The Democratic leaders in the House and Senate called Thursday for Special Counsel Robert Mueller to testify publicly before Congress in response to what they called Attorney General William Barr’s “regrettably partisan handling” of Mueller’s final report on the Russia investigation.
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer requested in a joint statement that the special counsel testify to both chambers “as soon as possible.”
“Attorney General Barr’s regrettably partisan handling of the Mueller report, including his slanted March 24th summary letter, his irresponsible testimony before Congress last week, and his indefensible plan to spin the report in a press conference later this morning — hours before he allows the public or Congress to see it — have resulted in a crisis of confidence in his independence and impartiality,” Schumer and Pelosi said.
“We believe the only way to begin restoring public trust in the handling of the Special Counsel’s investigation is for Special Counsel Mueller himself to provide public testimony in the House and Senate as soon as possible. The American people deserve to hear the truth.”
Barr is scheduled to give a press conference later Thursday morning just before he submits a redacted version of the report to lawmakers, after which it will be released to the public through the special counsel’s website.
Earlier this month, Barr described in testimony to a House Appropriations subcommittee the four categories of information in Mueller’s final report that will be redacted. The Justice Department will redact grand-jury information, information that would reveal intelligence sources and methods, information that affects the privacy of “peripheral players” not charged as a result of the investigation, and information that would compromise ongoing prosecutions, Barr said.
The attorney general in March submitted a four-page outline to Congress of the almost 400-page report’s conclusions, stating that Mueller had found no collusion between the Trump team and the Kremlin but that the special counsel left open the question of whether the president had obstructed justice during the investigation. Barr and Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein concluded there was not enough evidence to charge Trump with obstruction.
Correction: An earlier version of this article stated that the Democratic leaders had called on Attorney General William Barr, instead of Special Counsel Robert Mueller, to testify before Congress.