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) 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 full report to Congress.

House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerrold NadlerJerrold (Jerry) Lewis NadlerNadler apologized after repeatedly calling Hope Hicks 'Ms. Lewandowski' at hearing Hope Hicks: Trump campaign felt 'relief' after WikiLeaks released damaging info about Hillary Clinton House hearing marks historic moment for slavery reparations debate MORE (D-N.Y.) asserted in a statement Friday that the deadline “still stands” after Attorney General William BarrWilliam Pelham BarrThe Hill's 12:30 Report: Anticipation high ahead of first debate Attorney General Barr plays bagpipes at conference The Hill's Morning Report - Democratic debates: Miami nice or spice? 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.

"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 CollinsBipartisan Judiciary members request probe into gender discrimination allegations at FBI academy Top Republican considered Mueller subpoena to box in Democrats Mueller to testify publicly on July 17 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 GrahamBooker calls for hearings on reports of ICE using solitary confinement GOP lays debate trap for 2020 Democrats Overnight Defense: Trump says he doesn't need exit strategy with Iran | McConnell open to vote on Iran war authorization | Senate panel advances bill to restrict emergency arms sales 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.

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 John Trump2020 Democrats spar over socialism ahead of first debate Senate passes .5 billion border bill, setting up fight with House 'Teflon Don' avoids the scorn of the 'family values' GOP — again 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 RosensteinMueller to testify publicly on July 17 Trump: Appointing Sessions was my biggest mistake Trump blasts Mueller, decries 'witch hunt' at 2020 launch 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.”