Graham asks Mueller if he wants to testify on Barr phone call

Sen. Lindsey GrahamLindsey Olin GrahamBooker calls for hearings on reports of ICE using solitary confinement GOP lays debate trap for 2020 Democrats Overnight Defense: Trump says he doesn't need exit strategy with Iran | McConnell open to vote on Iran war authorization | Senate panel advances bill to restrict emergency arms sales MORE (R-S.C.) is inviting special counsel Robert MuellerRobert (Bob) Swan MuellerTop Republican considered Mueller subpoena to box in Democrats Kamala Harris says her Justice Dept would have 'no choice' but to prosecute Trump for obstruction Dem committees win new powers to investigate Trump MORE to testify about his phone call with Attorney General William BarrWilliam Pelham BarrThe Hill's 12:30 Report: Anticipation high ahead of first debate Attorney General Barr plays bagpipes at conference The Hill's Morning Report - Democratic debates: Miami nice or spice? MORE in which the two discussed Barr's four-page memo outlining the conclusions of Mueller's Russia probe. 

Graham sent Mueller a letter on Friday asking him if he would like to testify about "any misrepresentation" of the call, following Barr's remarks on the issue during his Judiciary Committee hearing this week. 

"Please inform the Committee if you would like to provide testimony regarding any misrepresentation by the Attorney General of the substance of that phone call," Graham said in a letter to Mueller.


Democrats have been clamoring for Mueller to testify, arguing that Barr misrepresented the special counsel's findings. Barr, during a press conference last month ahead of the Mueller report's public release, said he would not object to Mueller speaking with Congress.  

Graham had previously ruled out asking Mueller to testify, arguing that the two-year investigation was "over" and signaling that he wanted the committee to move on. Graham separately told reporters that he would allow Mueller to "come and tell us" if Barr misrepresented their discussions.

Graham, who also used the letter to thank Mueller for his "thorough and professional manner," noted that Barr "testified in essence" that Mueller wanted executive summaries released and had concerns about the media coverage.

"The Attorney General testified in essence that you told him in a phone call that you did not challenge the accuracy of the Attorney General’s summary of your report’s principal conclusions, but rather you wanted more of the report, particularly the executive summaries concerning obstruction of justice, to be released promptly," Graham wrote.

"In particular, Attorney General Barr testified that you believed media coverage of your investigation was unfair without the public release of those summaries," he added.

Barr's appearance before the Judiciary Committee came a day after reports surfaced that Mueller had sent the attorney general a letter in late March raising concerns about a four-page memo Barr had released that outlined the main conclusions of Mueller's report on Russian interference in the 2016 election and the Trump campaign. 

"The summary letter … did not fully capture the context, nature and substance of this office's work and conclusions," Mueller wrote in his letter to Barr. 

Barr defended his decision to release the letter to Congress, saying that the public was in a “high state of agitation” over the results of Mueller’s investigation into Russia's election interference and potential coordination between Trump’s campaign and Moscow.

“The body politic was in a high state of agitation for Mueller’s results,” Barr said in his opening remarks. “Former government officials were confidently predicting that the president or members of his family would be indicted.”

Barr added that Mueller's concerns were not about the letter, but the media coverage surrounding it.

“He was very clear with me that he was not suggesting that we had misrepresented his report,” Barr added.