- The Washington Times - Friday, April 12, 2019

Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein defended Attorney General William P. Barr’s handling of special counsel Robert Mueller’s report in an interview released Thursday night.

“He’s being as forthcoming as he can, and so this notion that he’s trying to mislead people, I think, is just completely bizarre,” Mr. Rosenstein told The Wall Street Journal.

It was Mr. Rosenstein’s first interview since the Mueller probe wrapped up.

Mr. Barr last month released a four-page letter to Congress outlining the “principal conclusions” of Mr. Mueller’s roughly 400-page report on Russian meddling in the 2016 election and whether it conspired with the Trump campaign.

The attorney general said investigators did not find evidence of collusion and could not make a decision on whether President Trump obstructed justice. But Mr. Barr wrote that he and Mr. Rosenstein decided to pursue those charges. A redacted version of the full report is expected to be released by mid-April.

Mr. Rosenstein told the Journal the public should have “tremendous confidence” in Mr. Barr.

“It would be one thing if you put out a letter and said, ‘I’m not going to give you the report,’” Mr. Rosenstein said. “What he said is, ‘Look, it’s going to take a while to process the report. In the meantime, people really want to know what’s in it. I’m going to give you the top-line conclusions.’ That’s all he was trying to do.”

Democrats have demanded the release of the full, unreacted Mueller report. In recent days, Democrats have ramped up their criticism of Mr. Barr, accusing him of shielding the Mueller report from Congress and the public.

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