Published: Fri, April 12, 2019
Health Care | By Cedric Leonard

Barr to testify before Senate as release of Mueller report looms

Barr to testify before Senate as release of Mueller report looms

Only 19 days into his job as acting attorney general, Barr ordered the Federal Bureau of Investigation to mount a rescue mission.

Attorney General William Barr testified on Capitol Hill today and dodged questions about the Mueller Report.

President Trump has called the special counsel investigation a "witch hunt", and he tweeted in May 2018 that he was demanding the "Department of Justice look into whether or not the FBI/DOJ infiltrated or surveilled the Trump Campaign for Political Purposes".

Barr was summoned to Congress to talk about his department's budget request, but lawmakers still asked about the Mueller report as they waited to see it. Barr's opening remarks focused on funding requests for immigration enforcement and the fights against violent crime and opioid addiction, not mentioning the special counsel's report at all.

Barr defends the infamous four-page letter: Barr has been heavily criticized by Democrats for the four-page letter he sent to Congress upon reviewing Mueller's report; specifically, the portion where he determined that President Donald Trump should not be charged with obstruction of justice based on the available evidence. Barr reconfirmed that the Office of the Inspector General has an ongoing investigation of the FISA process in the Russian Federation investigation and that the IG would complete this investigation in "May or June". Democratic lawmakers expressed frustration after the hearing that Barr wouldn't answer certain questions, such as whether the White House had been briefed about the Mueller report.

That assessment has drawn sharp criticism from Democrats. Barr has yet to release Mueller's report but has promised to do so soon, after appropriate "redactions" are complete.

No transaction with Venezuela until we’re sure of who is president
But the Maduro regime is not only a threat to the Venezuelan people; it is a threat to peace and security of the wider region as well.

Barr told Congress that there were "no plans" to assert executive privilege and that the president told the attorney general to make the decisions regarding whether something should be redacted from the released Mueller report.

For some, that will be too late, considering that all the public knows about the findings in a 22-month inquiry that cast a cloud over Trump's presidency is the little that Barr has already disclosed.

"As I've stated before, in order to ensure that our immigration system works properly, we must secure our nation's borders, and we must ensure that our laws allow us to process, hold, and remove those who violate our immigration laws", Barr says. "I have no idea what could have motivated him".

The Justice Department's Inspector General is also reportedly conducting their own separate investigation into whether or not James Comey mishandled classified information.

Parts of the report are expected to be blacked out to protect information deemed sensitive. The day after he refuted their conspiracy theory about a cover up, Barr demolished another of the Democrats' central talking points by revealing that he believes that the Obama administration really did spy on the Trump campaign. The attorney general said he would investigate the origins and conduct of the early days of the Russian Federation investigation, a probe separate from an existing inspector general inquiry.

Joseph DiGenova is an American attorney who served as the United States Attorney for the District of Columbia from 1983 to 1988.

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