The Department of Justice released a statement in wake of special counsel Robert Mueller’s office leaking their displeasure with Attorney General Bill Barr’s four-page summary.
The New York Times reported Wednesday that Mueller’s team felt Barr got it wrong and intentionally attempted to mislead Americans with his summary.
“Every page of the “confidential report” provided to Attorney General Barr on March 22, 2019 was marked ‘May Contain Material Protected Under Fed. R. Crim. P. 6(e)’ — a law that protects confidential grand jury information — and therefore could not be publicly released,” the statement read. “Given the extraordinary public interest in this matter, the Attorney General decided to release the report’s bottom-line findings and his conclusions immediately — without attempting to summarize the report — with the understanding that the report itself would be released after the redaction process.”
“As the Attorney General stated in his March 29th letter to Chairman Graham and Chairman Nadler, he does not believe the report should be released in ‘serial or piecemeal fashion,'” the statement continued. “The Department continues to work with the Special Counsel on appropriate redactions to the report so that it can be released to Congress and the public.
According to at least one MSNBC source, the report was written with the consideration in mind that grand jury information would need to be redacted. Not every page of the nearly 400-page report has information that must be redacted on it.
“You mean to tell me that maybe the Mueller report isn’t as exactly as exciting and positive and exculpatory for the president as the Trump administration and conservative media and Congressional Republicans would have you believe?” MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow asked after the Times report. “Really? Who could have seen this coming?”
Read the full statement below:
NEW: DOJ responds to NYT/WaPo reporting on Barr’s handling of the Mueller report. pic.twitter.com/XXLjNpqjwr
— Andrew Desiderio (@desiderioDC) April 4, 2019