Judiciary chair demands Hope Hicks clarify closed-door testimony
Nadler accuses Barr of 'unprecedented steps' to 'spin' Mueller report
House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerrold Nadler (D-N.Y.) on Wednesday tore into Attorney General William Barr, accusing him of "waging a media campaign on behalf of President Trump" ahead of the release of special counsel Robert Mueller's report.
Flanked by other Democratic members of the Judiciary committee, Nadler took aim at Barr over his decision to not hand the report over to Congress until after the attorney general holds a press conference on the topic. Nadler was also critical of Barr following a New York Times report that the Justice Department has briefed the White House on Mueller's findings.
"Rather than letting the facts of the report speak for themselves, the attorney general has taken unprecedented steps to spin Mueller's nearly 2 year investigation," Nadler said.
He claimed that those moves, as well as Barr's brief letter to Congress in March summarizing Mueller's core conclusions, are allowing the attorney general to "put his own spin" on the special counsel's findings.
"The fact that the attorney general is not releasing even the redacted report to Congress until after his press conference will again result in the report being presented through his own words, rather than the words of special counsel Mueller," Nadler said.
Nadler has repeatedly hit Barr over his handling of the Mueller report, demanding that DOJ present the entire report and underlying documents to Congress.
The House Judiciary Committee voted earlier this month to authorize a subpoena for the full report. And on Wednesday, Nadler threatened to use it.
The chairman said that if the report, set for release Thursday, is "heavily redacted," the committee "will certainly issue the subpoenas in very short order."
The Washington Post reported Wednesday, moments after Nadler's press conference, that sources told the newspaper that Mueller's report will be lightly redacted and offer a clear look at evidence of obstruction of justice as committed by Trump. In his summary to Congress, Barr said that Mueller did not reach a conclusion on whether Trump obstructed justice in his investigation.
On Wednesday, Nadler also repeated his past statement that he would like Mueller to testify before the committee, adding that lawmakers may also request testimony from members of the special counsel's team.
Barr will hold a press conference at 9:30 a.m. on Thursday to discuss the report's release. The report is expected to be delivered to Congress at 11 a.m.