Attorney General William BarrBill BarrHolding defiant Trump witnesses to account, Jan. 6 committee carries out Congress's constitutional role Jan. 6 panel recommends contempt charges for Trump DOJ official Appeals court questions Biden DOJ stance on Trump obstruction memo MORE told lawmakers on Tuesday that he will release a public version of special counsel Robert MuellerRobert (Bob) MuellerAn unquestioning press promotes Rep. Adam Schiff's book based on Russia fiction Senate 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 MORE’s report “within a week.”
Barr also said that the redactions made to the report would be color-coded and footnoted so that the public knows why the Justice Department decided to redact those portions.
“The process is going along very well,” Barr said during testimony before a House Appropriations subcommittee on the Justice Department’s fiscal 2020 budget request. “My original timetable of being able to release this by mid-April stands.”
“Within a week, I will be in a position to release the report to the public and then I will engage with the chairman of the Judiciary committees” on its release to Congress, Barr continued in response to questions from Rep. José Serrano (D-N.Y.).
Barr has said that the public version of the report will be redacted to conceal grand jury information, classified national security details that could reveal sources and methods, details that could compromise ongoing investigations and information that could impact the privacy and reputation interests of “peripheral third parties.”
He said Tuesday that officials would color code restricted information in the report so that the four categories are distinguished and “provide explanatory notes for the basis for each redaction,” such as identifying that something is redacted because of a court order in an ongoing criminal prosecution.
Barr said he’s working with the special counsel’s team to make the appropriate redactions to the report.
House Democrats, meanwhile, have clamored for the full release of Mueller’s report to Congress — absent any redactions — and have signaled displeasure with Barr’s plans to redact portions of the report.
Barr on Tuesday reiterated his pledge to release as much from the report as he can within the confines of the law, noting that the regulations governing Mueller’s appointment do not include guidelines for the public release of a report and that he is working at his own “discretion.”
“I do think it’s important that the public have an opportunity to review the results of the special counsel’s work,” Barr said.
Barr later was noncommittal on whether he would release the full report to Congress, but signaled a willingness to work with lawmakers to achieve some kind of agreement.
“The first pass at this is going to produce a report that makes these redactions based off these four categories, and that is something I am hoping will be available to the public,” Barr told Rep. Nita LoweyNita Sue LoweyTwo women could lead a powerful Senate spending panel for first time in history Lobbying world Progressives fight for leverage amid ever-slimming majority MORE (D-N.Y.), the full committee's chairwoman.
He added that he would be "glad to talk" with the chairs of the House and Senate judiciary committees "as to whether they feel they need more information and see if there is a way we can accommodate that."
Barr also indicated later that he would not go to court to seek permission from a judge to release grand jury material to Congress, saying that is up to House Judiciary Chairman Jerrold NadlerJerrold (Jerry) Lewis NadlerHouse passes bill to expedite financial disclosures from judges Unrequited rage: The demand for mob justice in the Rittenhouse trial Overnight Energy & Environment — Presented by American Clean Power — Democrats prepare to grill oil execs MORE (D-N.Y.).
Barr was expected to face numerous questions about the special counsel investigation during his testimony on Tuesday, which represented his first public appearance on Capitol Hill since the conclusion of Mueller’s 22-month probe.
Barr released a four-page letter summarizing what he described as Mueller’s core findings on March 24, revealing that the special counsel did not find evidence to charge members of the Trump campaign with conspiring with the Russians. He also revealed Mueller did not make a judgment on whether President TrumpDonald TrumpMan sentenced to nearly four years for running scam Trump, Biden PACs Meadows says Trump's blood oxygen level was dangerously low when he had COVID-19 Trump endorses David Perdue in Georgia's governor race MORE obstructed justice but that he determined the evidence to be insufficient to charge Trump with an obstruction offense.
Barr said Tuesday that Mueller’s team did not play a role in drafting the March 24 letter, “though we made them the offer to review it.”
--This report was updated at 11:38 a.m.