Attorney General William Barr began his testimony this morning in front of the House appropriations committee to discuss the Justice Department’s budget and priorities, but Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s report has come up.

Barr told the members he asked Mueller if he wanted to review the four page summary, but declined. He also promised a redacted version within a week.

After Mueller completed his report, Barr and Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein released a four page summary. They stated that no one else will face indictments, Mueller’s team found that no one within President Donald Trump’s campaign colluded with Russia, and no evidence of obstruction of justice.

The last week, the media reported that some people on Mueller’s team believe that Barr and Rosenstein’s summary “failed to adequately portray the findings of their inquiry and that they were more troubling for President Trump than Mr. Barr indicated.”

However, Barr told Congress this morning that he offered Mueller a chance to review the summary, but he declined.

Then Barr told Congress Mueller is working with the DOJ on the redaction process of the report. He hopes to release it within a week and will happily accept requests to testify in front of the House and Senate Judiciary Committees once it comes out.

I see people on Twitter complaining about the redactions, but National Review contributing editor Andrew McCarthy wrote at Fox News three days ago that a court ruling forces Barr’s hands to redact grand jury information:

I flagged this case, now called McKeever v. Barr (formerly McKeever v. Sessions), last week. It did not arise out of the Mueller investigation, but it obviously has significant ramifications for the Mueller report — in particular, how much of it we will get to see.

At issue was this question: Does a federal court have the authority to order disclosure of grand jury materials if the judge decides that the interests of justice warrant doing so; or is the judge limited to the exceptions to grand jury secrecy that are spelled out in Rule 6(e) of the Federal Rules of Criminal Procedure?

The D.C. Circuit’s McKeever ruling holds that the text of Rule 6(e) controls. Consequently, judges have no authority to authorize disclosure outside the rule.

That “Rule 6(e) does not contain an exception to secrecy that would permit disclosure to Congress.” So Congress may demand an unredacted version, but this ruling means they have no entitlements to it.

The team has also started to review of the “FISA process as it relates to the Trump/Russia investigation). Michael Tracy reminded everyone that officials used the Christopher Dossier to obtain a warrant on Carter Page.

Barr stated the team will finish this review in May or June.

 
 
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