Dems stand firm on early April deadline for Mueller report

House Democrats are standing by their April 2 deadline for the Justice Department to send special counsel Robert MuellerRobert (Bob) MuellerAn unquestioning press promotes Rep. Adam Schiff's book based on Russia fiction Senate Democrats urge Garland not to fight court order to release Trump obstruction memo Why a special counsel is guaranteed if Biden chooses Yates, Cuomo or Jones as AG MORE’s full report to Congress.

House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerrold NadlerJerrold (Jerry) Lewis NadlerAndrew Cuomo attorney says AG investigation was 'shoddy,' outcome was 'predetermined' Democrats quietly explore barring Trump from office over Jan. 6  The Memo: Nation's racial reckoning plays out in 2021's big trials MORE (D-N.Y.) asserted in a statement Friday that the deadline “still stands” after Attorney General William BarrBill BarrDems worry they'll be boxed out without changes to filibuster, voting rules  This week: Democrats face crunch time on voting rights Embattled Federal Bureau of Prisons director resigning MORE told lawmakers he expects to have the report ready to send to Congress and release publicly by mid-April, “if not sooner.”

Nadler also welcomed Barr’s willingness to testify to Congress on May 2 and said he would take that date under consideration; however, he underscored that House Democrats view it as “critical” that the attorney general appear before the committee “immediately” to explain his four-page letter from Sunday outlining Mueller’s core findings.

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"As I informed the Attorney General earlier this week, Congress requires the full and complete Mueller report, without redactions, as well as access to the underlying evidence, by April 2,” Nadler said in a statement Friday afternoon. “That deadline still stands.”

Rep. Doug CollinsDouglas (Doug) Allen CollinsJan. 6 panel releases contempt report on Trump DOJ official ahead of censure vote Lobbying world Sunday shows preview: Biden administration confronts inflation spike MORE (Ga.), the top Republican on the Judiciary panel, wrote on Twitter that the chairman "stands alone" in setting the deadline, adding that he looks "forward to reviewing the classified information in the report at a future date."

Barr told Nadler and Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Lindsey GrahamLindsey Olin GrahamKyrsten Sinema's courage, Washington hypocrisy, and the politics of rage Hillicon Valley: Amazon's Alabama union fight — take two McConnell will run for another term as leader despite Trump's attacks MORE (R-S.C.) in a letter earlier Friday that he expects to have a public version of Mueller’s report on Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election ready for release by mid-April.

The Justice Department is currently reviewing the document, which is between 300 and 400 pages excluding exhibits, to restrict from it grand jury material, sensitive national security information and other details that could impact ongoing investigations.

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House Democrats have aggressively pushed for the full release of Mueller’s report with minimal redactions, as well as the release of the underlying evidence.

On Friday, Nadler said he urged Barr to work with the committee “to request a court order to release any and all grand jury information to the House Judiciary Committee—as has occurred in every similar investigation in the past.”

The latest correspondence comes days after Barr revealed that Mueller did not establish that members or associates of President TrumpDonald TrumpClyburn says he's worried about losing House, 'losing this democracy' Sinema reignites 2024 primary chatter amid filibuster fight  Why not a Manchin-DeSantis ticket for 2024? MORE’s campaign coordinated or conspired with the Russian government to interfere in the 2016 election. Trump and his Republican allies have seized on Barr’s letter as exonerating the president.

Barr also revealed that Mueller did not draw a conclusion one way or another on whether Trump obstructed justice. Ultimately, Barr and Deputy Attorney General Rod RosensteinRod RosensteinWashington still needs more transparency House Judiciary to probe DOJ's seizure of data from lawmakers, journalists The Hill's Morning Report - Biden-Putin meeting to dominate the week MORE reviewed the evidence laid out in the special counsel’s report and deemed it insufficient to accuse Trump of obstructing the probe.

Nadler and other Democrats have raised issues with Barr’s finding on obstruction, questioning his ability to be a neutral arbiter.

Nadler said Friday that Democrats want Barr to “come before Congress immediately to explain the rationale behind his letter, his rapid decision that the evidence developed was insufficient to establish an obstruction of justice offense, and his continued refusal to provide us with the full report.”