A redacted version of Robert Mueller’s report of the Trump-Russia investigation will be released “within a week”, the US attorney general has said.
Speaking to lawmakers on Tuesday, William Barr said he intends to release the Mueller report to the public in a matter of days.
The attorney general said any redacted portions would be colour-coded to indicate why the information could not be made public.
Mr Barr defended his decision to send a letter to Congress detailing Mr Mueller’s principal conclusions, claiming the public would not have tolerated waiting weeks for information.
In a summary released last month, Mr Barr said that the special counsel had found no evidence of collusion between Donald Trump’s campaign and Moscow in the 2016 presidential election.
Speaking for the first time after Mr Mueller’s findings were made public, Vladimir Putin said that the outcome of the investigation was predictable for the Kremlin.
On Friday, the Russian president described the conclusion of the inquiry as “like a mountain giving birth to a mouse”.
Mr Putin said the original allegations of collusion were “complete nonsense”, adding: “We said from the start that this infamous commission of Mr Mueller’s would not find anything because nobody knows this better than us.”
Mr Mueller submitted a confidential report nearly 400 pages long to Mr Barr after concluding the investigation of almost two years.
The Democrats are demanding to see the full report and all its underlying evidence, though Mr Trump and his Republican allies are pushing back.
Many have raised questions about how Mr Barr was so quick to boil down Mr Mueller’s report into four pages, as it took only two days for him to submit a summary to Congress.
The attorney general’s letter said that Mr Mueller did not find a criminal conspiracy between Russia and Trump associates, and that Mr Barr did not believe the evidence in the report was sufficient to prove the president had obstructed justice.
“Even for someone who has done this job before, I would argue it’s more suspicious than impressive,” said Representative Nita Lowey, the Democratic chairwoman of the House appropriations committee.
Democratic Representative Jose Serrano also told Mr Barr there were “serious concerns about the process by which you formulated your letter; and uncertainty about when we can expect to see the full report”.
Defending the rapid turnaround for his letter, Mr Barr said: “The thinking of the special counsel was not a mystery to the department of justice prior to the submission of the report.”
Mr Barr said that he did not intend for his four-page summary to be an “exhaustive recounting” of his work and that he could not immediately release the entire report because it contained grand jury material and other sensitive information that needed to be redacted.
Mr Barr is likely to be asked to further explain himself at a Senate appropriations subcommittee hearing on Wednesday.
He will also testify on the report itself at separate hearings before the Senate and House judiciary committees on 1 and 2 May.
Source: SKY NEWS