White House steps up attacks as Mueller report release nears

GOP Rep. Collins: Move to Impeach or Bring in Mueller

Barr has been working with top advisers and Mueller to prepare the almost 400-page report for public release. He said that the letter may have been read to them, but they did not get a hard copy of it.

Barr revealed the expected release of the watchdog report in testimony to lawmakers during a House budget hearing on April 9. Barr concluded there was not enough evidence to take the case to court. Barr released to the public a four-page summary of its principal conclusions two days after Mueller submitted his report, but many Democrats have called for the full report to be released.

U.S. District Judge Reggie Walton said he appreciated the desire of the Electronic Privacy Information Center to obtain the Mueller report, a document detailing what he described as an "extremely important subject matter to the nation". Democrats have expressed concern that his version will hide wrongdoing by the president and are frustrated by the four-page summary letter he released last month that they say paints Mueller's findings in an overly favorable way for the president.

Still, Barr maintains that it wasn't meant to be a full summary, and that Mueller declined to review the letter before it was sent.

"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. Republicans have asked for this investigation now that Mueller has completed his investigation.

Some good news, other than Barr's stellar performance, is that Barr is investigating the origin of the entire Trump-RUSSIA travesty.

"I feel that I have an obligation to ensure government power was not abused", Barr said.

Barr's reference to "spying" may refer to a secret surveillance warrant that the Federal Bureau of Investigation obtained in the fall of 2016 to monitor the communications of former Trump campaign aide Carter Page, who has not been charged with any wrongdoing and has denied being a Russian spy.

Tuesday's Department of Justice budget hearing will be Barr's first time on Capitol Hill since Mueller filed his report on the Russian Federation probe and possible ties to President Donald Trump's 2016 campaign.

Critics of the Russian Federation investigation say the warrant on Page was unjustified and have also seized on anti-Trump text messages sent and received by one of the lead agents involved in investigating whether the Trump campaign was colluding with Russian Federation.

EPIC filed a lawsuit on March 22 demanding the release of the Mueller report, arguing that the public has the right to know the full scope of Russia's interference in the 2016 election. Barr didn't answer, insisting he has said everything he planned to say about the report until it comes out.

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