Schumer slams Justice Dept over 'pre-damage control' on Mueller report

Senate Minority Leader Chuck SchumerCharles (Chuck) Ellis SchumerNo agreement on budget caps in sight ahead of Memorial Day recess Ex-White House photographer roasts Trump: 'This is what a cover up looked like' under Obama Pelosi: Trump 'is engaged in a cover-up' MORE (D-N.Y.) ripped Attorney General William BarrWilliam Pelham BarrPapadopoulos on AG's new powers: 'Trump is now on the offense' House Democrats must insist that Robert Mueller testifies publicly Why Mueller may be fighting a public hearing on Capitol Hill MORE over his plan to hold a press conference Thursday on special counsel Robert MuellerRobert (Bob) Swan MuellerThe Hill's 12:30 Report: Trump orders more troops to Mideast amid Iran tensions Trump: Democrats just want Mueller to testify for a 'do-over' Graham: Mueller investigation a 'political rectal exam' MORE's final report before Congress has a chance to read the document.

“The American people deserve the truth," Schumer tweeted Wednesday. "They don’t need any more pre-damage control or spin from [President TrumpDonald John TrumpPapadopoulos on AG's new powers: 'Trump is now on the offense' Pelosi uses Trump to her advantage Mike Pence delivers West Point commencement address MORE's] hand-picked attorney general, William Barr. Mr. Barr is acting more like a Trump campaign spokesman than an independent agent of the law." 

The comment comes amid reports that lawmakers on Capitol Hill would not receive Mueller’s report until 11 a.m. on Thursday, more than an hour after Barr and Deputy Attorney General Rod RosensteinRod RosensteinWhy Mueller may be fighting a public hearing on Capitol Hill Jake Tapper fact-checks poster Trump admin created describing Mueller investigation Jeffrey Rosen officially sworn in as deputy attorney general MORE's scheduled 9:30 a.m. press conference.  

Democrats have seized on the timing of the press conference to accuse the administration of plotting to spin Mueller’s report before its release reveals potentially damaging information for Trump. 

The release of Mueller’s findings has been highly anticipated since the special counsel submitted his confidential report to Barr last month. Lawmakers and the public are clamoring to read the report's conclusions regarding alleged coordination between the Trump campaign and Russia and whether the president obstructed justice in the investigation.

Barr told lawmakers last month in a four-page summary of the report that Mueller did not find any evidence of criminal collusion between the Trump campaign and Russia, but said that the special counsel declined to make a determination on whether Trump obstructed any subsequent investigations. The attorney general said he and Rosenstein determined Mueller’s evidence was not sufficient to bring an obstruction charge.

While most lawmakers will receive a redacted version of the report, some members of Congress will be able to review the findings “without certain redactions,” according to federal prosecutors.