- William Barr, President Donald Trump’s nominee for attorney general, told lawmakers Tuesday that he will not allow Trump’s lawyers to review and edit the special counsel Robert Mueller’s report on Russian election interference before it’s released to Congress or the public.
- Barr’s commitment flew in the face of Rudy Giuliani’s comments last year and earlier this month, when he said Trump’s team wanted to “correct” Mueller’s report before it comes out.
- But Barr left the door open for Trump’s lawyers to object to the report’s release based on claims of executive privilege.
- Giuliani told INSIDER in September that Trump’s team would waive executive privilege if “we had an adequate opportunity to review the report before it was released to the public.”
Rudy Giuliani, President Donald Trump’s lead defence lawyer,told INSIDER last year that the White House wants to review and edit the special counsel Robert Mueller’s report on Russian election interference before it’s released to the public.
On Tuesday, William Barr, Trump’s nominee for attorney general, told lawmakers there’s no way he’ll approve that.
When Vermont Sen. Patrick Leahy asked Barr if he would allow Trump’s team to “correct” the report, Barr responded: “That will not happen.”
He did, however, leave the door open for Giuliani to object to the report’s release based on claims of executive privilege.
As prosecutors put together the report, Trump’s current and former lawyers have said all the information contained in it will be protected by executive privilege. For that reason, they say the White House needs to sign off on the report’s final version in the event that deputy attorney general Rod Rosenstein – who is overseeing Mueller – chooses to release it to Congress or the public.
Giuliani told INSIDER that Trump’s team would waive executive privilege if “we had an adequate opportunity to review the report before it was released to the public; if we felt that – even if we disagreed with its findings – it was fair; and if we had the chance to release a rebuttal report simultaneously that addresses all of Mueller’s allegations.”
But as of now, he said, the White House “reserves its privilege.” He added that Trump’s legal team had a commitment to that effect from Mueller. When he was asked whether Mueller agreed to allow Trump’s team to review a draft of the report before it is released, Giuliani said he wasn’t sure if the two sides had reached a consensus on that.
Renato Mariotti, a former federal prosecutor in Chicago, told INSIDER earlier that while the White House could theoretically claim that certain information in a report from Mueller is protected by executive privilege, a court would most likely strike that argument down.
“What the White House would essentially be saying then is that a prosecutor can obtain information from the president or the White House, but they can’t do anything with it,” Mariotti said. “That’s a very weak argument.”
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