- House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerry Nadler has requested all records of communications between the Justice Department and the special counsel Robert Mueller’s office regarding the final report in the Russia investigation.
- The request comes after multiple media outlets reported that members of Mueller’s team are frustrated with the way Attorney General William Barr characterised their findings in a four-page letter he sent to Congress last month.
- Mueller’s team also reportedly prepared summaries of their findings to release to the public and were perplexed Barr didn’t use more of their material in his letter to Congress.
- Nadler asked Barr on Thursday to release all of the Mueller team’s summaries to the public, writing, “If there is significant daylight between [Mueller’s] account and yours, the American people should know that, too.”
New York Rep. Jerry Nadler, the chairman of the House Judiciary Committee, has requested all records of communications between the US Justice Department and the special counsel Robert Mueller’s office about the final report in the Russia investigation.
Nadler specified that the committee was seeking communications “regarding the disclosure of the report to Congress, the disclosure of the report to the public, and those regarding your March 24 letter that purports to ‘summarize the principal conclusions reached by the Special Counsel and the results of his investigation.'”
Nadler’s request, which he outlined in a letter to Attorney General William Barr on Thursday, comes after reports that some members of Mueller’s team are frustrated with the way Barr characterised their findings in the Russia probe in a four-page letter he sent to Congress late last month.
In the letter, Barr wrote that Mueller’s team did not find sufficient evidence to bring a conspiracy charge against President Donald Trump or anyone associated with his campaign. The attorney general also said prosecutors declined to come to a conclusion, one way or another, on whether Trump obstructed justice in the investigation but said that their report did not “exonerate” the president.
But Barr, in consultation with Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein, determined there was not enough evidence to conclude Trump committed an obstruction crime.
However, people familiar with the matter told The Washington Post they believed Barr’s letter on Mueller’s report downplayed the fact that “the evidence they gathered on obstruction was alarming and significant.”
Mueller’s team also reportedly prepared several summaries of its report and was frustrated Barr did not use more of its material in his letter to Congress.
One unnamed US official was quoted in The New York Times as saying that Mueller’s team assumed the information was going to be made available to the public “and so they prepared their summaries to be shared in their own words – and not in the attorney general’s summary of their work, as turned out to be the case.”
Read more: After reports Mueller’s team was annoyed with the attorney general’s summary of their work, the DOJ says the Mueller report can’t be released yet because every page contains confidential information
The Justice Department released a statement on Thursday defending Barr.
“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 released,” the statement said.
Nadler said in his letter to Barr that the Department’s statement “does not deny the existence of these summaries.”
The New York congressman also urged the attorney general to release the summaries that Mueller’s team put together in their entirety to Congress and the public.
“If there is significant daylight between [Mueller’s] account and yours, the American people should know that too,” Nadler wrote.
Barr is working with Mueller’s team to redact certain categories of information from the final report, and the attorney general said last month he plans to release a redacted version of the document by mid-April.