- The Washington Times - Monday, April 15, 2019

Attorney General William P. Barr is expected to release special counsel Robert Mueller’s report in a redacted form to Congress and the public on Thursday morning, a Justice Department official said Monday.

The nearly 400-page report is the most anticipated political report in the last 20 years as both Republicans and Democrats scramble to defend or attack President Trump in the wake of its release.

Moments after news of the release hit, Mr. Trump attacked Mr. Mueller and his team on Twitter.

“The Mueller Report, which was written by 18 Angry Democrats who also happen to be Trump Haters (and Clinton Supporters), should have focused on the people who SPIED on my 2016 Campaign, and others who fabricated the whole Russia Hoax. That is, never forget, the crime….,” he tweeted.

In a follow-up tweet, the president said there shouldn’t have been an investigation at all.

“Since there was no Collusion, why was there an Investigation in the first place! Answer — Dirty Cops, Dems and Crooked Hillary,” he wrote.

Mr. Barr summarized the special counsel’s findings last month in a four-page letter to Congress. He wrote that Mr. Mueller concluded there wasn’t evidence to indicate Mr. Trump or members of his campaign conspired with Russia to win the White House.

Although Mr. Barr’s summary apparently clears the president of the most damning charge, collusion, there is still much debate over the obstruction issue. Mr. Barr and Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein said there is not enough evidence to charge Mr. Trump with obstruction. But he also did not give him a pass, saying the report does not conclude he committed a crime but does not exonerate him.

Nonetheless, Mr. Trump has already claimed “total exoneration” based on the four-page summary.

The full report, although likely heavily redacted, is expected to shed more light on these issues. Mr. Barr wrote that the special counsel’s team issued more than 2,800 subpoenas, executed nearly 500 search warrants, obtained more than 230 orders for records and interviewed 500 witnesses. Those documents should produce reams of information uncovered by the sprawling 22-month investigation.

Still, it is unclear how much the public and Congress will get to see. Mr. Barr said earlier this month that every page of Mr. Mueller’s report contains confidential information. He added the Justice Department has identified four categories of protected information and each one will have a different color code to explain why it was redacted.

The confidential data is said to include grand jury evidence, sensitive U.S. intelligence material, details about ongoing investigations, and information that could unduly infringe on the “personal privacy and repetitional interests” of peripheral third parties.

Despite the lack of information, both sides are quickly preparing a response. One of Mr. Trump’s attorneys, Rudolph W. Giuliani, said Sunday the president’s legal team has prepared a counter-report to challenge Mr. Mueller’s assertion. The team was “polishing it up,” he said.

The White House report is a likely response to Mr. Barr’s pledge to a Senate panel last week that he would not hide unflattering details about Mr. Trump. Mr. Barr said he hasn’t consulted with the White House, but when pressed by House Democrats, the attorney general declined to say whether he briefed the administration on the report’s contents.

Democrats, meanwhile, have a subpoena ready to go if Mr. Barr’s latest release does not fulfill their desire for damaging information on the president. They have demanded a full, unredacted version along with underlying evidence.

Mr. Barr said he’s willing to work with Democrats to meet their demands.

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