Trump attorneys and allies prepare for Mueller report release

Devin Nunes

Starr said it's unfortunate that the Mueller report has become so politicized, and he can not even understand the argument that President Trump somehow obstructed justice.

Congress frequently receives classified documents and briefings, and Democrats say there is no reason the Mueller report should be any different.

Instead of releasing Mueller's report and letting it speak for itself, Barr sought to set the preliminary media narrative by releasing an absurdly thin and vague 4-page summary, declaring Trump not guilty of "collusion" and the case on obstruction to effectively be "not proven".

The Justice Department announced Monday that it expects to release the redacted version Thursday morning, sending the findings of the almost two-year probe to Congress and making them available to the public. White House officials will review the report, brief the president, and then release a statement that will come from White House press secretary Sarah Sanders.

Starr said that Attorney General William Barr has handled the release of the report "beautifully" and "by the book", despite extensive criticism from some Democratic lawmakers and others who objected to his summary of Mueller's findings - which Barr said was no evidence of Trump-Russia collusion and no determination on obstruction of justice.

Mr. Mueller officially concluded his investigation late last month and submitted the confidential report to Mr. Barr.

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"They got asked questions and told the truth and now they're anxious the wrath will follow", one former White House official said.

Aides have reportedly asked the special counsel's office if "the names of those who cooperated" will be redacted, but the Justice Department has "refused to elaborate". "Just in time for Easter, it will be a insane quilt of colors created to cover up key facts and, nearly more important, break the flow - and diminish the power - of the Mueller Report as written", tweeted Elizabeth de la Vega, who served as a federal prosecutor for more than two decades. Democrats will be forced to fight a long legal battle over getting that information made public, all while Trump and his allies accuse them of being unwilling to accept the reality that the whole thing was a "witch hunt", and wasting the nation's time, all while endangering our national security. Does the report confirm that Mueller found enough malfeasance to impeach Trump?

Barr has offered to testify about the report in early May. Even with the grand jury testimony redacted, Mueller's investigative report may include a lot of details on Trump campaign activities that may not rise to the level of criminality but were far less than virtuous. Congressional Democrats cite precedent from previous investigations in saying they want to see it all. I was positive, I told them, that Trump would never be the Republican nominee, let alone be elected president. The crime was committed by the other side. Sparring over the report in advance of its release is rampant.

"In other words, [Barr] thinks as a matter of law a president can't obstruct justice, which is a very wild theory to which most people do not agree", Nadler said.

The Russia probe began on July 31, 2016, when the FBI opened a counterintelligence investigation into Russia's efforts to influence the presidential campaign and whether anyone on the Trump campaign was involved. Seventy-four percent of Republicans said it clears Trump of "any wrongdoing", while just 8 percent of Democrats responded that way. That probe was prompted by former Trump campaign foreign policy adviser George Papadopoulos' contacts with Russian intermediaries, including a Maltese professor who told the young aide that the Russians had dirt on Hillary Clinton in the form of emails.

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