WASHINGTON — Special counsel Robert Mueller’s report on Russia’s interference in the 2016 presidential election is set to be made public in the next few weeks.
In a letter sent Friday to the chairmen of the House and Senate Judiciary Committees, Attorney General William Barr mentioned he have a plan to release the report and would testify before the committees about it on May 1 and May 2.
“I share your desire to ensure that Congress and the public have the opportunity to read the Special Counsel’s report. We are preparing the report for release,” Barr wrote.“Our progress is such that I anticipate we will be in a position to release the report by mid-April, if not sooner,” Barr added.
Barr also indicated the White House would not review the report prior to release, nor ask for material to be withheld due to executive privilege. “Although the President would have the right to assert privilege over certain parts of the report, he has stated publicly that he intends to defer to me and accordingly, there are no plans to submit the report to the White House for a privilege review,” wrote Barr.
Barr’s latest letter came after five days of wrangling over the conclusion of Mueller’s probe. On March 24, two days after Barr announced Mueller concluded his investigation and submitted a confidential report on his findings, the attorney general sent another letter to the Judiciary Committees notifying them of the special counsel’s “principal conclusions.”
Barr concluded his letter by objecting to what he described as “statements mischaracterizing” his earlier report on the principal conclusions of the investigation.
“My March 24 letter was not, and did not purport to be, an exhaustive recounting of the Special Counsel’s investigation or report,” Barr wrote.
According to Barr, Mueller’s report was “nearly 400 pages long,” not including tables and appendices and could not have been recapped in brief. “Everyone will soon be able to read it on their own,” Barr said of the report. “I do not believe it would be in the public’s interest for me to attempt to summarize the full report or to release it in serial or piecemeal fashion.”