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

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

Senate Minority Leader Chuck SchumerCharles (Chuck) Ellis SchumerNYT: Don't make Acosta a political martyr Charities say they never received donations touted by Jeffrey Epstein: report Schumer to donate Epstein campaign contributions to groups fighting sexual violence MORE (D-N.Y.) ripped Attorney General William BarrWilliam Pelham BarrThe Hill's Morning Report - Presented by JUUL Labs - House to vote to condemn Trump tweet House poised to hold Barr, Ross in contempt Harris campaign accepts money from partners of law firm she criticized over Epstein case MORE over his plan to hold a press conference Thursday on special counsel Robert MuellerRobert (Bob) Swan MuellerTop Republican considered Mueller subpoena to box in Democrats Kamala Harris says her Justice Dept would have 'no choice' but to prosecute Trump for obstruction Dem committees win new powers to investigate Trump 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 TrumpEsper sidesteps question on whether he aligns more with Mattis or Trump Warren embraces Thiel label: 'Good' As tensions escalate, US must intensify pressure on Iran and the IAEA 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 RosensteinFeds will not charge officer who killed Eric Garner The Hill's Morning Report — Trump retreats on census citizenship question Judiciary issues blitz of subpoenas for Kushner, Sessions, Trump associates 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.