Second deadline for DOJ to provide full Mueller report expires

Politicians have threatened to begin contempt of US Congress proceedings against William Barr if he misses the deadline.

Attorney General William Barr speaks about the release of a redacted version of Mueller's report [File: Patrick Semansky/Reuters]
Attorney General William Barr speaks about the release of a redacted version of Mueller's report [File: Patrick Semansky/Reuters]

A second congressional subpoena deadline for US Attorney General William Barr to provide politicians with an unredacted copy of Special Counsel Robert Mueller‘s Russia investigation report expired at 9am (13:00 GMT) on Monday.

It was not immediately clear whether Barr complied with the subpoena. Politicians have threatened to begin contempt of Congress proceedings against him if he missed it.

House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerrold Nadler subpoenaed the full Mueller report and underlying evidence on April 19. Barr missed an initial subpoena deadline for the material last week, but Nadler gave him extra time to comply. 

Last week, tensions escalated between the Trump administration and Democrats over Barr’s handling of Mueller’s Russia report. 

On Thursday, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi accused Barr of lying to Congress. She was apparently referring to Barr’s comments last month during a House Appropriations Committee hearing in which he said he was not aware if Mueller had disagreed with Barr’s four-page summary of the investigation.

It was revealed last week that Mueller sent a letter to Barr on March 27 – three days after the attorney general sent his four-page summary to Congress – that said Barr’s memo “did not fully capture the context, nature, and substance” of the special counsel’s investigation. 

Barr, speaking before the Senate Judiciary Committee on Wednesday, said he had a 15-minute phone call with Mueller after the special counsel sent the letter. He said Mueller “was very clear with me that he was not suggesting that we had misrepresented his report.”


Pelosi said that “if anybody else did that, it would be considered a crime”. 

Barr also skipped a Thursday House Judiciary Committee hearing about the Mueller report over changes to the format of the hearing that the Department of Justice called “unnecessary”. The changes included adding an extra hour of proceedings to allow for committee lawyers to question the attorney general. 

Barr released a redacted version of Mueller’s 448-page report last month. It did not establish that the Trump campaign conspired with Russian operatives. The investigation did, however, examine “multiple acts by the president that were capable of exerting undue influence over law enforcement investigations”.

Mueller did not conclude that President Donald Trump committed obstruction of justice, but did not exonerate him either. Barr and Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein subsequently concluded that Trump did not break the law.

The Trump administration has sought to block staffers and former officials from appearing for hearings or interviews, as well as decline requests for documents from a number of House committees investigating the president. 

Source : Al Jazeera, News Agencies

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