Attorney General Balks at Closed-Door Testimony on Mueller Findings

Jonathan Ernst/Reuters

U.S. Attorney General William Barr objects to testifying before the House Judiciary Committee in a closed session dedicated to redacted portions of Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s Russia report, a congressional Democratic aide said on Sunday.

Barr is threatening to skip his planned appearance on Thursday, the aide told Reuters on condition of anonymity.

The committee’s chairman, Democrat Jerrold Nadler, has proposed that Barr’s public testimony be followed by a second round of questioning, where sensitive matters would be discussed behind closed doors and include committee staff lawyers, a House Democratic aide told Reuters.

Barr opposes both stipulations, according to the aide.

The attorney general is also scheduled to testify before the Senate Judiciary Committee on Wednesday.

A Justice Department spokeswoman did not immediately return calls for comment.

The attorney general, a Trump appointee, released a redacted version on April 18 of Mueller’s report on the 22-month investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 presidential race.

The report detailed a series of actions by Trump to impede the probe, but did not make a conclusion on whether those actions constituted the crime of obstruction. It also concluded that Trump and his campaign had not engaged in criminal conspiracy with Moscow.

Nadler has subpoenaed the Justice Department for the full report.

The House of Representatives panel’s Republicans sided with Barr, saying Democrats’ demands were unreasonable. “Democrats have yet to prove their demands anything but abusive and illogical in light of the transparency and good faith the attorney general has shown our committee,” they said in a statement.

The Democratic aide said there was precedent for committee staff to question Cabinet-level officials and Senate-confirmed officials, citing political scandals including the Watergate break-in of the 1970s and the Iran-Contra scandal of 1987.

(Reporting by Sarah N. Lynch; Additional reporting by David Morgan and Doina Chiacu; Editing by Lisa Shumaker and Peter Cooney)

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TOM
Member

It seems that Reuters does not know how to use Google. The Watergate break in happened in 1972. But of course actual facts are not important to a liberal news organization.

James
Member

Seems the shoe is on the other foot now. When Ken Starr investigated Bill Clinton, Nadler said nothing about reviewing the entire report Starr issued. BUT, now that a Republican was investigated 4 times for any collusion/obstruction activities, Nadler wants to see everything (maybe even the ball point pens the 19 Dem lawyers and Mueller used to play their witch hunt games with); including that classified information he’s not entitled by law to see.

Doug Smith
Member

Our Democratic led House is more pathetic with each passing day. They’ve forgotten their role in our Gov. Blinded by hate spewing a never ending barrage of lies to disparage, degrade and destroy the POTUS for no other reason than they don’t like him. All the while they have nada in the way of legislation that will even attempt to fix the immigration or healthcare or any of the numerous issues our country is faced with today. 2020 can’t come soon enough so we can get rid of them.

Doug Smith
Member

Our Democratic led House is more pathetic with each passing day. They’ve forgotten their role in our Gov and are blinded by their hate and spew a never ending effort to disparage, degrade and destroy the POTUS for no other reason than they don’t like him. All the while they have nada in the way of legislation that will even attempt to fix the immigration or healthcare or any of the numerous issues our country is faced with today.

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