When Attorney General Bill Barr announced the findings of the Mueller report, he also said the report will be released to the public with four different kinds of redactions:
- grand jury material
- material related to on-going investigations
- information about people not charged in the investigations (privacy)
- national security material the intelligence agencies should not be made public
AG Barr offered to release a less-redacted version of the report but the Democrats were not happy with that concession. The less-redacted version was made available to 12 members: six Democrats and six Republicans. Not a single Democrat even bothered to read it and only two Republicans did.
If any objections to the redactions were made in good faith, the lawmakers would have gone and read the unredacted version of the report which only withheld the grand jury information. That assumes any of the disgruntled politician wanted
The six Democrats to whom Barr offered access to the report boycotted en masse, complaining that Barr should have provided a fully unredacted report to a broader set of lawmakers investigating Trump’s conduct. House Judiciary Chairman Jerry Nadler has subpoenaed Barr and the Justice Department for the full report and Mueller’s underlying evidence. The deadline for compliance is May 1.
So you can clearly see the Democrats want to make a scene rather than obtain as much information as they can from a less-redacted version.
Under the terms offered by Barr, each lawmaker granted access would also be allowed to designate one staff member to view the report. The report was made available at Justice Department headquarters last week and is available for lawmakers and aides to review in a secure room on Capitol Hill this week. Information could not be shared with other lawmakers.
“While the Department will permit notetaking, the Department asks that all notes remain at the Department in its secure facility,” Assistant Attorney General Stephen Boyd wrote to lawmakers earlier this month, outlining the terms of their access. “Department officials will transfer notes to and from Capitol Hill for in camera review sessions that take place there.”
Barr is scheduled to testify today before the Senate Judiciary Committee. I expect him to face a hostile Democrat audience. In the meantime, the lawsuits to release the entire report work their way through the system.
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