Congress won't get Mueller report until after Barr press conference

Congress won't get Mueller report until after Barr press conference
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The Department of Justice (DOJ) won't deliver the redacted version of special counsel Robert MuellerRobert (Bob) Swan MuellerCNN's Toobin warns McCabe is in 'perilous condition' with emboldened Trump CNN anchor rips Trump over Stone while evoking Clinton-Lynch tarmac meeting The Hill's 12:30 Report: New Hampshire fallout MORE's report to Congress until after a press conference from Attorney General William BarrWilliam Pelham BarrProsecutor defends initial DOJ recommendation at Stone sentencing Roger Stone sentenced to over three years in prison Trump decries lack of 'fairness' in Stone trial ahead of sentencing MORE, a Democratic aide told The Hill.

The aide said lawmakers on Capitol Hill would receive the report at 11 a.m. on Thursday, more than an hour after Barr is expected to begin his press conference.

The decision immediately led to complaints from Democrats and criticism from the media, which said it would allow the administration to spin news favorably for the White House before anyone sees Mueller's full report.

Barr had already come under criticism from Democrats for delaying the release of Mueller's full report.

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After the report was delivered to his office, he issued a four-page letter two days later that said Mueller had not found evidence of a conspiracy between Moscow and Trump's campaign and that the special counsel did not make a decision on whether there should be a charge of obstruction of justice against the president. 

The president and his allies used Barr's letter to argue that Trump had been completely exonerated by Mueller, a conclusion Democrats say cannot be made without seeing the full report.

Earlier on Wednesday, Rep. Jerrold NadlerJerrold (Jerry) Lewis NadlerTrump adviser presses House investigators to make Bezos testify Nadler demands answers from Barr on 'new channel' for receiving Ukraine info from Giuliani Trump predicts Ocasio-Cortez will launch primary bid against Schumer MORE (D-N.Y.) tweeted that Congress had been informed they would be receiving the report well after Barr spoke to reporters.

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"I’m deeply troubled by reports that the WH is being briefed on the Mueller report AHEAD of its release," Nadler, the chairman of the House Judiciary Committee, tweeted. "Now, DOJ is informing us we will not receive the report until around 11/12 tomorrow afternoon — AFTER Barr’s press conference. This is wrong."

Other Democrats were also quick to criticize the timing.

"Once again, Barr wants to shape the public’s perception of the report," Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam SchiffAdam Bennett SchiffGraham: Trump has 'all the legal authority in the world' to pardon Stone Roger Stone sentenced to over three years in prison Top intelligence community lawyer leaving position MORE (D-Calif.) tweeted. "This is on top of reports DOJ secretly briefed the White House. This is not justice. Just PR."

The Judiciary Committee chairman appeared to be referencing a New York Times report that the White House and DOJ have repeatedly discussed Mueller's findings ahead of the report's release on Thursday. 

Nadler has been leading the Democratic push to obtain the full Mueller report, with his committee voting earlier this month to authorize a subpoena for the entire document.

The DOJ on Wednesday announced Barr would give a press conference on the report at 9:30 a.m. Thursday, fueling questions over whether reporters will be able to prepare questions about details concerning Mueller's conclusions.

The DOJ does appear to be seeking a compromise with lawmakers pressing for an unredacted report that could allow Congress to see more of the report.
 
In a court filing Wednesday, federal prosecutors stated that the DOJ intended to let some lawmakers and their staff view "a copy of the Special Counsel’s report without certain redactions."
 
Barr has said that he will exempt some material, such as grand jury information, from the redacted report.
 
Updated 7:40 p.m.