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 MuellerSasse: US should applaud choice of Mueller to lead Russia probe MORE’s full report to Congress.

House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerrold NadlerJerrold (Jerry) Lewis NadlerKlobuchar on impeachment: 'I'm the jury' Where 2020 Democratic candidates stand on impeachment Pelosi downplays impeachment post-Mueller report MORE (D-N.Y.) asserted in a statement Friday that the deadline “still stands” after Attorney General William BarrWilliam Pelham BarrLove or hate Trump, Mueller report doesn't matter Immigration judge calls Barr's move to deny asylum-seekers bond hearings 'highly problematic' Trump's job approval ticks up 2 points: Gallup 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 CollinsHouse Judiciary chairman subpoenas former White House lawyer McGahn Top Judiciary Republican reviews less-redacted Mueller report Democrats renew attacks on Trump attorney general 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 GrahamIf you don't think illegal immigrants are voting for president, think again Graham challenges Dems to walk the walk on impeachment Hillicon Valley: House Dems subpoena full Mueller report | DOJ pushes back at 'premature' subpoena | Dems reject offer to view report with fewer redactions | Trump camp runs Facebook ads about Mueller report | Uber gets B for self-driving cars 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 TrumpRussia's election interference is a problem for the GOP Pence to pitch trade deal during trip to Michigan: report Iran oil minister: US made 'bad mistake' in ending sanctions waivers 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 Jay RosensteinHeavy lapses in judgment are politicizing the justice system Top Judiciary Republican reviews less-redacted Mueller report Ex-Trump lawyer: Mueller knew Trump had to call investigation a 'witch hunt' for 'political reasons' 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.”