Top House Democrats are pressing Attorney General William Barr to provide Congress with the full report and underlying evidence from special counsel Robert MuellerRobert (Bob) MuellerSenate Democrats urge Garland not to fight court order to release Trump obstruction memo Why a special counsel is guaranteed if Biden chooses Yates, Cuomo or Jones as AG Barr taps attorney investigating Russia probe origins as special counsel MORE's investigation, giving him a deadline of early next month to provide such information.
The letter marks an escalation in efforts by Democrats to gain access to additional details included in Mueller’s report, raising the possibility of a potential showdown between Democrats in Congress and the Justice Department.
In particular, Democrats have seized on Barr’s decision to conclude there was no obstruction of justice by President TrumpDonald TrumpHillicon Valley — Presented by Xerox — Twitter's algorithm boosts right-leaning content, internal study finds Ohio Democrat calls Vance an 'ass----' over Baldwin tweet Matt Taibbi says Trump's rhetoric caused public perception of US intelligence services to shift MORE in the Russia probe, claiming this interpretation is further reason for all of Mueller’s findings to be provided to Congress.
Barr told Congress that he and Deputy Attorney General Rod RosensteinRod RosensteinWashington still needs more transparency House Judiciary to probe DOJ's seizure of data from lawmakers, journalists The Hill's Morning Report - Biden-Putin meeting to dominate the week MORE determined that "the evidence developed during the Special Counsel’s investigation is not sufficient to establish that the President committed as obstruction-of-justice offense."
"The Special Counsel states that 'while this report does not conclude that the President committed a crime, it also does not exonerate him,'" Barr wrote in his letter to Congress.
Nevertheless, Barr’s summary of Mueller’s report was a forceful blow to Democrats who have capitalized on looming questions of whether there was a conspiracy between Trump and Russia during the election, and it hurt plans by those in the party who have raised the prospect of impeachment.
According to Barr’s summary, Mueller said he found no evidence of such collusion during the course of his investigation.
"The Special Counsel’s investigation did not find that the Trump campaign or anyone associated with it conspired or coordinated with Russia in its efforts to influence the 2016 U.S. presidential election," stated Barr’s letter to the House and Senate Judiciary committees.
Barr, however, has not made any promises to release all of Mueller’s report. In his Sunday letter, he reiterated that he intends to publicly release as much of Mueller’s report as he can within the regulations governing Mueller’s appointment.
"My goal and intent is to release as much of the Special Counsel’s report as I can consistent with applicable law, regulations, and Departmental policies," Barr wrote.
The president and his Republican allies seized on the report as vindication shortly after the summary was released.
“No Collusion, No Obstruction, Complete and Total EXONERATION. KEEP AMERICA GREAT!” Trump wrote on Twitter.