USA attorney general pressed for evidence clearing Trump

USA attorney general pressed for evidence clearing Trump

Although Barr's public letters to lawmakers since Mueller submitted his report sought to assuage any concerns that the attorney general is providing political cover for the president, with every day that passes, the pressure intensifies on Barr to show that he is not playing politics with a high-profile criminal investigation into Trump and his advisers.

The key finding, Trump pointed out, was no evidence of collusion or obstruction and he labelled the entire enterprise as a "total waste of time." .

The department said Attorney General William Barr must strike confidential information from the almost 400-page document as reports surfaced in the news media that members of Mueller's team were unhappy with the way Barr had characterized its main conclusions.

"If these recent reports are accurate. then those summaries should be publicly released as soon as possible", Nadler said.

"Given the extraordinary public interest in the matter, the Attorney General made a decision 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", the Justice Department statement said.

Nadler and other congressional Democrats have accused Attorney General William Barr of engaging in a cover-up of the Mueller findings because the Justice Department has not immediately handed over the report.

Asked about Trump's thinking on a potential pardon for former National Security Adviser Michael Flynn, Giuliani - who represents Trump as his personal lawyer, not as a White House lawyer - said that "yes", he and Trump had discussed pardons "at the very beginning, and decided the whole question of pardons would be put off".

Legal experts say he has wide discretion to determine what should not be revealed, meaning the fight over blacked-out boxes is likely to spawn months of fights between Congress and the Justice Department, and it may end up in the courts.

Last month Mueller finished his investigation into Russia's alleged cooperation with the Trump campaign during the 2016 election.

Despite being a vocal critic of the report, Trump took to Twitter to state he had not read it. "Let's see what the attorney general does first", he said.

The department said those summaries include secret grand jury information that can not under law be made public.

On Friday, the Justice Department, commenting on a fresh ruling in a case on grand jury secrecy, signalled its stance against that.

Barr ignored an August 2 demand by House Democrats to release the unredacted report. The panel ruled that judges may not carve out new exceptions to the current grand jury secrecy rules, though it also affirmed that grand jury material can be shared with the House of Representatives under an exception that dates to 1974 and a ruling by US District Judge John J. Sirica during the investigation of President Richard Nixon.

"The requests for his private tax information are not consistent with governing law, do not advance any proper legislative objective, and threaten to interfere with the ordinary conduct of audits", Mr Consovoy said.

Then a Washington corporate attorney - but without knowledge of the internal work of the Russian Federation probe - Barr declared that "Mueller's obstruction theory is fatally misconceived" and based on "a novel and legally unsupportable reading of the law".

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