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

A group of House Democrats on Wednesday called for Attorney General William BarrWilliam Pelham BarrClash with Trump marks latest break with GOP leaders for Justin Amash Schiff: Impeachment proceedings could be 'tool' to get information, evidence Trump fires back at 'loser' GOP lawmaker who said he'd engaged in 'impeachable conduct' MORE to cancel his planned press conference Thursday morning ahead of the release of special counsel Robert MuellerRobert (Bob) Swan MuellerSasse: US should applaud choice of Mueller to lead Russia probe 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 NadlerDemocrats are running out of stunts to pull from impeachment playbook Trump asks if Nadler will look into Clinton's 'deleted and acid washed' emails Trump tweets conservative commentator's criticism of FBI director MORE (N.Y.), Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam SchiffAdam Bennett SchiffSchiff: Impeachment proceedings could be 'tool' to get information, evidence Schiff: Escalating Iran tensions 'all too predictable' 5 things to watch as Trump, Dems clash over investigations MORE (Calif.), Oversight and Reform Committee Chairman Elijah CummingsElijah Eugene Cummings5 things to watch as Trump, Dems clash over investigations Republicans defend drug company in spotlight over HIV medication prices Advocate praises Warren's opioid proposal: 'The scale of the plan is absolutely right' MORE (Md.), Financial Services Committee Chairwoman Maxine WatersMaxine Moore WatersDemocrats are running out of stunts to pull from impeachment playbook Maxine Waters: Trump 'has done everything that one could even think of to be eligible for impeachment' Maxine Waters: Parts of Trump immigration plan are 'very racist' MORE (Calif.), and Committee on Foreign Affairs Chairman Eliot EngelEliot Lance EngelHoyer: Dems will move quickly on anti-Israel boycott bill Trump faces criticism for hosting Hungary's leader This week: Barr back in hot seat over Mueller report MORE (N.Y.).

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Barr is slated to hold a press conference with Deputy Attorney General Rod RosensteinRod RosensteinKlobuchar: 'Don't think' there are reasons to investigate Mueller probe's origins Democrats are running out of stunts to pull from impeachment playbook Barr dismisses contempt vote as part of 'political circus' MORE on Thursday morning to discuss Mueller's findings from his investigation into Russian election interference and President TrumpDonald John TrumpTrump: 'I will not let Iran have nuclear weapons' Rocket attack hits Baghdad's Green Zone amid escalating tensions: reports Buttigieg on Trump tweets: 'I don't care' 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.