Top Judiciary Republican reviews less-redacted Mueller report

Top Judiciary Republican reviews less-redacted Mueller report
© Greg Nash

The top Republican on the House Judiciary Committee on Monday announced he had reviewed a less-redacted version of 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 investigative report, which comes after top House Democrats rejected an offer to do so.

Rep. Doug CollinsDouglas (Doug) Allen CollinsLewandowski, Democrats tangle at testy hearing Justice OIG completes probe on FBI surveillance of ex-Trump campaign aide Hillicon Valley: Lawmakers ramp up Silicon Valley antitrust probe | Treasury sanctions North Korean cyber groups | Thiel to host Kobach fundraiser MORE (R-Ga.) hailed the version he reviewed in a secure Department of Justice (DOJ) room as further supporting the idea that President TrumpDonald John TrumpJimmy Carter: 'I hope there's an age limit' on presidency White House fires DHS general counsel: report Trump to cap California trip with visit to the border MORE committed no wrongdoing, pointing to the core conclusions Attorney General William BarrWilliam Pelham BarrArizona Democratic Party will hold vote to censure Sinema Democrats seize Senate floor to protest gun inaction: 'Put up or shut up' Feehery: Impeachment fever bad for Democratic governing vision MORE sent to Congress last month.

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“Today I had the opportunity to view the Mueller report at the Department of Justice," Collins said in a statement.

"The report’s 182-page look at obstruction questions includes only four redactions in total, and both volumes reinforce the principal conclusions made public last month."

While Mueller found no evidence of a conspiracy between members of the Trump campaign and Russia to interfere in the 2016 presidential election, the special counsel declined to make a determination either way on whether the president should be charged with obstruction of justice.

Barr, along with 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 and other DOJ counsels, ultimately determined that the evidence Mueller collected did not reach the threshold to charge Trump with obstruction — a decision Democrats are now vowing to fiercely pick apart.

Democrats say Barr has proven himself to be a Trump loyalist who will stop at nothing to protect his boss, while claiming that the decision should've been left to Congress all along.

Republicans, however, have touted the findings to mean total exoneration for Trump. They have also called on Democrats to suspend their sprawling investigations into the the president's administration, businesses and campaigns, though they note they don't think Democrats are likely to do so.

Collins also praised Barr for giving lawmakers "extraordinary accommodations" to provide Congress with this additional information, and encouraged his Democratic colleagues to also review such information.

"I encourage Chairman Nadler and Democrat leaders to view this material as soon as possible — unless they’re afraid to acknowledge the facts this report outlines,” Collins concluded.

His review of the report comes after top congressional Democrats on Friday rejected Barr's offer to allow a select group of lawmakers to review a less redacted report, including matters related to national security and details that relate to ongoing criminal investigations.

Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.), Senate Minority Leader Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.) and the top Democrats on the Intelligence and Judiciary committees in both chambers argued that his offer was too rigid because it does not permit more than a dozen lawmakers to review the redacted text and he isn't providing them with all the information, including grand jury material.

Barr has pledged not to provide grand jury material to Congress, stating that he is operating within the guidelines of the special counsel regulations.

But that hasn't stopped House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerrold NadlerJerrold (Jerry) Lewis NadlerLewandowski says he's under no obligation to speak truthfully to the media Katie Pavlich: The Democrats' desperate do-overs Lewandowski refuses to say whether Trump has offered him a pardon MORE (D-N.Y.) from issuing a subpoena on Friday seeking to compel the president's top law enforcement officer to turn over the full report and its underlying evidence in what is gearing up to become a protracted court battle.