejecting this amendment and supporting the subpoena, you and your fellow Democrats created an untenable but politically convenient situation: force Attorney General William P. Barr to break the law to comply with your subpoena or label him as part of a cover-up if he does not", Collins wrote. Barr's statement mentions $16 million for a vetting program for those who wish to enter or remain in the United States, something he says will help the government "identify terrorists, criminals and other nefarious actors".

Barr released a four-page letter summarizing the report two days later and said he would release a redacted version of the full report by mid-April, "if not sooner".

Republicans, meanwhile, praised Barr for looking into the matter.

In the House, Barr was squaring off with Democrats who have subpoena power and have already authorized a subpoena in the Judiciary Committee to obtain the full Mueller report and underlying evidence. Republicans have asked for this investigation now that Mueller has completed his investigation.

"I personally believe not all of it is going to be great for the White House", Burr said.

Barr said he was reviewing his department's actions in investigating Trump.

"I'm glad to talk to Chairman Nadler and Chairman Graham as to whether they feel they need more information and if there's a way we can accommodate that", Barr said.

Asked again about spying at the end of the hearing, Barr tempered his tone.

Graham has joined other Republicans in calling for answers about how authorities used material from the former British intelligence officer Christopher Steele, author of the infamous Russian Federation dossier, in the request for surveillance of Carter Page, a onetime junior Trump 2016 campaign aide.

The FBI's ultimately successful warrant application to surveil Page, which relied in part on information from British ex-spy Christopher Steele - whose anti-Trump views are now well-documented - cited Page's suspected Russian Federation ties.



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