Federal judge criticizes William Barr for sowing doubts about the Mueller report

The Ministry of Justice will publish an edited version of Robert Mueller's report from Special Counsel (above) on alleged Russian interference in the 2016 elections

The Ministry of Justice will publish an edited version of Robert Mueller's report from Special Counsel (above) on alleged Russian interference in the 2016 elections

The report from the special council for Trump Russia will appear on Thursday, to be seen by everyone. But not everything.

The Democrats' demands for a full, unadulterated version of Robert Mueller's report are likely to cause a political and legal struggle that could take months if not much longer.

The Chairman of the House Law Committee, New York Rep. Jerrold Nadler has said he is prepared to issue "very quickly" subpoenas for the full report on Russia and the Donald Trump presidential campaign if it is released with obscured sections. And that would trigger the legal battle.

Advocate General William Barr has said that he is editing four types of information from the report, which the Department of Justice says will be released on Thursday. Congress Democrats cite the precedent of previous investigations by saying they want to see everything.

But some Republicans defending Barr also cite precedents and say it is appropriate to keep at least some of the information from Congress and the public.

A look at what kind of material Barr edits, and why Democrats say it should be released:


Barr explained his position on the release of secret grand jury information, saying last week that he would not go to court to request his release.

He said the Democrats are free to go to court & # 39; and Nadler has said he is ready.

The information from the jury, including witness hearings, is normally prohibited, but can be obtained in court.

Some reports were finally released in the Whitewater investigation into former President Bill Clinton and an investigation into President Richard Nixon before resigning.

Both cases were in slightly different circumstances, including the fact that the House of Judicial Commission had initiated proceedings for removal. According to federal court rules, a court may order the disclosure & # 39; prior to or in connection with legal proceedings & # 39 ;.

But the Democrats have said they are not interested in accusation for the time being and are likely to argue in court that they do not have to be in an official accusation to receive the material.


Congress regularly receives secret documents and briefings and, according to Democrats, there is no reason why the Mueller report would be different.

Many Republicans agree, including the top republican of the intelligence committee, California Rep. Devin Nunes, who wrote a rare joint letter in March with the chairman of the House's intelligence committee, Adam Schiff, in which he asked for & # 39; all materials, regardless of shape or classification.

In the letter, which was obtained by The Associated Press, Schiff and Nunes also asked for a personal briefing from Mueller and his team.

Democrat Schiff has argued that some of that information should also be released to the public, with reference to charges brought by Mueller who have already revealed detailed details of Russia's efforts to influence the 2016 elections.

& # 39; All that information was classified at some point, but the decision must have been made that the public interest outweighs. And I think a similar analysis should be done here, & Schiff said on CNN this month.


Barr said that he will correct information regarding investigations regarding the Mueller probe that are still ongoing.

These include cases that were transferred or referred to federal prosecutors in Washington, New York and Virginia.

Democrats have noted that the Ministry of Justice has previously released such information, including some regarding Mueller's own investigation while it was ongoing.

Republicans who were the majority of the House last year obtained documents relating to the start of the investigation in Russia, arguing that officials were biased against the then-candidate Trump.

Republicans argued at that time that it was necessary to obtain that information to maintain the integrity of the investigation.


The Ministry of Justice regularly edits information about people who have been interviewed or investigated in investigations but have not been charged.

Barr said he will obscure information from the report & # 39; that would violate the personal privacy and reputation interests of peripheral third parties & # 39 ;.

Asked by Sen. Jeanne Shaheen, D-N.H., At a hearing last week if that meant that he would be editing information to protect Trump's interests, Barr said it wasn't.

& # 39; No, I am talking about people in private life, not about public office holders, & # 39; said Barr.

That means that alongside Trump, members of his family working in the White House, such as his daughter Ivanka, could potentially be mentioned if they somehow got caught up in Mueller's research.

But all the information about his sons, Eric and Donald Trump Jr., who run his businesses, could be edited sooner.

More than two years ago, the Department of Justice released information about the investigation into Hillary Clinton's email practices, although Clinton was not charged.

But that was then – FBI director James Comey made the much-discussed decision to discuss that investigation in public.

Barr indicated at his confirmation hearing in January that he would do things differently.

& # 39; If you do not sue someone, you are not there and relieve negative information about the person & # 39 ;, said Barr.

& # 39; That is not the way the Ministry of Justice does business. & # 39;