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 MuellerSasse: US should applaud choice of Mueller to lead Russia probe MORE's investigative report, which comes after top House Democrats rejected an offer to do so.

Rep. Doug CollinsDouglas (Doug) Allen CollinsProsecutor appointed by Barr poised to enter Washington firestorm The CASE Act is an opportunity for creators to have rights and remedies GOP lawmaker: Mueller should 'come to Congress' 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 TrumpTrump: 'I will not let Iran have nuclear weapons' Rocket attack hits Baghdad's Green Zone amid escalating tensions: reports Buttigieg on Trump tweets: 'I don't care' MORE committed no wrongdoing, pointing to the core conclusions Attorney General William BarrWilliam Pelham BarrClash with Trump marks latest break with GOP leaders for Justin Amash Schiff: Impeachment proceedings could be 'tool' to get information, evidence Trump fires back at 'loser' GOP lawmaker who said he'd engaged in 'impeachable conduct' 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 RosensteinKlobuchar: 'Don't think' there are reasons to investigate Mueller probe's origins Democrats are running out of stunts to pull from impeachment playbook Barr dismisses contempt vote as part of 'political circus' 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 NadlerDemocrats are running out of stunts to pull from impeachment playbook Trump asks if Nadler will look into Clinton's 'deleted and acid washed' emails Trump tweets conservative commentator's criticism of FBI director 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.