Barr to allow some lawmakers to review less-redacted Mueller report as soon as next week

Barr to allow some lawmakers to review less-redacted Mueller report as soon as next week
© Getty Images

Attorney General William BarrWilliam Pelham BarrThe Hill's Morning Report - Trump searches for backstops amid recession worries Mueller report fades from political conversation Barr removes prisons chief after Epstein death MORE will allow select lawmakers to review a less-redacted version of special counsel Robert MuellerRobert (Bob) Swan MuellerMueller report fades from political conversation Trump calls for probe of Obama book deal Democrats express private disappointment with Mueller testimony MORE’s report in a secure area as soon as next week, according to the Justice Department.

Assistant Attorney General Stephen Boyd said in a letter to House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerrold NadlerJerrold (Jerry) Lewis NadlerGOP memo deflects some gun questions to 'violence from the left' House Democrats urge Trump to end deportations of Iraqis after diabetic man's death French officials call for investigation of Epstein 'links with France' MORE (D-N.Y.) and Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Lindsey GrahamLindsey Olin GrahamTwo-thirds of Republicans support 'red flag' gun laws: NPR poll Red flag laws won't stop mass shootings — ending gun-free zones will Pelosi warns Mnuchin to stop 'illegal' .3B cut to foreign aid MORE (R-S.C.) on Thursday that Barr determined it “appropriate” to give the leaders of their committees as well as members of the “Gang of Eight” access to details in Mueller’s report that were redacted from the public version, including sensitive national security information and details that could impact ongoing criminal investigations.

Boyd said that Office of Legislative Affairs would operate a secure reading room at the Justice Department between the hours of 10 a.m. and 5 p.m. next week for those lawmakers to review the report “in camera.” He also said the Justice Department would give lawmakers the chance to review the less-redacted report in the secure spaces on Capitol Hill the following week, when lawmakers return from a two-week recess.

ADVERTISEMENT

Boyd said the less-redacted version would still restrict grand jury material, which is subject to federal secrecy rules in the absence of a court order by a judge. But it will allow members to view “all information” redacted to conceal details of ongoing investigations, sensitive national security information, and details on “peripheral third parties” that were not charged in the course of the probe.

“Given the sensitive nature of the information, the additional information will be made available through in camera review contingent on an agreement by all individuals reviewing the less-redacted version of the Report that the material provided only to the above-identified members and staff will remain confidential,” Boyd wrote.

“Material redacted in the public version of the report is law enforcement sensitive and confidential; it should not be shared in any form without prior approval of the Department of Justice,” he wrote.

Barr wrote in an earlier letter to Congress that he would allow select lawmakers to review the less-redacted report but did not offer a timeline.

Boyd's letter came hours after Barr released the redacted version of Mueller’s final report to the public; the sprawling document lays out the special counsel’s findings with respect to Russian interference as well as allegations of obstruction by President TrumpDonald John TrumpFacebook releases audit on conservative bias claims Harry Reid: 'Decriminalizing border crossings is not something that should be at the top of the list' Recessions happen when presidents overlook key problems MORE.

Mueller did not find evidence to charge members of Trump’s campaign with conspiring with the Russian government to interfere in the 2016 election. The special counsel also said his office was unable to “conclusively determine” that Trump did not criminally obstruct justice; Barr has judged the evidence laid out in the report to be insufficient to accuse the president of an obstruction of justice offense.

Democrats have clamored for the release of Mueller’s full report and underlying evidence to Congress. Nadler has threatened to subpoena the report if Barr does not meet their demands.