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House Dems demand Barr cancel 'inappropriate' press conference on Mueller report

A group of House Democrats on Wednesday called for Attorney General William BarrBill BarrThe Hill's Morning Report - Presented by Emergent BioSolutions - Facebook upholds Trump ban; GOP leaders back Stefanik to replace Cheney Judge's decision on Barr memo puts spotlight on secretive DOJ office Trump allies launching nonprofit focused on voter fraud MORE to cancel his planned press conference Thursday morning ahead of the release of special counsel Robert MuellerRobert (Bob) MuellerWhy a special counsel is guaranteed if Biden chooses Yates, Cuomo or Jones as AG Barr taps attorney investigating Russia probe origins as special counsel CNN's Toobin warns McCabe is in 'perilous condition' with emboldened Trump MORE's report. 

“The Department of Justice announced today that the Attorney General will hold a press conference tomorrow morning before Congress has even seen Special Counsel Mueller’s report," they said in a statement.

"This press conference, which apparently will not include Special Counsel Mueller, is unnecessary and inappropriate, and appears designed to shape public perceptions of the report before anyone can read it," they continued.

The statement was signed by House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerrold NadlerJerrold (Jerry) Lewis NadlerHouse to consider anti-Asian hate crimes bill, protections for pregnant workers this month A historic moment to truly honor mothers Britney Spears to discuss conservatorship in court MORE (N.Y.), Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam SchiffAdam Bennett SchiffTrump backs Stefanik to replace Cheney Gender politics hound GOP in Cheney drama Senate Intel vows to 'get to the bottom' of 'Havana syndrome' attacks MORE (Calif.), Oversight and Reform Committee Chairman Elijah CummingsElijah Eugene CummingsOvernight Health Care: AstraZeneca may have included outdated data on vaccine trial, officials say | Pelosi says drug pricing measure under discussion for infrastructure package | Biden administration extends special ObamaCare enrollment until August Pelosi: Drug pricing measure under discussion for infrastructure package Bottom line MORE (Md.), Financial Services Committee Chairwoman Maxine WatersMaxine Moore WatersThe Hill's Morning Report - Biden address to Congress will dominate busy week Maxine Waters: Judge in Chauvin trial who criticized her was 'angry' GOP, Democrats grapple with post-Chauvin trial world MORE (Calif.), and Committee on Foreign Affairs Chairman Eliot EngelEliot Lance EngelLawmakers on hot mic joke 'aisle hog' Engel absent from Biden address: 'He'd wait all day' Bowman to deliver progressive response to Biden's speech to Congress Liberal advocacy group stirs debate, discomfort with primary challenges MORE (N.Y.).

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Barr is slated to hold a press conference with Deputy Attorney General Rod RosensteinRod RosensteinProtect the police or the First Amendment? Rosenstein: Zero tolerance immigration policy 'never should have been proposed or implemented' Comey argues Trump shouldn't be prosecuted after leaving Oval Office MORE on Thursday morning to discuss Mueller's findings from his investigation into Russian election interference and President TrumpDonald TrumpVeteran accused in alleged border wall scheme faces new charges Arizona Republicans to brush off DOJ concern about election audit FEC drops investigation into Trump hush money payments MORE

Democratic lawmakers have slammed the news conference as a way to spin the findings of Mueller's investigation before the public has seen the full report, which is reportedly 400 pages long. 

The House Democrats also expressed concerns over a report in The New York Times Wednesday that said Justice Department officials have already briefed the White House on Mueller's report.

The newspaper reported Wednesday night that DOJ officials have had "numerous conversations" with the Trump administration, and that the discussions have allowed for the president's legal team to prepare a rebuttal to Mueller's report. 

"There is no legitimate reason for the Department to brief the White House prior to providing Congress a copy of the report," the Democrats said. 

"These new actions by the Attorney General reinforce our concern that he is acting to protect President Trump. The Attorney General previously stated, 'I do not believe it would be in the public’s interest for me to attempt to summarize the full report or to release it in serial or piecemeal fashion.' We agree," they added.

"He should let the full report speak for itself," the chairmen continued. "The Attorney General should cancel the press conference and provide the full report to Congress, as we have requested. With the Special Counsel’s fact-gathering work concluded, it is now Congress’ responsibility to assess the findings and evidence and proceed accordingly."

Mueller concluded in March his 22-month-long investigation into Russian election interference and whether the Trump campaign coordinated with Moscow in the run up to the 2016 presidential election. Barr said in a four-page summary to Congress that Mueller did not uncover sufficient evidence to conclude coordination or conspiracy between the Trump campaign and Russia. 

Barr's summary said Mueller did not implicate or exonerate the president on the matter of obstruction of justice. Many lawmakers have called for the release of the full report in the weeks since Barr sent his summary to Congress. 

The report is scheduled to be sent to Congress with redactions after Barr's press conference.