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 SchumerSinema says she would back Kennedy in race against Markey Democrats threaten to withhold defense votes over wall Pelosi: 'People are dying' because McConnell won't bring up gun legislation MORE (D-N.Y.) ripped Attorney General William BarrWilliam Pelham BarrSupreme Court comes to Trump's aid on immigration Words matter, except to Democrats, when it involves impeaching Trump Justice OIG completes probe on FBI surveillance of ex-Trump campaign aide MORE over his plan to hold a press conference Thursday on special counsel Robert MuellerRobert (Bob) Swan MuellerFox's Cavuto roasts Trump over criticism of network Mueller report fades from political conversation Trump calls for probe of Obama book deal 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 TrumpHarris bashes Kavanaugh's 'sham' nomination process, calls for his impeachment after sexual misconduct allegation Celebrating 'Hispanic Heritage Month' in the Age of Trump Let's not play Charlie Brown to Iran's Lucy 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 RosensteinHouse Democrats seeking Sessions's testimony in impeachment probe McCabe's counsel presses US attorney on whether grand jury decided not to indict US attorney recommends moving forward with charges against McCabe after DOJ rejects his appeal 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.