In the Republican-controlled Senate, the threat of a subpoena is significantly lower for Barr, but he'll still have to face off with Democratic senators who are likely to push him on the report redactions as well as his four-page summary of Mueller's conclusions. Everything about it was crooked. Asked about reports that members of Mueller's team were unhappy with his handling of the report, Barr said he suspected any discontent may have reflected their desire to put out more information. Now his claims that the real thing will be out "within a week" are already getting heavy play, even though there's every reason to fear it will be so heavily redacted as to be useless. "There were dirty cops", he said.
The spying discussion started when Barr was asked by Sen. Barr explained that he considered spying on a political campaign to be a "big deal", invoking the surveillance of anti-war protesters during the Vietnam War. Yes, I think spying did occur. "The question is whether it was predicated, adequately predicated", meaning whether it was legally justified.
"I don't intend at this stage to send the full, unredacted report to the committee", Barr said, adding that wouldn't ask a court to release grand jury material "Until someone shows me a provision" that allows it to be released.
Yesterday, Attorney General William Barr appeared before the House Appropriations Committee to talk about the DOJ budget, but that was more of an afterthought as the Democrats used the opportunity to showcase their virtue on the Mueller report. "I'm just saying if you think it's such an outrageous position you have nothing to worry about".
"I'm not going to discuss it any further until after the report is out", he said.
In particular, Barr has expressed an interest in the initial Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) warrants that allowed surveillance of Trump's campaign to take place. The warrant was obtained after Page had left the campaign and was renewed several times.
The FBI's ultimately successful warrant application to surveil Page, which relied in part on information from British ex-spy Christopher Steele - whose anti-Trump views are now well-documented - cited Page's suspected Russian Federation ties. Barr released a four-page letter summarizing the report two days later and said he would release a redacted version of the full report by mid-April, "if not sooner".
Though he said the document will be redacted to withhold negative information about peripheral figures in the investigation, Barr said that would not apply to Trump, who is an officeholder and central to the probe.
Rep. Doug Collins, the top Republican on the House Judiciary Committee, urged Democrats on Monday to invite special counsel Robert Mueller to Capitol Hill to testify about his still-secret report on whether President Donald Trump's 2016 campaign colluded with Russian Federation to influence the outcome of the election - and whether the president himself obstructed the investigation. He easily kept his poise, deftly defusing their attempts to make him look like he has something to hide simply because he's committed to upholding the requirements and fundamental traditions of our justice system by redacting grand jury material and derogatory information about people not charged with crimes when he provides the Mueller Report to Congress.
Predictably, Trump has now extended his 180-degree turnaround from last week on releasing Mueller's report to deriding Mueller and his team, right on schedule.