Barr to testify before Senate panel next week on Mueller report

Attorney General William BarrWilliam Pelham BarrThe Hill's Morning Report - Trump seizes House impeachment vote to rally GOP DOJ, Commerce slam House Dems contempt vote as 'political stunt' White House blasts 'shameful and cynical' Barr, Ross contempt vote MORE is scheduled to testify next Wednesday before the Senate Judiciary Committee on special counsel Robert MuellerRobert (Bob) Swan MuellerTop Republican considered Mueller subpoena to box in Democrats Kamala Harris says her Justice Dept would have 'no choice' but to prosecute Trump for obstruction Dem committees win new powers to investigate Trump MORE's investigation.

Barr, who released a redacted version of Mueller's report on Russian interference last week, is slated to appear before the committee on May 1 at 10 a.m.

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The appearance will give lawmakers an opportunity to grill Barr on Mueller's findings as well as his handling of the special counsel's final report. The attorney general is also expected to testify before the House Judiciary Committee the following day.

Barr's appearances before the committees have been planned for weeks. The attorney general agreed to testify on those dates before the Mueller report was released, though the Senate panel has now put his testimony on its schedule.

The attorney general faced widespread criticism from Democrats over his decision to hold a press conference to discuss Mueller's findings before releasing the actual report. And some Democrats have also accused him of mischaracterizing the special counsel's initial findings in a letter sent to Congress earlier this month, triggering questions about his credibility.

Barr is also certain to be pressed by Democratic lawmakers over his decision to not bring forward an obstruction of justice charge against President TrumpDonald John TrumpAmash responds to 'Send her back' chants at Trump rally: 'This is how history's worst episodes begin' McConnell: Trump 'on to something' with attacks on Dem congresswomen Trump blasts 'corrupt' Puerto Rico's leaders amid political crisis MORE, in light of the evidence of obstruction that Mueller laid out in the report.

Meanwhile, Republican members of the Senate panel, including Chairman Lindsey GrahamLindsey Olin GrahamSenate passes bill making hacking voting systems a federal crime Graham: Trump's attacks on minority congresswomen more 'narcissism' than racism Meghan McCain promotes July 17 as #GBMday to raise awareness of father's cancer MORE (S.C.), are likely to question Barr over the start of the FBI’s counterintelligence probe into potential election interference by Russia.

Barr, during his testimony before Congress earlier this month, said that he wants to review that investigation, claiming that he thought there may have been “spying” on the Trump campaign.

Graham, along with other Trump allies on Capitol Hill, has said that he too would like to investigate how that counterintelligence probe was conducted.

Democrats have also seized on the attorney general's "spying" comments to argue that he is staging a defense of the president, rather than acting as head of the Justice Department.

Barr's Senate appearance will be his first time before Congress since the release of the redacted Mueller report, though his testimony before the House could yield even more sparks.

He is sure to face questions during that hearing about not only Mueller, but also House Democrats' other investigations into the Trump administration, in light of the president's vow Wednesday to fight "all the subpoenas."

Even as the attorney general is set to appear, Democratic chairmen in the House are already clamoring for Mueller himself to testify before their committees. Barr has indicated that he would allow Mueller to testify, but neither the Justice Department nor the special counsel himself have said if it would happen.